Spiritual Enrichment through Exegesis: St Gregory of Nyssa and the Scriptures, Margaret Beirne

Abstract: This article begins with a brief overview of the Patristic approach to hermeneutics, then locates the exegetical works and approach of St Gregory of Nyssa within that context. In a summary of these works, the main focus will be on those which gave rise to his spiritual and mystical insights, and in illustrating from them Gregory's particular combination of the methodologies he inherited from his patristic predecessors. Over and above, this paper will argue that Gregory's unique and enduring value as a scripture scholar is the way in which he drew upon the sacred texts to show how we are led through grace to perfect union with God.

Bio: Margaret Beirne RSC is a Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College, and Director of Research at the Sydney College of Divinity. Her principal areas of research are in New Testament Studies and Ignatian Spirituality. She holds degrees in English, Mathematics, Education and Theology. After thirty years of teaching and administration in secular eduaction, Margaret went to the École Biblique in Jerusalem to begin research for a doctoral thesis on the Gospel according to John. On her return to Sydney, she began lecturing at the Centre for Christian Spirituality, Randwick, while continuing to work on her doctoral thesis. In 2000, she graduated with a DTheol from the Melbourne College of Divinity. Her thesis was published by Sheffield Academic Press in 2003: Women and Men in the Fourth Gospel: A Genuine Discipleship of Equals.