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6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2008 - 12:55AM #1
Solidgranit
Posts: 34
Did St. Gregory of Nyssa teach resurrection, I read that he did.  Also was reincarnation accepted in the early Church?
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 18, 2008 - 9:19AM #2
anyuta64
Posts: 1,536
No, I'm pretty sure that Gregory of Nissa actually argued rather actively against reincarnation.  He presented arguments against it which I don't find personally very convincing, but certainly he didn't support the idea.

That he and some others felt the need to actively argue against it does show that there must have been enough of a belief in reincarnation among the faithfull that they felt it was an issue which had to be addressed. I don't know if this means there was any teaching of the Chruch per se which would support the idea. It hink it was more likely that some faithful heard about it somewhere, thought it might be a keen idea, and it spread among the faithful untill it was a large enough group that the "higher ups" thought it needed addressing.

I do believe that Origien may have had some sympathy for reincarnation.. but then, he had some unique views on a number of thigns.

so, no, I don't think that reincarnation was ever TAUGHT by the Church.

That being said, I PERSONALLY don't find the arguments against it compelling.

the logic train generally used to oppose the idea fails to consider certain possibilities which I wish had been addressed. For example, one arugment used is that children have no memory of any past life, or even such things as speach etc. I dont' find this convincing, as many reincarnation beliefs would argue that the CORE of a person remembers, but that this core (call it a soul or whatever) temporarlily forgets while in the midst of a life.. only to remember when in the "inbetween" place.  I don't say I belive this, but it's an argument that I haven't seen countered.

The biggest argument in favor, as far as I can see, is that if we are judged, it hardly seems fair to judge our eternity based on a few years that make up one single life.  having several "goes" at it to learn varoud lessons seems more just.

again, not that I believe it.  I accept that it's not something the Church teaches, and am not about to argue with the Chruch.  however, I don't see, personally, much reason not to belive. but.. that's why *I* am not a teacher of the Chruch :-)
Passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available.

NOTE: This post is a natural product. The sleight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual charicter and beauty and in no way are to be considered flaws or defects.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 25, 2009 - 5:21PM #3
razzputin
Posts: 119
"The biggest argument in favor, as far as I can see, is that if we are judged, it hardly seems fair to judge our eternity based on a few years that make up one single life. having several "goes" at it to learn varoud lessons seems more just."

That is an interesting take on it, Anyuta.  In fact,  it is one reason why I don't believe in Hell (the other is that I am an atheist)  The way I see it though,  even having several "goes" at it doesn't change the magnitude of the unfairness.   If we've been "going at it" since since the origin of life on Earth, those few billion years are, relatively,  closer in duration to one single lifetime, than to eternity.    The punishment still seems worse than the crime. 

It still doesn't seem fair that Razz is damned for all eternity, because he was a Bad Kitty for even a few measly billions of  years!  I mean, even if I were able to exhaust all the possible permutations of my Badness (and I have already been a very very bad little Razz) that would be a very very large number of lifetimes.  Even that colossal number, a number beyond comprehension, would still be closer to just one lifetime than to eternity.  What little mind I have left (and it dwindles further even as I write), recoils at such a thought! 

Razz
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2012 - 7:16PM #4
dsfin
Posts: 794

Exodus 34:7 would look in favor of reincarnation.


It says we pay for our sins for three lifetimes and our blessings follow us 1000.


This would show why some are born in evil homes and others to Leave it to Beaver.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2012 - 10:02AM #5
miknik5
Posts: 7,684

Dec 18, 2008 -- 12:55AM, Solidgranit wrote:

Did St. Gregory of Nyssa teach resurrection, I read that he did. Also was reincarnation accepted in the early Church?



No reincarnation.


GOD does not send HIS SON into the world so that the world could know HIM and have LIFE  only to allow us to continue in our sins which is what causes us to become separated from an ALL-HOLY GOD who can not stand in the presence of sin (which is why HE sent HIS SON)...only so that HE can keep throwing us back down, once again from HIS PRESENCE so as to start all over again...


The soul that sins shall die...and all souls are HIS...but the SON has become for those who put their faith in HIM the overseer of our soul...and the author and finisher of our faith...and so we look to HIM, we learn of HIM, and we trust in HIM that HE is FAITHFUL and TRUE...in knowing THE SON, we know the FATHER who sent HIM...and it is this LIVING water which THE SON shall give to us from the FATHER which is as a well-spring, within the believer, leading us unto the presence of our FATHER...


CHRIST said of HIS CHURCH (which is HIS BODY - GOD is gathering into THE SON'S BODY and making ONE set apart people covenanted and consecrated unto HIM)...those who overcome I will make a pillar in the temple of my GOD...NEVER to go out (from HIS PRESENCE) again...


And it is CHRIST who overcame for us...it is CHRIST who laid down the flesh, only to take it up again so as to become for us a LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT,  for those who would believe on HIM whom THE FATHER sent...


