Oration 28 In St. Gregory's On The Doctrine Of God

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Oration 28, On the Doctrine of God, is a defense of God’s ineffability by St. Gregory of Nazianzus, a Cappadocian Father, against Eunomius, who believed he had comprehended the full essence of God. The overarching theme of Oration 28 is “the incomprehensibility of deity to the human mind and its totally unimaginable grandeur” (28.11). This is not to say one can’t understand God all at and thus should remove one’s interest from pursuing the divine, but rather, the full comprehension of God will not be gained in this life. In the beginning of Oration 28, Gregory invites the reader to accompany him as he takes on the persona of Moses and ascends up Mount Sinai to encounter God. In doing so, he fulfills the traditional means of conveying knowledge and legitimacy in his teaching authority to demonstration that his holiness and purity are like that of the prophets of…show more content…
Gregory believes that “Reason looked on the visible world, lighted on things primeval yet did not make us stop at these (for reason will grant no superiority to things as much objects of sense as we are) but leads us on through them to what transcends them, the very means of their continued existence” (28.16). Reason through the use of natural senses in observing the complexities and order of the created world brings one to acknowledge God’s existence. However, it does not tell one what the fullness of God’s being or essence is. Even the prophets and saints, who will great holiness and visions of God did not know the fullness of the nature of the Lord. “None saw, none told, of God’s nature” (28.19). “Faith rather than reason shall lead us, if that is, you have learned the feebleness of reason to deal with matters quite close at hand and have acquired enough knowledge of reason to recognize things which surpass reason” (28.28). Faith seeking understanding, but never comprehension, is the means in which one ascends Mount Sinai to

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