Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Inner AnimalitiesTheology and the End of the Human$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eric Daryl Meyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280148

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280148.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

Gregory of Nyssa: Reading Animality and Desire

Gregory of Nyssa: Reading Animality and Desire

Chapter:
(p.39) 2 Gregory of Nyssa: Reading Animality and Desire
Source:
Inner Animalities
Author(s):

Eric Daryl Meyer

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823280148.003.0003

Chapter 2 takes up Gregory of Nyssa’s homiletic Commentary on the Song of Songs with special attention to Gregory’s exegetical strategies for dealing with extensive animal imagery in the context of erotic poetry. Gregory’s interpretation utilizes the strangeness of the animal imagery to cover the naked indiscretion of the Song’s sexual content for his listeners; attention to animal metaphors allows Gregory to produce contemplative wisdom from an erotic text. Simultaneously, however, Gregory disparages a straightforwardly sexual reading of the Song as a capitulation to base and beastly desires. In the end, Gregory’s reading is structured around a dynamic tension as it is desire rather than rationality that ultimately draws a human being into endless pursuit of union with God. Although this holy desire is a function of the animal portion of human life, Gregory can never acknowledge it as such without undermining his fundamental commitment to anthropological exceptionalism.

Keywords:   Contemplative Theology, Derrida, Jacques, Gregory of Nyssa, Hermeneutics, Late Antiquity, Mysticism, Song of Songs, Theological Anthropology

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .