St. John of Damascus

John of Damascus, Saint

Saint John of Damascus, or Saint John Damascene (dăm´əsēn), c.675–c.749, Syrian theologian, Father of the Church and Doctor of the Church. He was brought up at the court of the caliph in Damascus, where his father was an official, and he was educated by a Sicilian monk. John inherited his father's office but resigned it (c.726) and entered a monastery in Palestine. His life was spent largely in fighting with his pen for orthodoxy against iconoclasm. His fame rests on his theological masterpiece, The Fountain of Wisdom, a Greek work in three parts—a theological study of Aristotle's categories; a history of heresies, based on Epiphanius and Theodoret, with supplementary material on iconoclasm and Islam; and a formal exposition of the Christian faith (De fide orthodoxa, tr. by F. N. Chase, 1958). This last work was extensively used by the scholastics and is still a prime source for the dogmatic opinions of the principal Eastern Fathers. John also wrote hymns and regulated the choral parts of the Byzantine liturgy. He stimulated the production of Byzantine painting. The elegance of his Greek brought him the epithet Chrysorrhoas [gold-pouring]. His name appears also as John Damascenus. Feast: in Western calendars, Mar. 27.

See F. P. Cassidy, Molders of the Medieval Mind (1944).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

St. John of Damascus: Selected full-text books and articles

Writings By John of Damascus; Frederic H. Chase Jr Catholic University of America Press, 1958
Saracens: Islam in the Medieval European Imagination By John V. Tolan Columbia University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Muslims Branded as Heretics by Christian Apologists and Polemicists" begins on p. 50
The Incarnation: An Interdisciplinary Symposium on the Incarnation of the Son of God By Stephen T. Davis; Daniel Kendall; Gerald O'Collins Oxford University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "Maximus the Confessor and John of Damascus" begins on p. 183
Two Worlds Are Ours: An Introduction to Christian Mysticism By John Macquarrie Fortress Press, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Dark Ages: Maximus Confessor, John of Damascus, John Scotus Eriugena"
FREE! History of Christian Doctrine By George Park Fisher Charles Scribner's Sons, 1896
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "The Development of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ to John of Damascus"
Biographical Dictionary of Christian Theologians By Patrick W. Carey; Joseph T. Lienhard Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "John of Damascus" begins on p. 283
The Greek Fathers By James Marshall Campbell Longmans, Green, 1929
FREE! St. John Damascene: Barlam and Ioasaph By John of Damascus; G. R. Woodwad; H. Mattingly Heinemann, 1914
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