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Title: Biblical interpretation in Gregory of Nazianzus and Hans Frei
Author: Fulford, B. M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2007
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This dissertation makes the case that with resources from Gregory of Nazianzus’ theology of Scripture and biblical exegesis, the promise of Hans Frei’s approach to the Christian reading of the Bible as Scripture may be furthered, especially in regard to the spiritual function of Scripture, and its appropriation and application to the reader, and the theology that underwrites such an account. It does so by bringing Nazianzen and Frei into dialogue. Chapter 1 sets forth the coherence of Nazianzen’s theology of Scripture, showing his account of its sanctifying function as a vessel of divine accommodation, instruction and pedagogy. It also analyses the hermeneutical comments scattered in his writings and draws from there the account of the historical shape of salvation as related in Scripture, and the ineluctability of the surface of Scripture as the starting point for exegesis, and shows how characterisations of Gregory advocating allegory are mistaken. Chapter 2 shows the coherence and robustness of Hans Frei’s response to the challenge of history, how it leads to questions of spiritual appropriation, and its relative thinness in comparison with Gregory’s account. Chapter 3 demonstrates the promise of Frei’s account of the spiritual function of Scripture, its appropriation and application, but also argues that it remains over-general, and fails to reconcile the transcendence of Christ in his divinity with his intimacy with the believing reader; problems to which Gregory’s theology seems to suggest answers. Chapter 4 sketches such answers by examining Gregory’s uses of Scripture in light of his theology of Scripture and hermeneutics, Gregory’s reading of Christ as the New Adam, his account of salvation as participation in Christ and of the appropriation of the meaning of Christ’s story as partaking in the pattern of his narrated identity through baptism and ascesis, and three practices of such appropriation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available