Popular Patristics Series Volume 48
The episode of the Transfiguration of Jesus plays a key role in the narrative of the Synoptic Gospels. Peter and his fellow Apostles have just acknowledged Jesus to be Israel’s long-awaited Messiah, and have been shocked by Jesus’ immediate prediction of his coming passion and death. Now Peter, James and John are allowed to share an extraordinary vision, marking him out as truly God’s own Son, radiant with divine glory.
This volume brings together, in a new translation, a comprehensive collection of homilies on the Transfiguration of Christ from the Greek Patristic and Medieval Church, from Origen in the third century to St. Gregory Palamas in the fourteenth. Together they form a profound and moving set of meditations, from many perspectives and in many voices, on “the light of the recognition of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (II Cor 4.6), and on its importance for our lives.
Early Christian commentators and preachers recognized the crucial importance of this incident for Christian faith and discipleship, as pointing in advance to the power of the cross and resurrection of Christ. The liturgical feast of the Transfiguration, anticipating that of the Exaltation of the Cross by forty days, came to be celebrated in the Eastern and Western Churches, beginning in the seventh century; yet since at least the third century, theologians have reflected on the significance of this event for the life of faith.
About the Author: Brian E. Daley, S.J., is the Catherine F. Husking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and also the translator of On the Dormition of Mary: Early Patristic Homilies.