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Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of GodIn Your Light We Shall See Light$
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Christopher A. Beeley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195313970

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195313970.001.0001

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Gregory among the Fathers

(p.271) Conclusion
Gregory of Nazianzus on the Trinity and the Knowledge of God

Gregory A. Beeley

Oxford University Press

In conclusion, this book highlights the distinctive character of Gregory's theological and ecclesiastical achievement through a detailed comparison with his key predecessors and contemporaries and an account of his pervasive influence in later Christian tradition. It identifies Gregory's deep indebtedness to Origen—arguably the greatest among Origen's later disciples—and his strong reliance on the work of the Cappadocian patron saint, Gregory Thaumaturgus, particularly in the area of Christology. On the basis of detailed textual analysis, it argues for Gregory's independence of the work of Athanasius and Didymus the Blind, even as he made use of Athanasius' reputation for his own work in Constantinople. It then accounts for Gregory's substantial, and heretofore unrecognized, use of Apollinarian concepts, even as he opposes Apollinarius on a central point of soteriology. Shedding further new light, it identifies the major differences between Gregory's work and that of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa, who have previously been assumed to agree with one another on most matters of theological importance. Finally, it highlights Gregory's magisterial achievement as a representative of the Eastern Trinitarian tradition of Asia Minor that was based in the thought of Origen and Eusebius of Caesarea and symbolized in the Dedication Council of Antioch in 341, in distinction from the doctrine of Athanasius and the West, while also showing Gregory's accord with Damasus and the Italian synods as the pro‐Nicene representative in Constantinople.

Keywords:   Gregory of Nazianzus, Origen, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Athanasius, Apollinarius of Laodicea, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, Eastern theology, Damasus of Rome, Western Church

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