You are on page 1of 383












I wish first of all to express my gratitude to my two supervisors: Professor Kallistos Ware of
the University of Oxford, and Dr. Oliver Davies of the University of Wales, Lampeter, for
their personal encouragement and kindness in overseeing the completion of my work and for
the professional way in which they guided my academic research. Bishop Kallistos being
Orthodox and Oliver Davies being Catholic and myself Protestant has given our team-work a
flavour of all the branches of Christendom, a theological transparency, which I hope is
reflected in this thesis as it is reflected in Stăniloae’s writings.

I would also like to thank those in Regent’s Park College, Oxford, who offered me their
friendship, fellowship, and support during the period of my research.

In a special way, thanks are also due to the Emmanuel Bible Institute in Oradea, Romania, for
releasing me to complete my academic studies. Also, thanks to those who helped me by
proof-reading my thesis, both in Britain and Romania.

There are also those, whom I would like to thank, friends and anonymous, too many to
mention by name, who have financially supported me during this time, mainly through the
good offices of my friend, David Bishop, chairman of The Crisul Trust.

Above all, I want to thank my wife Maria and my children: Rebeca, Titus, Matilda, Lucian,
Tania, and Ana, for their understanding and patience, especially in the hard times when I was
in Britain.

Emil Bartoş

January, 1997




1. Stăniloae and his work...........................................................................................
2. The concept of deification in Orthodox theology........................................................
3. Purpose and method....................................................................................


General background.....................................................................................................
2. Stăniloae and the synthesis apophatic - cataphatic......................................................
2.1 Apophaticism of negative and positive knowledge.......................................
2.2 Apophaticism at the end of pure prayer.........................................................
2.3 Apophaticism of the vision of divine light....................................................
2.4 Summary...................................................................................................
3. A comparative appraisal of the apophaticism of Stăniloae and Lossky......................
3.1 The radical apophatic way. Vladimir Lossky................................................
3.2 Lossky and the Greek Fathers.....................................................................
3.3 A review of Lossky’s apophaticism...............................................................
3.4 The question of the vision of God..................................................................
3.5 Stăniloae’s critique of Lossky..................................................................
4. Patristic influence in Stăniloae..............................................................................
5. Conclusions....................................................................................................


1. General background.............................................................................................
2. Stăniloae and the divine uncreated energies................................................................
2.1 The trinitarian basis of the uncreated energies..............................................
2.2 The dynamic personalism of the uncreated energies.....................................
2.3 The antinomic character of the uncreated energies.......................................
2.4 Summary....................................................................................................
3. Patristic influence in Stăniloae............................................................................
3.1 The distinction essence-energies before Gregory Palamas............................
3.2 The decisive influence of Gregory Palamas..................................................
3.2.1 Intradivine distinction.....................................................................
3.2.2 Theology of light.......................................................................
3.3 Summary..................................................................................................
4. Critical evaluation.....................................................................................................
4.1 The charge of innovation.............................................................................
4.2 The charge of impersonalism.......................................................................
4.3 Revelation and theosis.................................................................................
5. General conclusions.................................................................................................


5.1. Evaluation................................................................................................
5.2. Assessment...............................................................................................


1. The relationship between God and world....................................................................
1.1. Deification and the act of creation................................................................
1.1.1 Deification as the reason and purpose of creation..........................
1.1.2 Creation ex nihilo........................................................................
1.1.3 Creation as a free and triune act......................................................
1.1.4 Summary.....................................................................................
1.2. The dynamism of creation: theosis and kinesis.............................................
1.2.1 Time.............................................................................................
1.2.2 Space...........................................................................................
1.2.3 Power..........................................................................................
1.2.4 Summary.....................................................................................
1.3 Evaluation...................................................................................................
2. The relationship between world and man................................................................
2.1 The world as a gift......................................................................................
2.2 The interdependence and responsibility of man and nature..........................
2.3 Man as mediator.........................................................................................
2.4 The rationalities of the world.....................................................................
2.5 Evaluation...................................................................................................
3. The relationship between man and God...................................................................
3.1 The unity of man........................................................................................
3.1.1 Soul and body................................................................................
3.1.2 Soul and mind..............................................................................
3.1.3 Summary......................................................................................
3.2 Imago Dei and theosis.................................................................................
3.2.1 The ontological and personalist character of the image.................
3.2.2 The communitarian character of the image....................................
3.2.3 The dynamic character of the image: image and likeness..............
3.2.4 The imperishable character of the image........................................
3.3 Evaluation: person and nature.....................................................................
4. General conclusions..................................................................................................