There is no reincarnation.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2012 - 7:37PM #6
chevy956
Posts: 1,960

Jul 14, 2012 -- 10:02AM, miknik5 wrote:

Dec 18, 2008 -- 12:55AM, Solidgranit wrote:

Did St. Gregory of Nyssa teach resurrection, I read that he did. Also was reincarnation accepted in the early Church?



No reincarnation.


GOD does not send HIS SON into the world so that the world could know HIM and have LIFE  only to allow us to continue in our sins which is what causes us to become separated from an ALL-HOLY GOD who can not stand in the presence of sin (which is why HE sent HIS SON)...only so that HE can keep throwing us back down, once again from HIS PRESENCE so as to start all over again...


The soul that sins shall die...and all souls are HIS...but the SON has become for those who put their faith in HIM the overseer of our soul...and the author and finisher of our faith...and so we look to HIM, we learn of HIM, and we trust in HIM that HE is FAITHFUL and TRUE...in knowing THE SON, we know the FATHER who sent HIM...and it is this LIVING water which THE SON shall give to us from the FATHER which is as a well-spring, within the believer, leading us unto the presence of our FATHER...


CHRIST said of HIS CHURCH (which is HIS BODY - GOD is gathering into THE SON'S BODY and making ONE set apart people covenanted and consecrated unto HIM)...those who overcome I will make a pillar in the temple of my GOD...NEVER to go out (from HIS PRESENCE) again...


And it is CHRIST who overcame for us...it is CHRIST who laid down the flesh, only to take it up again so as to become for us a LIFE-GIVING SPIRIT,  for those who would believe on HIM whom THE FATHER sent...


There is no reincarnation.


You might try actually addressing the question instead of preaching.....The subject was Gregory of Nyssa's possible belief in reincarnation. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2012 - 7:49PM #7
mainecaptain
Posts: 21,783

Jul 14, 2012 -- 10:02AM, miknik5 wrote:



There is no reincarnation.




You have no way of knowing that one way or the other.


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Aristotle
Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow. Plato..
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives" Jackie Robinson
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2 years ago  ::  Jul 19, 2012 - 11:22AM #8
chevy956
Posts: 1,960

Early Church Fathers like Basilides, Valentinus and Origen all taught that reincarnation was true. They were folowing the doctrines of Plato, whose writings went through a bit of a renaissance at the time, hence the development of Christian Platonism, centered around Alexandria in Egypt.


By the Second Council of Constantiniople, reincarnation was removed as incompatable with orthodox Christian doctrine. I find no conclusive evidence for Gregory's belief in reincarnation, but will look some more.

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2 years ago  ::  Jul 24, 2012 - 11:08AM #9
christine3
Posts: 7,173

Dec 18, 2008 -- 12:55AM, Solidgranit wrote:


Did St. Gregory of Nyssa teach resurrection, I read that he did. Also was reincarnation accepted in the early Church?




Here is what it says in Wikipedia -- Gregory's anthropology is founded on the ontological distinction between the created and uncreated. Man is a material creation, and thus limited, but infinite in that his immortal soul has an indefinite capacity to grow closer to the divine.


By this, I think he believed that bodies are born and die, but there is an immortal soul.  If each person has a soul, it is that soul that continues to progress and progress.  Therefore, it seems that the soul has numerous bodies through which it continues to progress.  The body is temporal, but the soul is a repository of experiences, that continues to progress, even through negative experiences.  The soul doesn't doesn't judge what are "negative" experiences from "positive" experiences.  The soul is just the respository of intelligence over an indefinite period of time, as the soul continues to refine itself.  That's my take.  He was probably one of the last who supported a framework of consideration for reincarnation.  Then came Constantine and that closed the chapter on reincarnation for hundreds of years, until now when it is coming back into popularity.  


There are a few passages in the bible that seem to support reincarnation.  One of them is Matthew 17:12 --  But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished.  Then the disciples knew that he was talking to them about John the Baptist. 


In Origen's time, the concept of reincarnation was called 'metempsychosis' or transmigration of the soul.  There is not one thing in the universe that does not travel in a circle.  


Several sayings in the Gospel of Thomas seem to point to reincarnation....


"If the flesh came into being because of spirit, it is a wonder.  But if spirit came into being because of the body, it is a wonder of wonders." (the spirit grows the body; the body grows the spirit?)


The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us how our end will be."  Jesus said, "Have you discovered, then, the beginning, that you look for the end? For where the beginning is, there will the end will be."  (there is no beginning and no end?, or the beginning and end are in the same place.) 


"Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being." (immortality?)


If he is talking about life traveling in a circle from the 3rd dimension to the 4th dimension and then back again, it makes sense if reincarnation is being talked about.  Well, I'll just have to leave it that because it's hard to put into words.


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