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Gregory of Nazianzus

Images and Reflections

Gregory of Nazianzus (ca. 330–390) is one of the three Greek church fathers from Cappadocia. This book explores both his theology – which earned him the honorary title ”the Theologian” – and his general importance as an independent thinker, prolific writer, orator, and poet.

Gregory has often been in the shadow of the other Cappadocians, Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa. This book demonstrates his central position in the formation of a hellenized Christian culture as well as his topicality today. More than any other ancient personality, save perhaps for Cicero and Augustine, Gregory recreates his inner life in his writings, and allows us to participate directly in the exciting intellectual and emotional climate of late antiquity.

The reader is offered illuminating discussions of Gregory’s exposition of the Trinity, his doctrine of deification, his theory of mental images, and his view of the ideal human self. Other contributions take his funeral orations, letters, and autobiographical poetry as points of departure for the study of family relations, gender attitudes, educational ideals, and literary accomplishments. In addition, light is shed on Gregory’s seldom-studied poetical oeuvre and his impact on Byzantine theology and literature.

The contributors are international specialists in patristics, church history, philosophy, Classical and Byzantine studies, and literary rhetoric.

350 pages | 9.4 x 6.5 | © 2006


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Prompting for meaning in Gregory’s rhetoric
Jostein Børtnes
2. Gregory contemplating the beautiful: Knowing human misery and divine mystery through and being persuaded by images
Frederick W. Norris
3. Rhetoric and mental images in Gregory            
Jostein Børtnes
4. Gregory and the constraint of sameness           
Stratis Papaioannou
5. Skiagraphia: Outlining the conception of God in Gregory’sTheological Orations
Edgars Narkevics
6. The Cappadocians on the Areopagus
Samuel Robenson
7. Playing with expectations: Gregory’s funeral orations on his brother, sister and father           
Tomas Hägg
8. Life after death: The martyrdom of Gorgonia and the birth of female hagiography
Virginia Burrus
9. Gregory’s women: Creating a philosopher’s family
Susanna Elm
10. Gregory: The rhetorician as poet
John A. McGuckin
11. Among the hellenists: Gregory and the sophists
Neil McLynn
12. Two Gregories and three genres: Autobiography, autohagiography and hagiography
Stephanos Efthymiadis
13. Theosis according to Gregory           
Torstein Theodor Tollefsen
14. The appeal to the Cappadocian Fathers and Dionysios the Areopagite in the iconoclast controversy        
Andrew Louth
15. Retrospect: Images, reflections and the “essential” Gregory     
Philip Rousseau
Index locorum
General index

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