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PRO ORIENTE

BAND XXXVII

WIENER PATRISTISCHE TAGUNGEN VI


Wiener Patristische Tagungen
Forscher aus dem Osten und Westen Europas an den Quellen des
gemeinsamen Glaubens

I. Y. de Andia, P. L. Hofrichter (Hgg.)


Christus bei den Vätern, Pro Oriente 27 (2004)

II. Y. de Andia, P. L. Hofrichter (Hgg.)


Der Heilige Geist im Leben der Kirche, Pro Oriente 29 (2005)

III. Y. de Andia, P. L. Hofrichter (Hgg.)


Gott Vater und Schöpfer, Pro Oriente 31 (2007)

IV. . Hainthaler, F. Mali, G. Emmenegger (Hgg.)


Einheit und Katholizität der Kirche, Pro Oriente 32 (2009)

V. . Hainthaler, F. Mali, G. Emmenegger (Hgg.)


Heiligkeit und Apostolizität der Kirche, Pro Oriente 35 (2010)
PRO ORIENTE
BAND XXXVII

WIENER PATRISTISCHE TAGUNGEN VI

FÜR UNS UND


FÜR UNSER HEIL
SOTERIOLOGIE
IN OST UND WEST

Forscher aus dem Osten und Westen Europas


an den Quellen des gemeinsamen Glaubens

Studientagung
Esztergom, 3.–5. Oktober 2012
“For Us and for Our Salvation” – Soteriology in East and West
« Pour nous et pour notre salut » – Sotériologie vue de l’Orient et de l’Occident

Herausgegeben von
eresia Hainthaler, Franz Mali, Gregor Emmenegger und
Mantė Lenkaitytė Ostermann

TYROLIA-VERLAG · INNSBRUCK-WIEN
Veröffentlicht mit Unterstützung des
Bundesministeriums für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur und des
Bundesministeriums für Wissenscha und Forschung, Wien

Mitglied der Verlagsgruppe „engagement“

Bibliografische Information der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek


Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek verzeichnet diese Publikation in der Deutschen
Nationalbibliografie; detaillierte bibliografische Daten sind im Internet über
http://dnb.d-nb.de abruar.

2014
© Verlagsanstalt Tyrolia, Innsbruck
Umschlaggestaltung: Hedwig Bledl
Druck und Bindung: Alcione, Lavis (I)
ISBN 978-3-7022-3351-8
E-Mail: buchverlag@tyrolia.at
Internet: www.tyrolia-verlag.at
Inhaltsverzeichnis

Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria


Greetings to the Participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Évêque Atanáz Orosz, exarque de Miskolc


Bienvenue aux participants du colloque . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Patriarch Bechara Boutros Cardinal Raï


Greetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

eresia Hainthaler
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

For Us and for Our Salvation


Taras Khomych
e Concept of Salvation in First Clement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Paul Mattei
« Dieu n’est pas mort » : Remarques sur la christologie et la sotério-
logie du De Trinitate de Novatien . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35

Ysabel de Andia
« Opus Spiritus salus carnis »
Le salut de la chair selon Irénée de Lyon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Franz Mali
Descendit ad inferos. Das Heil Christi für den verstorbenen ‚Adam‘.
Erlösung nach dem Nikodemus-Evangelium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
6 Inhaltsverzeichnis

René Roux
La sotériologie du Liber Graduum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

Gregor Emmenegger
Heil und Heilung: Medizin als Metapher für Erlösung bei Basilius . . 91

Ivan Christov
Synergetic Aspects in St. Gregory of Nyssa’s Teaching on the Salva-
tion of Man . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

Daniel Buda
Die soteriologischen Aspekte der anti-apollinaristischen Polemik in
den Katechetischen Homilien eodors von Mopsuestia und in den
Tauatechesen des Johannes Chrysostomus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113

Lenka Karfíková
Semet ipsum exinanivit: Der Logos–Erlöser nach Marius Victorinus . 127

Vít Hušek
Duplex gratia: Ambrosiaster and the Two Aspects of his Soteriology 151

Michel Stavrou
Liberté et salut chez saint Augustin et saint Jean Cassien :
un débat sotériologique entre Occident et Orient chrétiens . . . . . . . . 161

Mantė Lenkaitytė Ostermann


Magna loci gratia : désert, lieu de salut selon Eucher de Lyon . . . . . . . 181

Dominique Gonnet SJ
Sacrifice et salut selon saint Augustin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197

Alexey Fokin
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church:
A Reconsideration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

Vittorino Grossi
Augustine’s Soteriology Regarding Original Sin: Ancient Questions
and Research Orientations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Inhaltsverzeichnis 7

Daria Morozova
eodoret of Cyrus and Leo the Great: ‘In Different Languages’ on
the Same Salvation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245

eresia Hainthaler
Soteriologie in der Definition von Chalcedon und im Tomus Leonis 257

Ovidiu Ioan
„Sie schneiden die Hoffnung unserer Natur von der Erlösung ab...“:
Das soteriologische Argument bei Īšōcjahb III. (649–659) . . . . . . . . . . 269

Ioannis Kourempeles
Die Sündlosigkeit und das Leiden Christi in der Soteriologie des
Romanos Melodos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281

Torstein eodor Tollefsen


St Maximus the Confessor’s Doctrine of Deification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297

Mariyan Stoyadinov
e soteriological argument in the context of Iconoclastic Contro-
versy: St John Damascene and St eodore the Studite . . . . . . . . . . . . 303

Cyril Hovorun
Borders of Salvation: Reading Fathers with Russian eologians . . . . 313

Petr Mikhaylov
e Christian Fact as a Historical Event: Patristic and Contempo-
rary Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323

Georgios Martzelos
Ursünde und Erlösung nach den griechischen Kirchenvätern . . . . . . 335

Demetrios Bathrellos
Love and Forgiveness versus Justice and Punishment?: Purgatory
and the Question of the Forgiveness of Sins at the Council of Ferrara–
Florence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355

Wladimir Baschkirow
Der Tod des Menschen im Heilsplan Gottes: Der metaphysische
und sittlich–geistige Aspekt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375
8 Inhaltsverzeichnis

