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

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Christopher A. Beely
Publication Data: New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2008
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: xviii + 402
Dimensions (l × w × h): 23.5 cm × 15.7 cm × 2.6 cm
ISBN: 978‒0‒19‒994887‒1

Christopher A. Beely

A volume of Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

“This book is a study of the greatest theologian of the Christian fourth century and the subject he held most dear: St. Gregory of Nazianzus on the Holy Trinity. A man of exceptional learning and intellectual talent, Gregory Nazianzen (329–390) pioneered several new forms of Greek literature; he preserved numerous lines of classical poetry and composed thousands of his own; and he later became the chief model of Byzantine homiletical and prose style. Yet his greatest devotion in all of life was the doctrine and the worship of the Trinity. It was Gregory, more than anyone before him, who made the Trinity the centerpiece and the cardinal doctrine of orthodox Christianity. In recognition of his magisterial achievement, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 deemed him ‘the Theologian,’ a title that he shares only with St. John the Divine and the Byzantine monk St. Simeon the New Theologian, who was being compared to Gregory. In due time, Gregory the Theologian came to be regarded as one of the three ‘universal teachers’ of Eastern Orthodoxy, together with St. Basil the Great, who was renowned for his monastic legislation, and the golden-mouthed preacher St. John Chrysostom. Gregory’s immense impact on Christian tradition can be seen from the fact that his work is the most widely published in the Greek manuscript tradition, second only to the Bible.”


Introduction: Gregory’s Life and Work
   329–359: Childhood and Education
   359–375: Ministry in Cappadocia
   Excursus: The Fourth-Century Doctrinal Controversies
   379–381: Ministry in Constantinople
   381–390: Final Years in Cappadocia
1. God and the Theologian
   The Purification of the Theologian
   Illumination: The Knowledge of the Incomprehensible God
2. Jesus Christ, the Son of God
   Christology and Divinization
   The Identity of Christ
   The Unity of Christ
   Christological Spirituality
3. The Holy Spirit
   The Development of Gregory’s Pneumatology: 372–380
   Τάξις Θεολογίας: The Witness of Scripture and the Order of Theology
   “A Truly Golden and Saving Chain”: The Direct Proof of the Spirit’s Divinity
   Spiritual Exegesis and the Rhetoric of Piety
4. The Trinity
   Theology of the Divine Economy
   The Monarchy of God the Father
   Conceiving of the Trinity
   Participation in the Trinity
5. Pastoral Ministry
   The Art of Arts and the Science of Sciences
   Pastoral Experience and Priestly Virtue
   Excursus: On the Love of the Poor
   The Training of Holy Scripture
   The Administration of the Holy Trinity
Conclusion: Gregory among the Fathers
   Gregory Thaumaturgus
   Athanasius and Didymus
   Basil of Caesarea
   Gregory of Nyssa
   The Homoiousians and Eastern Theological Tradition
   Damasus and the West
   Gregory the Theologian
Index of Theological Topics in Gregory’s Works
Index of Citations to the Works of Gregory Nazianzen
General Index
Index to Biblical Citations
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