Patristic Profile: St Gregory of Nyssa



Unit Weighting

9 credit points

Type of Unit   



At least 18 cps in Theology units including T8581A Church Fathers: An Introduction

Academic Staff   

Professor Paul M. Blowers (Visiting Scholar), Emmanuel Christian Seminary, Tennessee

Very Rev. Dr Doru Costache, BTh (Bucharest 1993) PhD (Bucharest 2000), Senior Lecturer

Curriculum Objectives

Building on T8581A Church Fathers: An Introduction, this graduate course unit advances the study of the patristic phenomenon within a complex framework, theological, spiritual, literary and historical. It enables students to appreciate, by way of a detailed study of the available resources, the personality and legacy of a given Church Father. This semester’s course unit will consider St Gregory of Nyssa’s contributions in areas such as scriptural interpretation, Trinitarian theology, cosmology, anthropology, eschatology and his teaching on the spiritual life.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Appreciate the personality and understand the historical context of this Church Father
  2. Display a profound knowledge of the selected writings of this Church Father, together with the relevant developments in scholarship
  3. Evaluate the place of this Church Father within the broader patristic phenomenon
  4. Critically analyse the selected writings of this Church Father within the framework of relevant scholarship
  5. Assess the relevance of this Church Father to contemporary Christian experience


  1. Gregory of Nyssa in Historical-Theological Context
  2. Gregory's Contribution to Trinitarian Orthodoxy
  3. His Cosmology
  4. His Theological Anthropology
  5. Gregory as Biblical Interpreter and Ascetical Theologian
  6. Eschatology

Assessment Profile

  1. Show the capacity to critically assess the relevant literature (e.g. summaries or reviews)
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the main trends and themes in patristic tradition (e.g. essay)
  3. Assess the significance of various trends and themes in patristic tradition from the viewpoints of contemporary scholarship and the Christian experience (e.g. take home exam)


Distance education resources, plus a compulsory residential school on 24-25 September 2014.