Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith: Union, Knowledge, by Martin Laird

By Martin Laird

The 1st in-depth research of Gregory of Nyssa, this publication exhibits how for Gregory the darkness of religion is what unites the believer with God. via this union via religion on my own, God but speaks in the course of the deeds and discourse of the believer. whereas the believer is immersed within the darkness of unknowing, also they are remodeled in mild. Laird alters the best way we comprehend Gregory's mystical theology.

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Extra info for Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith: Union, Knowledge, and Divine Presence (Oxford Early Christian Studies)

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44 The contribution of Cane´vet to the understanding of faith in Gregory of Nyssa can be summarized as follows. She would seem to be in basic agreement with von Balthasar, Danie´lou, and Vo¨lker that faith is properly understood in the context of Gregory’s epistemology and characteristically comes into play at the zenith of an apophatic ascent. 45 While Cane´vet has not, as has Danie´lou, described faith as an organ or faculty of knowledge, her observations would seem to harmonize well with Danie´lou’s.

38 R. Williams, ‘Macrina’s Deathbed Revisited: Gregory of Nyssa on Mind and Passion’, in L. Wickham and C. ), Christian Faith and Greek Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Leiden, 1993), 229. 39 40 In Cant. i x , GNO v i. 276. 12. , 277. 5–7. , SC, x . 1. 4–5. 37 The Flow of the Mind 41 function dianoia plays in attempts at verbal expression of any sort. ’43 The mind, then, can adapt. It can be thick and dispersed amongst lower things or it can adapt itself to the higher processes of reason. 44 Precisely because the mind can be either dispersed and divided or elevated and recollected, Gregory recommends the unmarried state in De virginitate.

The Exaltation of Faith 25 ontological presupposition which Plato did not share. For Gregory, faith opens up a new cognitive path. In her survey of representative texts, then, she can identify two levels of Gregorian faith. One level is characterized by an awareness of the ontological limits of our cognitive capacity. According to Desalvo, faith does not constitute a cognitive step towards the divine but rather a renunciation of knowledge. Nevertheless it stays within the limits of discursive reason and does not attempt to cross over the boundary between finite creature and infinite creator.

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