Diseased and Holy

Susan R. Holman

in The Hungry are Dying

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780195139129
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834310 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

 Diseased and Holy

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Explores three sermons by Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa and commonly titled “On the Love of the Poor” that focus on the homeless and destitute diseased poor. While both authors also define the sick body in terms of kinship and as a divine and permeable membrane for reverse contagion (healing) in a mutable cosmos, Gregory of Nyssa emphasizes civic gift exchange and ceremony in constructing a Christian place for these diseased poor, while Gregory of Nazianzus emphasizes a theology of Christian incarnation, viewing the poor as Christ. Their views of leprosy resemble the medical description by Aretaeus of Cappadocia and theories of disease causation in Graeco‐Roman medicine

Keywords: contagion; disease; Gregory of Nazianzus; Gregory of Nyssa; healing; homeless; incarnation; leprosy; medicine; poor

Chapter.  18511 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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