On Making Fleshly Difference: Humanity and Animality in Gregory of Nyssa

Authors

  • Eric Daryl Meyer Carroll College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.11157/rsrr7-1-2-733

Keywords:

Human-animal Distinction, Image of God, Genesis

Abstract

This essay explores the theological stakes of differentiating humanity from animality in Gregory of Nyssa’s treatise De hominis opificio. Gregory’s conviction that the imago dei names an essential affinity to the angelic in human beings corresponds to his need to categorically differentiate humanity from animality. Yet, human affinity to God and the angels persistently threatens to collapse into beastly behavior and dispositions. Despite all Gregory’s efforts to shore up human uniqueness, human animality plays an indispensable (though disavowed) role in his theological anthropology. 

Author Biography

Eric Daryl Meyer, Carroll College

Postdoctoral Fellow in Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University (through May 2016) Assistant Professor of Theology, Carroll College (beginning August 2017) 

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Published

2018-12-17

How to Cite

Meyer, E. D. (2018). On Making Fleshly Difference: Humanity and Animality in Gregory of Nyssa. Relegere: Studies in Religion and Reception, 7(1-2), 39–58. https://doi.org/10.11157/rsrr7-1-2-733