28 Aug Lamenting Macrina: Dynamics of Grief and Gender in the Ancient Church

Lamenting Macrina: Dynamics of Grief and Gender in the Ancient Church

Garrett Evangelical
Completion Time: 5 hours
CEUs: 0.5
Tuition: $50.00
Instructor(s): Dr. Charles Cosgrove; Professor of Early Christian Literature
Contact Info: Erin Moore

Class Description

When Macrina the Younger died in 379 CE, her brother, Gregory of Nyssa, wrote a short biography of her, including a description of her death and the mourning rites performed for her. Macrina had been the founder and head of a monastery at Anissa in northern Cappadocia, and among the ascetics of this retreat were women whom Macrina had rescued from a famine when they were children. When Macrina died, these women performed a traditional sung lament for her, which Gregory describes. He also tells how he instructed them to stop lamenting and to sing psalms instead. Gregory’s account gives us a rare glimpse into women’s lament. It is also a rich source of information about an opposition between lamenting and psalmody in the ideology of the church fathers, who saw grief as a passion to be resisted and overcome.

The Intersection program incorporates lectures by and reflection with the distinguished faculty and guests of Garrett-Evangelical. Over the course of the academic year, faculty members present lectures to the seminary community and public on topics ranging from theology, biblical interpretation, church history, and the church in society. By completing a three-step CEU Lecture Program, individuals can earn 0.5 (half) Continuing Education Units for each lecture and associated activity. This three-step process is as follows:
• Watch the recorded presentation online
• Complete an assigned reading
• Write a reflective paper, which will be reviewed by a Garrett-Evangelical faculty member

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