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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 Road to Salvation

The Road to Salvation

Chapter:
(p.159) 6 The Road to Salvation
Source:
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought
Author(s):

Torstein Theodor Tollefsen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605965.003.0007

The chapter investigates the doctrine of deification in Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor. Gregory understands virtue as a mimetic activity. He considers deification as an act of participation in divine activity present within the recipient, not in a created gift of grace. Maximus the Confessor teaches spiritual development in three stages that culminates in deification, of which Maximus has a rather strong or radical view. Participation is distinctly understood as the presence of divine activity in the recipient, in such a way that human activities may be executed in a divine mode. According to Maximus, man transcends the natural limits of his being because of the active presence of God’s transforming grace.

Keywords:   deification, divine activity, divine mode, grace, Gregory of Nyssa, human activity, Maximus the Confessor, mimetic activity, participation, spiritual development, virtue

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