On Social Justice: St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great
C. Paul Shroeder
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Popular Patristics Series Volume 38

St. Basil's homilies on the subject of wealth and poverty, although delivered in the fourth century, remain utterly fresh and contemporary. Whether you possess great wealth or have modest means, at the heart of St. Basil's message stands the maxim: Simplify your life, so you have something to share with others.

While some patristic texts relate to obscure and highly philosophical questions, St. Basil's teachings on social issues are immediately understood and applicable. At a time when vast income disparity and overuse of limited environmental resources are becoming matters of increasing concern, St. Basil's message is more relevant now than ever before.

"There is no way to describe the power, simplicity, wisdom, and freedom of his words... you will think they were written yesterday- not 1600 years ago! ... Precisely he describes our modern struggle with material wealth, our responsibility to our fellow man, and how to live a life in balance." -Gregory P. Yova, from the Forward

C. Paul Schroeder is an independent scholar and translator of early patristic texts. He resides in Portland, Oregon.