Chapter

The External Activity of the Godhead: Incarnation

Torstein Theodor Tollefsen

in Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199605965
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605965.003.0006

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The External Activity of the Godhead: Incarnation

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In this chapter the Incarnation is treated as a primary instance of divine external activity. Focus is on the divine activity in relation to human activity in the ontology of the God-man (communicatio idiomatum) according to Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. The activity of the divine nature in the humanity of Christ is considered as an act of participation. Special attention is given to Maximus’ ontological analysis of essence and activity, which is applicable both on the ontology of the Incarnation and on the doctrine of deification of human beings.

Keywords: communicatio idiomatum; divine activity; external activity; essence; deification; Gregory of Nyssa; human activity; Incarnation; Maximus the Confessor; ontology; participation

Chapter.  10939 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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