1. Deification and incarnation.......................................................................................
1.1 Communion with the Logos and transcendental Christology........................
1.2 Deification and the hypostatic union.............................................................
1.2.1 The enhypostasized human nature in the pre-existent hypostasis of the
1.2.2 The complete actualisation of the human nature in Christ..............
1.2.3 The maximal realisation of the union of God and man in Christ....
1.2.4 Summary.......................................................................................


1.3 Consequences of the hypostatic union........................................................
1.3.1 The communication of the properties..............................................
1.3.2 Kenosis..........................................................................................
2. Patristic influence......................................................................................................
2.1 Leontius of Byzantium and enhypostasia....................................................
2.2 Maximus the Confessor and perichoresis.....................................................
2.3 Cyril of Alexandria and the soul/body analogy..............................................
2.4 Evaluation....................................................................................................
3. General conclusions...................................................................................................


1. Background and premises in Stăniloae's soteriology...................................................
1.1 plan of salvation.......................................................................................
1.2 The link between the Person of Jesus Christ and His salvific ministry.........
2. Christ's Tridimensional Ministry: The Saviour as Prophet, Priest, and King..............
2.1 Christ as prophet (salvation as truth).............................................................
2.2 Christ as priest (salvation as communion with God).....................................
2.2.1 The sacrificial aspect of redemption...............................................
2.2.2 The ontological aspect of redemption.............................................
2.2.3 The recapitulative aspect of redemption.........................................
2.3 Christ as king (salvation as transfiguration)...................................................
2.4 Summary....................................................................................................
3. General conclusions..................................................................................................
3.1 Evaluation...................................................................................................
3.1.1 The incarnational view of the redemption......................................
3.1.2 Redemption as ontological relations............................................... Redemption as internal atonement................................... The idea of penetration.....................................................
3.1.3 The progressive nature of redemption.............................................
3.1.4 The question of the nature of sin.....................................................
3.1.5 The role of Christ's death and resurrection.....................................
3.2 Assessment................................................................................................


1. The communitarian character of the Church. Trinitarian basis...................................
1.1 The Trinity as a model for the Church...........................................................
1.2 The Trinity as the principle of life of the Church..........................................
1.3 Summary........................................................................................................
2. Deification and pneumatological Christology.............................................................
2.1 The transparency of the Spirit in revelation and in the Church.....................
2.2 Christ and the Spirit....................................................................................
2.3 Summary....................................................................................................
3. The theandric constitution of the Church..................................................................


3.1 The Church founded by Christ’s incarnation.................................................
3.2 The Church stamped by Christ’s sacrifice.....................................................
3.3 The Church pneumatized by the Spirit of the risen Christ............................
3.4 Summary.....................................................................................................
4. General conclusions..................................................................................................


1. Deification by grace and its personal appropriation....................................................
1.1 The work of grace and the state of grace.......................................................
1.1.1 The work of grace and uncreated energies.....................................
1.1.2 The work of grace and the gifts......................................................
1.1.3 The state of grace.......................................................................
1.2 Freedom and grace....................................................................................
1.3 Summary....................................................................................................
2. Deification and the stages of justification....................................................................
2.1 The stage of preparation.............................................................................
2.2 The stage of regeneration...........................................................................
2.3 The stage of progression.............................................................................
2.4 Summary.....................................................................................................
3. The role of faith and good works..............................................................................
4. The creational composition of the holy mysteries.......................................................
5. General conclusions.................................................................................................
5.1 Ontological continuity and pneumatological Christology.............................
5.2 Communion and theandrism......................................................................
5.3 The dynamism of grace.............................................................................
5.4 Nature and grace........................................................................................
5.5 The question of justification and sanctification.............................................


1. Summary.....................................................................................................................
2. Final assessment......................................................................................................



