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Gregory of Nyssa’s Engagement with Conceptual Metaphors

The Analogies of “Father,” “Son,” and “Begetting” in Against Eunomius

In: Religion and Theology
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  • 1 University of Bristol
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Abstract

This essay explores what Gregory of Nyssa is doing when he claims in Against Eunomius that his use of the language of “father,” “son” and “begetting” for the divine is supported by the “apprehension of ordinary people” and by the “judgement of nature.” It uses conceptual metaphor theory in order to show that while Gregory recognised the role of ordinary human language in comprehending the divine, and so engaged with normal conceptual mappings from the domain of kinship, he also sought to transform those mappings in order to transform peoples’ thought processes and thus how they conceptualised the divine.

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