Daniel Munteanu
eosis und Perichoresis in den eologien von Gregor von Nazi-
anz und Maximus Confessor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389

Communiqué
Press Communiqué
Patristic Colloquy “For us and for our salvation”
Soteriology in East and West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 409

Berichte
eresia Hainthaler
Soteriologie in Ost und West
Orthodox-katholische Patrologentagung in Esztergom . . . . . . . . . . . . 418

Дарья Морозова
«Нас ради человек и нашего ради спасения». Сотериология на
Востоке и на Западе . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 421

Алексей Муравьев
Кто, как и зачем изучает наследие отцов Церкви . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425

Register

Biblische Schrien . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 433


Frühchristliche und anonyme Schrien . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437
Antike und mittelalterliche Autoren und Personennamen . . . . . . . . . 438
Moderne Autoren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 441
Abkürzungen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447
Alexey Fokin, Moscow (Russia)

e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church:


A Reconsideration
According to the common opinion of modern Orthodox theologians, the so-
teriological doctrine of the Western Church does not consider the deification
of mankind to be the final purpose of the economy of our salvation. e doc-
trine of deification is commonly accepted as a distinctive feature of the Eastern
Orthodox theological tradition. I suppose that in some sense it is not untrue,
because from the time of St Irenaeus and St Athanasius in the Christian East
the deification of man, made possible due to the incarnation of the Son of God,
has always been viewed as a crucial soteriological doctrine of the Christian
Church. In addition, in the whole corpus of Latin Patristic literature we can not
find a Latin equivalent for such related Greek terms as θέωσις or θεοποίησις:
for the first time the well-known term deificatio occurs only in the IX cen-
tury in the translations of the Corpus Areopagiticum, completed by Hilduin
and John Scott Eriugena, from where it was transmitted into Latin Medieval
theology. However, it does not mean that the concept of deification was com-
pletely alien to the Western Church. Indeed, we can find many examples of
this concept in the writings of Western Fathers of the Church of the first six
centuries A.D. Let us consider some distinctive cases of it.
Tertullian, as the first theologian of the West, like St Irenaeus points out a
close connection between the incarnation of the Son of God and our union
with God:

‘e Son ... is the Witness and Servant of the Father, uniting in Himself man and
God,—God in mighty deeds, in weak ones man, in order that He may give to man
as much as He takes from God. What in your esteem is the entire disgrace of my
God, is in fact the mystery of man’s salvation. God held converse with man so that
man might learn to act as God. God dealt on equal terms with man so that man
might be able to deal on equal terms with God. God was found little so that man
might become very great’¹.

¹ Tert., Adv. Marc. 2, 27 (PL 2, 317BC; ANF Select Library, online version): ‘Quaecumque
autem ut indigna reprehenditis, deputabuntur in Filio, et viso, et audito, et congresso, arbitro
Patris et ministro, miscente in semetipso hominem et Deum; in virtutibus, Deum; in pusil-
litatibus, hominem; ut tantum homini conferat, quantum Deo detrahit: totum denique Dei
208 Alexey Fokin

As St Augustine aer him, Tertullian links the deification of man not to human
efforts, but to God’s grace:

‘We shall be even gods, if we shall deserve to be among those of whom He declared: ‘I
have said, you are gods’ (Ps 81:1), and, ‘God stands in the congregation of gods’ (Ps
81:6). But this comes of His own grace, not from any property in us, because it is He
alone who can make gods’².

St Cyprian of Carthage in a greater degree than Tertullian connects the concept


of deification of human beings with their adoption to God as sons through the
only begotten Son of God, Who became the Son of man:

‘e Father sent the Son to preserve us and give us life, in order that He might restore
us; and the Son was willing to be sent and to become the Son of man, that He might
make us sons of God; He humbled Himself, that He might raise up the people who
before were prostrate; He was wounded that He might heal our wounds; He served,
that He might draw out to liberty those who were in servitude; He underwent death,
that He might set forth immortality to mortals’³.

Moreover, in the treatise De idolorum vanitate (ca. 248), attributed to St Cyprian


by such ancient authors as St Jerome and St Augustine, we find a classical for-
mula of deification similar to that of Irenaeus⁴:

‘What man is, Christ was willing to be, that man also may be what Christ is’⁵.

A hundred years later St Ambrose of Milan explained a similar formula more


plainly:

mei penes vos dedecus, sacramentum est humanae salutis. Conversabatur Deus, ut homo di-
vine agere doceretur. Ex aequo agebat Deus cum homine, ut homo ex aequo agere cum Deo
posset. Deus pusillus inventus est, ut homo maximus fieret’.
² Tert., Adv. Herm. 5 (PL 2, 202B; ANF Select Library): ‘Nam et dei erimus, si meruimus
illi esse de quibus praedicavit: Ego dixi: vos dei estis; et, stetit Deus in ecclesia deorum, sed
ex gratia ipsius, non ex nostra proprietate, quia ipse est solus qui deos faciat’.
³ Cypr., De opere et eleem. 1 (PL 4, 601D–603A; ANF Select Library): ‘Conservandis ac
vivificandis nobis Pater Filium misit, ut reparare nos posset, quodque Filius missus esse et
hominis filius fieri voluit ut nos Dei filios faceret. Humiliavit se, ut populum qui prius jacebat
erigeret: vulneratus est, ut vulnera nostra curaret: servivit, ut ad libertatem servientes extra-
heret: mori sustinuit, ut immortalitatem mortalibus exhiberet’. Cf. Ad Demetr. 25; Ep. 56, 6.
⁴ Iren. Lugd., Adv. haer. 5, Praef. (PG 7, 1120B): ‘Verbum Dei, Jesum Christum Dominum
nostrum, qui propter immensam suam dilectionem factus est quod sumus nos, uti nos per-
ficeret esse quod est ipse’. See also: Ibid. 3, 16, 3; 3, 19, 1; Greg. Naz., Or. 29, 19.
⁵ De idol. vanit. 11 (PL 4, 579A; ANF Select Library): ‘Quod homo est esse Christus voluit,
ut et homo possit esse quod Christus est’. Cf. Athan. Alex., De incarn. Verbi 54.
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church 209

‘e Son of God took on Himself that which He was not so that He might hide that
which He was; He hid that which He was so that He might be tempted in it, and that
which He was not, might be redeemed, in order that He might call us by means of
that which He was not, to that which He was’⁶.

