Gregory of Nyssa developed what can be called a mystical theology of the human person created for and called to an ever-deeper immersion in the divine life. His theology is shaped by the thought of Origen and the Trinitarian debates of the late fourth century.
Texts for the course: Gregory of Nyssa, Life of Moses, trans. Abraham Malherbe (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1978); Gregory of Nyssa, Ascetical Works, trans. Virginia Woods Callahan (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 1999); Anthony Meredith, Gregory of Nyssa (London: Routledge, 1999).
Introduction; 3rd century background
The life of Gregory of Nyssa and his relationship to Origen
The state of Trinitarian theology in the mid fourth century.
Texts: Introduction and epilogue in Meredith, pages 1-26 and 129-139; introduction in Life of Moses, pages xi-23; introductory materials in Ascetic Writings, pages i-xxiii.
Doctrine of God
Eunomius and the response. Text: doctrinal excerpts in Meredith, pages 27-58.
Text: Life of Moses
Text: On Virginity, in Ascetical Works, pages 3-78.
Text: On What it Means to Call Oneself a Christian, in Ascetical Works, pages 79-92
Text: On Perfection, in Ascetical Works, pages 93-124
Text: On the Christian Mode of Life, in Ascetical Works, pages 125-160
Love and Gender
Text: The Life of Saint Macrina, in Ascetical Works, pages 161-194
Text: On the Soul and the Resurrection, in Ascetical Works, pages 195-274
The Human Person
Text: Contra Fatum; Oratio Catechetica, 19-24; and Homily 6: On the Beatitudes, in Meredith, pages 59-86 and 91-99.
Exam Exam themes