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Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume IISoundings in the Christian Tradition$
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William J. Abraham

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198786511.001.0001

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Actions, Agents, Agency, and Explanation in Athanasius

Actions, Agents, Agency, and Explanation in Athanasius

(p.42) 3 Actions, Agents, Agency, and Explanation in Athanasius
Divine Agency and Divine Action, Volume II

William J. Abraham

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, the author engages the theology of the fourth-century bishop Athanasius. For Athanasius, given the kind of agent that God is, God’s coming in Christ is a coherent and intelligible action, because God has the capacity and motivation to act in the way he did in Christ. Thus the author engages this primary claim in the chapter, exploring the various facets of Athanasius’ motif of agency and action. First, the author examines the treatise Contra Gentes and there engages Athanasius’ maxim that actions make manifest the identity and nature of the agent who performs them. Second, he explores how this maxim applies to discerning the identity of Jesus Christ, and third, he concludes by offering a brief commentary that highlights how Athanasius can contribute to contemporary thinking on divine agency and divine action.

Keywords:   Athanasius, incarnation, Jesus Christ, divine action, identity, agency, discipleship

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