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Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern$
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Morwenna Ludlow

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280766.001.0001

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Philosophy and the Gospel

Philosophy and the Gospel

Chapter:
(p.15) 2 Philosophy and the Gospel
Source:
Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern
Author(s):

Morwenna Ludlow (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280766.003.0003

This chapter explores three related claims made by Torrance, and shows the way in which they are related to his fundamental assumptions about the relation between early Christianity and Hellenistic philosophy and the way in which Gregory of Nazianzus differs from the other two Cappadocians. The first claim is that Gregory of Nazianzus sees the three divine persons as ‘substantive relations’, whereas the other two Cappadocians see them as ‘modes of being’ (tropoi huparxeōs). Second is that for Basil and Gregory of Nyssa ousia is an ‘abstract’ and ‘impersonal’ concept. Thirdly, Torrance describes as ‘rather dualist’ the distinction which Basil and Gregory of Nyssa tend to draw between the transcendent unknowable ‘Being of God’ and ‘the uncreated energies of his self-revelation’. The chapter examines some other factors which influence Torrance's reading of Gregory of Nyssa, notably his reading of Cappadocian analogies and his response to debates in contemporary theology about the doctrine of the Trinity.

Keywords:   Torrance, Trinity, early Christianity, Hellenistic philosophy, Gregory of Nazianzus, Cappadocians

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