Some Classics of Pastoral Theology

Pastoral theology is the theological reflection on ordained ministers and their function.

The early church produced four great classics on pastoral theology which together with the decrees of the ancient councils shaped the functions and ideals of the ordained ministry in both the Western and Eastern Churches:

St. Ambrose of Milan, On the Duties of the Clergy.

St. Gregory Nazianzen, Oration 2.

St. John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood.

St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Rule.

One can still, for example, see the influence of these Patristic classics on pastoral theology in the standard nineteenth-century Russian Orthodox textbook on pastoral theology, On the Duty of Parish Priests.

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