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In Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic theology, theosis (Greek: Θεωσις, meaning divinization (or deification, or to make divine) is the call to man to become holy and seek union with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in the resurrection. Theosis comprehends salvation from sin, is premised upon apostolic and early Christian understanding of the life of faith, and is conceptually foundational in both the East and the West. ... The Eastern Catholic Churches are autonomous particular Churches in full communion with the Pope of Rome. ... Holiness means the state of being holy, that is, set apart for the worship or service of a god or gods. ... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In theology, salvation can mean three related things: being saved from something, such as suffering or the punishment of sin - also called deliverance; being saved for something, such as an afterlife or participating in the Reign of God - also called redemption; being saved through a process of healing or transformation...

  • Alternative spellings: Theiosis, Theopoiesis, Theōsis
  • Related terms: Consecration, Deification, Divine Union, Sanctification

Contents

Eastern Orthodox theology

St. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God." His statement is an apt description of the concept. What would otherwise seem absurd, that fallen, sinful man may become holy as God is holy, has been made possible through Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. Naturally, the crucial Christian assertion, that God is One, sets an absolute limit on the meaning of theosis - it is not possible for any created being to become, ontologically, God, or even part of God (the henosis of Greek Neoplatonic philosophy).[1] In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (Greek: Αθανάσιος, Athanásios; c 293 – May 2, 373) was a Christian bishop, the Bishop of Alexandria, in the fourth century. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Christ is the English of the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... Within the realm of Neoplatonic philosophy henosis is the divine work committed to by each individual toward the goal of union with the Monad, Source, or the One. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ...


Through theoria, the revelation of the triune God, human beings come to know and experience what it means to be fully human (the created image of God); through their communion with Jesus Christ, God shares Himself with the human race, in order to conform them to all that God is in knowledge, righteousness and holiness. As God became man, in all ways except sin, He will also make man God, in all ways except His divine essence. St. Irenaeus explained this concept in Against Heresies, Book 5, in the Preface, "the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself." Theoria is contemplation or perception of beauty, esp. ... St. ...


St. Maximus the Confessor wrote, "A sure warrant for looking forward with hope to deification of human nature is provided by the incarnation of God, which makes man god to the same degree as God Himself became man." and "let us become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods." For it is clear that He who became man without sin (cf. Heb. 4:15) will divinize human nature without changing it into the divine nature, and will raise it up for His own sake to the same degree as He lowered Himself for man's sake. This is what St. Paul teaches mystically when he says, '...that in the ages to come He might display the overflowing richness of His grace' (Eph. 2:7)."(page 178 PHILOKALIA Volume II) In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... Maximus the Confessor (580 - 682) was a Christian monk. ...


For many fathers, theosis goes beyond simply restoring people to their state before the Fall of Adam and Eve, teaching that because Christ united the human and divine natures in his person, it is now possible for someone to experience closer fellowship with God than Adam and Eve initially experienced in the Garden of Eden, and that people can become more like God than Adam and Eve were at that time. Some Orthodox theologians go so far as to say that Jesus would have become incarnate for this reason alone, even if Adam and Eve had never sinned. Look up incarnation, incarnate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


All of humanity is fully restored to the full potential of humanity because the Son of God took to Himself a human nature to be born of a woman, and takes to Himself also the sufferings due to sin (yet is not Himself a sinful man, and is God unchanged in His being). In Christ, the two natures of God and human are not two persons but one; thus, a union is effected in Christ, between all of humanity and God. Using the head-body analogy from St. Paul every man in whom Christ lives in, partakes of the glory of Christ. As St. John Chrysostom observes "where the head is, the body is also; for by no means is the head separated from the body; for if it were indeed separated, there would not be a body and there would not be a head". In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ... Paul of Tarsus (b. ... In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ...


So, the holy God and sinful humanity are reconciled in principle, in the one sinless man, Jesus Christ. (See Jesus's prayer as recorded in John 17.) The Gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Evangelist. ...


This reconciliation is made actual through the struggle (podvig in Russian) to conform to the image of Christ. Without the struggle, the praxis, there is no real faith; faith leads to action, without which it is dead. One must unite will, thought and action to God's will, His thoughts and His actions. A person must fashion his life to be a mirror, a true likeness of God. More than that, since God and humanity are more than a similarity in Christ but rather a true union, Christians' lives are more than mere imitation and are rather a union with the life of God Himself: so that, the one who is working out salvation, is united with God working within the penitent both to will and to do that which pleases God. Gregory Palamas affirmed the possibility of humanity's union with God in His energies, while also affirming that because of God's transcendence and utter otherness, it is impossible for any person or other creature to know or to be united with God's essence. Yet through faith we can attain phronema, an understanding of the faith of the Church. A common analogy for theosis, given by the Greek fathers, is that of a metal which is put into the fire. The metal obtains all the properties of the fire (heat,light) where its essence remains that of a metal. Praxis is the customary use of knowledge or skills, distinct from theoretical knowledge. ... Gregory Palamas Gregory Palamas (Γρηγόριος Παλαμάς) (1296 - 1359) was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece and later Archbishop of Thessalonica known as a preeminent theologian of Hesychasm. ... Phronema is a Greek term that is used in Eastern Orthodox theology to refer to mindset or outlook; it is the Orthodox mind. ...


