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Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity$
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Tomas Hagg

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780520223882

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520223882.001.0001

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Eros Transformed: Same-Sex Love and Divine Desire

Eros Transformed: Same-Sex Love and Divine Desire

Reflections on the Erotic Vocabulary in St. Gregory of Nazianzus’s Speech on St. Basil the Great

Chapter:
(p.180) 8 Eros Transformed: Same-Sex Love and Divine Desire
Source:
Greek Biography and Panegyric in Late Antiquity
Author(s):

Jostein Børtnes

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520223882.003.0009

This chapter examines the issues of same-sex love and divine desire in Gregory of Nazianzus' funeral oration for Basil of Caesarea. It suggests that Gregory's understanding of friendship as a reciprocal loving relationship between two equals united in their quest for divine truth was irreconcilable with Basil's status as prince of the Church. Gregory's model of male friendship also had to give way to the master-disciple relationship that was for centuries to become the standard model of Christian love.

Keywords:   same-sex love, divine desire, funeral oration, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil of Caesarea, male friendship, Christian love, master-disciple relationship

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