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ISBN:0199574111
Author: Andrew Radde-Gallwitz
ISBN13: 978-0199574117
Title: Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity (Oxford Early Christian Studies)
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Language: English
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Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (December 20, 2009)
Pages: 272

Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity (Oxford Early Christian Studies) by Andrew Radde-Gallwitz



Basil and Gregory - Radde-Gallwitz(. Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity. Pp. xxii + 261. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Cased, £55. ISBN: 978-0-19-957411-7. Journal of Early Christian Studies 1. (2005) 405-406 Visuality has become a pronounced theme in recent years and in a variety of scholarly disciplines, focusing on such issues as the nature of seeing and being seen, representation, the visual character of texts, and the uses of visual evidence.

Andrew Radde-Gallwitz. Divine simplicity is the idea that, as the ultimate principle of the universe, God must be a non-composite unity not made up of parts or diverse attributes. The idea was appropriated by early Christian theologians from non-Christian philosophy and played a pivotal role in the development of Christian thought.

Andrew Radde-Gallwitz charts the progress of the idea of divine simplicity from the second through the fourth centuries, with particular attention to Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa, two of the most subtle writers on this topic, both instrumental in the construction of the Trinitarian doctrine proclaimed as orthodox at the Council of Constantinople in 381. He demonstrates that divine simplicity was not a philosophical appendage awkwardly attached to the early Christian doctrine of God, but a notion that enabled Christians to articulate the consistency of God as portrayed in their script.

Radde-Gallwitz, Andrew. Publication, Distribution, et. Oxford ; New York. Oxford University Press, (c)2009. Physical Description: xxi, 261 p. ;, 22 cm. Series Statement: Oxford early Christian studies. Bibliography, etc. Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. -250) and index. reality, and reading Therefore be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect : Gregory of Nyssa on simplicity and goodness Conclusion : the transformation of divine simplicity. Personal Name: Basil,, Saint, Bishop of Caesarea, ca. 329-379. Personal Name: Gregory,, of Nyssa, Saint, ca. 335-ca. 394. Uniform Title: Oxford early Christian studies. Rubrics: God Simplicity. This book should be considered a groundbreaking landmark in every sense of the terms. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz has given us careful, non-partisan scholarship on a topic that necessarily (so it would seem) divides the scholarly spectrum between Augustinians and neo-Palamites.

Andrew Radde-Gallwitz has written an incisive study of one of the central points at stake in the debates between Eunomius of Cyzicus and the Cappadocian brothers Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Cappadocian doctrines of God or in the subject of divine simplicity in general

Andrew Radde-Gallwitz Basil - Letter to Eupaterius and his daughter on The Holy Spirit Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa,. Basil of Caesarea (Transformation of. and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity (Oxford Early Christian. Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of. with particular attention to Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa,. Downloads Fairytale Cakes: 17 Enchanted Creations Fairytale Cakes: 17 Enchanted Creations book download Noga Hitron Download Fairytale Cakes: 17 Enchanted Creations Noga is the author of The. Fairytale Cakes: 17 Enchanted Creations, Hitron, Noga 1600591949. Category: Books В Cooking, Food & Wine В Courses & Dishes - Cakes; Format: Paperback Learn more about the.

THE OXFORD EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES series includes scholarly volumes on the thought and history of the early Christian centuries. Covering a wide range of Greek, Latin, and Oriental sources, the books are of interest to theologians, ancient historians, and specialists in the classical and Jewish worlds. Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity Andrew Radde-Gallwitz (2009) The Asceticism of Isaac of Nineveh Patrik Hagman (2010) Palladius of Helenopolis The Origenist Advocate Demetrios S. Katos (2011) Origen and Scripture The Contours of the Exegetical Life Peter Martens (2012). Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought Torstein Theodor Tollefsen (2012). Irenaeus of Lyons and the Theology of the Holy Spirit Anthony Briggman (2012). Apophasis and Pseudonymity in Dionysius the Areopagite No Longer I.

The Pious Household and the Virgin Chorus: Reflections on Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Macrina', Journal of Early Christian Studies 13: 165-86.

Divine simplicity is the idea that, as the ultimate principle of the universe, God must be a non-composite unity not made up of parts or diverse attributes. The idea was appropriated by early Christian theologians from non-Christian philosophy and played a pivotal role in the development of Christian thought. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz charts the progress of the idea of divine simplicity from the second through the fourth centuries, with particular attention to Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa, two of the most subtle writers on this topic, both instrumental in the construction of the Trinitarian doctrine proclaimed as orthodox at the Council of Constantinople in 381. He demonstrates that divine simplicity was not a philosophical appendage awkwardly attached to the early Christian doctrine of God, but a notion that enabled Christians to articulate the consistency of God as portrayed in their scriptures. Basil and Gregory offered a unique construal of simplicity in responding to their principal doctrinal opponent, Eunomius of Cyzicus. Challenging accepted interpretations of the Cappadocian brothers and the standard account of divine simplicity in recent philosophical literature, Radde-Gallwitz argues that Basil and Gregory's achievement in transforming ideas inherited from the non-Christian philosophy of their time has an ongoing relevance for Christian theological epistemology today.
Reviews: 2
Mojind
This book should be considered a groundbreaking landmark in every sense of the terms. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz has given us careful, non-partisan scholarship on a topic that necessarily (so it would seem) divides the scholarly spectrum between Augustinians and "neo-Palamites." Traditionally, and especially in post-Augustinian cultures, the doctrine of divine simplicity was usually defined to mean that God's essence is synonymous with his attributes (Thomas would carry the argument further to include synonymous with his relations, which are the persons!). This construction, though, generated a huge number of problems and didn't survive the hammer blows of analytic philosophy (see Plantinga, Does God Have a Nature?). For example, if God is identical with his attributes, then God is an attribute. Secondly, this robs the attributes of any real meaning. Radde-Gallwitz, therefore, seeks to construct a notion of divine simplicity that avoids the critiques of Plantinga but also maintains the coherence of theological "speak" about God.

