In recent years, Eastern Orthodox thought has had an increasing influence on key aspects of contemporary Western Christian thought, particularly as regards the doctrine of the Trinity and mystical spirituality. However, the foundations and fundamental presuppositions of Eastern Christianity’s theological system have remained largely unstudied—and thus unknown—in the West.
In this important study, Emil Bartos examines the doctrine of deification which provides the conceptual basis for the way Staniloae and other Orthodox theologians understand the major doctrines of the Christian faith. The idea that God became man and man became God sounds almost heretical to many Western ears, yet this affirmation is repeated countless times in the writings of the Eastern Fathers.
Beginning with the apophaticism that lies at the heart of Eastern theology, Bartos examines each of the key doctrines of anthropology, Christology, soteriology, and ecclesiology as they relate to deification in Staniloae’s thought. Bartos’ study represents not merely a contribution to contemporary dialogue between Eastern and Western theologians, but also a much needed introduction to an aspect of Christian thought down the centuries which is largely neglected in the Christian West.
This book deals with a major topic of importance…
—Kallistos Ware, Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies, University of Oxford, 1966-2001
Emil Bartos is Dean of Theology at the Emanuel Bible Institute in Oradea, Romania, where he teaches systematic and comparative theology and the history of dogma. His doctoral research was carried out under the supervision of Orthodox bishop Kallistos Ware and the Catholic theologian Oliver Davies.