Thursday, 5 February 2015

Gabrielle Thomas: Gregory Nazianzen on the war between the Imago Dei and the Devil

Discussions about patristic models of the imago Dei are often centred on the difference between image and likeness, the image’s ontology, and to what extent the philosophical influences can be defined. Whilst these approaches are valid, the result is that a significant aspect of what it means for a human being to be made as the imago Dei is overlooked. This paper considers the role that spiritual warfare plays in Gregory Nazianzen’simago Dei; he has been chosen because he was a significant influence upon the doctrine of the Church, being the one of the first to delineate the Trinity. The picture Gregory presents of theimago’s existence is one of perpetual warfare with the devil and demons; and yet his vision of the imago Dei is one of hope, since Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection has secured an eschatological promise of victory and the eventual theosis of the imago Dei.

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