Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought is an investigation into two basic concepts of ancient pagan and Christian thought. The study examines how activity in Christian thought is connected with the topic of participation: for the lower levels of being to participate in the higher means to receive the divine activity into their own ontological constitution. Torstein Theodor Tollefsen sets a detailed discussion of the work of church fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas in the context of earlier trends in Aristotelian and Neoplatonist philosophy. His concern is to highlight how the Church Fathers thought energeia (i.e. activity or energy) is manifested as divine activity in the eternal constitution of the Trinity, the creation of the cosmos, the Incarnation of Christ, and in salvation understood as deification.
"... T. is successful in showing that echoes of Palamas's distinction between the essence and energies of God can be dated to Late Antiquity... T.'s work will be helpful to anyone seeking to comprehend difficult and important philosophical concepts as adapted by Christian theologians. This book is a welcome step in our understanding of how philosophy has contributed to the explication of Christian theology." --Theological Studies