Cappadocia has been a Christian territory for sixteen centuries. In this land one finds that dreamy intimacy of the Byzantine church, the supernatural atmosphere which the Fathers of the Orthodox Church, like Gregory of Nazianzus, wished to see realized in the sanctuary. St. Gregory bequeathed us 244 letters / epistles (Greek Patrology, volume 37), which, like most of his verses, we date to the period of his withdrawal from Arians between 383 and 389. But the two epistles to Presbyterian Cledonius (CI and CII) were written in 382 and were directed against the heresy of the Apollinarians (cf. J. Mossey, Gregoire de Nazianze, – Dictionaire d ”Histoire et de Geographie Ecclesiastique, Fascicule 126, 1987, col. 17-18). A deliberate local church council was convened against Apollinarianism in Rome in 382, in which he took an active part and blah. Jerome. Together with letter CCII (202), they compiled the three “Theological Messages” of the saint, which were thoroughly studied by P. Gallay of the Institute of Scientific-Critical Publishing “Christian Sources” in Paris.
The three “Theological Epistles” refer exclusively to the false teaching of the heresiarch Apollinarius (P. Gallay, Introduction, I. La doctrine des “Lettres Theologiques”, – Gregoire de Nazianze, Lettres Theologiques, Sources Chretiennes № 208, Paris, 1974, p. 2). Therefore, we are obliged to proceed to the study of these messages through the Christological doctrine of Gregory of Nazianzus and through it to discover his anthropology, because in these his works we do not find a pure doctrine of man. Apollinarianism defended the thesis that “the flesh, which due to economy (a term in St. Paul, which signifies God’s plan for the salvation of mankind and widely used by church fathers and teachers in interpreting the Incarnation) was not received by the Only Begotten Son. transformation of our nature, but this carnal nature was “from the beginning” in the Son.
The word metastychiosis denotes a profound transformation affecting the elements, but in this case the term refers to the new life in Christ. Gregory attaches great importance to the subject of the deification of Christians. The destiny of man is considered in the light of the Incarnate Word, the uncreated Image of God, and through the action of the all-sanctifying and all-perfecting Spirit. The ability of man to be deified is the most important element in theology for man according to the author. Thus the principle of anthropology crystallized: The Word became man, for man’s sake, and man, because of the incarnate Word, was called to become God. Hence the reason for St. Gregory’s reaction to the evolution of Christology in Apollinarius, stemming from an earlier evolution in his anthropological views. The heresiarch of Laodicea teaches: “Our spirit is complete and sovereign, but in its relation to soul and body, and incomplete in general, because in relation to God it is in a state of complete obedience …” (quoted in St. Gregory of Nazianzus) , Letter 202, III, 10, – Sources Chretiennes № 208, Paris, 1974, p. 91), dividing man into three parts (trichotomy): nus, psyche and soma (spirit, soul and body). According to him, Christ diminished the soul, but the Word was the spiritual soul of the God-man. Apollinarius the Younger was a translationist, i.e. believed that since the soul is inherited by the parents, and Christ did not have an earthly father in the flesh, therefore he could not have a carnal soul, and the life-giving principle of the flesh of Christ (a heavenly body but truly carnal) is not the flesh, but from the Word itself (P. Gallay, op. cit., p. 17).
The Council of Ephesus in 431 adopted one extensive passage from Scripture 101, and the Council of Chalcedon (451) adopted the entire Scripture. In another of his epistles on Apollinarianism, Letter 202, written in 387, Gregory warned his successor, Nectarios of Constantinople, of the harm of the sect’s false teachings (cf. J. Quasten, Initiation aux Peres de l’Eglise, Paris). , 1963, p. 355).
The most important message of St. Gregory the Theologian is: “God is man,” and in Christ we do not separate man from God. And he substantiates this thesis on the basis of the Holy Scripture, which teaches that Christ is not only flesh, that he is not only Logos-Sark, but Man, Son of Man, Logos-Man. The union between soul and body in man is mysterious. The starting point of his anthropology is precisely the strange and unexplored relation of the carnal body mixed with the radically opposite nature of the soul, to the extent that the soul is for the body as God is for the soul (cf. Th. Spidlik, La spiritualite de l’Orient Chretien, Ch. IV: L’anthropologie chretienne, Roma, 1978, p. 115). The soul ascends the body (from the lowest) to itself, to the divine (to the highest), and it itself ascends to God through the Word. The soul in these aspirations depends entirely on the mercy of God, Who alone fully understands the meaning of this “mixing.” Many human souls do not look brilliant from afar, but at first they reveal themselves dirty and unclean. Thus in the Theological Letters of St. Gregory the Theologian we find the close connection of anthropology with the triumphant Christological teaching.
Modern anthropology uses the term “homo absconditus” to denote this apophatic side of human nature (that which is incomprehensible in the forms of our thought), because in it there always remains for us an unknown and vague side, beyond any definition and formulation. The Incarnation itself is necessary for the salvation of men, and so Christology and anthropology are connected with the soteriological views of Gregory the Theologian: “The Son of God became man to become the sons of human sons of God” of union with Christ for all believers who have gone through death and resurrection. The bliss bestowed by Adam, lost through Adam, is inherited again in the second Adam, if we are fully born, crucified, buried, and resurrected with Christ.