Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God: In Your Light We Shall See Light

Hardcover | June 15, 2008

byChristopher A. Beeley

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Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390 C.E.) has had an immeasurable influence on the Eastern and Western Christian traditions. Along with his homiletical, ecclesiastical, and literary achievements, Gregory's doctrine of the Trinity became the definitive expression of the orthodox faith in GreekChristian tradition, which caused him to be the only person other than John the Evangelist to be granted the title of "Theologian" by an ecumenical church council. As a testimony to Gregory's importance, he is the most cited author after the Bible in Byzantine Christian literature. Christopher Beeley's groundbreaking study-the first comprehensive treatment in modern scholarship-examines Gregory's doctrine of the Trinity in the full range of his theological and practical vision. Following an overview of Gregory's life and major theological works, Beeley examines Gregory'steaching on a vast range of subjects: the purification and illumination of the theologian; the human limitations and the divine possibilities of the knowledge of God; the unique identity of Christ; Gregory's dynamic understanding of "divinization"; and the distinctive place of the Holy Spirit inChristian theology. Beeley's expansive discussion culminates in Gregory's understanding of the Trinity as a whole, which proves to be the fundamental principle of all Christian doctrine and practice. Finally, Beeley identifies the Trinitarian shape and purpose of pastoral ministry, of which Gregoryis also the seminal theorist in Christian tradition. Beeley offers new insights in several key areas, including the reinterpretation of the famous Theological Orations and Christological epistles within the larger framework of Gregory's corpus. Long eclipsed in twentieth-century scholarship, Gregory's doctrine is now brought into full view as themajor Greek witness to the Trinity as the governing principle and the main interpretive framework of the Christian life.

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Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390 C.E.) has had an immeasurable influence on the Eastern and Western Christian traditions. Along with his homiletical, ecclesiastical, and literary achievements, Gregory's doctrine of the Trinity became the definitive expression of the orthodox faith in GreekChristian tradition, which caused him to be the on...

Christopher A. Beeley is Walter H. Gray Assistant Professor of Anglican Studies and Patristics, Yale University Divinity School.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:June 15, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195313976

ISBN - 13:9780195313970

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Gregory's Life and Work1. God and the Theologian2. Jesus Christ3. The Holy Spirit4. The Trinity5. Pastoral Ministry and the Trinity

Editorial Reviews

"Christopher Beeley's book sheds new light on important aspects of Gregory's theology. But the major contribution of his argument is to show persuasively how all Gregory's doctrinal themes cohere in his soteriological understanding of the Trinity, an understanding that Beeley carefullylocates in Gregory's own experience both as a Christian leader in controversial times and as a Christian thinker informed by scripture and by the classical Greek heritage. The book demonstrates how, for Gregory, the Trinity not only frames the entire Christian message of salvation but also functionsas the wellspring for the spiritual life and for pastoral care." Rowan A. Greer, Professor Emeritus, Yale Divinity School, and author of Christian Hope and Christian Life