1. Stăniloae and his work

The Romanian Orthodox theologian Dumitru Stăniloae has been increasingly recognised as
one of the most important contemporary Orthodox theologians.1 He was born in the
Transylvanian village of Vlădeni, near Braşov, on November 16, 1903. He began theological
studies at the Faculty of Theology at the University of Cernăuţi, in Bukovina, in 1922,
showing a special interest in theological method, Church history and Gregory Palamas. In
Cernăuţi and then in Athens, in parallel with the Greek Fathers (such as Maximus the
Confessor, Symeon the New Theologian, Gregory Palamas), Stăniloae showed a particular
interest in German philosophy (such as Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer) and Russian theology
(such as Bulgakov, Khomiakov). After he successfully defended his doctoral thesis,2 Stăniloae
was sent to Germany and France to study Byzantine history, where he came into contact with
the existentialist philosophy and dialectical theology of the West. Back in Romania, Stăniloae
was appointed professor at the Sibiu Theological Academy and was ordained a priest in 1932,
soon after his marriage. He worked as rector of the Academy from 1936 to 1946, being
involved in various academic activities and setting up new bases for Romanian Orthodox
theology. In this period Stăniloae showed special attention to some Western issues and to
some of the internal debates in Romanian society. Under communist pressures, Stăniloae
assumed a professorship at the Bucharest Theological Institute and served as professor of

Clément spoke of him as “one of the principal, if not the principal spokesman of contemporary Orthodoxy
and, very simply, of Christianity.” Cf. “Le Père Dumitru Staniloae Docteur honoris causa de l’Institut Saint-
Serge. Allocution d’Olivier Clément,” Service Orthodoxe de Presse, no. 59 (June-July 1981), pp. 18-23 (18).
In the preface of the German translation of the first volume of Stăniloae’s Orthodox Dogmatic Theology,
Moltmann makes the remark that “although still largely unknown in the West, he is however the most
influential and creative contemporary Orthodox theologian.” Cf. J. Moltmann, “Geleitwort,” in D. Stăniloae,
Orthodoxe Dogmatik (Zürich, Einsiedeln, Köln: Benziger Verlag; Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus Gerd
Mohn, 1985), p. 10. For Stăniloae’s biographical sketch, see: I. Bria, “Omagiu Părintelui Profesor Dumitru
Stăniloae la Aniversarea Împlinirii Vârstei de 75 ani,” Ortodoxia 30 (1978), pp. 638-647; M. Păcurariu,
“Preotul Profesor şi Academician Dumitru Stăniloae. Câteva Coordonate Biografice,” in Persoană şi
Comuniune. Prinos de Cinstire Părintelui Profesor Academician Dumitru Stăniloae la Împlinirea Vârstei de
90 de ani (Sibiu: Arhiepiscopia Ortodoxă Sibiu, 1993), pp. 1-15, and “Stăniloae Dumitru,” in Dicţionarul
Teologilor Români (Bucureşti: Univers Enciclopedic, 1996); M.A. Costa de Beauregard, Dumitru Stăniloae.
Mică Dogmatică Vorbită (Sibiu: Deisis, 1995).
D. Stăniloae, “Viaţa şi Activitatea Patriarhului Dosofteiu al Ierusalimului şi Legăturile lui cu Ţările
Româneşti,” Candela 40 (1929), pp. 208-276.

