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The Image of God in the Theology of Gregory of Nazianzus
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Book description

Gregory of Nazianzus, known best for his Christology and Trinitarian doctrine, presents an incomparable vision of the image of God. In this book, Gabrielle Thomas offers a close analysis of his writings and demonstrates how Nazianzen depicts both the nature and experience of the image of God throughout his corpus. She argues that Nazianzen's vision of the human person as an image of God is best understood in light of biblical and extra-biblical themes. To establish the breadth of his approach, Thomas analyzes the image of God against the backdrop of Nazianzen's beliefs about Christology, Pneumatology, creation, sin, spiritual warfare, ethics, and theosis. Interpreted accordingly, Nazianzen offers a dynamic and multifaceted account of the image of God, which has serious implications both for Cappadocian studies and contemporary theological anthropology.

Reviews

‘Gabrielle Thomas offers us a fresh, profound, and insightful treatment of how Gregory the Theologian understands the human being as ‘in the image of God' and how this relates to our call to deification. Emphatic that the ‘image' extends to the whole human being, Gregory, as Thomas shows, sees the body itself, in its vulnerability and weakness, and so its openness to the divine, as an integral part of the human being fashioned into the image of God, that is, Christ himself. This book is a very welcome addition to the literature on Gregory and patristic anthropology and spirituality more generally.'

John Behr - Georges Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics, St Vladimir's Seminary, New York and Metropolitan Kallistos Chair of Orthodox Theology, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

‘In a work of expansive erudition, Gabrielle Thomas presents us with human beings as Gregory of Nazianzus wanted us to see them: visible, material eikones of God, living statues of the deity, who can demand worship of Satan, on God's behalf. Her approach captures the unitive character of Gregory's anthropology in the soul's spiritualising of the body, and takes his demonology and angelology as seriously as he does, replacing the human eikon in its theodramatic context. Here at last is an account of Gregory's vision of human existence fully fleshed out, porous to God's deifying action and vulnerable to demonic attack.'

Ben Fulford - University of Chester

‘Gabrielle Thomas offers us a fresh, profound, and insightful treatment of how Gregory the Theologian understands the human being as 'in the image of God' and how this relates to our call to deification. Emphatic that the ‘image' extends to the whole human being, Gregory, as Thomas shows, sees the body itself, in its vulnerability and weakness, and so its openness to the divine, as an integral part of the human being fashioned into the image of God, that is, Christ himself. This book is a very welcome addition to the literature on Gregory and patristic anthropology and spirituality more generally.'

John Behr - Father Georges Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics, St Vladimir's Seminary, New York

‘This book offers a thorough analysis of the image of God … This is a rich and stimulating study which makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the thought and theology of Gregory of Nazianzus.’

Christos Simelidis Source: Bryn Mawr Classical Review

‘The book is highly recommended for anyone interested in patristic exegesis or theological anthropology.’

Adam T. Morton Source: International Journal of Systematic Theology

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