Gregory's Life and Work
The introduction provides an orientation to Gregory's' life and works within his multiple contexts. It covers Gregory's family, childhood, education, training in biblical study and Greek philosophical rhetoric; his pioneering, moderate form of monasticism as a “middle path” between solitude and public service; his strong influence by Origen and complicated relationship with Basil; his theological and ecclesiastical leadership as a priest and bishop; his central role in the consolidation of the Trinitarian faith and the pro‐Nicene movement in Constantinople; and his retirement, literary corpus, and the distinctive character of the Theological Orations. In addition, it offers a summary narrative of the mid‐fourth‐century theological controversies, in which Gregory played a key part—with attention to Marcellus of Ancyra, the Council of Nicaea 325, Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius, Basil of Ancyra, George of Laodicea, Melitius of Antioch, Damasus and the Western synods, Eunomius and the Heterousians, the Homoiousians, the Pneumatomachians, the homoian regimes of Constantius and Valens, the synod of Antioch in 372, the religious policy of Theodosius, and other church councils; an account of the negative effects of the Antiochene schism, and a reconstruction of the Council of Constantinople 381.
Keywords: biblical study, philosophical rhetoric, ecclesiastical leadership, fourth‐century doctrinal controversies, Origen, Basil of Caesarea, Marcellus of Ancyra, Eusebius of Caesarea, Athanasius, Melitius of Antioch, Diodore of Tarsus, Antiochene schism, Pneumatomachians, Homoians, Homoiousians, Heterousians, Theodosius, Council of Constantinople 381
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