April 11, 2010 Leave a comment
“…The Divine Nature cannot be apprehended by human reason, and…we cannot even represent to ourselves all its greatness.” -St. Gregory the Theologian
St. Gregory of Nazianzus is one of only two Doctors/theologians to be called “The Theologian” (if you’re a westerner), as was bestowed upon him by the Fifth Ecumenical Council. The purpose of this note, however, is not to cite him as an “authority prooftext.” I want to examine the Second Theological Oration, which, having re-read it last night, literally blew me away with several things I had not previously noticed.
The “Five Theological Orations” are some of the most important patristics texts ever written on the formation of the dogma of the Trinity (and the Incarnation). They are not very long and are a must-read for real students of theology. No one who reads and loves the Fathers should be unfamiliar with these 5 treatises (although all the dozens of St. Gregory’s Orations are awesome).
That being said, I want to use him as the paradigm for the Doctor who is saying everything I keep saying and arguing. We will see him reject analogia entis as an application to the divine nature. We will see him reject “natural theology” as conceived of by Thomas and we will see him utilize the essence/energy distinction (later on) as did St. Basil his fellow Cappadocian, since both are writing with Eunomius in mind. I have included Protestantism in with Thomism in the title because western Christianity holds the same view of simplicity as Augustinian-Thomism, and that across the board.
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