Solar Energy: Theophany and the Theopoetics of Light in Gregory of Nyssa

T. Wilson Dickinson

in Cosmology, Ecology, and the Energy of God

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780823238958
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823238996 | DOI:
Solar Energy: Theophany and the Theopoetics of Light in Gregory of Nyssa

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This chapter seeks to complement, challenge, and transform the instrumental and engineered efforts that are currently being employed to address looming ecological catastrophes with the ancient disciplines of philosophy and theology. By exploring the writings of the late ancient theologian and philosopher Gregory of Nyssa, it proposes that the performances of his seemingly abstract texts might serve the larger pedagogical purpose of transforming how his readers look at creation. Instead of looking at the earth as a standing reserve of usable material or theology as the formulation of a static system, the chapter proposes that the intertwining of idea and image, of theory and practice in Gregory's writings can provide a vision of reverent and humble creativity. Drawing a connection between the English word “energy” and the Greek “energeia,” it harnesses the alternative energy of the renewable resource of the theopoetics of light.

Keywords: Gregory of Nyssa; theopoetics; creation; creativity; philosophical exercises

Chapter.  7729 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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