Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Garments of light, tunics of skin and the body of Christ : St Gregory of Nyssa’s doctrine of the body
Author: Orton, Robert Michael
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This study examines the philosophical anthropology implied in Gregory of Nyssa's theology, and, against that background, assesses the view of the role of the body in the divine economy which is reflected in his account of creation and Fall and in his Christology, soteriology, ecclesiology and eschatology. Gregory believed, it is argued, that the bodies which God originally intended for human beings were in practice indistinguishable from those of angels. This was the condition of Adam and Eve's prelapsarian bodies; our flesh and blood bodies are consequences of the Fall. It is further argued that, according to Gregory, it was the fallen body which Christ assumed. His human nature, body and soul, was then progressively transformed into the form, reflecting the divine image, which God originally intended for it. Gregory's soteriology is, it is argued, based on the idea of a corresponding process of sanctification in human beings, given effect by our human nature's 'solidarity' with that of Christ, and this is also reflected in Gregory's ecclesiology and his doctrine of the eucharist. Gregory's conception of the resurrection of the body is analysed on the basis of three separate motifs: re-assembly of the body; purification of human nature, including the body; and restoration of the rational creation, humans and angels, to their original unity. It is argued that the second two motifs are inconsistent with the first and imply that the flesh and blood body can be redeemed only if it is transformed into the 'angelic' body which God originally intended for it.It is concluded that Gregory's 'solidarist' soteriology represents a substantial theological achievement. The fact however that ultimately he assigns only a provisional value to the flesh and blood body means that overall he cannot do full justice to the Christian conception of the 'economy of the body'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available