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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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(p.279) 20 Conclusions
Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern

Morwenna Ludlow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This concluding chapter draws together some more general answers to the question of why Gregory has been interpreted in so many different ways, first looking at the question from the perspective of Gregory's readers and secondly by focussing on Gregory himself as a writer. It suggests that most accounts of Christian theology implicitly rely on one of three broad historiographical models. The first is the ‘static’ model, which views both theology and the Church as basically unchanging and thus also tends to see the development of doctrine in terms of the working-out of the logical implications of the first revelations of truths about God. The second is the ‘reformatory’ model, which shares with the static model a high evaluation of the original revelation of divine truth, but unlike it thinks that at some point the original revelation became degraded to such an extent that it was held by no Christian group in a satisfactory form. The thirds is the ‘ adaptive’ model — Christianity also changes across time, but not according to a pattern of original truth, fall, and reform.

Keywords:   Gregory of Nyssa, Christian theology, readings, Christianity, static model, reformatory model, adaptive model

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