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Bibil Identifier bibil:202011
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Science and Theology in Gregory of Nyssa's De anima et Resurrectione: Astronomy and Automata
Author Ludlow, Morwenna
Journal The Journal of Theological Studies (Volume: 60, Issue: 2)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Year (Second publication) 2009
Language English
Pages 467-489 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract This article examines two sections of Gregory of Nyssa's De anima et resurrectione which introduce scientific phenomena: from astronomy (eclipses and the phases of the moon) and physics (a water-device). Each passage is set in its intellectual context and possible sources are suggested. I argue that the water-device was part of an automaton, not a water-organ as previously argued. The primary importance of these passages, however, lies in their role in Gregory's dialogue as a whole: far from being merely illustrative or designed for rhetorical display, they drive the argument onwards. The first example establishes a general epistemological principle (knowledge requires the cooperation of reason and sense-experience) which is applied to the second example's argument for the existence of the soul. Gregory uses these examples to emphasize the importance of matter as part of God's good creation: this reinforces his later emphasis on the human body (especially its resurrection). Furthermore, the structure of each example mirrors a general movement in Gregory's dialogue from a rejection of materialism to an affirmation of the soul, and then to an emphasis on the co-dependence of the immaterial and material in creation. Each is thus a microcosm of the treatise's main argument.
DOI 10.1093/jts/flp067
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Ancient Christian Literature : Texts and Authors (Church Fathers) : Texts and Authors : Gregory of Nyssa
Last modification 2017-10-27