What is Deification?

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2 Responses to What is Deification?

  1. dianelos says:

    I think that for centuries now there has been an undercurrent in theological thought according to which humility entails debasing human creatures and indeed the world. This is wrong; ones doesn’t honour or raise or make more adorable the creator by belittling his creatures and his creation. So, I say, God is already our father; it’s not only by deification that we become God’s children as Paul Gavrilyuk suggests in this talk. After all Jesus in the gospels asks us to become as perfect as our father in heaven. He specifically speaks of our father, not his father. God is our father even now that we are imperfect.

    I did like how Dionysius Areopagite puts it: “Deification is the attainment of likeness to God and union with God so far as this is possible”. Surely that is true; God would not want anything less than create the greatest possible creatures having the greatest possible end. So what can we imagine as our greatest possible end? For me the greatest possible end of a creature is true union with her creator. Is this possible? Can the essentially limited become one with the essentially unlimited? Well, consider a drop of rain falling into the sea: it is no more a small drop of water but has truly become one with the vast sea. This too is how I imagine theosis: the human soul merging into the divine being. From the outside the human subject is no more, for there is no one anymore distinct or in any sense independent from God. But from the inside, experiencing theosis is the opening of one’s soul into the infinity of God’s trinitarian being. There is no creaturely subject anymore; but there is God who can now say “I was that creature”. Thereby mirroring his incarnation and making the dictum “God became human so that human might become God” concrete and not just metaphorical.

    This end is what I wish for myself.

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    • mercifullayman says:

      If it makes you feel better, Berdyaev rails against “humility” as most people understand it. He sees it as a demeaning quality that reduces humanity to a pawn in the game of some middle age expression of kingship. Humility is about understanding one’s role in the scheme of divine being. We, as humans, now before the intent of our purpose. It isn’t some denial of importance or move to reduce our action…..but rather to embrace what we are intended to be, and to be open enough to realize that through humbling ourselves as creatures, we actually gain importance as co-workers in the actualized world we’re helping manifest. Humility is being willing to admit we need help, but are strong enough to use the help we receive and make things happen.

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