"Likeness to God as Far as Possible": Deification Doctrine in Iamblichus and Three Eastern Christian Fathers
Edward Moore, S.T.L., Ph.D.
St. Elias School of Orthodox Theology
Deification of the soul is a concept shared by the Hellenic
pagan philosophical tradition and Orthodox Christianity. In the ancient Greek language, the concept
is denoted by two separate terms. For
the pagan Neoplatonists, such as Iamblichus, the deification of the human being
was described as henôsis, or unity with God. For Christian theologians of the Greek
tradition, the term was theôsis, meaning a divine mode of existence. The difference resides in the ontological
and metaphysical presuppositions informing these two philosophical and
considered deification (henôsis) as involving a creative partnership
with God, realized through theurgic rituals that raise the soul up to the level
of divine demiurgic power. In other words, the deified soul, for
Iamblichus, is the soul that has come to experience the glorious satisfaction
of maintaining the cosmic order - in other words, in sharing in the activity of
the One. For the Orthodox Christian
tradition, on the other hand, deification (theôsis) implies a state of
being that was described, by the most gifted Church Fathers, as an endless,
mystical yearning for divine fulfillment. Both Origen of Alexandria and Gregory of
Nyssa argued that God is beyond the experience of humanity, who are destined to
eternally strive - albeit unsuccessfully - for a complete experience of
divinity. The most one can hope to
attain is a fleeting sense of His infinite vastness. Later in the Christian tradition, however, Maximus the Confessor
described theôsis as the replacement of the human ego by the divine
presence. In both cases, the attribution of theôsis
to these states is paradoxical. If I am
eternally incapable of attaining Godhood, how can I ever claim to be
deified? Conversely, if God overwhelms my existential center of
being with His absolute presence, then do I not effectively cease to exist as a
paper, I will examine the manner in which the Christian tradition fluctuated
between the two extremes of eternal separation from God, and the absolute,
person-negating presence of God in the soul.
It is in the pagan Neoplatonic tradition, as exemplified by Iamblichus,
I will argue, that a personalistic, existentially viable theory of the eskhaton
is to be found. By this I mean a
theory in which the person, the soul, is intimately bound up with the inner
working - or eternally realized history - of the cosmos, in so far as
the soul co-operates with God in the maintenance of the cosmic order. This is precisely the goal of Iamblichean
theurgy: to raise the soul to the level of perfect demiurgic co-operation with
the highest divinity. Yet even
Iamblichus' theory requires qualification - if it is to remain existentially
viable - as I hope to make clear in the conclusion of this paper.
In the Neoplatonic tradition - both pagan and Christian - the
concept of deification was generally traced back to, and lent support by, the
following passage from Plato's Theaetetus: "a man should make all haste
to escape from earth to heaven; and escape means becoming as like God as possible [homoiôsis theô
kata to dunaton]" (176b.1-2). Until
the time of Eudorus of Alexandria (fl. ca. 50-25 B.C.) the qualification
"as far as possible" was understood as referring to the corruptibility of the
body, which was thought to prevent a complete assimilation to the divine. Eudorus, however, interpreted this statement
as referring to the perfection of a human being's intellectual capacity. Indeed, as Plato himself states, in the very
next line, the man who desires assimilation to the divine must possess
"understanding [phronêsis]" (176b.2-3, tr. Levett, Burnyeat).
This led to an increasingly sharp
distinction between soul and body, which again found support in the writings of
Plato, who had posited a tripartite soul. The body came to be understood as a prison
for the rational part of the soul, the intellect (nous), and salvation,
consequently, was conceived in terms of the intellect's breaking away from its
somatic fetters. This notion was given
sophisticated mytho-poetical expression in Gnosticism. "Salvation belongs only to the soul," writes
Basilides, "the body is by nature corruptible." However, this idea found its strongest
philosophical proponent in Plotinus, who argued that the descent of the soul
into the body is required for the maintenance of the cosmic order, but the
highest part of the soul - the rational part - remains always above the realm
of matter and change, at home with universal Mind.
In both Christianity and the
post-Plotinian Neoplatonism of Iamblichus and his successors, the idea
that the highest part of the tripartite soul remains ever above the material
realm was largely discarded in favor of the view that the soul is, in toto,
completely a part of the cosmos, and that salvation must involve a 'holistic'
approach to transcendence. The methods employed by Christians and
Iamblichean theurgists were quite similar.