816-836. Both bishops were recognised by Basil the Great.” Cf. customs or people's wisdom. Stăniloae was imprisoned for five years. who translated and printed in Transylvania books on specifically theological subjects. Dicţionarul Teologilor Români (Bucureşti: Univers Enciclopedic. In practice. Bria. 730-748. In these monasteries were the centre for theological learning and spiritual vitality. and later it was printed in the Romanian language by hieromonk Macarie from Tîrgovişte (Liturghierul Slavon. p. who was bishop of Tomis in 369 and martyred in 372. pp.” BOR 3-4 (1959). “Însemnătatea Culturală şi Religioasă a Tipăriturilor Coresiene. One of the most important theologians of that period was John Cassian.5 This aspect is 3 From a historical perspective. During this interval. 4 It is asserted that the first centuries were marked by an oral tradition conveyed through the means of faith.4 Second. Teodorescu. Dicţionar de Teologie Ortodoxă (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. Some initiatives took place through the writings of contemporary theologians like Seşan and Bria.” GB 1-2 (1971). the principal work that describes the preoccupation for an original spiritual Orthodoxy is Învăţăturile lui Neagoe către Fiul său . 638-645. in Dobrogea. “Bisericile cu Pictura Exterioară din Moldova. I. See B. First. the medium by which Orthodox teaching was kept and conveyed in a doxological form. between 1958 and 1964. 1994) pp. wrote a patristic work called Pătimirea lui Sava Gotul. M. called Wallachia. Crăciunaş. pp. This unwritten theology has existed as long as the Romanian people and its spirituality. 4-6 (1968). a clear Byzantine spirit detectable even from the fourteenth century . 8 dogmatic and symbolic theology from 1947 until his retirement in 1973. known as “the forerunner of ancient Romanian theology. bishop of Tomis in 392. Păcurariu.” MA 11-12 (1966). The decisive step for the Romanian theological culture was made by deacon Coresi. Stăniloae continued to be a consultant professor until his death in 1993. 406-444. built in the north of Moldavia. The ancestors created a kind of “ethnotheology. slightly influenced by the Protestant Reformation movement. pp. pp. 5 The liturgical space was always a force of cohesion of Orthodoxy. Orthodox doctrine was learned from liturgical books. Historical research confirms the existence of Christianity in the south of the country. In the south of the country. Seşan. the interesting fact is that we could not find an extensive documented history of Romanian Orthodox theology. Cf.due to the links that the Romanian Orthodox Church had with the greatest spiritual and cultural centres of Orthodoxy in Jerusalem. This stage is characterised by an emphasis on religious instruction and present in Stăniloae’s theological approach. and Teotim II analysed some decisions from the council of Chalcedon. the liturgical space was maintained in the monasteries. That is why the task of a Protestant researcher becomes more difficult in such cases. some remarkable common points become apparent.” MMS 7-8 (1969). 467-481. In this time the native Church sent their representatives to the ecumenical and local councils and we can find some theological works. XV. studied Origen's works. and I. Coman. I. “Teologia Ortodoxă Română Contemporană.3 Drawing a parallel between the major stages in the history of Romanian Orthodox theology and Stăniloae’s theology. See for example. 278-293. “Teologia Ortodoxă în secolele XI-XIII. and to the north of the Danube in the fourth and fifth centuries.” MMS 7-8 (1967). 287-306.” MMS 11-12 (1970). Athos and Sinai . “Personalitatea Diaconului Coresi şi Rolul Lui în Cultura Românească. apparently because of his part in the revival of Romanian Orthodox spirituality. though this clue is strangely neglected in the understanding of his thought. 49-72. pp. a very popular mode of understanding God that constitute a permanent spiritual element. V. that reflect the iconographical and architectural expression of theology. Stăniloae’s studies in theology were strongly affected by the historical investigation of the early Romanian writings. John Crysostom and Epiphanius. For example.” that is. Stăniloae’s theology has to do with the unique combination of the Latinized Orthodoxy character of the Romanian tradition in the first stage of its existence. 10-12 (1967). Bria. We know that Teotim I. 1996). M. After leaving the Institute in 1973. pp. pp. 383-400.”Teologia Ortodoxă în sec. pp. Dicţionar de Teologie Ortodoxă. 1508). Bretarion. 383.

