Divinization (Christian)

Divinization (Christian)

In Christian theology, divinization, deification, making divine or theosis is the transforming effect of divine grace.[1] This concept of salvation is historical and fundamental for Christian understanding that is prominent in the Eastern Orthodox Church and also in the Catholic Church,[2][3] and is a doctrine of growing importance in certain Protestant denominations, being revived in Anglicanism in the mid-19th century.[1]


Bible Support

2 Peter 1:4 explicitly speaks of becoming "partakers of the Divine nature". Closely allied are the teachings of Paul the Apostle that through the Spirit we are sons of God (as in chapter 8 of his Epistle to the Romans) and of the Gospel according to John on the indwelling of the Trinity (as in chapters 14-17).[1]. In John 10:34, Jesus himself quoted Psalms 82:1 in saying "Ye are gods."

Patristic writings

According to Jonathan Jacobs, there were many and varied appeals to divinization in the writings of the Church Fathers.[4] As what he asserts is "just a small sample", he lists the following:

  • St. Irenaeus of Lyons stated that God "became what we are in order to make us what he is himself."[5]
  • St. Clement of Alexandria says that "he who obeys the Lord and follows the prophecy given through him . . . becomes a god while still moving about in the flesh." [6]
  • St. Athanasius wrote that "God became man so that men might become gods."[7]
  • St. Cyril of Alexandria says that we "are called 'temples of God' and indeed 'gods', and so we are."
  • St. Basil the Great stated that "becoming a god" is the highest goal of all.
  • St. Gregory of Nazianzus implores us to "become gods for (God's) sake, since (God) became man for our sake."

Referring to such declarations by the Fathers, the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that the central tenet of deification is that, through the incarnation of his Son, God has called human beings to share God's own life in the Son. It quotes Athanasius: "The Word became flesh … that we, partaking of his Spirit, might be deified" (De Decretis, 14); and Cyril of Alexandria: "We have all become partakers of Him, and have Him in ourselves through the Spirit. For this reason we have become partakers of the divine nature" (In Ioannem, 9).[1]

Saint Augustine pictured God telling him: "I am the food of grown men, grow, and thou shalt feed upon Me, nor shalt thou convert Me, like the food of thy flesh, into thee, but thou shalt be converted into Me."[8] "To make human beings gods," Augustine said, "He was made man who was God" (sermon 192.1.1) This deification, he wrote, is granted by grace, not by making part of the divine essence: "It is clear that he called men gods being deified by his grace and not born of his substance. For he justified, who is just of himself and not from another, and he deifies, who is god of himself and not by participation in another. … If we have been made sons of god, we have been made gods; but this is by grace of adoption and not of the nature of our begetter" (en. Ps. 49.1.2).[9]

The Fathers spoke of the process of deification as begun, at least by prolepsis, in baptism, and so as already effected in the baptized.[10] Clement of Alexandria wrote: "Being baptized, we are illuminated; illuminated we become sons; being made sons, we are made perfect; being made perfect, we are made immortal. 'I', said He, 'have said that ye are gods, and all sons of the Highest."[11] Hippolytus: "He (man) is made God by water and the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the laver."[12] "Thy body shall be immortal and incorruptible as well as thy soul. For thou hast become God."[13]

However, full deification was seen as occurring only after death. Augustine said, "Our full adoption as sons will take place in the redemption of our body. We now have the first fruits of the spirit (Rom 8:29), by which we are indeed made sons of God. In other respects, however, since we are not yet finally saved, we are therefore not yet fully made new, not yet sons of God but children of the world."[9]

Western Christian theology

Roman Catholicism

The importance of divinization (theosis) in Roman Catholic teaching is evident from what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says of it:

The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature": "For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."[14]

Divinization has been taught by Catholic theologians, including the most authoritative: Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote: "The gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other nature. And thus it is impossible that any creature should cause grace. For it is as necessary that God alone should deify, bestowing a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness, as it is impossible that anything save fire should enkindle."[15] He also wrote of God's "special love, whereby He draws the rational creature above the condition of its nature to a participation of the Divine good".[16] And he quotes with approval the statement by Saint Augustine, "God was made man, that man might be made God",[17] saying that it was necessary for the restoration of the human race that the Word of God should become incarnate, since it is through Christ's humanity that full participation of the Divinity is bestowed on us.