In other words, being God by His nature, the Son of God took upon Him-
self the human nature He had not possessed before, both to redeem it from
sins, and to call on us to participate in His divinity through His humanity.
A contemporary of St Cyprian, Roman presbyter Novatian, explains this idea
even more clearly. According to him, the incarnation of the Son of God is a
guarantee of salvation and deification of all men:
‘If the Son of God came to man so that He might be ‘Mediator of God and men’ (1
Tim 2:5), it was necessary for Him to be with man, and for the Word to be made
flesh, so that in His own self He might link together the agreement of earthly things
with heavenly things, by associating in Himself pledges of both natures, and uniting
God to man and man to God; so that reasonably the Son of God might be made by
the assumption of flesh the Son of man, and the Son of man by the reception of the
Word of God the Son of God. is most profound and recondite mystery, destined
before the worlds for the salvation of the mankind, is found to be fulfilled in the
Lord Jesus Christ, both God and man, that the mankind might be placed within the
reach of the enjoyment of eternal salvation’⁷.

e Western theologians of the IV century, especially those who were pro-
foundly influenced by Eastern theology, provide us with more examples of us-
ing the concept of deification. Indeed, Gregory, the bishop of Elvira, a partisan
of luciferiani, not only draws a close parallel between the Old Adam and the
New Adam, the way it had been done before by St Irenaeus, but also proclaims
the transfiguration and deification of the human nature in Christ:
‘Aer the sin of the first man, when the time of condemnation had been fulfilled,
the Saviour came and took the two natures of God and man on Himself, and Adam
⁶ Ambros., De Spir. Sanct. 1, 107 (PL 16, 730AB; NPNF Select Library, online version): ‘Sus-
cepit enim, quod non erat, ut celaret quod erat, celavit quod erat, ut temptaretur in eo et
redimeretur quod non erat, ut ad id quod erat per id quod non erat nos vocaret’.
⁷ Novat., De Trinit. 23 (PL 3, 932B; ANF Select Library): ‘Quoniam si ad hominem veniebat
ut mediator Dei et hominum esse deberet, oportuit illum cum eo esse, et Verbum carnem
fieri, ut in semet ipso concordiam confibularet terrenorum pariter atque caelestium, dum
utriusque partis in se connectens pignora, et Deum homini, et hominem Deo copularet; ut
merito Filius Dei per assumptionem carnis Filius hominis, et Filius hominis per receptionem
Dei Verbi Filius Dei effici possit. Hoc altissimum atque reconditum sacramentum ad salutem
generis humani ante saecula destinatum, in Domino Jesu Christo Deo et homine invenitur
impleri, quo conditio generis humani ad fructum aeternae salutis posset adduci’.
210 Alexey Fokin

became like God, because Christ became like Adam, upon whom He, as I have said,
for the sake of His assumption, bestowed both the divine image and likeness of the
divine life, and endowed him with immortality through the resurrection of His body,
and in Himself placed man into heaven, from where the Word descended, for him
who was man in the beginning, to become god due to the assumption of God, as it is
written: ‘I have said, You are gods, and you are all sons of the Most High’ (Ps 81:6)’⁸.

e deification of humanity was regarded both in the East⁹ and in the West
as being in a close connection with the concept of the ascension of humanity
into heaven and its session at the right hand of the Father. Indeed, according
to St Jerome, in Christ we have received the fullness of Deity and ascended not
to Eden, but into heaven:

‘erefore, the Lord’s being insulted is our glorification. He died, so that we might
live. He descended into hell, so that we might ascend into heaven. He went mad, so
that we might become wise. He exhausted Himself out of the fullness of ‘the image
of God’ (Phil 2:6), having taken ‘the image of slave’ (Phil 2:7) upon Himself, so that
‘the fullness of Deity’ (Col 2:9) indwells in us and we might become masters out of
slaves’¹⁰.

Sts Leo and Gregory the Great add to this concept an Eastern doctrine of su-
periority of human beings to angels:

‘Before Christ was magnified with the glory of His resurrection, according to His
Godhead He was superior to angels. However, He was humiliated before angels ac-
cording to His humanity, by means of which He submitted Himself to death. But
aer He trampled down death by His resurrection, He extolled His humanity above
the majesty of Archangels. us, it is said, that He first appeared as the rone upon

⁸ Greg. Illiber., Fragm. in Gen. 3, 22 (CCL 69, V. Bulhart, 1967, p. 159; my own transla-
tion): ‘Ad quum post peccatum illius suppleto tempore condemnationis salbator adbenit et
utrasque substantias, dei et hominis, in semed ipso suscepit, tum factus est adam ut deus, quia
christus factus est ut adam, cui et diuinam imaginem et similitudinem diuinae conuersatio-
nis pro sua, ut loquutus sum, adsumptione donauit et aeternitatem atque immortalitatem per
corporis sui resurrectionem concessit et in caelos, unde uenerat uerbum, illuc hominem in
semet ipso impossuit, ut qui in principio fuerat homo, nunc adsumptione dei deus efficeretur,
sicut scriptum est: ego dixi: dii estis et filii excelsi omnes’.
⁹ Cf. Athan. Alex., C. Arian. 1, 45; Ioan. Chrys., In Hebr. Hom. 5, 1; In Matth. Hom. 1, 1; In
Ioan. Hom. 80, 2–3.
¹⁰ Hieron., Comm. in Gal. 3, 14 (PL 26, 363C; my own translation): ‘Iniuria itaque domini,
nostra gloria est. ille mortuus est, ut nos uiueremus. ille descendit ad inferos, ut nos ascen-
deremus ad coelum. ille factus est stultitia, ut nos sapientia fieremus. ille se de plenitudine et
de forma dei euacuauit, formam serui accipiens, ut in nobis habitaret plenitudo diuinitatis,
et domini fieremus e seruis’.
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church 211