complete with courses. pp. Doctorate dissertation (Basel. Nikifor Teotokis. theosophy. Bria. on the issue of transubstantiation. the basis for a future Romanian Orthodox culture was laid down.S. 1693). who wrote different works on history (Descriptio Moldaviae). the central figure of this monastic renaissance being Paisie Velichkovsky (d. who translated the whole Old Testament. 1792). and the greatest historian and humanist of the feudal epoch. Mehedinţi. and V. Constantin Brâncoveanu and Antim Ivireanul. moral theology and Christian spirituality. we cannot talk about a proper Orthodox literature in the sense of original creativity. For example. theology. 9 Stăniloae interacts with great personalities of that time. Crainic and Eliade. moral philosophy (Divanul). “Cuprinsul Teologic al Învăţăturilor lui Neagoe. I. The modern critics appreciate the work of professor Mihălcescu and affirm that from . Orthodox theology depended on translations from the Greek and Russian authors heavily influenced by Scholasticism. 6 This is the period of stagnation of its theology. Dicţionar de Teologie Ortodoxă. the influence of Eugenios Bulgaris. Cf. Two important cities opened theological faculties. 7 We can find new theological seminaries. the patriarch of Jerusalem. The key figure in the theology field was Mihălcescu.8 Stăniloae struggles to liberate the Romanian Orthodox theology from these influences. Varlaam wrote Catehismul Calvinesc (1645) where he promotes the unity of Romanian people and the ecumenicity of faith.9 Being part of Teodosie. Wesen und Auftrag der Kirche aus der Sicht der neueren rumänisch-Orthodoxen Theologie. 1972). who tried by their works to detach themselves from the rigidities of Slavism and Byzantism. Cândea. books and new translations from modern theologians.” România Literară (1971). The former is considered the founder of the first school of priests organised in Romania and author of the first didactic text-books. Plămădeală. hesychast spirituality and ascetic literature. spirituality and political vision. The role of the Romanian Church in the Orthodox world is recognised due to the council of Iassy in 1642 and its confession of faith written by metropolitan Peter Mogila of Kiev (1596-1646) and later approved by all Orthodox Churches as one of the principal symbolical texts of the Orthodox faith. Teofan Prokopovich.” The theological issues are of interest to men like: Nicolae Milescu. p.6 Not many similarities exist between Stăniloae’s theology and the theology that covers the first half of the nineteenth century. combining the modern approach on philosophical and dogmatic studies with patristic sources. A. and Psaltire (1673) by Dosoftei. These hierarchies preceded by their works the substantial achievements made later by other theologians on the theological field. “Întâia Mare Carte a Culturii Româneşti. books that circulated a great deal among Churches. Dimitrie Cantemir. in Romania. Platon Levshin of Moscow. Although this is known as a period of transition from an Orthodox culture with ecclesiastical trends to one impregnated with a didactic character. due to the influence of rationalism. 9 also perceived in the new ascetic trends of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that strongly influenced Stăniloae in rediscovering the patristic writings. who started a polemic with Dositei. 388-389. who encouraged new theological disciplines in the faculty curriculum. positivism. a book considered “the first monument of dogmatic theology.7 for Stăniloae it appears as a compromised period for Orthodox theology.” See A. In this period we note the appearance of theological schools attached to metropolitanates and those with ascetic character. we find a very strong reaction against the infiltration of Protestant doctrines in Orthodoxy. Constantin Cantacuzino who gave a very solid support for the first Romanian translation of the whole Bible in 1688. However. defining the Calvinist heresy as “a poison and death for the soul. in Iassy (1860-64) and Bucharest (1861 and 1884). 245-262. and new translations from the Fathers. 8 It is known that in the nineteenth century. Blaga. and “the first great book of the Romanian culture.” a very original synthesis of ethics. and apologetics (Loca Obscura) with a profound Orthodox spirit. and Peter Svetlov. The theological culture of that time was dominated by metropolitans Varlaam (1632- 1653) and Dosoftei (d.” ST 3-4 (1969). the metropolitans Veniamin Costache of Moldavia (1768-1846) and Grigore Dascălul of Ungrovlahia (1765-1834). We note some new and relevant works like Cartea Românească de Învăţătură (1643) by Varlaam. as Pârvan. Although an important step forward was made in these years. Keller. Makarios Bulgakov. 13. Iorga. As in Transylvania. See for example. pp. Two leaders remain as the essential promoters of theological works. and scholasticism.

