In the fourth century, the Christian church emerged from the catacombs as a spiritual and intellectual force, and many believers struggled to explain their faith within prevailing philosophical systems. Among them was St. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, who examined the doctrine of the bodily resurrection.
Following Plato’s literary example, St. Gregory wrote a dramatic dialogue regarding the soul and the resurrection, in which he plays the role of “pupil,” while his elder sister, St. Macrina, assumes the role of “teacher.” The lively dialogue addresses many thorny issues—the nature of the soul, the condition of the soul after death, and the transmigration of the soul—and concludes with a position corresponding to the writings of the Apostle Paul. St. Gregory’s adherence to Scripture in the context of his philosophical milieu provides contemporary readers with a superb example of Christianity encountering culture.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
“resurrection is the restoration of our nature to its original condition.” (Page 113)
“By this story,’ she said, ‘the Lord seems to be teaching that we who are living in the flesh ought as much as possible to separate ourselves and release ourselves from its hold by the life of virtue, so that after death we may not need another death to cleanse us from the remains of the fleshly glue. Then, as if chains have been broken away from the soul, its course may become light and easy towards the good, when no bodily weight drags the soul to itself.” (Pages 75–76)
“In the same way we say that, even after their dissolution, the soul knows the individual nature of the elements which joined together in the formation of the body to which it was attached. Even if their nature drives them far away from one another because of their inherent oppositions, repelling each of them from the combination with its opposite, none the less the soul will be present with each, holding on to its own by its cognitive power and remaining with it until the separated elements are combined again into the same body to reconstitute what was dissolved. This in a true sense both is and may properly be called ‘resurrection.’ ’” (Page 67)
“So if a person is not the same as he was yesterday but becomes another by alteration, it follows that when the resurrection restores our body again to life, the one man will have to become a whole people. In this way no aspect of the one raised will be missing: the infant, the toddler, the child, the youth, the husband, the father, the old man, and all the intermediate stages.” (Page 111)