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The Language Of God And Human Language (CE II 195–293)

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Chapter Summary

The central issue Gregory faces throughout the whole of this section 195-293 (GNO I 281-313) is in effect a defence of Basil - as indeed is the whole of the Contra Eunomium - and by implication of Gregory himself against the accusation made by Eunomius that their understanding of the nature of language and of God's relationship to it amounted in effect to a denial of divine providence and indeed of the divine availability as a result of an excessive insistence on the divine unknowability. Eunomius indicts Basil for reducing the notion of divine providence, by an unwillingness to accept the divine origin of language. This results from a refusal to take seriously the words of Genesis, which insist that the naming of plants took place before the creation of mankind.

Keywords: Basil; Eunomius; God; Gregory of Nyssa; human language



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