The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition  -     By: Norman Russell
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The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition

Oxford University Press / 2006 / Paperback

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Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition provides a comprehensive survey of both pagan philosophical and Greek patristic approaches to theosis (or divinization) from late antiquity through the seventh century. Theosis was considered the fulfillment of the destiny for which humanity was created - not merely salvation from sin but entry into the fullness of the divine life. Norman Russell traces the history of deification from its birth as a second-century metaphor with biblical roots to its maturity as a doctrine central to the spiritual life of the Byzantine Church. Russell presents new insight into the discourse between early Christianity and the Graeco-Roman culture, while offering a full discussion of the background and context of the doctrine, at the same time highlighting its distinctively Christian character. In addition, Russell draws attention to the richness and diversity of the patristic approaches by drawing upon the early works of Irenaeus and citing the fathers through the 7th century writings of Maximus the Confessor.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 432
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2006
ISBN: 0199205973
ISBN-13: 9780199205974
Availability: In Stock
Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

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Publisher's Description

Deification in the Greek patristic tradition was the fulfillment of the destiny for which humanity was created - not merely salvation from sin but entry into the fullness of the divine life of the Trinity. This book, the first on the subject for over sixty years, traces the history of deification from its birth as a second-century metaphor with biblical roots to its maturity as a doctrine central to the spiritual life of the Byzantine Church. Drawing attention to the richness and diversity of the patristic approaches from Irenaeus to Maximus the Confessor, Norman Russell offers a full discussion of the background and context of the doctrine, at the same time highlighting its distinctively Christian character.

Author Bio


Norman Russell was formerly Vice-Provost of the London Oratory and is now an independent scholar.

Editorial Reviews


"This book will be recognized as the oustanding study of its subject. Essential."--CHOICE


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