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Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern$
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Morwenna Ludlow

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280766.001.0001

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Creation in the Image of God

Creation in the Image of God

(p.166) 11 Creation in the Image of God
Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern

Morwenna Ludlow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Gregory of Nyssa's account of humans' creation and why it attracted the attention of feminists. Gregory of Nyssa claims that human nature as a whole was created in the image of God, but that humans were also created as individuals, male and female, and that this sexual differentiation does not reflect God. This theory has attracted the attention of feminists because its assertion that men and women were created simultaneously appears to be a more egalitarian departure from the early Church norm of emphasizing the sequential and allegedly hierarchical creation account of Adam and Eve in Genesis 2; because it appears to imply that sexual difference is not essential to human identity; and because there is a great deal of uncertainty over whether Gregory means that sexual difference in some way a fall from humanity's original, ideal state. First creation as a purely original state, first creation as an embodied original state, and first creation as eternal human nature is discussed.

Keywords:   Gregory of Nyssa, first creation, feminists, original state, eternal human nature

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