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Soul and the Resurrection [Paperback]

Bishop of Nyssa Gregory Saint , St Gregory of Nyssa , Catherine P. Roth , Catherine Roth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: St Vladimir's Seminary Press,U.S.; 1st Edition edition (1 Mar 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881411205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881411201
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 106,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

What happens to us after death? How do we reconcile our religious beliefs and our scientific world view? These questions faced St Paul in his dealings with the Church at Corinth and also St Gregory of Nyssa, who was educated in the prevailing Greek philosophical systems. He refused to keep religion and science in separarate compartments of his mind, and yearned to synthesize his faith and his philosophy. St Gregory dramatizes his thoughts in dialogue form and deals with the the implications of faith for our personal lives.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The church fathers - Greats 25 Jan 2011
By DanielM
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
No matter how many speakers, sermons or conferences I attend, noone can explain death and resurrection like St Gregory of Nyssa.
- A thoroughly enjoyable and inspirational read by any accounts.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Church Fathers and Resurrection 22 May 2007
By John C. Marshell Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great little treatise by one of the early church fathers dealing with the resurrection and how it relates to the human soul. Many of the early fathers sought to understand their Christian faith through the lens of their secular educations, and Gregory is not afraid to apply the science of his day to the many questions he poses in this dialogue with his sister, Macrina. If you have ever wondered how the early church tried to understand the resurrection, this book may be a good place to start. The book deals with such subjects as the nature of the soul, its elemental qualities (earth, air, fire, and water), its relation to the physical body, emotions, origin, and man's purpose. Many great patristic themes crop up and Gregory's theological skill is evident throughout. There is a brief introduction by the translator. Very recommended.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gregory does Plato 24 Sep 2012
By B. Marold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are two striking aspects of this dialogue. The first is its strong similarities to Plato's Phaedo (the dialogue which describes the soul, at the end of which Socrates drinks his poison Hemlock, per the ruling of execution by the Athenian court. The second is that the Christian position is being argued not by Gregory, but by one of his tutors, his older sister, Macrina. This is amazing because the conventional wisdom is that women were viewed as being incapable of theological thought. This demonstrates that in 4th century Asia Minor, this was not the case. A sidelight is that this dialogue was written shortly after Gregory's brother Basil died, and there is a suspicion that Macrina was ill when this was written. Both paralleled Socrates' death in the Phaedo.

As the title states, the main subject is the nature of the soul. Unlike the earlier reviewer, I did not find many specifics relating the soul to the four classic elements of antiquity. The primary thread which tied the soul together, as it were, is memory, kept pure of strong emotions such as lust and anger. It is memory which is how the body is reconstituted when it comes time for the resurrection of the body. Gregory even seems to ape Plato's notion of hindrances hanging onto the soul as if nailed there, to disfigure and pull down. Gregory uses the image of barnacles which attach themselves to the hull of a ship.

The Cappadocians were heavily influenced by Origin in Alexandria, but unlike Origen and Plato, the Cappadicians did not believe the soul pre-existed the body, and this dialogue makes that clear. That is why Gregory's notion of memory as a more psychological fact than as a metaphysical everlasting soul, is the heart of his argument. He even goes so far as to use the adage from the Delphic Oracle "know thyself". If one were following Plato, the emphasis would not be on knowing a personal memory, but on knowing the shared eternal memory of the ideas.
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