Ebner. servanthood and renewal.which is also reflected in some writings on the question of nationalism and ethnicity -11 stays as a key element in understanding the Christological aspect of deification. Popescu). Bria thinks that the Romanian Orthodox theology developed in history first because of the internal dynamic life of the Church as the people of God. pp. for example. argues Bria. is found in Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu (1987) and in the chapter entitled “Omul şi Dumnezeu.” in Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă (1991). 10 In this context. 12 A developed version of the Christology exposed in Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. the openness to the world. this time under the heavy influence of Maximus the Confessor. Coman. Bria. His theological commitment led him to explore a wide variety of such frameworks and to borrow concepts and approaches from a number of them. Marcel) and theological (such as Barth. This realistic. Ortodoxie şi Românism (Sibiu: Editura Arhidiecezană. spirituality and mission. Poziţia D-lui Lucian Blaga faţă de Creştinism şi Ortodoxie (Sibiu: Editura Arhidiecezană. Stăniloae’s basic theological insights were mediated through a series of philosophical (such as Buber. Stăniloae’s theology develops a very dynamic and open spirit in establishing an organic correlation between doctrine. The first tendency is an openness to Western values. By visiting Paris. 339-340. Heidegger. which constitutes one of Stăniloae’s first major theological contributions in Romanian Orthodox theology this century. Bria. The best expression of this tendency is seen in his book on Christology. in the very difficult time of communism. Todoran. Bultmann) frameworks.” See “Teologia Dogmatică în Biserica Ortodoxă Română în Trecut şi Azi.” Luceafărul 2 (1942). pp. ontologist and spiritualist orientation . Stăniloae. Stăniloae. I. “Legea Neamului. to promote “the social apostolate” as a practical involvement of Orthodox believers in the life of the country. 1942). 11 See. 1933). D. Branişte. culture and national art.” Another reason is the continuous search for its own identity through which the Romanian Orthodox Church had the freedom to include in its theology the language. The principal contribution of these frameworks has been to give him a conceptuality for speaking about concrete and personal experience. . Plămădeală. reprinted in 1993. 395f. translations. and the problems of ecumenical dialogue. and another group of very creative theologians arose (Belu.12 him since today “the evolution of Romanian theology does not constitute an essential changing but a changing in intensity and amplification. we may observe two significant tendencies in the first part of Stăniloae’s theological career. Dicţionar de Teologie Ortodoxă. Stan. Berlin and Munich in the period of the growth of existentialism and dialectical theology. 42-47.” Ortodoxia 3 (1971). Jaspers. Lavelle. cult. Mladin. Romanian theology is a creation of the local Church and not a local synthesis of foreign influences. Radu. Many new text- books. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului (1943). Brunner. in which a new emphasis is put on the ontological aspect of redemption. we could especially remark on the initiative of patriarch Iustinian (1901-1977). A final reason for development sees the European and pan Orthodox conscience in which Romanian theology has its own spiritual identity and universality. courses. 10 the mature period in the history of Romanian theology. 1939). D. based on the theology of peace. Catolicismul de după Război (Sibiu: Editura Arhidiecezană. pp.10 Given this historical context. Rezuş. That is why Romanian Christianity “inspired and fecundated the cultural creation of the nation. G.

RT 4-5 (1944). Cuvânt despre Întruparea Cuvântului. notes and comments. Athanasius. PSB 38 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. 1946-1948). Romania: Its Hesychast Tradition and Culture (Wildwood. 1987). pp. Buga). Imnele Iubirii Dumnezeieşti. Cele 5 Cuvântări Teologice (Bucureşti: Anastasia. 16 Athanasius. . Despre Rânduiala cea după Dumnezeu şi Nevoinţa Adevărată. Elias.16 Cyril of Alexandria. Scrieri I: Cuvânt Împotriva Elinilor. PSB 80 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. Action. all with introduction. 339-356. notes and comments. Scrieri II: Glafirele. In English. 1992). a Ukrainian and a graduate of Kiev Theological Academy. Stăniloae lectured in Bucharest on Orthodox spirituality. Scrieri II: Scrieri şi Epistole Hristologice şi Duhovniceşti. 1984).14 Gregory of Nyssa. Trei Cuvinte Împotriva Arienilor. 20 Gregory of Nazianzus. Stăniloae. PSB 82 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. Origen. 14 Maximus. 1983).: University of Notre Dame. when Stăniloae wrote a monograph on Gregory Palamas (Viaţa şi Învăţătura lui Grigorie Palama) and introduced the doctrine of divine uncreated energies as the axis of his future theological system. Symeon the New Theologian. 1982). John Chrysostom. 21 Cf. Scrieri I: Ambigua. entitling his collection Dobrotolyubie or “Love of Good. notes and comments (with I. by O. Cyril of Alexandria. with introduction. Lumina şi Desăvârşi. with introduction. Chipuri ale Bisericii. 1973). Dionysius. Paisie translated 25 treaties out of 36. Then. and Gregory Palamas. Binswanger. PSB 16 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. pp. Blondel. On the key role of Stăniloae in the spiritual revival in Romania. Thus Stăniloae’s openness to the West is supplemented and balanced by a neo- patristic spirit. Ca. tr. 18 Symeon the New Theologian. PSB 15 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. 1993). in Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă (Craiova: Mitropolia Olteniei. 1991). Maximus. vols. notes and comments. see R. V-XII (Bucureşti. with introduction and notes. the Cappadocians. The interest in patristics starts in 1938. 1976-1991) . Mystagogia: Cosmosul şi Sufletul. Athos where he founded the skete of St. 19 Dionysius. Despre Fericiri.17 Symeon the New Theologian. Scrieri III: Despre Sfânta Treime. PSB 39 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. notes and comments. 15 Gregory of Nyssa.from now on Filocalia. I-IV (Sibiu. with interesting references to the existentialist and psychological works of Blondel and Binswanger. 17 Cyril of Alexandria.: St. and from L.20 In the same period. resulting a set of 12 volumes entitled Filocalia Sfintelor Nevoinţe ale Desavârşirii sau Culegere din Scrierile Sfinţilor Părinţi care Arată cum se poate Omul Curăţi. Scrieri I: Închinare în Slujire şi Adevăr. Opere Complete (Bucureşti: Paideia. Scrieri II: Epistole. pp. 1942). John of Damascus. who became a monk in his own country and then in Mt. all with introduction. Asceză şi Mistică Creştină sau Teologia Vieţii Spirituale (Cluj: Cartea Cărţii de Ĺtiinţă.19 and Gregory of Nazianzus. 1996). Stăniloae quotes from M. all with introduction. notes and comments. 1993). Stăniloae began to publish Romanian translations and commentaries on the Philokalia until 1991. Scrieri I: Tâlcuire la Cântarea Cântarilor. in 1946.13 followed by similar works on Maximus. 3rd edition (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.18 Dionysius. the theological line constituted by: Irenaeus. 1994). 11 The second tendency in Stăniloae’s theological career is his searching for a more experiential theology. PSB 29 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR.21 His patristic interest is completed by a vast 13 Philokalia is a collection of patristic and hesychast writings concerning pure prayer and the monastic life. 1991). This is seen in his constant attention given to the major writings of the Fathers. 1988). Clement.” Stăniloae includes in the Romanian version new authors. 1992). Despre Rugăciunea Domnească. 1990). Grundformen und Erkenntnis menschilchen Daseins (Zürich. Viaţa Cuviosului Părintelui nostru Antonie. and 6-8 (1944). Leontius of Byzantium. D. 166-181. Ind. Blanchette (Notre Dame. introduction.15 Athanasius. Xenia Skete. L’Action (1893). PSB 40 (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. 322-705. Joantă. and vols. A previous translation of Philokalia from Greek into Slavonic (1793) was done by Paisie Velichkovsky (1722- 1794).