Of a more modern Roman Catholic theologian it has been said: "The theological vision of Karl Rahner, the German Jesuit whose thought has been so influential in the Roman Catholic Church and beyond over the last fifty years, has at its very core the symbol of theopoiesis. The process of divinization is the center of gravity around which move Rahner's understanding of creation, anthropology, Christology, ecclesiology, liturgy, and eschatology. The importance of this process for Rahner is such that we are justified in describing his overall theological project to be largely a matter of giving a coherent and contemporary account of divinization."[18]

The Roman Rite liturgy expresses the doctrine of divinization or theosis in the prayer said by the deacon or priest when preparing the Eucharistic chalice: "By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity."[19] [20] [21]

The Catholic Church teaches that God gives to some souls, even in the present life, a very special grace by which they can be mystically united to God even while yet alive: this is true mystical contemplation.[22][23] This is seen as the culmination of the three states, or stages, of perfection through which the soul passes: the purgative way (that of cleansing or purification), the illuminative way (so called because in it the mind becomes more and more enlightened as to spiritual things and the practice of virtue), and the unitive way (that of union with God by love and the actual experience and exercise of that love).[24]

The writings attributed to St. Dionysius the Areopagite were highly influential in the West, and their theses and arguments were adopted by Peter Lombard, Alexander of Hales, Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Bonaventure.[25] According to these writings, mystical knowledge must be distinguished from the rational knowledge by which we know God, not in his nature, but through the wonderful order of the universe, which is a participation of the divine ideas. Through the more perfect knowledge of God that is mystical knowledge, a knowledge beyond the attainments of reason even enlightened by faith, the soul contemplates directly the mysteries of divine light. In the present life this contemplation is possible only to a few privileged souls, through a very special grace of God: it is the θέωσις (theosis), μυστικὴ ἕνωσις (mystical union).[22] Meister Eckhart too taught a deification of man and an assimilation of the creature into the Creator through contemplation.[22]

Deification, to which, in spite of its presence in the liturgical prayers of the West, Western theologians have given less attention than Eastern, is nevertheless prominent in the writing of Western mystics.[1]

Saint Catherine of Siena had God say: "They are like the burning coal that no one can put out once it is completely consumed in the furnace, because it has itself been turned into fire. So it is with these souls cast into the furnace of my charity, who keep nothing at all, not a bit of their own will, outside of me but are completely set afire in me. There is no one who can seize them or drag them out of my grace. They have been made one with me and I with them."[26]

Saint John of the Cross wrote: "In thus allowing God to work in it, the soul... is at once illumined and transformed in God, and God communicates to it His supernatural Being, in such wise that it appears to be God Himself, and has all that God Himself has. And this union comes to pass when God grants the soul this supernatural favour, that all the things of God and the soul are one in participant transformation; and the soul seems to be God rather than a soul, and is indeed God by participation; although it is true that its natural being, though thus transformed, is as distinct from the Being of God as it was before."[27]

Anglican views

Out of the English Reformation, an understanding of salvation in terms closely comparable to the Orthodox doctrine of theosis was recognized in the Anglican tradition, for example in the writings of Lancelot Andrewes, who described salvation in terms vividly reminiscent of the early fathers:

Whereby, as before He of ours, so now we of His are made partakers. He clothed with our flesh, and we invested with His Spirit. The great promise of the Old Testament accomplished, that He should partake our human nature; and the great and precious promise of the New, that we should be “consortes divinae naturae”, “partake his divine nature,” both are this day accomplished.[28]

Protestant views

Protestants are generally less aware of the doctrinal line of thought of theosis, except for Methodists and Wesleyans, whose religious tradition has always placed strong emphasis on sanctification. Generally speaking, the Methodist/Wesleyan doctrine of sanctification is roughly equivalent to the Catholic/Eastern Orthodox concept of theosis or divinization.