the firmament, and then as a Man on the throne, since in His ascension the Re-
deemer of mankind extolled the humanity above angels,—namely the humanity
which He took upon Himself in His descension being inferior to angels’¹¹.
Another Western theologian, St Hilary of Poitiers, who was greatly influenced
by Greek Fathers, like St Irenaeus and St Athanasius, views the deification of
human nature as the principal purpose of the economy of our salvation in
Christ. Indeed, according to him
‘e Son of God was born of a Virgin, but He did not [become] the Son of God, at
the very moment that [He became] the Son of man, but the Son of man [was] also
in the Son of God, so that the Son of man might become the Son of God. He took
upon Himself the nature of the universal flesh, through which He became ‘the true
vine’ (John 15:1), possessing in Himself a universal offspring of mankind’¹².
‘e assumption of our nature was no advancement for God, but His willingness to
lower Himself is our promotion, for He did not resign His Deity but conferred [it]
on man so that man might become god’¹³.
‘We were raised because He was lowered; shame to Him was glory to us. He, being
God, made flesh His residence, and we in return are lied anew from the flesh to
God’¹⁴.
¹¹ Greg. Magn., Hom. in Ezech. 1, 8, 23–24 (PL 76, 864C; my own translation): ‘Qui et
priusquam per resurrectionis exaltaretur gloriam, divinitate super angelos fuit; sed tamen ab
angelis, ut dictum est, humanitate minoratus, ex qua morti subjacuit. At postquam mortem
resurgendo calcavit, humanitatem suam etiam majestatibus archangelorum superposuit.
Prius itaque thronus super firmamentum, et post homo super thronum visus esse describitur,
quia humani generis Redemptor humanitatem, quam descendendo sub angelis assumpsit, as-
cendendo super angelos exaltavit’. Сf. Leo Magn., Tract. 74 (CCL 138A, p. 455–456): ‘Sicut
ergo in sollemnitate paschali resurrectio nobis Domini fuit causa laetandi, ita ascensio eius
in caelos praesentium nobis est materia gaudiorum, recolentibus illum diem et rite ueneran-
tibus, quo natura nostrae humilitatis in Christo supra omnem caeli militiam, supra omnes
ordines angelorum, et ultra cunctarum altitudinem potestatum, ad Dei Patris est prouecta
consessum’.
¹² Hilar. Pict., Tr. Ps. 51, 16 (PL 9, 317C; my own translation): ‘Natus enim ex Virgine Dei
filius, non tum primum Dei filius cum filius hominis, sed in filio Dei etiam filius hominis, ut
et filius hominis esset filius Dei, naturam in se universae carnis assumpsit, per quam effectus
vera vitis, genus in se universae propaginis tenet’.
¹³ Hilar. Pict., De Trinit. 9, 4 (PL 10, 284A; NPNF Select Library): ‘Neque assumptio nostra
Deo profectus est: sed contumeliae suae voluntas, nostra provectio est, dum nec amittit ille
quod Deus est, et homini acquirit ut Deus sit’.
¹⁴ Hilar. Pict., De Trinit. 2, 25 (PL 10, 67A; NPNF Select Library): ‘Humilitas ejus nostra
nobilitas est, contumelia ejus honor noster est: quod ille Deus in carne consistens, hoc nos
vicissim in deum ex carne renovati’. Cf. Zeno Veron., Tract. I 13, 10 (CCL 22, p. 55): ‘Vtique,
fratres, calix sanguinem, mensa corpus, oleum donum spiritus sancti significat, uirga cum
baculo crucem, in qua deus pro homine pendere dignatus est, ut in deum hominem, quem
induerat, commutaret’.
212 Alexey Fokin

Like St Athanasius, St Hilary links our deification not only to the incarnation
of Christ, but also to our communion with the Godhead of Christ in the Eu-
charist:

‘If in truth the Word has been made flesh and we in truth receive the Word made
flesh as food from the Lord, are we not bound to believe that He abides in us natu-
rally, Who, born as man, has assumed the nature of our flesh now inseparable from
Himself, and has mixed the nature of His own flesh to the nature of His eternal
[Godhead] in the sacrament by which His flesh is communicated to us?’¹⁵

At the same time, being strongly inspired by the eschatological ideas of Origen,
St Hilary could not avoid some ambiguities in his doctrine of deification as the
final glorification of Christ’s humanity, because his texts produce an impres-
sion that for him deification means both the acquisition of divine properties,
and the transformation of the human nature into the divine nature. In fact,
St Hilary, like Origen before him¹⁶, speaks about the final perfect state of the
mankind in the following way:

‘Aer the enemies are subjected, He, that is the Lord, shall be subjected to Him Who
subjects all things to Himself, so that ‘God may be all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28). en the
nature of the Father’s divinity shall impose itself upon the nature of our body which
was assumed. It is thus that God shall be all in all: according to the dispensation
He becomes by His Godhead and His manhood ‘the Mediator between men and
God’ (1 Tim 2:5), and so by the dispensation He acquires the nature of flesh, and by
the subjection shall obtain the nature of God in all things, so as to be God not in part,
but wholly and entirely. e end of the subjection is then simply that God may be all
in all, that no trace of the nature of His earthly body may remain in Him. Although
before this time the two were combined within Him, He must now become only
God; not, however, by casting off the body, but by translating it through subjection;
not by losing it through dissolution, but by transfiguring it in glory: adding humanity
to His divinity, not divesting Himself of divinity by His humanity’¹⁷.

