A just and reasonable grief: The death and function of a holy woman in Gregory of Nyssa's life of Macrina


Journal Article

This paper examines the key theological views that governed fourth-century interpretations of "the holy woman" in ascetic communities. Specifically, it looks at Gregory of Nyssa's portrayal of Macrina in De Vita Macrinae as one whose asceticism and virginity allow her to experience proleptically the eschatological communion with Christ. It is Macrina's self-mastery and transcendence of worldly concerns in anticipation of her union with Christ that mediate Christian hope to her community of virgins and so train them in the proper way to live and to face death. © 2004 The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith, JW

Published Date

  • January 1, 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 12 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 57 - 84

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1086-3184

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1067-6341

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1353/earl.2004.0015

Citation Source

  • Scopus