Early during the Reformation, thought was given to the doctrine of union with Christ (unio cum Christo) as the precursor to the entire process of salvation and sanctification. This was especially so in the thought of John Calvin.[29]

Henry Scougal's work The Life of God in the Soul of Man is sometimes cited as important in keeping alive among Protestants the ideas central to the doctrine. In the introductory passages of his book, Scougal describes "religion" in terms that evoke the doctrine of theosis:

"... a resemblance of the divine perfections, the image of the Almighty shining in the soul of man: ... a real participation of his nature, it is a beam of the eternal light, a drop of that infinite ocean of goodness; and they who are endued with it, may be said to have 'God dwelling in their souls', and 'Christ formed within them'."[30]

Theosis as a doctrine developed in a distinctive direction among Methodists,[31] and elsewhere in the pietist movement which reawakened Protestant interest in the asceticism of the early Catholic Church, and some of the mystical traditions of the West. Distinctively, in Wesleyan Protestantism theosis sometimes implies the doctrine of entire sanctification which teaches, in summary, that it is the Christian's goal, in principle possible to achieve, to live without any (voluntary) sin (Christian perfection). In 1311 the Roman Catholic Council of Vienne declared this notion, "that man in this present life can acquire so great and such a degree of perfection that he will be rendered inwardly sinless, and that he will not be able to advance farther in grace" (Denziger §471), to be a heresy. Thus this particular Protestant (primarily Methodist) understanding of theosis is substantially different from that of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican Churches. This doctrine of Christian perfection was sharply criticized by many in the Church of England during the ministry of John Wesley and continues to be controversial among Protestants and Anglicans to this day.[32] Most Protestants do not believe in Christian perfection as Wesley described it and most Protestants also do not use the term theosis at all, though they refer to a similar doctrine by such terms as sanctification, "adoption as sons", "union with Christ", and "filled with the Spirit". Dietrich Bonhoeffer echoed the convictions of Athanasius when he wrote "He has become like a man, so that men should be like him." (The Cost of Discipleship, 301)

Nevertheless, similarities of doctrine notwithstanding, within the whole of the conception of the Christian life which the idea of "theosis" is intended to comprehend, differences of doctrine are disclosed especially in differences of practice, between the East and West, and between Orthodoxy and Protestantism.

Eastern Orthodox theology


Icon of The Ladder of Divine Ascent (the steps toward theosis as described by St. John Climacus) showing monks ascending (and falling from) the ladder to Jesus. Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.

The teaching of deification or theosis in Eastern Orthodoxy refers to the attainment of likeness of God, union with God and/or reconciliation with God. Deification has three stages in its process of transformation: katharsis, theoria, theosis. Theosis as such is the goal, it is the purpose of life, and it is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between humans' activities and God's uncreated energies (or operations).[33][34][35] Theosis is an important concept in Orthodox theology deriving from the fact that Orthodox theology is of an explicitly mystical character. Theology in the Eastern Orthodox church is what is derived from saints or mystics of the tradition, and Eastern Orthodox consider that "no one who does not follow the path of union with God can be a theologian".[36] In Eastern Orthodoxy, theology is not treated as an academic pursuit, but it is based on revelation (see gnosiology), meaning that Orthodox theology and its theologians are validated by ascetic pursuits, rather than academic degrees (i.e. scholasticism).[citation needed]

Vision of God

Through theoria, the contemplation of the triune God, human beings come to know and experience what it means to be fully human (the created image of God); through their communion with Jesus Christ, God shares Himself with the human race, in order to conform them to all that He is in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. As God became human, in all ways except sin, He will also make humans god (Holy or saintly), in all ways except his divine essence (uncaused or uncreatedness). St Irenaeus explained this doctrine in Against Heresies, Book 5, in the Preface, "the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through his transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself."