The journey towards theosis includes many forms of praxis. Living in the community of the church and partaking regularly of the sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, is taken for granted. Also important is cultivating "prayer of the heart", and prayer that never ceases, as Paul exhorts the Thessalonians (1 and 2). This unceasing prayer of the heart is a dominant theme in the writings of the Fathers, especially in those collected in the Philokalia. The 'doer' in deification is Holy Spirit, with whom the human being joins his will to receive this transforming grace by praxis and prayer. Praxis is the customary use of knowledge or skills, distinct from theoretical knowledge. ... For other uses, see Eucharist (disambiguation). ... The First Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the First Letter to the Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, also known as the Second Letter to the Thessalonians, is a book from the New Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Philokalia (Gk. ...


See also: Desert Fathers, Hesychasm, Maximus the Confessor, Monasticism The Desert Fathers were Christian Hermits who lived in the Sahara desert of Egypt, beginning in about the third century. ... Hesychasm (Greek ησυχασμός, from ησυχία, stillness, rest, quiet) is an eremitic tradition of prayer in Eastern Orthodox Christianity practised (Gk: ησυχάζω: keep stillness) by the Hesychast (Gr. ... Maximus the Confessor (580 - 682) was a Christian monk. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to devote ones life fully to spiritual work. ...


Catholic views of theosis

“To restore man, who has been laid low by sin, to the heights of divine glory, the Word of the eternal Father, though containing all things within His immensity, willed to become small. This He did, not by putting aside His greatness, but by taking to Himself our littleness. . . . The humanity of Christ is the way by which we come to the divinity.” (Thomas Aquinas, Shoter Summa, §1-2) Saint Thomas Aquinas (also Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino; c. ...


In western Catholic theology, theosis refers to a specific and rather advanced phase of contemplation of God. [2] The process of arriving to such a state, or moving toward it (as arrival there is not necessary for salvation), involves different types of prayer which are recognized as beneficial. Various stages of prayer life are recognized as being likely to occur should a person respond to faith by moving along the purgative, illuminative, and unitive ways. See ascetical theology. In theology, salvation can mean three related things: being saved from something, such as suffering or the punishment of sin - also called deliverance; being saved for something, such as an afterlife or participating in the Reign of God - also called redemption; being saved through a process of healing or transformation... Ascetical theology is the organized study or presentation of spiritual teachings found in Scripture and the Church Fathers that help the faithful to more perfectly follow Christ and attain to Christian perfection. ...


Some western writers refer to theosis using the same implications given above. It is common to find western writings that flatteringly suggest that eastern spirituality uniquely manifests theosis, and that by implication their own tradition never attained to the idea. This may be a case of rhetoric obscuring fact. Under different terminology the western spiritual traditions, which also reach to the origins of Christianity (in the East), share the objective of sharing in the life of God. Some Catholic writers consider it lamentable that the term theosis is not used more extensively in western theology.


Although the West has generally given due credit to Eastern insight into deification (theosis) from a western point of view, the theological differences between western formualtions and understanding and Eastern is somewhat rhetorical[citation needed]. But there is also a slight difference in the idea of theosis itself. In the West there is a tendency to see it as the highest level of union (in the purgation, illumination and union model for deification).


Whether or not eastern liturgies are more conducive to theosis is also at issue. In the West there has been much debate about the merits of the Mass of Paul VI, and some traditionalist Catholics claim that the Tridentine Mass is particularly conducive to the sort of prayer life that leads one along the path of theosis. Virtually all spiritual books of any consequence published in the West manifest overt awareness of all the issues comprised in theosis (some books may focus on specific stages and treat unitive themes more briefly). This article is about the post-Vatican-II changes to the Mass; for an explanation of the current structure of the Mass, see Mass (Catholic Church). ... A Tridentine Mass being celebrated in Bohermeen, Ireland in the 1950s. ...


