Christ, the Spirit, and Human Transformation in Gregory of Nyssa's In Canticum Canticorum
Alexander L. Abecina
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Sachbuch / Religion: Allgemeines, Nachschlagewerke
This book provides a comprehensive literary and theological analysis of Gregory of Nyssa's theology of union with God, culminating in a fresh reading of his final written work, In Canticum Canticorum (c.391), a collection of fifteen allegorical homilies on the Song of Songs. Part I gives the essential background for the study of In Canticum Canticorum by analysing several of Gregory's earlier works (c.370--385), tracing the main contours of his account of the human transformation and union with God. Author Alexander Abecina explores topics such as Gregory's theology of virginity and spiritual marriage, his theology of baptism, his trinitarian theology, and his Spirit-based Christology. In Part II Abecina builds on his key findings in Part I to structure a detailed analysis of In Canticum Canticorum. Engaging with the latest contemporary scholarship on Gregory of Nyssa, the author shows how Gregory's allegorical interpretation of the Song of Songs represents a corresponding account of human transformation and union with God from the perspective of subjective experience of this reality. Rather than marking a new development in Gregory's mature thought, Abecina demonstrates that the subjective experience gained from Gregory's reading of the Song of Songs recapitulates the key elements of his objective account and therefore renders coherent his earlier soteriological doctrine.