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These essays examine the relation between “philosophy,” an enterprise construed in various ways by Christian theologians, and the exegetical works of Greek and Byzantine interpreters. Though scholars often recognize the significance of philosophical traditions both for allegorical interpretation and for commentaries, they have paid less attention to the role of moral philosophy, for instance, in patristic moral exhortation. These essays explore wide a variety of ways philosophical traditions intersect with Eastern patristic exegesis.
Representaciones públicas y representaciones del poder en la Antigüedad tardía y Bizancio
Mujeres imperiales, mujeres reales reúne diversas contribuciones que estudian, desde una perspectiva pluridisciplinar (con enfoques que van de lo literario a lo antropológico, pasando por lo histórico-arqueológico), la evolución del poder femenino y su expresión pública desde la tardoantigüedad hasta el período bizantino tardío.
Los trabajos aquí reunidos consideran tanto la evidencia literaria como la material (pintura y escultura, numismática, epigrafía monumental). Por su carácter interdisciplinar, esta obra permite observar desde diversos ángulos las estrategias que facultaron a estas mujeres para ejercer el poder. Con su liderazgo en las cortes imperiales y reales, las mujeres que transitan por estas páginas consiguieron trascender el papel de meras madres de emperadores y reyes para convertirse en auténticas protagonistas de la política contemporánea.
Volume Editors: Anna Usacheva, Jörg Ulrich, and Siam Bhayro
This volume explores the long-standing tensions between such notions as soul and body, spirit and flesh, in the context of human immortality and bodily resurrection. The discussion revolves around late antique views on the resurrected human body and the relevant philosophical, medical and theological notions that formed the background for this topic. Soon after the issue of the divine-human body had been problematised by Christianity, it began to drift away from vast metaphysical deliberations into a sphere of more specialized bodily concepts, developed in ancient medicine and other natural sciences. To capture the main trends of this interdisciplinary dialogue, the contributions in this volume range from the 2nd to the 8th centuries CE, and discuss an array of figures and topics, including Justin, Origen, Bardais⋅an, and Gregory of Nyssa.
Author: Kuo-Yu Tsui

Abstract

This paper explores the conceptualization of the body in the work of Evagrius Ponticus in terms of his anthropological, cosmological and soteriological framework and the range of ascetic practices he prescribes. Overall, Evagrius’ perspective on the body is shown to be unified and integrated with soul and mind.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought

Abstract

Maximus the Confessor develops an account of human emotion in Quaestiones ad Thalassium, drawing on the earlier ascetical tradition. In what follows, I demonstrate how Maximus conceives of the passions and the misreading of Scripture as symptoms of the same sickness of original sin. I then show how Christ heals human passibility according to Maximus. I describe the role healed human passibility plays in Maximus’s eschatology and healthy communication with God on earth.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought
Author: Anna Usacheva

Abstract

This study of the philosophical and patristic texts of the second–fifth centuries, explores Christian theories of reproduction in the context of Hellenic dualist discourse and embryology. I argue that due to the specific metaphysical principles of Christian doctrine, the church fathers were bound to balance the dualist lexicon, which they often used, with holistic anthropological and Christological statements. Patristic theories of reproduction represent a vivid example of the balanced Christian holistic thought, which imbibed plenty of Hellenic concepts, yet remained true to the fundamental principles of Christian doctrine.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought
Author: Samuel Kaldas

Abstract1

This paper explores the soul-body relation in the homilies of the fourth century Syrian writer known as Pseudo-Macarius or Macarius-Symeon. Through a close study of Macarius’ understanding and use of metaphor, I aim to partially unearth the conceptual and philosophical framework underlying his ascetic theology.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought

Abstract

This contribution outlines the main stages of what seems to me to be Gregory of Nyssa’s coherent and original anthropological narrative.

After a brief methodological introduction, it sets out the influence of the biblical doctrine of creation on the conception of the union of body and soul.

The idea that concupiscence depends ontologically on sin and not on the body allows Gregory to reread the doctrine of the passions as a divergence from what we could call an original and natural desire, here interpreted in a Trinitarian, i.e. relational, key.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to analyse how Maximus the Confessor understands the unity between the body and soul, and how he fits this unity in the general framework of the fivefold divisions or distinctions that exist in the world.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought

Abstract

This essay will argue that Origen theorised the unity of soul and body, primarily through his rejection of the doctrine of metensomatosis, and that Gregory of Nyssa followed him. I shall point out differences and similarities between Origen’s anthropology and that of the first “pagan” Neoplatonists; later Neoplatonists came somehow closer to Origen’s ideas concerning the soul-body relation. I shall investigate how Origen differentiated levels of corporeality and how Gregory of Nyssa (like Maximus) did not criticise Origen’s anthropology, contrary to what is regularly assumed, and grasped Origen’s “emendation” of the doctrine of metensomatosis into his own doctrine of  “ensomatosis”, which, unlike the former option, entailed the unity of soul and body in the earthly life and afterwards.

In: The Unity of Body and Soul in Patristic and Byzantine Thought