Protestant use of the term "theosis"

Early during the Reformation, thought was given to the concept of union with Christ (unio cum Christo) as the precursor to the entire process of salvation and sanctification. This was especially so in the thought of John Calvin.[3] Theosis as a concept is used among Methodists [4], and elsewhere in the pietist movement which reawakened Protestant interest in the asceticism of the early church, and some of the mystical traditions of the West. Distinctively, in Protestantism theosis sometimes implies the doctrine of entire sanctification which teaches, in summary, that it is the Christian's goal, in principle possible to achieve, to live without any sin (Christian perfection). In 1311 the Roman Catholic Council of Vienne declared this notion, "that man in this present life can acquire so great and such a degree of perfection that he will be rendered inwardly sinless, and that he will not be able to advance farther in grace" (Denziger §471), to be a heresy. Thus this particular Protestant (primarily Methodist) understanding of theosis is substantially different from that of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. However, this doctrine of Christian perfection was sharply criticized by many in the Church of England during the ministry of John Wesley and continues to be controversial among Protestants and Anglicans to this day.[5] Most Protestants do not believe in Christian perfection as Wesley described it and most Protestants also do not use the term theosis at all, though they may perhaps refer to a similar concept by the term sanctification. The Protestant Reformation was a movement which began in the 16th century as a series of attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church, but ended in division and the establishment of new institutions, most importantly Lutheranism, Reformed churches, and Anabaptists. ... John Calvin (July 10, 1509 – May 27, 1564) was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and was a central developer of the system of Christian theology called Calvinism or Reformed theology. ... The Methodist movement is a group of denominations of Protestant Christianity. ... Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late-17th century to the mid-18th century. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms... Sin is a term used mainly in a religious context to describe an act that violates a moral rule, or the state of having committed such a violation. ... Christian Perfection is a Christian doctrine which maintains that after conversion but before death a Christians soul may be cleansed from the stain of original sin. ... Above all else, the Roman Catholic Council of Vienne was the Ecumenical Council that withdrew papal support for the Knights Templar, confirming the destruction of the rich Order by the bureaucrats of Philip IV of France. ... Look up Heresy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Christian Perfection is a Christian doctrine which maintains that after conversion but before death a Christians soul may be cleansed from the stain of original sin. ... The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ... John Wesley (June 17, 1703 – March 2, 1791) was an 18th-century Anglican clergyman and Christian theologian who was an early leader in the Methodist movement. ... Sanctification or in its verb form, sanctify, literally means to set apart for special use or purpose, that is to make holy or sacred (compare Latin sanctus holy). Therefore sanctification refers to the state or process of being set apart, i. ...


Deification in Mormonism

In Mormonism it is usually referred to as exaltation or eternal life. Exaltation is to become, through the Atonement of Christ, a co-inheritor with Jesus in all that the Father possesses (Romans 8:16-17). As children of God we are enabled to become one with God as Jesus is one with God(John 17:11), inheriting the same divinity and perfection they enjoy, eternally acting under their guiding influence and authority. Exaltation or Eternal Progression is a seminal doctrinal belief among devout members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church or Mormons) that mankind, as spirit children of their Father in Heaven, can become like, not equivalent to, Him. ... Exaltation is the theological term for trance; although it is practiced by many religious groups nowadays, it was seen as an alliance with the devil earlier in history. ... Divinity has a number of related uses in the field of religious belief and study. ...


While the primary focus of Mormonism is on salvation through the atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately salvation exists in varying levels or degrees (John 14:2 & 1 Cor. 15:41). Exaltation is the highest and fullest degree of salvation. All mankind will be saved from death through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but only those whom God judges as obedient and faithful and who accept the atonement of Jesus Christ before the judgment will be exalted. LDS teachings include the belief that the Book of Revelation and the Book of John sustain the doctrine of theosis or co-inheritance or exaltation by mankind's "overcoming by faith" in Jesus Christ and relying upon Him as their Advocate with the Father, and that this glorious opportunity for mankind was explained by God the Father in the pre-existence. The teachings include the belief that the early prophets and patriarchs understood this doctrine, but that it has been distorted by the teachings of man; generally because of repeated apostasies and the theories of men. For other uses, see Atonement (disambiguation). ... In theology, salvation can mean three related things: being saved from something, such as suffering or the punishment of sin - also called deliverance; being saved for something, such as an afterlife or participating in the Reign of God - also called redemption; being saved through a process of healing or transformation... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Obedience is the willingness to follow the will of others. ... Faith has two general implications which can be implied either exclusively or mutually; To Trust: Believing a certain variable will act a specific way despite the potential influence of known or unknown change. ... A judgment or judgement (see spelling note below), in a legal context, is synonymous with the formal decision made by a court following a lawsuit. ... Visions of John of Patmos, as depicted in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. ... The Gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the sequence of the canon as printed in the New Testament, and scholars agree it was the fourth to be written. ... In Abrahamic religions, pre-existence is the belief that each individual human soul existed before conception, and at conception (or later, depending on when it is believed that the soul enters the body) God places one of these pre-existent souls in the body. ...


