Synergy in the Teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa Cover Image
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Синергията в учението на св. Григорий Нисийски
Synergy in the Teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa

Author(s): Ivan Christov
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Издателство »Изток-Запад«
Keywords: synergy; Byzantine philosophy; Gregory of Nyssa; natural contemplation; theognosia; image of God; eros.

Summary/Abstract: The paper introduces a specific Orthodox insight into the modern discussion on St. Gregory of Nyssa’s teaching on synergy of Man and God. It explores the interrelation between the Divine energies and the energies that constitute human being besides and in a certain aspect „beyond“ the cooperation of salvific actions of God with the ascetic efforts of man. This approach contributes to a better distinction of the different kinds of synergy in the Nyssen’s texts. The first of them – the theognosia of natural contemplation leads to the restoration of the primordial nature of man as an image of God. The second – the synergy of love aims at the realization of the pre-eternal plans of God concerning man. It leads the nature of man to perpetual transformation in its quest to union with God. This second form of synergy does not abolish the first one but transforms and adopts it. The synergy of love includes in itself the theognosia. It is precisely the recognition of human incapability to grasp God achieved through the highest form of apophatic theology following the via superlativa (eminentiae), that gives a neverlasting impetus to human eros. Therefore this highest form of synergy is not reducible to a cooperation of Divine energy and our virtual activities. The human energy is not just an action ad extra. It includes subtle mystical knowledge.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 19
  • Page Range: 80-92
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Bulgarian