Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa: An Anagogical by Hans Boersma

By Hans Boersma

Embodiment within the theology of Gregory of Nyssa is a much-debated subject. Hans Boersma argues that this-worldly realities of time and house, which come with embodiment, will not be the focal point of Gregory's theology. as an alternative, embodiment performs a fairly subordinate function. the foremost to his theology, Boersma indicates, is anagogy, going upward that allows you to perform the lifetime of God.
This e-book appears to be like at various subject matters hooked up to embodiment in Gregory's idea: time and area; allegory; gender, sexuality, and virginity; demise and mourning; slavery, homelessness, and poverty; and the church because the physique of Christ. In each one example, Boersma continues, Gregory values embodiment basically inasmuch because it allows us to head upward within the highbrow realm of the heavenly future.
Boersma means that for Gregory embodiment and advantage serve the anagogical pursuit of otherworldly realities. Countering contemporary tendencies in scholarship that spotlight Gregory's appreciation of the goodness of construction, this e-book argues that Gregory appears at embodiment as a way for humans to develop in advantage and so that you can perform the divine life.
It is right that, as a Christian philosopher, Gregory regards the creator-creature contrast as uncomplicated. yet he additionally works with the excellence among spirit and topic. And Nyssen is confident that during the hereafter the types of time and area will disappear-while the human physique will suffer an not possible transformation. This booklet, then, serves as a reminder of the profoundly otherworldly solid of Gregory's theology.

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The intelligible life of the heavenly kingdom is, according to Nyssen, both our origin and our final end. 18 A student of Aetius, Eunomius presented a Trinitarian theology that distinguished three beings, of which the first was the highest and was properly or essentially named “unbegotten” (IªÝííÅôïò). The implication of this ontological hierarchical differentiation in the Trinity was a strong emphasis on the individuality of the divine Persons, each of which, so Eunomius believed, had its own simple essence.

Also when it comes Introduction 17 to social justice concerns, Gregory refuses to make this-worldly ends ultimate. First, it is precisely the objectification of the body that he opposes in his rejection of slavery. It is because the bodies of the poor are like “coins” stamped with the image of the king that they are to be treated with respect. Second, by manumitting slaves and caring for the disadvantaged in society, the rich secure their own eternal future. When slave owners free their slaves, they reflect and participate in divine generosity, thereby progressing in their anagogical journey toward God.

I continue the discussion of sexuality in the first part of Chapter 4 (“Dead Body”), which deals in more detail with Gregory’s understanding of virginity. I argue that one cannot interpret Gregory’s encomium on virginity in De virginitate as an expression of irony. While it is true that Gregory acknowledges the goodness of the body and also of marriage, he nonetheless wants also his praise of virginity to be taken at face value. St. Gregory identifies virginity with God himself, which means that virginity is, ultimately, to be identified with incorruptibility, purity, and impassibility.

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