Divine Simplicity at its most basic level seeks to affirm that God is without parts or composition. Until Augustine few really pressed the issue beyond that. In other words, for the pre-Nicene and Nicene Fathers (Origen and the Apologists excepted) simplicity was utilized negatively or with reserve. Radde-Galwitz surveys the historical landscape and notes the ways simplicity was and was not used, all the while anticipating the Identity Thesis of Eunomius.

A brief word on Eunomius: Eunomius, like Augustine and Thomas, held that God is identical with his essence and attributes, the primary attribute being that of Ingeneracy. Pushed to its conclusion that means only the Father is truly God in essence.

Athanasius did hold that our names of God are names for his essence, but he doesn't seem to have developed the thought beyond that of an anti-Arian polemic. Anyway, "Father" can function as a name for the divine essence because Father is a correlative term, which implies a Son. Again, though, Athanasios doesn't seem to really develop that idea. St Basil placed simplicity in an epistemological context. We can know the that-ness of God's essence but not the what-ness. This leads into his Trinitarian theology: we know the Trinity by the idiomata or the hypostases, not by the ousia. In contrast to Eunomius, ingeneracy cannot be the operating term for God's essence because it tells how God is, not what.

In dealing with the Identity Thesis, Basil posits the attributes as non-identical substantial predicates. They are "co-extensive" properties that are predicated of the divine substance. Such a property is necessarily connected with other properties. It is not identical with the divine essence, yet neither is it disconnected. In formulating it thus, Basil introduces a new term: propria. A proprium is not identical with the subject, but neither is it an accident.

Gregory of Nyssa takes Basil's insights and sharpens them. Gregory is famous for his discussion of "the Goods," which he takes for the divine names, and places them under the category of "propria." And in a particularly brilliant move, Rallwitz draws upon Michel Barnes' discussion of Gregory's use of power to clinch his argument: the divine "power" (dunamis) is a causal capacity rooted in the divine nature (183).

At the end of this section Rallwitz examines the key passages in Gregory which earlier interpreters took to be indicative of the Identity Thesis: Eun. 1.234 (1.235); Eun. 1.276. Rallwitz shows that to translate this passage is already to interpret, and he contrasts three different translations. The problem seems to be thus: God's goodness is not something God acquires but is true by virtue of God's very nature. How do we interpret auto hoper estin? It does not modify agathon and to be "goodness" it should have the definite article. It should be read, rather, as in "dashes" (206). This, Rallwitz suggests (and I think rightly), is an argument for the divine goods as propria and not as a copula for the divine essence.

Conclusion

This truly is a grand mark of scholarship and it has the potential to rewrite (or at least refocus) past scholarship on the Cappadocians. He ends the book with an attempt to distance Gregory from both Thomists and "neo-Palamites." That Gregory is not a proto-Thomist is clear enough: Gregory even ridicules the Identity Thesis. Rallwitz then argues that Gregory cannot be seen, on the other hand, as a proto-Palamite and he interacts with David Bradshaw's scholarship on this point. I appreciate his interacting with Bradshaw. To often the Academia simply ignore arguments that make them uncomfortable. Rallwitz's contention is that Gregory uses the "Goods" language in a way different than Bradshaw interprets God's "energies" to be. I suppose that's true, but one still has to ask what the Cappadocian's meant by the "peri ton theon," the things around God. That sounds more like energies than propria.
misery
The best part of the book revolves around Basil's (and Gregory's) definition and use of "propria." Basil and Gregory could "say...God is good in every possible world, and goodness is what we mean when we say 'God', yet we have no grounds for saying that goodness is the essence of God: that it is what makes God, God. It will be the burden [and pleasure of the reader] of the following to show why such a notion made sense to Basil and Gregory." (xxi)
Radde-Gallwitz proceeds to show how the brothers, using the concept of propria, forged a path between identity thesis (God's essence is identical with every attribute of God) and total apophatic theology (God cannot be positively described or talked about as he really is). Of course my description is oversimplified.

All of that was quite interesting and probably worth the price of the book, but what made it 5 stars for me was the conclusion.
It was, in my humble opinion, what good theology is and should do. The book was well researched and written, showing expertise in a number of interrelated fields. But the conclusion conveyed divine simplicity in a relevant and inspiring way. The author, at the end of the book, was able to make the whole study applicable for further theological discourse and daily life.