¹⁵ Hilar. Pict., De Trinit. 8, 13 (PL 10, 246A; NPNF Select Library): ‘Si enim vere Verbum
caro factum est, et vere nos Verbum carnem cibo dominico sumimus, quomodo non natu-
raliter manere in nobis existimandus est, qui et naturam carnis nostrae iam inseparabilem
sibi homo natus adsumpsit, et naturam carnis suae ad naturam aeternitatis sub sacramento
nobis communicandae carnis admiscuit?’ Cf. Athan. Alex., Ad Maxim. Phil. 2; Ioan. Damasc.,
De fide orth. 86.
¹⁶ Cf. Orig., De princ. 3, 6, 1–9.
¹⁷ Hilar. Pict., De Trinit. 11, 40 (PL 10, 425A–426A; NPNF Select Library): ‘Quibus subjectis,
subjicietur subjicienti sibi omnia, Dominus scilicet, ut sit Deus omnia in omnibus, naturae
assumpti corporis nostri natura paternae divinitatis invecta. Per id enim erit omnia in om-
nibus Deus, quia secundum dispensationem ex Deo et homine hominum Deique Mediator,
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church 213

us, although the concept of deification is expressed by St Hilary most plainly


and clearly, it led him to some non-orthodox conclusions, because he views
the deification of man as a radical transformation of the manhood and its dis-
solution in the Godhead.
A similar overestimation of the concept of deification can be found in the
writings of St John Cassian, who was also strongly influenced by the Eastern
theology. Indeed, like St Hilary and Greek Fathers, Cassian stresses the divinity
of Christ and the deification of His human nature¹⁸. According to him, the
deification of the humanity of Christ took place in the very moment of His
Nativity:

‘rough the glory of His holy Nativity the mystery of each substance is joined to-
gether in Him, and whatever was in existence—I mean both man and God—all be-
came God’¹⁹.

e divinized state of Christ’s humanity revealed itself more obviously aer


His resurrection and ascension into heaven, because, according to John Cas-
sian, at that time the flesh of Christ lost its natural fragility (cessante carnis
fragilitate) and obtained divine power (in sola Dei virtute)²⁰. e nature of
Christ’s flesh was changed into a spiritual substance, and what had earlier be-
longed to man, became entirely of God²¹. And everything that Christ is, now
exists in God (esse in Deo)²². is mutual connection and interpenetration of
Christ’s two natures was so close that, according to Cassian, ‘God and Jesus
exist in one and the same substance’²³.
habens in se ex dispensatione quod carnis est, adepturus in omnibus ex subjectione quod
Dei est, ne ex parte Deus sit, sed Deus totus. Non alia itaque subjectionis causa est, quam
ut omnia in omnibus Deus sit, nulla ex parte terreni in eo corporis residente natura, ut ante
in se duos continens, nunc Deus tantum sit; non abjecto corpore, sed ex subjectione trans-
lato; neque per defectionem abolito, sed ex clarificatione mutato; acquirens sibi Deo potius
hominem, quam Deum per hominem amittens’. Cf. Tr. Ps. 9, 4 etc.
¹⁸ See A. Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition (Oxford 1965) vol. 1, 394; ; 2nd rev. ed.
1975, 468.
¹⁹ Ioan. Cass., De incarn. 5, 7 (CSEL 17, M. Petschenig, 1888, p. 310; NPNF Select Library):
‘Ac sic unito sibi penitus per maiestatem sacrae natiuitatis utriusque substantiae sacramento,
quidquid erat, scilicet homo et deus, factum est totum deus’. Cf. De incarn. 3, 3; 4, 5; Ioan.
Damasc., De fide orthod. 56; Contr. Jacob. 83.
²⁰ Ioan. Cass., De incarn. 3, 5; 3, 3: CSEL 17, p. 266.
²¹ Ibid. 3, 3; 3, 4.
²² Ibid. 3, 6: CSEL 17, p. 267.
²³ Ibid. 3, 6 (CSEL 17, p. 267; NPNF Select Library): ‘In una eademque substantia Deum et
Jesum esse’. It is also possible that here the term substantia has a meaning of Greek hypostasis,
as in the following passage (ibid. 3, 7: CSEL 17, p. 270; NPNF Select Library): ‘Understand
then without any doubt that Christ is God; and when you see that the substance of God
214 Alexey Fokin

Of course, these expressions, peculiar to St Gregory of Nyssa²⁴ and remind-


ing us of Monophysite Christological formulae, do not mean any real absorp-
tion of the humanity of Christ by His divinity, but the deification of the for-
mer as a result of the perfect unity and interpenetration of the two natures.
However, St John Cassian, like St Hilary, surely overestimates the concept of
deification.
On the contrary, the doctrine of deification proposed by the greatest the-
ologian of the West, St Augustine of Hippo, does not contain such extreme
statements. But Augustine interprets this Eastern concept in rather a peculiar
way without being influenced by Greek Fathers. Nevertheless in Augustine we
can find many statements similar to the classical doctrine of deification in its
close relation to the incarnation of the Son of God. us, in the following texts
he states:

‘e blessed and beatifying God, having Himself become a partaker of our humanity,
has afforded us ready access to the participation of His divinity’²⁵.

‘ere is but one Son of God by nature, Who in His compassion became Son of man
for our sakes, so that we, by nature sons of men, might by grace become through
Him sons of God’²⁶.

‘‘Mediator between God and men’ (1 Tim 2:5), the man Christ Jesus, became a par-
taker of our mortality so that He might make us partakers of His divinity’²⁷.

‘He first became a partaker of your [nature], so that you could become a partaker of
the self-same [nature of the Godhead], and the Word became flesh, so that the flesh
could partake of the Word’²⁸.

and Christ is altogether inseparable, admit also that the Person cannot be severed’ (‘Intellige
ergo indubitanter Christum Deum; et ubi vides inseparabilem penitus Christi ac Dei esse
substantiam, inseparabilem quoque agnosce esse personam’).
²⁴ Cf. Greg. Nyss., Ad eoph.: GNO 3, 1, p. 126–127; cf. p. 128; Adv. Apoll.: GNO 3, 1, p.
201 and 222; C. Eun. 3, 3, 34,1–7; 3, 3, 46,1–6; 3, 3, 63,8–12; 3, 3, 68–69 etc.
²⁵ Aug., De civ. Dei 9, 15, 2 (PL 41, 269; NPNF Select Library): ‘Beatus et beatificus Deus
factus particeps humanitatis nostrae compendium praebuit participandae diuinitatis suae’.
²⁶ Ibid. 21, 15 (PL 41, 729; NPNF Select Library): ‘Unicus enim natura dei filius propter nos
misericordia factus est hominis filius, ut nos, natura filii hominis, filii dei per illum gratia
fieremus’.
²⁷ Ibid. 21, 16 (PL 41, 112; NPNF Select Library): ‘... nisi per Mediatorem Dei et hominum
hominem Jesum Christum, qui factus est particeps mortalitatis nostrae, ut nos participes
faceret divinitatis suae’.
²⁸ Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 121, 5 (PL 37, 1622; NPNF Select Library): ‘Ut autem efficiaris tu par-
ticeps in idipsum, factus est ipse prior particeps tui, et uerbum caro factum est, ut caro par-
ticipet uerbum’. Cf. Enarr. in Ps. 146, 11; Serm. 166, 4 etc.
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church 215

