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6. The Theology of Gregory the Great: Christ, Salvation and the Church

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Chapter Summary

Gregory was not a systematic theologian in the sense of exploring and developing ideas in a systematic way. He did not write theological treatises dedicated to particular doctrinal problems. He was rarely caught up in theological disputes. Yet he had a robust, coherent and consistent view of the identity of Christ and the relationship between his divine and human natures which shaped his understanding of salvation and the church. This chapter attempts to sketch the salient features of Gregory's theology. For Gregory, Christ was the Word of God incarnate. The single identity and sole actor in Christ was the son of God. Gregory's account of the saving work of Christ is theandric: that is, it depends entirely on Christ's identity as human and divine, which enables and gives significance to his saving acts. The chapter concludes that the Gregory's ecclesiology reflected his soteriology which in turn reflected his christology.

Keywords: Christ; christology; church; Gregory's theology; salvation



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