Cover image for Beauty  a theological engagement with Gregory of Nyssa
Beauty a theological engagement with Gregory of Nyssa
Publication Information:
Eugene, Oregon : Cascade Books, 2014.


Physical Description:
1 online resource (288 pages)
Local Note:
Electronic reproduction. Ann Arbor, MI : ProQuest, 2016. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ProQuest affiliated libraries.


Material Type
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Beauty engages fourth-century bishop Gregory of Nyssa to address beauty's place in theology and the broader world. With the recent resurgence of attention to beauty among theologians, questions still remain about what exactly beauty is, how it is perceived, and whether we should celebrate its return. If beauty fell out of favor because it was seen to distract from the weightier concerns of poverty and suffering--because it can even be a tool of oppression--why should we laud it now? Gregory's writings offer surprisingly rich and relevant reflections that can move contemporary conversations beyond current impasses and critiques of beauty. Drawing Gregory into conversation with such disparate voices as novelist J. M. Coetzee and art theorist Kaja Silverman, Beauty displays the importance of beauty to theology and theology to beauty in a discussion that bridges ancient and modern, practical and theoretical, secular and religious.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction: Assembling Truths Shadowp. xi
1 On Gregory of Nyssa and Beauty: Genealogical Threadsp. 1
Story One: Gregory of Annisa, Caesarea, and Nyssap. 2
Story Two: Beauty of Antiquity, Modernity, and the Presentp. 17
Recent Theological Performances of Beautyp. 36
Conclusionp. 40
2 Beautiful Bodies, Beautiful Words: Signs of a Radically Transcendent Godp. 42
Fittingness and Gratuity as an Alternative to Functionality or Disinterestednessp. 45
Initiation: The Work of Rhetoricp. 60
Inspiration: The Work of Making Rhetoricp. 90
Participation: The Beauty of a Radically Transcendent Godp. 105
Conclusionp. 123
3 Rotting Bodies, Bleeding Words: The Beauty of the Word Made Fleshp. 125
Strains on the Ladderp. 131
On Things Unseen and Unseemlyp. 134
Seeing the Savior as Seeing the Savedp. 167
Difficulties: Bodies Exposed, Words Deflectingp. 170
Conclusionp. 182
4 Bodies Luminous and Wounded: The Spirit Manifests the Beauty of the Wordp. 183
The Substance of Things Unseen: Two Boxes, Two Crosses Non-identical Identityp. 190
The Wounded Selfp. 198
Spiritual Senses for Spiritual Bodiesp. 221
The Other Bridegroomp. 227
Macrina's Woundp. 241
From Theory to Theoriap. 245
Conclusionp. 249
Epilogue: Darkly Shiningp. 251
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 265