But these Augustinian expressions are similar to the classical Eastern doctrine
of deification only at first glance. In fact, Augustine’s doctrine of deification
of man is entirely based on the theology of St Paul and can be reduced to four
basic points: justification (justificatio), adoption (adoptio), participation in the
divine nature (participatio divinae naturae) and the indwelling of God in man
(inhabitatio Dei)²⁹. Indeed, Augustine interprets the verse of Psalm 81:6: ‘I
have said, You are gods, and you are all sons of the Most High’ in the follow-
ing way:

‘It is evident then, that He has called men gods, that are deified of His grace, not born
of His substance. For He does justify, Who is just through His own self, and not of
another; and He does deify Who is God through Himself, not by the partaking of
another. But He that justifies does Himself deify, in that by justifying He does make
sons of God. ‘For He has given them power to become the sons of God’ (John 1:12).
If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods: but this is the effect
of grace adopting, not of nature generating. For the only Son of God, God, and one
God with the Father, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, was in the beginning the
Word, and the Word with God, the Word God. e rest that are made gods, are made
by His own grace, are not born of His substance, that they should be the same as He,
but that by favour they should come to Him, and be co-heirs with Christ’³⁰.

is crucial text makes clear, that for Augustine deification basically means a
moral justification of men by Christ and their legal adoption to God through
Christ as His co-heirs. It is also important to note, that Augustine distinguishes
between deification by nature (natura) and deification by grace (gratia)³¹. He
affirms that the divinity of Christ He possesses by nature, is a necessary condi-
tion of the deification of other people who become gods by grace and adoption,
²⁹ Cf. J.-C. Byeon, La deificatio hominis in sant’Agostino. Diss. doct. (Rome 2008) 143; 242.
³⁰ Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 49, 2 (PL 36, 565; NPNF Select Library): ‘Manifestum est ergo, quia
homines dixit deos, ex gratia sua deificatos, non de substantia sua natos. ille enim iustificat,
qui per semetipsum non ex alio iustus est; et ille deificat, qui per seipsum non alterius par-
ticipatione deus est. qui autem iustificat, ipse deificat, quia iustificando, filios dei facit. dedit
enim eis potestatem filios dei fieri. si filii dei facti sumus, et dii facti sumus; sed hoc gratiae
est adoptantis, non naturae generantis. Unicus enim dei filius deus et cum patre unus deus,
dominus et saluator noster iesus christus, in principio uerbum et uerbum apud deum, uer-
bum deus. ceteri qui fiunt dii, gratia ipsius fiunt, non de substantia eius nascuntur ut hoc
sint quod ille, sed ut per beneficium perueniant ad eum, et sint coheredes christi’. Cf. Serm.
125, 3; De fide et symb. 9, 16; De civ. Dei 10, 1.
³¹ Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 94, 6; 146, 11; Serm. 166, 4; De civ. Dei 22, 30 etc. Cf. Athan. Alex., Ad
Serap. 1, 24. e later Byzantine theologians (St Maximus, John Damascus, Gregory Palamas
etc.) regard the way to deification of man as participation not in the nature of God, but in His
energies. Nevertheless, Augustine has rejected this distinction between nature and energy in
God for the reason of preserving God’s simplicity.
216 Alexey Fokin

without being true gods (non veri dii)³². Men’s adoption to God as His sons is
completed by faith of every person and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit³³.
According to Augustine, the deification of man means his likeness to God,
but not equality to Him, that belongs only to His Only begotten Son:

‘e Only begotten Son is like Him by birth, we are like Him by seeing. For we are
not like in such sort as He, Who is the same as He is by Whom He was begotten: for
we are like, not equal: He, because equal, is therefore like. And we have heard who
are the gods that being made are justified because they are called the sons of God’³⁴.

In his understanding of deification as participation in God’s nature and assim-


ilation to Him Augustine anticipates the well-known definition of the author
of the Corpus Areopagiticum, according to whom

‘e deification (θέωσις) is assimilation to and union with God, as far as attain-
able’³⁵.

In this connection Augustine states that angels are also like God not only in
their immortality, possessed by nature, but also by contemplation of His na-
ture³⁶, through participation in which they are blessed, and therefore may
also be called gods (dii)³⁷. us, Augustine, like the author of the Corpus Are-
opagiticum aer him³⁸, recognizes that the angels are now in a deified state,
in what state righteous men will partake only in future³⁹. at is why Augus-
tine identifies the concept of ‘deification’ (deum fieri) with that of ‘equality to
angels’ (aequalitas angelorum)⁴⁰. In fact,