As a Patristic and historical teaching

For many Church Fathers, theosis goes beyond simply restoring people to their state before the Fall of Adam and Eve, teaching that because Christ united the human and divine natures in Jesus' person, it is now possible for someone to experience closer fellowship with God than Adam and Eve initially experienced in the Garden of Eden, and that people can become more like God than Adam and Eve were at that time. Some Orthodox theologians go so far as to say that Jesus would have become incarnate for this reason alone, even if Adam and Eve had never sinned.[37]

Ascetic practice

The journey toward theosis includes many forms of praxis. The most obvious form being Monasticism and Clergy. Of the Monastic tradition the practice of Hesychasm is most important as a way to establish a direct relationship with God. Living in the community of the church and partaking regularly of the sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, is taken for granted. Also important is cultivating "prayer of the heart", and prayer that never ceases, as Paul exhorts the Thessalonians (1 and 2). This unceasing prayer of the heart is a dominant theme in the writings of the Fathers, especially in those collected in the Philokalia. It is considered that no one can reach theosis without an impeccable Christian living, crowned by faithful, warm, and, ultimately, silent (hesychast), continuous Prayer of the Heart.[38] The "doer" in deification is the Holy Spirit, with whom the human being joins his will to receive this transforming grace by praxis and prayer, and as Saint Gregory Palamas teaches, the Christian mystics are deified as they become filled with the Light of Tabor of the Holy Spirit in the degree that they make themselves open to it by asceticism (divinization being not a one-sided act of God, but a loving cooperation between God and the advanced Christian, which Palamas considers a synergy).[39] This synergeia or co-operation between God and Man does not lead to mankind being absorbed into the God as was taught in earlier pagan forms of deification like Henosis. Rather it expresses unity, in the complementary nature between the created and the creator. Acquisition of the Holy Spirit is key as the acquisition of the spirit leads to self-realization.[40]

Western rejection of Eastern Orthodox hesychasm as a path to theosis

The practice of ascetic prayer called Hesychasm in the Eastern Orthodox Church is centered on the enlightenment or deification, theosis of man.[41] Roman Catholic theologians have generally expressed a negative view of Hesychasm.[42][43]

The (Hesychasm) doctrine of Gregory Palamas won almost no following in the West,[43] and the distrustful attitude of Barlaam in its regard prevailed among Western theologians, surviving into the early 20th century, as shown in Adrian Fortescue's article on hesychasm in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia.[43][44] In the same period, Siméon Vailhé described some aspects of the teaching of Palamas as "monstrous errors", "heresies" and "a resurrection of polytheism",[45] and called the hesychast method for arriving at perfect contemplation "no more than a crude form of auto-suggestion"[45]

The twentieth century saw a remarkable change in the attitude of Roman Catholic theologians to Palamas, a "rehabilitation" of him that has led to increasing parts of the Western Church considering him a saint, even if uncanonized.[46] Some Western scholars maintain that there is no conflict between Palamas's teaching and Roman Catholic thought.[47] According to G. Philips, the essence-energies distinction is "a typical example of a perfectly admissible theological pluralism" that is compatible with the Roman Catholic magisterium.[48] Jeffrey D. Finch claims that "the future of East-West rapprochement appears to be overcoming the modern polemics of neo-scholasticism and neo-Palamism".[49] Some Western theologians have incorporated the theology of Palamas into their own thinking.[50]

Among the treasures of "the venerable and ancient tradition of the Eastern Churches" with which Pope John Paul II said Catholics should be familiar, so as to be nourished by it, he mentioned in particular "the teaching of the Cappadocian Fathers on divinization (which) passed into the tradition of all the Eastern Churches and is part of their common heritage. This can be summarized in the thought already expressed by Saint Irenaeus at the end of the second century: God passed into man so that man might pass over to God. This theology of divinization remains one of the achievements particularly dear to Eastern Christian thought."[51]

Non-trinitarian theologies

Mormon views

The Latter Day Saint movement teaches the doctrine of exaltation, by which is meant a very literal divinization. Certain similarities can be drawn between the two [52], though a significant different exists in that Mormons believe that humanity may not only achieve God's holiness and perfection but also his essential divinity or godhood.[53] This doctrine stems from the movement's founder Joseph Smith, Jr., who taught that God the Father is an advanced and glorified man.[54] According to Smith, through obedience to Christ and the gradual acquisition of knowledge,[55] the faithful may eventually become gods in the afterlife.[56] Although they achieve this status, they are not worshipped, but continue to worship God and Christ. This belief is an essential charactristic of monolatrism.

