Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deificiation in the Christian Traditions

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Michael J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung
Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2007 - Religion - 325 pages
This critical volume focuses on the issue of continuity and discontinuity of the Christian concept of theosis, or deification, in the intellectual history of ideas. It addresses the origin, development, and function of theosis from its antecedents in ancient Greek philosophy to its nuanced use in contemporary theological thought. Often seen as a heresy in the Protestant West, the revival of interest in deification in both lay and scholastic circles heralds a return to foundational understandings of salvation in the Christian church before the divisions of East and West, Catholic and Protestant.
 

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Contents

The Problem Promise and Process of Theosis
23
The Place of Theosis in Orthodox Theology
32
Theosis in Classical and Late Antiquity
45
Deification of the Philosopher in Classical Greece
47
Can We Speak of Theosis in Paul?
68
4 Speak of Deification?
81
Theosis in Patristic Thought
93
The Strategic Adaptation of Deification in the Cappadocians
95
Little Christs for the World Faith and Sacraments as Means to Theosis
189
United to God through Christ
200
Christian Perfection as Faith Filled with the Energy of Love
219
Theosis in Modern Thought
231
NeoPalamism Divinizing Grace and the Breach between East and West
233
Russian Theosis
250
Divinization in Roman Catholicism
259
A Renewal of Interest and a Need for Clarity
281

Rhetorical Application of Theosis in Greek Patristic Theology
115
Divinization as Perichoretic Embrace in Maximus the Confessor
132
Paradise as the Landscape of Salvation in Ephrem the Syrian
146
Theosis in Medieval and Reformation Thought
161
A Eucharistic Reading of John 35157 in Būluṣ alBūshīs Treatise On the Incarnation
163
Theoria and the Doctrinal Logic of Perfection
175

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About the author (2007)

Michael J. Christensen (PhD, Drew University) is director of the DMin program and teaches spirituality and religious studies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Jeffery A. Wittung is a PhD candidate at Drew University and an editor at Baker Academic in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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