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Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism

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Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism

Gregory of Nyssa was a great thinker who drew inspiration the philosophical schools of the pagan Greeks as well from the traditions of Eastern Christians and the Jewish traditions. The religious theorist formulated some the original philosophical synthesis that late made significant impact in Byzantine and possibly in the modern European thought[1]. A key idea in Gregory’s writing is difference in the magnificent nature and immanent character of God. However, a larger portion of his though concentrates on working out those presumptions in other areas which relate to the world, humanity, as well as virtue and knowledge. This paper hence aims at discussing the key ideas held by Gregory that holds together the Christian life[2].

Key Ideas

            The concept of God is among the main ideas held Gregory that connects the life of Christians. Gregory was prompted to address the concept of God in Christian life to the controversy brought about by the Arianism which emerged in regard to the Biblical contradictions on the Christ. For instance, the propositions in the Bible where Jesus claim that he and the Father are same and in some other part claim that the Father is greater than Him. The Arian theory hence held that Christ was neither human nor divine[3]. Eunomius who was the leading champion of the Arian theory argued that God was unbegotten while Christ was begotten. Gregory however proposed a Christian view to counter the Eunomius view of God where he explained that God’s nature was incomprehensible by man hence it was demeaning to Christianity to think that human concepts were fit to define God.

[1] Edward, Hardy. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism. Christology of the Later Fathers. Library of Christian Classics. Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1954, pp. 55110.

[2] Hardy. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism .106.

[3] Hardy. Gregory of Nyssa, The Great Catechism 124.


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