Christian universalist views

There has been a modern revival of the concept of theosis (often called "manifest sonship" or "Christedness") among Christians who hold to the doctrine of universal reconciliation or apocatastasis, especially those with a background in the charismatic Latter Rain Movement or even the New Age and New Thought movements.[57] The statement of faith of the Christian Universalist Association includes theosis in one of its points.[58]

A minority of charismatic Christian universalists believe that the "return of Christ" is a corporate body of perfected human beings who are the "Manifested Sons of God" instead of a literal return of the person of Jesus,[59] and that these Sons will reign on the earth and transform all other human beings from sin to perfection during an age that is coming soon (a particularly "universalistic" approach to millennialism).[60] Some liberal Christian universalists with New Age leanings share a similar eschatology.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article "deification"
  2. ^ "What is theosis? Both the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches feature this idea as a central point in their theology" (101 Edward Faulk, Questions and Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches (Paulist Press 2007 ISBN 978-0-8091-4441-9), p. 63
  3. ^ "Eastern and Roman Catholic churches typically describe salvation as theosis or deification or divinization" (Tyron Inbody, The Faith of the Christian Church: An Introduction to Theology (Eerdmans 2005 ISBN 0-8028-4151-1), p. 229).
  4. ^ Jacobs, Jonathan D.. "An Eastern Orthodox Conception of Theosis and Human Nature". http://web.mac.com/jonathandjacobs/Site/Papers_files/Jacobs-Theosis.pdf. 
  5. ^ Adversus haereses, book 5, preface) - Factus est quod sumus nos, uti nos perficeret quod et ipse.
  6. ^ Stromata 7,16,101,4 (Ed. Stählin): ὁ τῷ κυρίῳ πειθόμενος καὶ τῇ δοθείσῃ δι' αὐτοῦ κατακολουθήσας προφητείᾳ τελέως ἐκτελεῖται κατ' εἰκόνα τοῦ διδασκάλου ἐν σαρκὶ περιπολῶν θεός
  7. ^ "Αὐτὸς γὰρ ἐνηνθρώπισεν, ἵνα ἡμεῖς θεοποιηθῶμεν (Migne, Patrologia Graeca, 25, 192 B De incarnatione Verbi, 54: literally, "... that we might become ...", not "that men might become". Grammatically, the verb θεοποιηθῶμεν could be translated as "be made God" or "be made gods": a more literal translation is "that we might be deified".
  8. ^ Augustine, Confessions, book 7, chapter 10
  9. ^ a b Allan Fitzgerald, John C. Cavadini (editors), Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia (Eerdmans 1999 ISBN 0-8028-3843-X), article "Deification, Divinization"
  10. ^ Michael J. Christensen, "The Problem, Promise, and Process of Theosis" in Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions" (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 978-0-8386-4111-8), p. 25
  11. ^ Christ the Educator, 1.6, quoted in Christensen 2007, p. 25
  12. ^ Discourse on the Holy Theophany, 8
  13. ^ Philosophoumena, X.34, quoted in Craig White (compiler), "Early Doctrines of the Eastern Churches".
  14. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, 460
  15. ^ Summa Theologiae I-II.112.1
  16. ^ Summa Theologiae I-II.110.1
  17. ^ Summa Theologiae III.1.2
  18. ^ Michael J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung (editors), Partakers of the Divine Nature (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 0-8386-4111-3), p. 259
  19. ^ *Johnston, The Mirror Mind: Zen-Christian Dialogue, p. 69 - "For as Jesus is divine, so the human race is divinized in his body. This is a teaching of the church fathers ... all speak about the "divinization" or "deification" of man. Augustine does not hesitate to use the Latin word deificari ... 'Through the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in his divinity who humbled himself to share in our humanity'."
  20. ^ O. Espín, James B. Nickoloff (editors), An Introductory Dictionary of Theology and Religious studies, p. 614 - "... being's mysterious possibility of sharing the divine life, the creature's openness to divinization. ... ancient prayer preserved in the liturgy: "By the mystery of this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, ..."
