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  • Author or Editor: Torstein Theodor Tollefsen x
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Abstract

This article investigates Gregory’s critique of Eunomius and not his own thinking on the concepts of essence (οὐσία) and activity (ἐνέργεια). These concepts are important in the theology of both Eunomius and Gregory. Despite the central role the concepts have in Plotinian Neo-Platonism, the author denies any direct Neo-Platonic influence on Eunomius. Gregory attacks Eunomius claim that activities ‘follow’ the divine essence and that they have some kind of existence ‘between’ the cause and its effect, like the Father and the Son. While Eunomius, in his theological epistemology, reasons from result to activity to essence, so that one along this sequence gets access to the divine essence as such, Gregory denies that we have access to God’s essence. There is no ‘scientific’ theological procedure that gives us access to God’s nature or proper names. The Cappadocians claim the we know God from His activities, but not in the sense that we may have adequate knowledge of what God is in Himself. Naming God is not so much a strict scientific or philosophical task as it is a task to be accomplished in the liturgical tradition of the church.

In: Gregory of Nyssa: Contra Eunomium I
In: Holding fast to the Mystery of the Faith
Festschrift for Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church
In this volume, distinguished theologians and servants of the Church present their contributions as a sign of appreciation for His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania, on the occasion of his 70th anniversary.
A prominent personality, professor of Pastoral and Dogmatic Theology, honorary member of the Romanian Academy, a tireless servant of the Church, His Beatitude Daniel is well known worldwide as a vivid witness for a vibrant, dynamic and open theology, one that is profound and accessible, faithful and renovative, mystical and missionary. His extensive theological work deals with most of the fundamental aspects of theology and is grounded on the living connection between theology and spirituality, the liturgical and missionary life of the Church.