Actions, Agents, Agency, and Explanation in Athanasius

William J. Abraham

in Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume II

Published in print November 2017 | ISBN: 9780198786511
Published online November 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191828799 | DOI:
Actions, Agents, Agency, and Explanation in Athanasius

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In this chapter, the author engages the theology of the fourth-century bishop Athanasius. For Athanasius, given the kind of agent that God is, God’s coming in Christ is a coherent and intelligible action, because God has the capacity and motivation to act in the way he did in Christ. Thus the author engages this primary claim in the chapter, exploring the various facets of Athanasius’ motif of agency and action. First, the author examines the treatise Contra Gentes and there engages Athanasius’ maxim that actions make manifest the identity and nature of the agent who performs them. Second, he explores how this maxim applies to discerning the identity of Jesus Christ, and third, he concludes by offering a brief commentary that highlights how Athanasius can contribute to contemporary thinking on divine agency and divine action.

Keywords: Athanasius; incarnation; Jesus Christ; divine action; identity; agency; discipleship

Chapter.  10866 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology ; Philosophy of Religion

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