  21. ^ Plater, Deacons in the Liturgy, p. 52 - "While pouring the water, the deacon may pray quietly: 'By the mystery ...' The theology behind the prayer, used in the Roman rite, dates from the early church, and reflects the Orthodox concept of theosis..."
  22. ^ a b c George M. Sauvage, "Mysticism" in Catholic Encyclopedia
  23. ^ Saint Gregory the Great wrote of "the Eternal Brightness" seen by "some while still living in this corruptible flesh, yet growing in incalculable power by a certain piercingness of contemplation" (Saint Gregory the Great, Moralia, book 18, 89).
  24. ^ Arthur Devine, "State or Way" in Catholic Encyclopedia
  25. ^ Joseph Stiglmayr, "Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite" in Catholic Encyclopedia
  26. ^ Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue (Paulist Press 1980 ISBN 0-8091-2233-2), p. 147
  27. ^ Ascent of Mount Carmel, chapter V
  28. ^ Ninety-six Sermons by Lancelot Andrewes, page 109
  29. ^ http://www.quodlibet.net/tan-union.shtml
  30. ^ The Life of God in the Soul of Man by Henry Scougal, page 13
  31. ^ Our True Final Hope -The Theosis / Divinization / Deification Web Page
  32. ^ Book Information | Christian Classics Ethereal Library
  33. ^ THEOSIS as the goal human life by Archimandrite George Abbott
  34. ^ DEIFICATION AS THE PURPOSE OF MAN'S LIFE By Archimandrite George Abbott of the Holy Monastery of St. Gregorios on Mount Athos [1]
  35. ^ "Deification in Eastern Orthodox theology" ISBN 9780853649564
  36. ^ [2]
  37. ^ "Theology and Mysticism in the Tradition of the Eastern Church" from The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by V Lossky
  38. ^ An Orthodox Christian Study on Unceasing Prayer
  39. ^ "The undreamed has happened: God lives within us" ISBN 9781589660175
  40. ^ Theosis-The deification of man. According to the Orthodox Tradition, man’s purpose in life is to achieve union with God, and to become god by grace. Acquisition of the Holy Spirit; self-realization.[3]
  41. ^ Hesychasm, then, which is centered on the enlightenment or deification (Θέωσις, or theosis, in Greek) of man, perfectly encapsulates the soteriological principles and full scope of the spiritual life of the Eastern Church. As Bishop Auxentios of Photiki writes: [W]e must understand the Hesychastic notions of ‘theosis’ and the vision of Uncreated Light, the vision of God, in the context of human salvation. Thus, according to St. Nicodemos the Hagiorite (†1809): ‘Know that if your mind is not deified by the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for you to be saved.’17 Before looking in detail at what it was that St. Gregory Palamas’ opponents found objectionable in his Hesychastic theology and practices, let us briefly examine the history of the Hesychastic Controversy proper. English version: Archbishop Chrysostomos, Orthodox and Roman Catholic Relations from the Fourth Crusade to the Hesychastic Controversy (Etna, CA: Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 2001), pp. 199‒232 [4]
  42. ^ Coming back to theological and anthropological problems, we can see at once that Hesychasm is indeed such a field, in which theology and anthropology meet and almost merge together. It is spiritual or mystico-ascetic practice, and, as I explain in my other Hongkong lecture, spiritual practice is such anthropological strategy that is oriented to a goal, which does not belong to the horizon of man’s empiric existence. This goal is, in other words, meta-anthropological, and so it obtains its characteristics not from usual experience of empiric being, but from basic postulates of the religious tradition, to which the corresponding practice belongs. In the case of Hesychasm, the goal is defined by the Orthodox doctrine as deification (theosis, in Greek), which is conceived as the perfect union of all man’s energies with the Divine Energy (God’s grace). This concept has a specific dual nature: it belongs to dogmatic theology, but at the same time it represents the goal, to which ascetic works are oriented and which they approach actually, according to all the rich corpus of ascetic texts with the first-hand descriptions of hesychast experience. Thus it is both theological and anthropological concept. CHRISTIAN ANTHROPOLOGY AND EASTERN-ORTHODOX (HESYCHAST) ASCETICISM Prof. Dr. Sergey S. Horujy [5]
