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Good and evil in the teaching of saint basil of Caesarea: in the teaching of saint basil of Caesarea

Yannatos, Michael (1985) Good and evil in the teaching of saint basil of Caesarea: in the teaching of saint basil of Caesarea. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The present dissertation represents an investigation into St Basil's doctrine of "good" and "evil". In the first part an attempt is made to-bring together St Basil's statements on the "good", which results in a three-fold understanding of goodness corresponding to the three levels of existence, the theological, the cosmological and the anthropological. Ultimately goodness is grounded, in St Basil's mind, in God himself, in his very being. However, inasmuch as God's goodness is expressed in his act (in creation and redemption) goodness is a notion that also applies to God's creation. Man's creation in the image and likeness of God is particularly relevant here and so is man's life of virtue. The second part of the dissertation examines the problem of evil, both in the context of the spiritual world (angelolbgy) and in the context of the physical world (cosmology) and man in particular (anthropology). Special attention is paid to the cause of evil, to man's fall and its consequences and to the distinction between "natural" and "moral" evil as well as to the problem of pain. The thorough analysis of St Basil’s texts establishes that for the Holy Father Evil is arbirtrary and finds a paradoxical beginning in creaturely freedom. The final part of the dissertation deals with the Christian answer to the problem of evil which is rooted in the Incarnation of the Son of God and his work of salvation. The analysis of St Basil's key texts shows that man's final destiny and deification provided by God in Christ constitute the Christian answer to the problem of evil.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1985
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 May 2013 14:10

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