"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Gregory of Nyssa

St. Gregory of Nyssa continues to fascinate many people, not least because of the complexity of his thought, the fluidity and ambiguity of some of his language, the recondite nature of some of his concepts, and the challenge of interpreting him in our own day that is so far removed from what he faced in a small see in northern Asia Minor. Studies on him continue to emerge, many from Brill. In 1995, we had an English translation of Hans Urs von Balthasar's study Presence and Thought: Essay on the Religious Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa. (Like many of von Balthasar's writings, Presence and Thought is ploddingly Teutonic in places, but the introduction, on how to read Gregory and the Fathers today, is a real gem not to be overlooked.) In 1997, we had a collection of writings published with an introduction from the noted patrologist Jean Danielou: From Glory to Glory: Texts from Gregory of Nyssa's Mystical Writings. In 1998, we had an Oriental Orthodox writer tackle the Nyssan in Cosmic Man - The Divine Presence: The Theology of St. Gregory of Nyssa/ Ca 330 to 395 A.D. In 1999, part of the excellent Routledge Early Church Fathers series, we had Human Nature in Gregory of Nyssa: Philosophical Background and Theological Significance. Also that year we saw the very welcome publication of Anthony Meredith's Gregory of Nyssa, which is a good place to start for those new to the Nyssan.

At the turn of the decade, we saw the publication of Gregory of Nyssa : Homilies on the Beatitudes: An English Version With Commentary and Supporting Studies.

More recently, we've seen a number of studies on Gregory from Sarah Coakley, including her 2003 collection Re-thinking Gregory of Nyssa (Directions in Modern Theology). In 2006, we saw the publication of Gregory of Nyssa : The Letters. In 2007, we had Martin Laird's Gregory of Nyssa and the Grasp of Faith: Union, Knowledge, and Divine Presence (Oxford Early Christian Studies). That year also saw the publication of Gregory of Nyssa: Contra Eunomium II. Also in 2007, we had a collection of articles by Morwenna Ludlow, Gregory of Nyssa, Ancient and (Post)modern, which paid special attention to Gregory's anthropology. (For more than twenty years, scholars have, in various articles and now books, disagreed vigorously over Gregory's views of sexual differentiation, and whether that was a part of God's original design and will remain after the resurrection.) In 2009, Andrew Radde-Gailwitz looked at Gregory along with his good friend and collaborator, Basil the Great: Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity (Oxford Early Christian Studies). Also that year we had The Brill Dictionary of Gregory of Nyssa (Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, Text and Studies of Early Christian Life and Language) edited by Lucas Francisco Mateo-Seco and Giulio Maspero, and translated by Seth Cheney (Brill, 2009, 814pp).

Now along comes a massive new collection, the results of a regular international conference held on Gregory:

Volker Hennin Drecoll and Margitta Berghaus, eds., Gregory of Nyssa: The Minor Treatises on Trinitarian Theology and Apollinarism (Vigiliae Christianae Supplements) (Brill, 2011), 700pp. 

About this book, the publisher tells us:
These proceedings present the results of the 11th International Colloquium on Gregory of Nyssa held in Tübingen in 2008. The Trinitarian thought of Gregory deserves special attention because of its importance for the ending of the Trinitarian controversy in the late fourth century, paving the way for the widely accepted Trinitarian theology in the fifth century. This volume (which does not include Contra Eunomium) offers a contribution to the research on Gregory's Trinitarian theology as it is present notably in his so-called minor treatises. It provides a German translation of Ad Eustathium, Ad Graecos, Ad Ablabium, Ad Simplicium, Adversus Macedonianos, and De deitate filii. Detailed analysis of each treatise is accompanied by supporting studies on related theological and philosophical themes, followed by contributions which take into consideration the link between Gregory's Trinitarian thought and the christological question (In illud tunc et ipse filius, the anti-Apollinarist works)

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