  43. ^ a b c Hesychasm article on the Catholic Encyclopedia online
  44. ^ Metamorphosis: The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theology and Iconography (St Vladimir's Seminary Press 2005, ISBN 0-88141-295-3), p. 215
  45. ^ a b The Greek Church in The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911) Retrieved 10 September 2010
  46. ^ Meyendorff (editor),Gregory Palamas - The Triads, p. xi
  47. ^ "Several Western scholars contend that the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas himself is compatible with Roman Catholic thought on the matter" (J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung (editors), Partakers of the Divine Nature (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 0-8386-4111-3), p. 243).
  48. ^ J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung (editors), Partakers of the Divine Nature (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 0-8386-4111-3), p. 243
  49. ^ J. Christensen, Jeffery A. Wittung (editors), Partakers of the Divine Nature (Associated University Presses 2007 ISBN 0-8386-4111-3), p. 244
  50. ^ Ware in Oxford Companion to Christian Thought (Oxford University Press 2000 ISBN 0-10-860024-0), p. 186
  51. ^ Pope John Paul II, Orientale Lumen
  52. ^ "Theosis and Exaltation: In Dialogue". http://ash.byu.edu/publications/papers/?paperID=7&chapterID=63. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  53. ^ Hardy, Grant R. (1992), "Godhood", in Ludlow, Daniel H., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Mcmillan, pp. 553–55, ISBN 0-02-904040-X, http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/u?/EoM,3734  (defining godhood as a state of "having all divine attributes and doing as God does and being as God is", a state of godhood which is available to "all resurrected and perfected mortals").
  54. ^ Widmer, Kurt (2000), Mormonism and the Nature of God: A Theological Evolution, 1830–1915, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, p. 119 . Alexander, Thomas, The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine: From Joseph Smith to Progressive Theology  in Bergera, Gary James, ed. (1989), Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Signature Books  (describing Joseph Smith's doctrine as "material anthropomorphism"). Bloom, Harold (1992), The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation (1st ed.), New York: Simon & Schuster, p. 101, ISBN 9780671679972  ("Smith's God, after all, began as a man, and struggled heroically in and with time and space, rather after the pattern of colonial and revolutionary Americans."). Bushman, Richard Lyman (2005), Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, New York: Knopf, pp. 534–37, ISBN 1400042704 .
  55. ^ Larson, Stan (1978), "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text", BYU Studies 18 (2): 193–208 (at p. 7 online ver.), http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=5321 .
  56. ^ Widmer (2000, p. 119).
  57. ^ See http://greater-emmanuel.org/jg/2006/jg_06_02.html, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYCO8Gv4PP8, and http://www.christianuniversalist.org/articles/beyondhell.html
  58. ^ http://www.christianuniversalist.org/faq.html#faith, http://www.christianuniversalist.org/articles/divinization.html
  59. ^ See http://www.hearingthetruthofgod.com/id69.html and http://www.hearingthetruthofgod.com/id349.html
  60. ^ September 5
  • Anstall, Kharalambos (2007). "Juridical Justification Theology and a Statement of the Orthodox Teaching," Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ". Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 
  • Lossky, Vladimir (1997). The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. ISBN 978-0-913836-31-6. 
  • Gross, Jules (2003). The Divinization of the Christian According to the Greek Fathers. A & C Press. ISBN 978-0-7363-1600-2. 
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pauline Books & Media. 1994. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-8198-1519-4. 

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