³² Aug., Serm. 166, 4; 229/G, 3; Enarr. in Ps. 94, 6; 118, 16, 1; In Ioan. Tr. 48, 9; J.-C. Byeon,
La deificatio hominis in sant’Agostino, 197–200. Cf. Faustin., De Trinit. 49.
³³ Aug., Serm. 161, 6, 6; 337, 1; In Ioan. Tr. 12, 5; Exp. prop. Rom. 45; Enchir. 33. Cf. Athan.
Alex., Contr. Arian. 1, 38–39; 43; Ad Serap. 1, 25; De incarn. et contr. Arian. 12.
³⁴ Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 49, 2 (PL 36, 565): ‘Unicus similis nascendo, nos similes uidendo. non
enim ita similes ut ille, qui hoc est quod ille a quo genitus est; nos enim similes, non aequales;
ille quia aequalis, ideo similis. audiuimus qui sint dii facti iustificati, quia filii dei dicuntur’.
³⁵ Dionys. Areop., Eccl. hier. 1, 3 and 2, 1 (PTS 36, Berlin 1991, p. 66 and 68; English trans-
lation by J. Parker, in: e Works of Dionysius the Areopagite (London 1897)): ‘ἡ δὲ θέωσίς
ἐστιν ἡ πρὸς θεὸν ὡς ἐφικτὸν ἀφομοίωσίς τε καὶ ἕνωσις’.
³⁶ Aug., Contr. Faust. 22, 27.
³⁷ Aug., De civ. Dei 9, 23; Enarr. in Ps. 135, 3.
³⁸ Cf. Dionys. Areop., Cael. hier. 7, 2 (PTS 36, p. 29): ‘πρώτης καὶ ὑπερεχούσης θεώσεως
ἀποπληρουμένας κατὰ τὴν ὑπερτάτην ὡς ἐν ἀγγέλοις τῶν θεουργιῶν ἐπιστήμην’.
³⁹ Cf. Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 77, 4; De civ. Dei 21, 1 etc.
⁴⁰ Cf. Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 36, 2, 16; 135, 3; 136, 5; De bapt. c. Donat. 2, 5, 6 etc. See also P.
V. Ermilov, e Concept of ‘Equality to Angels’ in Patristic Tradition, eological Collec-
tion of St Tikhon’s Orthodox University 13 (Moscow 2005) 97 (in Russian); idem., e Place
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church 217

‘What gods will people be, what gods?’—Augustine asks and answers:—‘ey will
be equal to angels of God. It is promised, and don’t let us seek anything beyond that,
because we will not become equal to God, but to angel[s], and as here on earth we
believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, so [there] we will see [em]’⁴¹.

Augustine believes that the human equality to angels also presupposes that
men and angels will occupy the same place in the hierarchy of created beings,
and he does not agree with an opinion, expressed above by St Gregory the
Great, that men will become superior to angels⁴². Moreover, Augustine views
‘the greatest gi’ of God (maximum premium) to His people in the possibility
of becoming not gods, but equal to angels⁴³. Even incarnated Christ in His
ascension extolled humanity into heaven only to equate it with angels:

‘is, therefore, is the great goodness of which we are to be made the subjects by
Him, who has loved us even as He has loved Christ, that, for His sake, whose mem-
bers He wished us to be, we may be equal to the holy angels, to whom we were
created with an inferiority of nature, and have by our sin fallen into such greater
depths of unworthiness, as to make it incumbent that we should be in some sort
their associates’⁴⁴.

It should be noted, that such an identification of the concept of ‘deification’ with


that of ‘equality to angels’ is not consistent with the doctrine of both Eastern
and Western Fathers about the superiority of human beings to angels due to
of the Concept of ‘Equality to Angels’ in the eological System of St Augustine, in: Acts
of the XIII Annual eological Conference of St Tikhon’s Orthodox eological Institute
(Moscow 2005) 60–66 (in Russian).
⁴¹ Aug., Serm. 229/G, 3 (G. Morin, Miscellanea Agostiniana 1, Rome 1930, p. 475; my own
translation): ‘Sed quales dii homines, quales dii? aequales angelis dei. hoc promissum est, ul-
tra non quaeramus: non enim deo aequales erimus, sed aequales angelo facti, in terra patrem
et filium et spiritum sanctum sicut credimus, ita et uidemus’.
⁴² Сf. Aug., Ep. 148, 7; In Ioan. Tract. 110, 7. However, Origen also did not accept a concept
of superiority of men to angels, see C. Celsum 4, 29; Com. in Matth. 10, 13.
⁴³ Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 135, 3. It is worthy to note that Augustine’s concept of ‘equality to
angels’ is in some sense (with certain qualifications, of cause) similar to that of Origen, ac-
cording to whom there was an original unity of all rational creatures (λογικοί), to which all
human beings will return in the future, in the time of apocatastasis, when they will ascend to
the level of angels they previously occupied. See Orig., De princ. 2, 9, 2–7; 3, 6, 1–9; Hom. in
Lev. 9, 11 etc. See also P. V. Ermilov, e Concept of ‘Equality to Angels’ in Patristic Tradi-
tion, 57–61.
⁴⁴ Aug., In Ioan. Tract. 110, 7: ‘Hoc itaque nobis magnum bonum conferet, qui dilexit nos si-
cut dilexit Christum, ut propter ipsum cujus membra nos esse voluit, aequales Angelis sanctis
simus (Luke 20:36), quibus et natura inferiores conditi sumus, et peccato indigniores facti,
qui eorum fieri qualescumque socii deberemus’ (English translation from the NPNF Select
Library). Сf. Enarr. in Ps. 45, 11.
218 Alexey Fokin

the incarnation of Christ and His ascension into heaven. is doctrine pre-
supposes that angels may obtain deification only through man, who occupies
the central place in the created order as a ‘natural link’ and mediator between
different parts of the created universe—including angels—and God⁴⁵.
However, in what sense does Augustine understand this equality of man to
angels, that is his deification? It is obvious that this equality can not be ab-
solute. According to Augustine, human equality to angels basicly consists of
immortality, holiness, beatitude and the direct vision of God⁴⁶. Indeed, Augus-
tine supposes, that

‘Men shall be equal to the angels in immortality and beatitude, not in flesh, nor in
resurrection, which the angels did not need, because they could not die’⁴⁷.

‘In delivering us from our mortality and misery, He does not lead us to the immortal
and blessed angels, so that we should become immortal and blessed by participating
in their nature, but He leads us straight to that Trinity, by participating in which the
angels themselves are blessed’⁴⁸.

‘Eternal goods are first of all the very eternal life, incorruptibility, the immortality of
flesh and soul, the community of angels, the heavenly City, inexhaustible dignity, the
Father and the Fatherland—the former without death, the latter without enemies’⁴⁹.

us, in the future life the righteous will substitute the number of the fallen
angels and enter ‘the community of angels’ (societas angelorum). ey will
become equal to them in immortality, beatitude and participation in God’s
nature, so that ‘God may be all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28)⁵⁰:

⁴⁵ Cf. Maxim. Confess., Amb. 7: PG 91, 1092C; 41: PG 91, 1305–1308C.