See also

Look up Apotheosis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In Roman Catholic theology, the beatific vision is the direct perception of God enjoyed by those who are in Heaven, imparting supreme happiness or blessedness. ... Hesychasm (Greek ησυχασμός, from ησυχία, stillness, rest, quiet) is an eremitic tradition of prayer in Eastern Orthodox Christianity practised (Gk: ησυχάζω: keep stillness) by the Hesychast (Gr. ... Vladimir N. Lossky (May 26, 1903–February 7, 1958) was a 20th century Greek or Eastern Orthodox theologian. ... Soteriology is the study of salvation. ... Term meaning Mystical Union describing the concept common to all mystical traditions - Kabbalah, Sufism, Vedanta, Esoteric Christianity etc - that of the union of the individual human soul with the Godhead. ... For the personification of the average Filipino, see Juan de la Cruz, and for another Saint who lived around the same time and area, see John of Avila Saint John of the Cross (San Juan de la Cruz) (June 24, 1542 – December 14, 1591) was a major figure in the... The Byzantine Discalced Carmelites are a community of cloistered nuns of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church living committed to a life of prayer, according to the tradition and lifestyle of the Discalced Carmelites. ... A poustinia cabin. ... Onuphrius lived as a hermit in the desert of Upper Egypt in the late 4th century A hermit (from the Greek erēmos, signifying desert, uninhabited, hence desert-dweller) is a person who lives to some greater or lesser degree in seclusion and/or isolation from society. ...

External links

Notes and references

  • The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, by V Lossky SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) ,
  • The Divinization of the Christian According to the Greek Fathers, by Gules Gross (ISBN 0-7363-1600-0)
  • Catechisim of the Catholic Church Article 3 pg 116, (ISBN 0-8198-1519-5)
Greek Orthodox Christianity

Patriarchates
Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople | Patriarchate of Alexandria | Patriarchate of Antioch | Patriarchate of Jerusalem
Autocephalous and Autonomous churches
Church of Greece | Cypriot Orthodox Church | Albanian Orthodox Church | Orthodox Church of Mount Sinai
Image File history File links Constantinople_seal. ... Greek Orthodox Church (Greek: Hellēnorthódoxē Ekklēsía) can refer to any of several hierarchical churches within the larger group of mutually recognizing Eastern Orthodox churches. ... Image File history File links HY002563. ... A patriarchate is the office or jurisdiction of a patriarch. ... The Patriarch of Constantinople is the Ecumenical Patriarch, the first among equals in the Eastern Orthodox communion. ... The Orthodox Church of Alexandria (Greek: ) is one of the autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Churches. ... The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, also known as Antiochian Orthodox Church claims to be one of the five churches that composed the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church before the Great Schism. ... The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, properly called the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, is regarded by Orthodox Christians as the mother church of all of Christendom, because it was in Jerusalem that the Church was established on the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the... In hierarchical Christian churches, especially Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, autocephaly is the status of a hierarchical church whose head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. ... The Church of Greece is one of the fifteenth autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches which make up the Eastern Orthodox Communion. ... The ancient Church of Cyprus is one of the fourteen or fifteen independent (autocephalous) Eastern Orthodox churches, which are in communion and in doctrinal agreement with one another but not all subject to one patriarch. ... The Orthodox Authocephalous Church of Albania is one of the newest autocephalous Eastern Orthodox churches, having only been established in the 20th century. ... St. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Theosis (636 words)
Theosis, deification, or divinization, is the Christian doctrine of sanctification[?] as it developed in Eastern Orthodoxy, especially in the hesychast tradition.
Theosis is thus usually regarded as an orthodox, Christian understanding of salvation from sin, in both the East and the West (although it is not everywhere regarded as the most helpful or clear terminology) — but such approval only applies where the term is used in the context of Trinitarian Christianity.
Otherwise, theosis, the effort to put oneself in the place of God, is the kernel expression of all sin and false religion, and in fact Satan's own sin and the spirit of Antichrist, according to the Trinitarian Christian view.
Theosis - OrthodoxWiki (1435 words)
Theosis, meaning deification or divinization, is the process of man becoming holy and being united with God, beginning in this life and later consummated in the resurrection.
Theosis is the understanding that humans are made to share in the life of the Trinity from the beginning.
Theosis as a concept is used among Methodists [1] especially in relation to the pietist movement and in the distinctive Protestant doctrine of entire sanctification which teaches, in summary, that it is the Christian's goal, in principle possible to achieve, to live without any sin.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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