Substitutionary Themes in Nyssen's In Canticum Canticorum
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Gregory of Nyssa
This thesis explores the substitutionary themes of atonement in Gregory of Nyssen’s In Canticum Canticorum. As his last known work, this commentary provides the reader with the matured insights of Gregory concerning ones ascent to God. This Cappadocian’s understanding of the Song of Songs is full of beautiful imagery, as well as, thought provoking theology that stirs up affection for God. When it comes to the issue of atonement, there are three key themes that suggest that he viewed atonement in terms of substitution, and not just freedom, as many have argued in the past. These themes revolve around his use of the Shepherd and Sheep relationship, the use of spice during sacrifices, and the use of dark and light metaphors that he mentions throughout.