Author Topic: History of Deification  (Read 379 times)

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Offline Justin Kissel

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History of Deification
« on: March 02, 2014, 11:03:11 PM »
I'm curious as to whether anyone knows of an (at least somewhat) scholarly book detailing the history of the concept of deification within Christian thought. Most of the books I've read or looked over seem to be light on the history of it, and usually just mention a few Scripture passages (Ps. 82:6; 2 Pet. 1:4; etc.) and a few Church Fathers (Sts. Irenaeus, Athanasius, etc.) as a brief basis for the bulk of the work, which is a discussion about the meaning of the concept and how it is worked out (theologically and practically). What I'm more interested in is who used the concept in the early Church and to what extent, how it became a forgotten or unused concept for centuries in some parts of Orthodoxy, how and where the concept came back into vogue in the 20th century, and why it has now come to be viewed, for at least some, as the Orthodox concept of salvation (rather than merely one way of understanding salvation among many).
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Offline Nephi

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 11:55:55 PM »
how and where the concept came back into vogue in the 20th century, and why it has now come to be viewed, for at least some, as the Orthodox concept of salvation (rather than merely one way of understanding salvation among many).

Perhaps this ties into the "neo-Patristic" movement? Seems to fit the content and time frame, and I read is supposed to have been kick-started by Fr. George Florovsky. Maybe that's a place to start looking for the revival of it at least. Also looking at detractors of the neo-Patristic movement might reveal history about its absence.

But as for a single book, no idea.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 11:56:32 PM by Nephi »

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2014, 12:36:47 AM »
I am not sure why I didn't post again here back in March, but that's a good idea, maybe I will try to work on that this summer, and try to discern which books might have some deep bibliographies...  :)
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline Tallitot

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2014, 12:57:49 AM »
I so misread the title of this thread.
Proverbs 22:7

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 12:59:25 AM »
I so misread the title of this thread.

I guess it'd be the same mistake my Father once made when he saw the cover of the book I was reading, 'Deification in Christ'  :o
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 12:59:55 AM by Asteriktos »
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline minasoliman

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 01:03:15 AM »
I always thought Ephesians 3, with verse 19 as the climactic part of the chapter, seems to open the door to deification a bit, if not in a evocative sense in verse 19.

Have you considered Normal Russell's book "The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition"?

In my opinion, and I'm merely speculating, that the reason of forgetting the doctrine of deification might have some Islamic/Aristotelian influence.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 01:06:07 AM by minasoliman »
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Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 01:11:39 AM »
Interesting, that part of Ephesians...   :)  ???  Also thanks for mentioning the book; it's a bit pricy, but I had it on my list, and looking at the table of contents it seems like a good place to start (though I will also try to work backwards from the 20th century writers as well, as Nephi suggesred).
"My doubt in Christ is not like that of a child; it was forged in a furnace of faith." - Dostoevsky

Offline Nephi

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Re: History of Deification
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 02:16:53 AM »
Interesting, that part of Ephesians...   :)  ???  Also thanks for mentioning the book; it's a bit pricy, but I had it on my list, and looking at the table of contents it seems like a good place to start (though I will also try to work backwards from the 20th century writers as well, as Nephi suggesred).

Do eventually report back with your findings, even if you don't remember this thread for another few months or more. ;)