Chapter

The Road to Salvation

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/9780199605965.003.0007

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The Road to Salvation

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The chapter investigates the doctrine of deification in Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. Gregory understands virtue as a mimetic activity. He considers deification as an act of participation in divine activity present within the recipient, not in a created gift of grace. Maximus the Confessor teaches spiritual development in three stages that culminates in deification, of which Maximus has a rather strong or radical view. Participation is distinctly understood as the presence of divine activity in the recipient, in such a way that human activities may be executed in a divine mode. According to Maximus, man transcends the natural limits of his being because of the active presence of God’s transforming grace.

Keywords: deification; divine activity; divine mode; grace; Gregory of Nyssa; human activity; Maximus the Confessor; mimetic activity; participation; spiritual development; virtue

Chapter.  10603 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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