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Οἰκείωσις in Gregory’s Theology: Reconstructing His Creative Reception of Stoicism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Gregory of Nyssa transformed this Stoic doctrine integrating it in his Christian thought. It shows how the οἰκείωσις theory works at the theological and anthropological level in Gregory's thought is a powerful instrument in his eschatology. This advances Nyssen research by investigating Gregory's reception of one remarkable aspect of Stoicism. Gregory uses the theological argument from the "theology of the image": every human is free, being an image of God, who is absolutely free and powerful. The ἀδέσποτον argument is employed by Gregory also in his Trinitarian debate, and from this an important argument comes for his rejection of slavery. It is clear from Gregory's passages that his argument against slavery is theological first and anthropological after, and is based on human freedom as an "image" of God's freedom, and on the equality of all humans as an "image" of the equality within the Trinity.

Keywords: anthropological level; Gregory of Nyssa; slavery; Stoicism; theological argument; Trinity



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