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7. Gregory’s Eschatology

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Chapter Summary

Eschatological awareness weaves a matrix of stern expectation, aspiration, and motivation that undergirds Gregory's thought-world like a steel mesh. Gregory locates the source of divine anger in human sinfulness, a natural conclusion, given his thorough immersion in the Old Testament. Eschatology provides in Gregory's exegesis of Job the ultimate interpretative key which can unlock the meaning of human experience, giving purposeful shape to the kind of personal and collective afflictions. Gregory's firm eschatological conviction was based on close reading of two sources side-by-side: the Scriptures, and the signs of the times. In Gregory's view, the tribulations of the elect which presage the end had already begun, in Italy and elsewhere, providing an invaluable rehearsal for the last days. Gregory seizes on biblical prophecies of the coming Anti-Christ with alacrity. Gregory devoted himself with enthusiasm to the task of bringing into the harvest the remaining pagan nations.

Keywords: Anti-Christ; eschatology; Gregory; Old Testament; pagan nations; tribulations



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