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Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought$
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Torstein Theodor Tollefsen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605965.001.0001

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The External Activity of the Godhead: Incarnation

The External Activity of the Godhead: Incarnation

(p.133) 5 The External Activity of the Godhead: Incarnation
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought

Torstein Theodor Tollefsen

Oxford University Press

In this chapter the Incarnation is treated as a primary instance of divine external activity. Focus is on the divine activity in relation to human activity in the ontology of the God-man (communicatio idiomatum) according to Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. The activity of the divine nature in the humanity of Christ is considered as an act of participation. Special attention is given to Maximus’ ontological analysis of essence and activity, which is applicable both on the ontology of the Incarnation and on the doctrine of deification of human beings.

Keywords:   communicatio idiomatum, divine activity, external activity, essence, deification, Gregory of Nyssa, human activity, Incarnation, Maximus the Confessor, ontology, participation

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