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6 Texts, Teachers and Pupils in the Writings of Gregory of Nyssa

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Chapter Summary

Gregory of Nyssa is usually read as the philosopher who struggles with the question of the soul's knowledge of God. This chapter argues that Gregory's construction of the role of teachers and pupils is intimately connected with texts, both the texts which teachers read and use in the classroom, and the texts which are the result of their teaching. It suggests that in his texts about Basil and Macrina Gregory of Nyssa does not merely commemorate his siblings in a "monument more lasting than bronze". Rather, the texts first articulate his relationship with them specifically as his teachers and, secondly, allow him to continue that relationship with them after their death. Thirdly, through these texts, his relationship with his sibling-teachers changes, because in the writing of them he ceases to become a mere pupil but becomes a teacher in their stead.

Keywords: Basil; Gregory of Nyssa; Macrina; teacher-pupil relationship



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