Both involved the use of material substances - for the Christians it was
wine, bread, water, ointments, incense; for the theurgists it was stones, gems,
herbs, etc. And both involved the
belief that God's power somehow imbues these material substances with salvific
power, when utilized in the proper ritual context.
Yet here is where the similarities
end. For Iamblichus believed in an
all-pervasive deity whose power extended to the nether reaches of the cosmos,
eternally and unalterably. Christians, on the other hand, believe that
God descended to the depths of Hades only once, at a specific point in history,
i.e., the Christ Event (the Incarnation, death, and Resurrection of the
Lord). This difference is due to a
profound dissimilarity between their respective views regarding cosmology and,
most of all, temporality.
As a pagan, Iamblichus believed in
the eternity of the cosmos. However, he did not, like the Stoics, believe
that the cosmos repeats itself identically over the course of vast aeonic
cycles. Rather, he believed that the
cosmos is the eternal revelation of the divinity in a graded system of
emanations, in which the various entities occupying the different levels of
reality come to grasp divinity in a manner suitable to their nature. Indeed, as he explains, even the lowest
forms of inanimate life, like stones, are 'pierced' by the divine power. Recognizing a hierarchy of causal principles
in the cosmos, Iamblichus remarks that, regardless of the point at which a
principle takes effect, "it does not cease its operation before extending to
the lowest level; for even if is
stronger, nevertheless the fact of its greater separation can create a
balancing factor, rendering it weaker ... the influence of the higher principles
is more piercing [drimuteran], more keenly felt."
What Iamblichus is saying here is
that God must expend more energy in order to maintain the lower part of His
creation than is necessary to maintain the higher part. This is in stark contrast to Plotinus, who
maintained that the emanation of reality from the One gradually dissipates in
ever cruder forms of 'contemplation' (theôria), not all of which have a
destiny of integration with a higher principle. The notion that the power of God is more
concentrated at lower levels of reality gave support to Iamblichus' doctrine,
which called for the use of stones and herbs in theurgical ritual, the purpose
of which was to raise the human power closer to the divine. As Iamblichus is careful to explain:
"[theurgy] does not draw down the impassive and pure Gods to that which is
passive and impure; but, on the contrary, it renders us, who have become
passive through generation, pure and immutable."
This is precisely the opposite of
Christian doctrine, which maintains that God became human in response to human
sinfulness. In the Orthodox Christian Liturgy, the
priest asks the congregation to forgive him his sins. This acknowledges the fact that even the Liturgy (leitourgia)
is presided over by one who is immersed in sin. Such an admission is not part of Iamblichus' ritual program, for
he was very conscious of the intellectually curative power of not only the
stones and herbs, but of the ritual itself, which did involve prayer and an
authentically intellectual communion with the deity. He writes as follows:
Extended practice of prayer nurtures our intellect, enlarges very
greatly our soul's receptivity to the gods, reveals to men the life of the gods
and accustoms their eyes to the brightness of divine light, and gradually
brings to perfection the capacity of our faculties for contact with the gods,
until it leads us up to the highest level of consciousness of which we are
capable; also, it elevates gently the dispositions of our minds [ta tês
dianoias êthê] and communicates to us those of the gods, stimulates
persuasion and communion and indissoluble friendship [peithô de kai
koinônian kai philian adialuton egeirei], augments divine love, kindles the
divine element in the soul and scours away all contrary tendencies within it,
casts out from the etherial and luminous vehicle surrounding the soul
everything that tends to generation, brings to perfection good hope and faith
concerning the light; and, in a word, it renders those who employ prayers, if
we may so express it, the familiar consorts of the gods.
The purpose of
Iamblichean theurgy, then, is not to supplicate the gods and ask them to pardon
one's sinfulness, but rather to purify the soul so that it may consort with the
gods, on an equal footing. The
theurgist, unlike the Christian priest, does not debase himself before his God;
instead, he raises himself up to communion with the divinity. As G. Shaw explains:
By means of appropriate rites the theurgist directed the powers of his
particular soul (mikros kosmos) into alignment with the powers of the
World Soul ... which gave him direct participation in the 'whole.' He became a theios aner,
universal and divine yet particular and mortal...
The deification of
the human soul is realized by the mortal human being, according to
Iamblichus. In the absence of an
eschatological schema, we find a theory of deification that does not involve
history, but only the independent, willful activity of the free human
For Iamblichus does not, like the
Christian Fathers, posit universal history as the soteriological locus of human
self-fulfillment; rather, he sees the timelessness of theurgic ritual as the
locus of human self-expression leading to a union (henôsis) with the
... the theurgic soul becomes perfectly established in the energies and
demiurgic intellections of [divine] powers.
