Gregor von Nyssa als Mystiker.
Franz Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1955. XVI,295p. Sewn. Carton cover. Plasticized. Edges a bit rust stained. ‘Völker’s book on Nyssa follows much the same plan as his previous books on the mysticism of Origen, Philo and Clement: chapters on the preliminary contest with sin and the ‘pathè’ are followed by chapters on ‘gnosis’ itself, on the ‘daily life’ of the mystic and on the ascent to, and attainment of, perfection (Vollkommenheit). The plan has its advantages in enabling Völker to concentrate on the mystical doctrines of his subjects; but it has also the great disadvantage of forcing the doctrines into a mould which does scant justice to their real originality and uniqueness. By and large Völker sees Nyssa as the disciple of Origen and Clement (…). While there is much truth in such a thesis, it is not, in my view, the great or cardinal truth to be affixed about Nyssa’s mysticism - a truth which Völker all but ignores. This, as I see it, is due to two causes: the first is Völker’s general minimisation of the conflict between the Christian and the hellenistic-platonic elements in Origen; the second is his scant attention to the bearing of the trinitarian controversy (especially the Arianism of Aetius and Enomius) on Nyssa’s conception of God. Once we allow for this central deficiency in Völker’s book, there is much to be said in its praise: he has not merely assembled the mystical passages of Nyssa into a conveniently assimilable whole, but he has at numerous points shown remarkable insight.’ (BROOKS OTIS in Gnomon, 1958, p.201).