Chapter

The Theme of Divinization

Michael J. McClymond and Gerald R. McDermott

in The Theology of Jonathan Edwards

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199791606
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199791606.003.0026
The Theme of Divinization

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Edwards's theology was in tension with traditional Calvinism at a number of points, including the concept of divinization. Although Edwards had no access to patristic and later Orthodox writings, his theology on this point shows resemblance to their views. The proximate source for Edwards's ideas was likely the writings of the seventeenth-century Cambridge Platonists. Edwards's teaching on divinization rested on several key ideas: a notion of divine light that conformed human beings to God's character; an immediacy of contact and connection between God and humanity in the state of grace; a distinction between spiritual experience and the divine “essence”; and a notion of unceasing spiritual development in this life and the next.

Keywords: divinization; deification; Orthodoxy; Neoplatonism; Cambridge Platonists; communication; participation; emanation; participation; divine light

Chapter.  6389 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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