Then, also, it inserts the soul in the whole demiurgic God.
The final result is
"a union with the Gods, who are the givers of every good [tôn agathôn
dotêras theous henôsin]." This is accomplished both temporally and
atemporally, and introduces no distinction between present and future, but
simply offers the soul a way of participating in the creative (demiurgic)
activity of the godhead while still inhabiting the fleshly body. Existentially speaking, this overcoming of
temporality by the temporal soul should be regarded as a great boon to the
authentic life. However, Iamblichus'
thought is not free from the determinism so characteristic of late pagan
thinking, for he sees the cosmos as bound by itself to itself, with no
possibility of transcendence. This includes the eternal inclusion of souls
in the ever-repeating cosmic process.
The final soteric reward of souls is described by Iamblichus as
follows: "this reward includes a return
to this realm and an authority over things in it. ... According to the ancients (palaioi), souls 'are freed
from generation and together with the gods administer (sundioikousi) the
This 'administration,' for
Iamblichus, is understood as the re-entrance of the soul into the cosmic
cycle. This means that the soul somehow
remembers its previous incarnations, and seeks to overcome the negative
influences of those now-defunct self-expressions. Since the soul is "freed from generation," it now becomes as
eternal and unchangeable as the cosmos itself.
The attractiveness of Iamblichus' theory resides in its sense of
intimate partnership of God and the soul, as both participate in the demiurgic
maintenance of the cosmos. However,
from an Existential-Personalist viewpoint, the maintenance of an unchanging
order offers no room for personal creativity and growth, only an endless
'perfect' state of harmony of self with cosmos. Yet what commends Iamblichus' thought to us from an
Existentialist-Personalist perspective, is the fact that even though the
theurgical soul becomes locked into a permanent state of participation with the
demiurge, with a view to the eternal maintenance of the cosmos, this soul
experiences a very direct transference of natures within an already realized
history - i.e., within the closed perfection of the cosmos, as conceived by
Iamblichus and his pagan Neoplatonist
colleagues. For Iamblichus, the soul of
the theurgist becomes a true "partner" (koinônos) with God, not merely
passive partakers of the divine nature.
Whereas Origen and Gregory were only able to conceive of an eskhaton
in which human striving must remain
forever unfulfilled, and Maximus was only able to conceive of an eskhaton
in which the human person loses its existential center, Iamblichus found a
place for human creative striving in history - albeit a history already ordered
by the divine mind, of which the soteriological soul now participates on equal
terms, through theurgic ritual. This is
why, I believe, the system of Iamblichus should be given careful consideration
in relation to later developments in Christian eschatology, notably in the
works of Berdyaev. While Iamblichus'
idea of salvation is rather more dynamic than that of later Christian
theologians like Maximus the Confessor,
it nevertheless ends in the same general state - that of the replacement of
human initiative by an eternally positive, divine, order. "The most perfect ... has as its mark
ineffable unification, which establishes all authority in the gods and provides
that our souls rest completely in them" (De Mysteriis 5.26).
However, when one looks more closely at the respective soul-centered
eschatologies of Iamblichus and the three Christian Fathers discussed here, I
believe one will find that, in spite of a shared historical determinism, a very
subtle but profound difference appears - between determinism in history
(Iamblichus) and determinism by history (the Christian Fathers). We will now proceed to a discussion of this
of the soul's salvation is not, at first glance, all that different from the
conceptions of later Christian thought, particularly Maximus the
Confessor. Iamblichus conceived of the eskhaton
as the perfect unification of soul and cosmos, in which the soul finds rest,
and the authority of the divinity is maintained in and for eternity. Maximus, similarly, understood the eskhaton
as the replacement of the human ego - the existential center of the soul, the
self - with the absolute and absolutizing presence of God. So why should Iamblichus' conception be
given primacy from an Existentialist-Personalistic philosophical
The answer resides in the
relationship of the soul to history, i.e., to the manner in which the human
being responds to the inevitable and inescapable historical circumstances in
which it finds itself. History is at
once the locus of my self-realization as a person, and the limiting factor in
my creative expression of my personhood.
As the Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev has explained:
History treats me very roughly, and
it shows not the slightest concern for my well-being. That is one aspect of it.
