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The Cognitive Function Of Epinoia In CE II And Its Meaning For Gregory Of Nyssa's Theory Of Theological Language

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Chapter Summary

In the background of the sharp controversy contra Eunomium, one can discern the outline of the cohesive epistemological doctrine of St. Gregory. Following classical semiotics, mainly Plato, Aristotle and the Stoics, the Cappadocian theologians developed a tripartite semiotic theory, that (1) distinguishes thing, human intelligence, and linguistic annunciation as three components of reality and (2) simultaneously stresses the complex character of mental and linguistic entities in their dialectical ambivalence. CE II provides a theoretical frame for discussing these traditional philosophical issues in respect to Christian theology. In order to focus on positive issues of Nyssa's teaching, this chapter presents the theoretical content of the interrelated topics of the CE II in a systematic exposition, excluding the discussion in extenso of the polemic context which provoked its development.

Keywords: Christian theology; contra Eunomium; St. Gregory; tripartite semiotic theory



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