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Nøgleord:Gregory of Nyssa, Biographic ethics, Iconographic ethics, Following, Imitation, Negative theology
In this article it is argued that ethics based on Gregory of
Nyssa’s late thinking can best be conceived of as a biographic ethics.
Virtue is according to Gregory imitation of God. Human beings are
made to be images (icons) of God. Ethics as such describes what virtue
looks like. It is iconographic. But Gregory’s distinction between God’s
incomprehensible transcendent being and His immanent activities is
also reflected in Gregory’s anthropology, since this is derived from his
theology. As such imitation must take form as following, understood as
the imitation of God’s concrete works in history. It is in the life of the
virtuous person that imitation of God can be perceived. This is how
iconographic ethics becomes biographic. In the article such ethics is
distinguished from ethics based on moral principles.