⁴⁶ Cf. Athan. Alex., Contr. Arian. 1, 48; 2, 47, 70; 3, 34.
⁴⁷ Aug., De civ. Dei 22 17 (PL 41, 779; NPNF Select Library): ‘Aequales utique angelis in-
mortalitate ac felicitate, non carne; sicut nec resurrectione, qua non indiguerunt angeli, quo-
niam nec mori potuerunt’.
⁴⁸ Aug., De civ. Dei 9, 15, 2 (PL 41, 269; NPNF Select Library): ‘Neque enim nos a mortalitate
et miseria liberans ad angelos immortales beatosque ita perducit, ut eorum participatione
etiam nos immortales et beati simus; sed ad illam Trinitatem, cujus et angeli participatione
beati sunt’.
⁴⁹ Aug., Serm. 80, 7 (PL 38, 135–136; my own translation): ‘Aeterna vero beneficia sunt, pri-
mum ipsa vita aeterna, incorruptio et immortalitas carnis et animae, societas angelorum, civ-
itas coelestis, dignitas indeficiens, pater et patria, ille sine morte, illa sine hoste’. Cf. Enarr.
in Ps. 146, 11 (PL 37, 1906): ‘Igitur si ipse idem ipse est, et mutari ex nulla parte potest; par-
ticipando eius divinitatem erimus et nos immortales in vitam aeternam’.
⁵⁰ Aug., De civ. Dei 11, 12; 14, 28; 22, 30.
e Doctrine of Deification in Western Fathers of the Church 219

‘We will be in that City, where God is our good, God is [our] light, God is [our]
nourishment, God is [our] life’⁵¹.

‘[God] will be their satisfaction, He will be all that men honorably desire—life,
and health, and nourishment, and plenty, and glory, and honor, and peace, and all
goods’⁵².

According to Augustine, this state of eternal peace in God (requies sem-


piterna)⁵³ will be the final deification of man⁵⁴, when he will be completely
assimilated to and united with God, as the holy angels are now. Indeed, in that
time
‘Aer the renovation of your spirit, this mortal flesh you now possess from Adam
will also deserve its renovation and commutation at the time of resurrection, so that
the whole deified man will be united with the eternal and immutable Truth’⁵⁵.

‘When we will be restored by Him, and perfected with greater grace, we shall have
eternal peace to see that He is God, for we shall be full of Him when He shall ‘be all
in all’ (1 Cor 15:28)’⁵⁶.

us, as we have shown, in Augustine’s theology ‘everything that deification


would give to man, he receives by becoming equal to angels. It seems that in
fact the deified state coincides with that of being equal to angels’⁵⁷.
To sum up, in spite of the absence of a Latin equivalent for the Greek terms
θέωσις or θεοποίησις, all the distinctive features of the classical Eastern doc-
trine of deification can be found in the writings of Western Fathers of the
Church. ese are a close connection between deification of man and incarna-
tion of God (incarnatio), deification of the human nature of Christ, adoption
⁵¹ Aug., Enarr. in Ps. 37, 28 (PL 36, 412; NPNF Select Library): ‘In illa enim civitate erimus,
ubi bonum nostrum deus est, lumen deus est, panis deus est, uita deus est’.
⁵² Aug., De civ. Dei 22, 30 (PL 41, 801; NPNF Select Library): ‘Ego ero unde satientur, ego
ero quaecumque ab hominibus honeste desiderantur, et uita et salus et uictus et copia et gloria
et honor et pax et omnia bona’.
⁵³ Aug., De Gen. ad litt. 4, 16, 27; Enarr. in Ps. 32, 1, 6; 93, 24; De civ. Dei 22, 30.
⁵⁴ J.-C. Byeon, La deificatio hominis in sant’Agostino (Rome 2008) 323; 351–352.
⁵⁵ Aug., Serm 166, 4, 4 (PL, 38, 909; my own translation): ‘Deponentes ergo mendacium, lo-
quimini veritatem, ut et caro ista mortalis quam adhuc habetis de adam, praecedente nouitate
spiritus, mereatur et ipsa innouationem et commutationem tempore resurrectionis suae: ac
sic totus homo deificatus inhaereat perpetuae atque incommutabili veritati’.
⁵⁶ Aug., De civ. Dei 22, 30 (PL 41, 804; NPNF Select Library): ‘A quo refecti et gratia maiore
perfecti uacabimus in aeternum, uidentes quia ipse est deus, quo pleni erimus quando ipse
erit omnia in omnibus’.
⁵⁷ P. V. Ermilov, e Place of the Concept of ‘Equality to Angels’ in the eological System
of St Augustine, 65.
220 Alexey Fokin

(adoptio) of human beings to God in Christ by means of the indwelling of


the Holy Spirit, the ascension of humanity into heaven, above all the angels,
and its session at the right hand of the Father, participation (participatio) in
the divine nature, which is fulfilled in this life through the Eucharist by grace
of the Holy Spirit, and in the future life through the direct contemplation of
God. Some Latin Fathers were so inspired by the idea of deification that it
resulted into a danger of the mankind’s pantheistic transformation and dis-
solution into the Godhead, as well as of the human nature of Christ into His
divine nature. Instead of it, St Augustine proposed his own version of the doc-
trine of deification, characterized by the legal concepts of moral justification
(justificatio), external adoption (adoptio) and the direct contemplation (visio)
of God. In addition Augustine has identified the concept of deification with
that of ‘equality to angels’ (aequalitas angelorum), which presupposes that the
righteous will substitute the number of the fallen angels in the City of God.
Like angels, they will obtain immortality, holiness, beatitude and unity with
God. Later due to the unquestionable authority of St Augustine in the West the
soteriological concepts of justification, adoption and equality to angels began
to prevail in the Western theological tradition, so that the classical patristic
doctrine of deification, common to many Western Fathers of the Church, has
unfortunately been abandoned.