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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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Apophatic Theology as ‘Reaching out to What Lies Ahead’

Apophatic Theology as ‘Reaching out to What Lies Ahead’

(p.231) 15 Apophatic Theology as ‘Reaching out to What Lies Ahead’
Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern

Morwenna Ludlow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an overview of Part IV of the book, which extends the discussion of Gregory of Nyssa's concept of epektasis which was begun in Chapter 7. From the perspective of theologians of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, who frequently question previous assumptions about the nature of theology and its relation to contemporary culture, the writings of Gregory are very interesting and attractive: not only did he write about the nature of God and the difficulty of knowing God, but he also wrote about the nature of language (both religious and non-religious) and its implications for the writing of theology. Furthermore, he, along with the other Cappadocian fathers, is quite clearly in his writings trying to negotiate a place for Christian theology in the late antique world: he develops various genres of theological writing, and thinks about the arenas of theological reflection and Christian action (monasteries and every day life). To him, the questions of what theology is and how it should be done are very live. The chapters in this part of the book focus on two readings of Gregory (from Scot Douglass and John Milbank) which set him alongside, or in the context of, writers such as Heidegger, Derrida, and Jean-Luc Marion.

Keywords:   Gregory of Nyssa, epektasis, theology, God, language, Heidegger, Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion

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