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Body and DesireGregory of Nyssa's Ascetical Theology$
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Raphael A. Cadenhead

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520297968

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520297968.001.0001

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Gregory’s Emerging Theory of Desire

Gregory’s Emerging Theory of Desire

Chapter:
(p.62) 3 Gregory’s Emerging Theory of Desire
Source:
Body and Desire
Author(s):

Raphael A. Cadenhead

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520297968.003.0005

Having already established that erōs, for Gregory, needs to be redirected from material beauties to the true prototypical beauty of God, chapter 3 provides a more detailed analysis of key concepts in Gregory’s theory of desire: passion, moderation, the criterion of “need” in the ascetic life, and the disjunction between satiety and fulfillment. The aim of the chapter is to provide answers to two basic questions: What does the fundamental reorientation of erotic desire toward God mean for other (ostensibly nonsexual) desires? And how do we assess whether a bodily desire is legitimate or whether, on the contrary, it is excessive and thus to be avoided at all costs? The chapter ends with a brief discussion of the moral evocations of “male” and “female” characteristics.

Keywords:   desire, passions, moderation, satiety, satiation, gender

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