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|Title:||The Eye of our Soul and its 'Ontological Gaze': The Iconic Function of Theological Epinoia in the Philosophy and Spirituality of Gregory of Nyssa|
|Authors:||Klager, Phillip Andrew|
|Abstract:||<p>The relationship between Gregory of Nyssa's theological conclusions and his philosophy and spirituality demonstrates how he views the function of theological epinoia iconically. This iconic function of theological epinoia can be analyzed by monitoring one's gaze from its inception in relation to sensible objects through to its culmination as the ontological transformation of the soul into the image of God.</p> <p>Theological epinoiai develop as a result of the noetic process. This process begins when one accumulates information from material objects through the senses. This information is relayed by the soul to the mind where a conceptual image is formed. However, since the divine essence is invisible and imperceptible, this image is formed in the mind using categories from the sensible realm, which are subsequently conferred onto the divine essence. This is the apophatic problem. The divine essence is therefore contemplated using social analogies and spoken of using a universally acknowledged grammar of divinity.</p> <p>It can be determined that Gregory views theological epinoia iconically not only because of the prevailing sight motif occupying much of his thought, but also because his epistemology ensures the limited yet necessary function of concepts in theology. Because theological epinoiai are formed by observing God's operations in the sensible realm, they can enable a human to extend beyond conceptual interpretations by transforming into the divine likeness.</p> <p>The 'ontological gaze' thus emerges as a result of the soul transforming into the image of God. To the extent that this occurs, the 'ontological gaze' from the 'eye of the soul' is positioned on and directed towards the external divine essence.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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