101 Mystics: Gregory of Nyssa before Evagrius Ponticus

I don’t know how many of you out there in blog-land are actually reading along with me on the 101 mystics, but just in case someone is… I had set up my chronological list of mystics with Evagrius Ponticus coming before Gregory of Nyssa. But in researching Evagrius, I’ve realized that he was a student of the Cappadocian Father Gregory of Naziansus — and Gregory of Nyssa was also a Cappadocian. So I went back to my notes and realized that Gregory was in fact 10 years older than Evagrius, and so should have come first on the list. Yes, yes, I know that after 1650 years what difference does a decade make, and if there were no relationship between Gregory and Evagrius I probably wouldn’t care who I read first. But given that Evagrius actually was a student of Gregory’s Cappadocian colleague, I think it makes more sense to read Gregory of Nyssa first.

So that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll post a more in-depth intro to Gregory either tonight or tomorrow. But for now, put your Evagrius back on the shelf, and dust off your copy of Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses, ‘cuz that’s what I’m reading next.

And now, if any of you have any lingering doubts that I (like most writers) am geek-obsessive for nitpicky details, you can rest your weary minds.

Meet the Newest Doctor of the Church: Saint Gregory of Narek
Two New Reference Books For You (or Your Library)
Beatrice of Nazareth: Seven Manners of Divine Love
Christian Mystics to Celebrate in 2015


  1. I am not reading along with you here
    trying to read steinbeck’s wayward bus is about
    my speed but I would have thought evagrius earlier
    because of desert father image etc…
    life of moses is good reading for that sort of thing
    I mean good reading really but I liked fr john mcgucken’s
    poem about gregory nazianzus ,havent it here, he is expert
    on this worthy, to effect of that of em all you are the
    one that I might more or less feel at home with…
    well it could equally be nyssa…I think nyssa’s recording
    of the dialogue with his sister macrina on death and resurrection
    and his vita macrini or vita macrina? anyway they are touching
    and fine.probably wrote the dialogue for that matter.
    anyhow these notes to be somehow if not on board the reading
    at least parallel

  2. I’m reading along with you on some of the mystics on your list. I had dusted off Evagrius Ponticus but I currently have very little time to read (for about the next week or so). So I’m glad you’ve postponed Evagrius so I can follow along. I don’t have Gregory of Nyssa’s Life of Moses, so I’ll probably sit that one out.

Leave a Comment