But history is also my history. I have
indeed had a share in its happening. If
man holds the cosmos within him, there is all the more reason for saying that
he includes history within him. In the
spiritual depth of me - in transcendental man - the contradiction is
removed. The history of Israel, Egypt,
Persia, Babylon, Greece, and Rome, of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
occurred with my participation, it is my history and for that reason only can
it be intelligible to me. It is my
path, my quest and my lure. Its falls
and its uplifting are mine. If for me
this were mere objectification in which everything is received from without
only, then I should be able to understand nothing of it.
The understanding of history is paramount, for it is also
the understanding of our universal personhood.
In the philosophical theology of Origen of Alexandria, the historical
becoming of the soul is said to continue even after salvation, as the intellect
gradually becomes more accustomed to the perception of divine things. In Origen we find a dynamism in the eskhaton. Deification occurs, but it is not perfect
assimilation of the soul to the Godhead; rather, it is a continual motion
toward divinity. We find a similar idea
in Gregory of Nyssa's concept of diastêma, in which the soul is said to
strive eternally for God, who remains forever aloof.
when considered in this way, how can history ever be, as Berdyaev declares, my
history? My striving for God, for
deification, becomes merely a function of a cosmos that must always exceed me -
or, in the case of Maximus, of a deity of which my existence is a mere
function. What distinguishes
Iamblichus' view from that of these three Church Fathers is the presence of an
atemporal ontology, which tempers his brand of historical determinism
(determination in history as opposed to determination by
Historical determinism for Origen
and Gregory means that history is an inescapable, ongoing process of motion
toward god. Both Origen and Gregory
adhered to a peculiarly Christian brand of apokatastasis doctrine (first
developed by Origen), which implied innumerable incarnations of the soul in the
cosmos, until that soul at last was purged of its sinfulness and re-united with
God. Maximus, while adhering to such a doctrine early in his career, abandoned it in favor
of a belief in ascetic purging of the soul leading to an emptying of the self,
in preparation for the complete replacement of the ego by the divine
presence. For Origen and Gregory, the
soul's salvation was assured; it may take countless ages to perfect, but it
will occur ... eventually. Maximus was
not so optimistic, but he nevertheless believed that the goal of history was
the perfection - deification - of the entire cosmos, including all of nature
(not just human souls). Both of these
Christian positions are attractive enough, to be sure; but what they are
lacking is the sense of intimate, human-divine participation that one finds in
the theory of Iamblichus. According to
Origen and Gregory, endless striving - never satiated - for the divine presence
is the definition of salvation; for Maximus, the ego relinquishes its unique
position in history in favor of a dissolution into the Godhead. Iamblichus, however, understands salvation
Iamblichus sees the theurgical act
as universal, as 'holding sway' for all eternity, within the divine order of
the cosmos. The autonomous act of the
soul participating in theurgical ritual is in no way determined or guided by
historical circumstance - it is a supreme act of self-expression. However, it is an act that results,
paradoxically, in the loss of the ability to express oneself; - for ultimately,
it is the divinity that maintains the cosmos, not the human soul, for all that
the soul may do to participate in the cosmic maintenance. However, once the soul achieves such
participation, the disconnect between self-expression and divine existence is
overcome, and the soul realizes itself as a divine being (theios anêr) -
a product equally of history and personal striving. Here we arrive at the most important aspect of Iamblichean
theurgy: the soul, although determined by the already appointed course of
cosmic history, becomes what it is through a ritual activity that unites the
soul with the gods; and, in so doing, the soul changes its ontological status
from that of mere mortal to immortal, to divinity. History is not overcome, but fulfilled ... eternally.
In order to understand the main difference between
Iamblichus and the above-mentioned Church Fathers, the following distinction
will likely be helpful. For Iamblichus,
the final goal of theurgy is the overcoming of the particular mode of existence
of a soul immersed in the lowest sphere of divine emanation: the material
cosmos. Once the soul ascends upward
through the planetary spheres, and sheds the various accretions acquired
through physical birth and immersion in the sub-lunar realm, the lure of its
old life is abolished, and a new cosmic life is made possible - the soul
becomes a divine being (theios anêr).
History - i.e., the unique temporal life of the person - is overcome in
favor of a unification of the particular (the human soul) with the universal
(God). For Origen and Gregory, on the
other hand, history involves the gradual revelation of God to His creation - it
does not involve any sort of instantaneous union through theurgical
ritual. In this case, the activity of
the human soul is relegated to that of student, with God as pedagogue. According to Origen, God teaches the soul
about its proper mode of existence over the course of numerous ages, a concept
necessarily involving a doctrine of transmigration of souls. According to Gregory, God is revealed
through the manifestation of his activities (energeiai) in the
cosmos. The eschatological visions of
Origen and his most gifted pupil, Gregory, are quite similar.
