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The Hungry are DyingBeggars and Bishops in Roman Cappadocia$
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Susan R. Holman

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195139129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195139127.001.0001

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Diseased and Holy

Diseased and Holy

The Peri Philoptōchias Sermons and the Transforming Body

(p.135) 4 Diseased and Holy
The Hungry are Dying

Susan R. Holman

Oxford University Press

Explores three sermons by Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa and commonly titled “On the Love of the Poor” that focus on the homeless and destitute diseased poor. While both authors also define the sick body in terms of kinship and as a divine and permeable membrane for reverse contagion (healing) in a mutable cosmos, Gregory of Nyssa emphasizes civic gift exchange and ceremony in constructing a Christian place for these diseased poor, while Gregory of Nazianzus emphasizes a theology of Christian incarnation, viewing the poor as Christ. Their views of leprosy resemble the medical description by Aretaeus of Cappadocia and theories of disease causation in Graeco‐Roman medicine

Keywords:   contagion, disease, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, healing, homeless, incarnation, leprosy, medicine, poor

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