Author: Anna Usacheva

Abstract

This article examines the outlines of the epistemological theories of Aristotle and Gregory Nazianzen, which emphasized active, practical and embodied aspects of the process of intellection. It also investigates the notion of medium and the principle of likeness as the key-components of the epistemological thoughts of the both authors. Although the idea of inherent likeness tying together the agents of intellectual process (the subject and object of thought) was known since the Atomists and widely supported by Plato and other philosophers, it lied with Aristotle to identify the significance of thinking as active and embodied practice, which requires cooperation between the agents. Gregory transformed this “contact” theory of epistemology into a Christian understanding of theological thinking. Gregory also used Pauline idea of likeness and cooperation between men and God manifested in the pursuit of theological knowledge. Maximus the Confessor explained and elaborated Nazianzen’s epistemological thoughts through Aristotelian doctrine. Analysis of direct and indirect continuities between the theological and philosophical approaches to knowledge and the process of thinking shows that Christian creative reception involved not only re-thinking Hellenic philosophical terminology but also adjusting philosophical view of knowledge to the Christian theory and practice.

In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
Hermeneutical, institutional and textual perspectives
The purpose of the volume is to explore how specific historical and socio-cultura conditions of late antiquity shaped the development of Christian thought.
The authors of the volume analyse various aspects of these conditions, particularly those of a textual and institutional nature, as they are reflected in the hermeneutic and philosophical principles of Christian discourse. This focus sheds new light on unexplored features of Christian literature, such as the influence of manuscript culture, early church institutions and practices, exegetical techniques, and philosophical curricula.
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
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 problematized 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, Bar Daisan, and Gregory of Nyssa.