«‘Theology of the Gap’ is the most interesting and contemporaneously relevant monograph on Cappadocian thought to have appeared since the publication in 1946 of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s ‘Présence et Pensée’. Scot Douglass shows how the Cappadocian fathers (Basil of Caesarea, his brother Gregory of Nyssa, and their friend Gregory of Nazianzus) developed in the context of the Trinitarian controversies of the fourth century a theory of language as so inextricably bound to the finitude of created being as to make any knowledge of the essence of God impossible. Instead of leaving the matter with an entirely negative conclusion, however, the Cappadocians - and, especially, Gregory of Nyssa - reflected on how both the Incarnation of the Word and the Word of God as scriptural text entered into a created space from within which the Infinite could speak in human language. Douglass explains how knowledge of God thus becomes an asymptotic pursuit of the infinite carried on through reading texts whose meaning is never fully disclosed. This not a purely intellectual pursuit, Douglass persuasively argues, but one in which reading transforms life and life in turn informs reading, such that every text and every living moment is always new. Thoroughly grounded both in fourth-century thought and in late twentieth-century literary theory, Scot Douglass has something important to say not only to scholars in these hitherto separate fields, but also to Christians seeking a deeper understanding of how text becomes life.» (Alden Mosshammer, Professor of History and Classical Studies, University of California, San Diego)
About the Author
The Author: With degrees in Cellular Biology, Theology, and Comparative Literature, Scot Douglass is Assistant Professor in the Herbst Program of Humanities for Engineers and the Department of Comparative Literature and Humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Professor Douglass has published several articles regarding the intersections of Cappadocian thought, literary theory, and spirituality. Theology of the Gap
is the first installment of a three-part project exploring language, literature, and the desire for God.