For Origen, the eskhaton
involves an eternal education of the finite soul in divine things. For Gregory, the eskhaton involves an
eternal striving of the finite soul for the infinite divine essence. History, in both cases, is not fulfilled (at
the personal level), as it is in Iamblichus, but rather infinitely extended
beyond the purview of the finite human being.
But when history is extended in this manner, it ceases to belong to the
human beings who both respond to it and craft it in unique ways, creating the
life of the world that fosters all intellectual and religious pursuits. The eskhaton must be located outside
of history, and for this, an atemporal ontology is necessary. It is just such an onotlogy, I believe, that
we may find in Iamblichus, if we look closely enough. As Berdyaev writes:
History is in truth the
path to another world. It is in this
sense that its content is religious.
But the perfect state is impossible within history itself; it can only be realized outside its framework.
shows us a way of moving beyond the framework of history, understood as the locus
of limitation of the encosmic human soul.
Yet he ends up establishing the locus of the atemporal human soul
precisely within the very context from which it supposedly eradicated itself
through the theurgic ritual of divine ascent.
There is no realization of the perfected human soul outside of history,
only the enshrinement of human striving in the unchangeable, eternal,
and divine cosmos - but this itself is an overcoming of history, and
therefore of the determinism that is always connected in some form or other
This mild criticism of Iamblichus
does not, however, detract from the supreme importance he places on the soul's
participation in the Godhead - a participation more direct, more mutual, and
more individually creative than what is found in Christian liturgical and
All of theurgy has a
two-fold character. One is that it is a
rite conducted by men which preserves our natural order in the universe; the
other is that it is empowered by divine symbols [theia sunthêmata],
is raised up through them to be joined on high with the Gods, and is led
harmoniously round to their order. This
latter aspect can rightly be called 'taking the shape of the Gods' [theôn
Christian eschatology, the telos of Iamblichean theurgy is not the
establishment of a new mode of existence outside this cosmos, but a perfection
of human-divine existence within the cosmos.
While this eliminates the historical dimension of human existence -
i.e., striving for an indeterminate future - it does preserve the
creative aspect of our intellectual union with a higher, divine principle.
ask whether the preservation of human creativity in Iamblichus' conception of
an encosmic partnership with the Demiurge, resulting in a complete conformation
of human beings with divinity, is preferable to the Origenist-inspired
Christian conception of an eternal striving (beyond the cosmos) for an
intellectual grasp of the divine mysteries - one in which the unique character
of the human soul remains intact, while never truly becoming united with
divinity. The implication of
Iamblichean henôsis and Christian theôsis were brought together
in the thought of Maximus the Confessor, who simply enshrined human striving in
a 'deified' state in which the human nature ceased to function, giving way
wholly to the divine. It is the task of
an Existential-Personalist eschatology to unite these two differing theoretical
approaches to the soul and its final destiny in relation to God.
For Iamblichus, the final result of
the soul's quest for deification was quite clear, as he explains in a fragment
of his Letter to Macedonius (On Fate), where he writes:
It is the life that is
lived in accordance with intellect and that cleaves to the gods that we must
train ourselves to live; for this is the only life which admits of the
untrammeled authority of the soul, frees us from the bonds of necessity, and
allows us to live a life no longer mortal, but one that is divine and filled by
the will of the gods with divine benefits.
difficult to conceive of an eschatological state more favorable to the life of
the intellect than what is described here by Iamblichus. The final question, however, is whether the
lack of striving and the loss of an existential, situationist freedom (such as
that described by Sartre, for example)
is a fair price to pay for such a state of noetic bliss. Is "likeness to God as far as possible" a
pre-determined outcome of a life properly lived? Or is it the effervescent self-expression of a creative being
demanding not the assurance of divine staticity, but rather the glorious
affirmation of a will that is neither human nor divine - but supremely
See, for example, De Mysteriis
See, for example, Gregory Nazianzen, De filio
. 30) 21.27-33
(ed. Barbel), and also the interesting passage in John of Damascus, De
See G. Shaw, Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus
(University Park, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press 1995), p. 51.
This notion is first found in Origen's De Principiis
, 2.11.7, where he
uses the notion of an eternal feasting on divine food. It is later developed along more mystical
lines by Gregory of Nyssa. On Gregory,
see H. Urs von Balthasar, Presence and Thought: An Essay on the Religious
Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa
, tr. M. Sebanc (San Francisco: Ignatius
Press 1995), Part One, Chapter 1.
