Mirrors of the Divine: Late Ancient Christianity and the Vision of God
This book brings into focus how four influential late ancient authors—Tertullian of Carthage, Clement of Alexandria, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine of Hippo—employ language of vision and of mirrors in their discursive struggles to construct Christian agency, identity, and epistemology. These authors span from the second through fourth centuries CE in both Eastern and Western Christianity, and this book analyzes their theological writings on vision and knowledge of God to explore how they pieced together rival and contradictory theories of sight to shape their cosmologies, theologies, subjectivities, genders, and discursive worlds. The different theories of vision partly answered the question of how we see; but more, the differences around vision and mirrors offer a keyhole into questions of the relationships between heaven and earth, body and soul, men and women, and beyond. Rhetoric of vision can divide along lines of gender or baptismal status, or it can envision connection to or distance from God. How we understand vision shapes what and how we see and also our broader senses of self, and to miss how sight worked for late ancient authors, therefore, is to look past some of the most self-conscious ways that late ancient Christians thought of themselves, their worlds, and their God.
Oxford University Press
New York, USA
God, Image of God, Theological anthropology, Mirrors -- Religious aspects, Bible
Catholic Studies | Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Cain, Emily, "Mirrors of the Divine: Late Ancient Christianity and the Vision of God" (2023). Faculty Books. 247.