Embodiment and Virtue in Gregory of Nyssa: An Anagogical Approach

Paperback | April 12, 2015

byHans Boersma

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Embodiment in the theology of Gregory of Nyssa is a much-debated topic. Hans Boersma argues that this - worldly realities of time and space, which include embodiment, are not the focus of Gregory's theology. Instead, embodiment plays a distinctly subordinate role. The key to his theology,Boersma suggests, is anagogy, going upward in order to participate in the life of God.This book looks at a variety of topics connected to embodiment in Gregory's thought: time and space; allegory; gender, sexuality, and virginity; death and mourning; slavery, homelessness, and poverty; and the church as the body of Christ. In each instance, Boersma maintains, Gregory valuesembodiment only inasmuch as it enables us to go upward in the intellectual realm of the heavenly future.Boersma suggests that for Gregory embodiment and virtue serve the anagogical pursuit of otherworldly realities. Countering recent trends in scholarship that highlight Gregory's appreciation of the goodness of creation, this book argues that Gregory looks at embodiment as a means for human beings togrow in virtue and so to participate in the divine life.It is true that, as a Christian thinker, Gregory regards the creator-creature distinction as basic. But he also works with the distinction between spirit and matter. And Nyssen is convinced that in the hereafter the categories of time and space will disappear - while the human body will undergo aninconceivable transformation. This book, then, serves as a reminder of the profoundly otherworldly cast of Gregory's theology.

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Embodiment in the theology of Gregory of Nyssa is a much-debated topic. Hans Boersma argues that this - worldly realities of time and space, which include embodiment, are not the focus of Gregory's theology. Instead, embodiment plays a distinctly subordinate role. The key to his theology,Boersma suggests, is anagogy, going upward in or...

Hans Boersma holds the J.I. Packer Chair of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Before coming to Regent in 2005, he taught for six years at Trinity Western University in nearby Langley. Boersma holds a doctorate from the University of Utrecht. His articles have appeared in numerous journals. His publications include Viole...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.21 × 6.02 × 0.64 inPublished:April 12, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198728239

ISBN - 13:9780198728238

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Measured Body2. Textual Body3. Gendered Body4. Dead Body5. Oppressed Body6. Ecclesial Body7. Virtuous BodyEpilogue

Editorial Reviews

"Boersma offers many interesting insights, based on an intimate acquaintance with Gregory's works. ... [I]n doing so he gives us a salutary reminder of the distance between a fourth-century ontological framework and our own." --Ann Conway-Jones, Journal of Ecclesiastical History