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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
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: 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
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity
In: Christian Discourse in Late Antiquity