Gregory of Nazianzus 10 Christological Commandments In Epistle 101

Gregory of Nazianzus 10 Christological Commandments In Epistle 101
Gregory of Nazianzus is one of the single most influential theologians in the history of the Christian church. Gregory’s legacy as a Christological theologian was cemented at the Christologically centered council of Chalcedon where he was given the title “theologian,” something that only John the apostle had been blessed with so far in the church. His Christology can be found most fully in his epistle 101, which is why epistle 101 is routinely included with the Five Theological Orations (along with epistle 102). While this has long been observed, theologians have focused on the microstructures of the ten anathemas placing each of them in the context of the controversies that Gregory is responding to. In contrast to this approach, I will argue that the macrostructure of the ten anathemas is meant to mirror the ten commandments.
I will argue this through a detailed exposition of the ten anathemas, comparing each to the corresponding commandment. While reference will be given to the corresponding controversies, the main interest will be in how Gregory places his anathemas. This will further be supported by Gregory’s well-known goal of recapitulating historic works, such as Greek poetry, and his focus on the Law’s role in helping us understand Christ. This paper will conclude with an evaluation of the Caledonian definition in light of Gregory’s commandments.

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