Maximus, Chapters on Knowledge
2.88; also L. Thunberg, Man and the Cosmos: The
Vision of St. Maximus the Confessor
(Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary
Press 1985), p. 89
When I speak of personalism and existentialism, I am referring mainly to the
work of Russian philosopher Nicholas Berdyaev, for whom human freedom is
essentially creative, and geared toward an eskhaton
in which personal
creative activity is enshrined in/as the human image of God. See, for example, Berdyaev's major works, Slavery
, The Destiny of Man
, The Meaning of History
Tr. M.J. Levett, revised by M. Burnyeat, in J.M Cooper, ed., Plato: Complete
(Indianapolis: Hackett 1997).
See J. Dillon, The Middle Platonists: 80 B.C. to A.D. 220
Cornell University Press 1977), p. 123.
See, for example, Phaedrus
The account of Basilides' teaching by Irenaeus 1.24.4-5, tr. B. Layton, in The
(New York: Doubleday 1987), p. 423.
See, for example, Ennead
See G. Shaw, Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus
Chapter 5, esp. p. 65.
In a passage surely of inspiration for Proclus, Iamblichus writes: "every order
is presided over by its unparticipated monad, prior to the participated
elements" (Fr. 54 = Proclus, In Tim.
II 240, 4 ff. Diehl; tr. Dillon,
Gerson, Neoplatonic Philosophy: Introductory Readings
, p. 253).
Belief in the eternity of the cosmos, it must be remarked, was not a strictly
pagan teaching. The Christian scholarch
Stephanus of Alexandria (ca. 610 A.D.) adhered to the pagan doctrine of the
cosmos' indestructibility. Maximus the
Confessor likely knew of Stephanus' teachings, if not the man himself.
See Iamblichus, Letter to Macedonius (On Fate)
, Fr. 5 = Stobaeus Anthologium
II 175, 1-15, ed. Wachsmuth, Hense.
Olympiodorus, In Platonis Alcibiadiem commentarii
(Westerinck) = Fr. 8 (Dillon), quoted in J. Finamore, Iamblichus and the
Theory of the Vehicle of the Soul
(Chico, CA: Scholars Press 1985), p. 47.
1.12, tr. Taylor.
Athanasius, De incarnatione verbi
54.3.1-2: "For God became man so that
we might become God" - my translation.
Iamblichus, De Mysteriis
5.26.18-40, tr. J. Dillon, L.P. Gerson, Neoplatonic
Philosophy: Introductory Readings
(Indianapolis: Hackett 2004), p. 232.
G. Shaw, Theurgy and the Soul: The Neoplatonism of Iamblichus
, p. 51.
Iamblichus, De Mysteriis
10.6.9-13, tr. Taylor.
Ibid., 10.5.35, tr. Taylor.
Commentary on Timaeus
, see Fragments 7, 29, 50, 53, 54 (= Proclus, In
I 77, 24 ff.; 230, 5 ff.; II 104, 30 ff.; 215, 5 ff.; 240, 4 ff.
J. Finamore, Iamblichus and the Theory of the Vehicle of the Soul
See 2 Peter 1:4, read in light of the doctrines of Maximus.
While we do find, in Maximus, a concept of human-divine participation, this
does not include any real creative partnership with God. Rather, Maximus views our partnership with
God in strictly eschatological terms, involving the realization of God as
primordial human being, which Maximus understands as the goal of creation in the
first place. The uniqueness of the
human person finds no place in Maximus' thought.
Tr. J. Dillon, L.P. Gerson, Neoplatonic Philosophy: Introductory Readings
N. Berdyaev, Truth and Revelation
tr. R.M. French (New York: Collier Books 1962), p. 84.
N. Berdyaev, The Meaning of History
tr. G. Reavey (Cleveland: World Publishing Company 1962), p. 170.
See, for comparison, St. Cyril of
Jerusalem, Lectures on the Christian Sacraments: The Procatechesis and the
Five Mystical Catecheses
, ed. F.L. Cross (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's
Seminary Press 1995).
184, 1-8 [1.12.33-41 f.], in Shaw, Theurgy and the Soul
p. 51 - translation modified.
Fragment 3 (= Stobaeus Anthologium
II 173, 18-24, ed. Wachsmuth, Hense),
tr. J. Dillon, L.P. Gerson, Neoplatonic Philosophy: Introductory Readings
See J.-P. Sartre, Being and Nothingness
, in R.C. Solomon, ed.,
Phenomenology and Existentialism
(New York: Harper and Row 1972), p. 465.
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