“Mărturisirea Păcatelor şi Pocăinţa în Trecutul Bisericii. “The World: Gift of God and Scene of Humanity’s Response. “Motivele şi Urmările Dogmatice ale Schismei. 179-196. a creative synthesis of dogma. Most work on and reviews of Stăniloae centre around his spiritual aspect and not strictly on his theological thought.” Ortodoxia 4 (1955). Introducere în Gândirea Părintelui Stăniloae (Craiova: Omniscop.24 Two reasons may be advanced for this. The Orthodox Pneumatic Ecclesiology of Father Dumitru Stăniloae. pp. Raporturile dintre Ele şi Problema Tainelor în Afara Bisericii. “O Dogmatică pentru Omul de Azi. 747-764. MPhil dissertation (Dublin. 1994).” Ortodoxia 2 (1969). spirituality and liturgy is achieved in his dogmatic trilogy: Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. In a sense. I. “Judecata Particulară după Moarte. pp. pp. D. “Doctrina Protestantă despre Păcatul Originar Judecată din Punct de Vedere Ortodox. pp. 1993). on Mariology: “Învăţătura despre Maica Domnului la Ortodocşi şi Catolici. pp. Reflexii despre Spiritualitatea Poporului Român (Craiova: Scrisul Românesc. Stăniloae’s difficult style of writing: he is given to long. pp.” Ortodoxia 3 (1968).” Ortodoxia 3 (1954). Contemporary Romanian Orthodox Ecclesiology. Stăniloae. D. Bria.” Ortodoxia 2 (1956). pp.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 4 (1979). pp. 507-533. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă (1981).” Ortodoxia 4 (1953).G. but these works are in the same vein as Stăniloae’s thought. on ecclesiology: “Dumnezeiasca Euharistie în cele Trei Confesiuni. on soteriology: “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. pp. Lumina Lumii şi Îndumnezeirea Omului (Bucureşti: Anastasia. 1996).” Ortodoxia 3 (1956). An Introduction to His Theological Thought. “Doctrina Ortodoxă şi Catolică despre Păcatul Strămoşesc. 1991).” ER 33. Doctorate dissertation (Roma. 218-250. pp. pp. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă (Craiova: Mitropolia Olteniei. 532-559. “Starea Sufletelor după Judecata Particulară în Învăţătura Ortodoxă şi Catolică. O’Brien. Stăniloae’s contribution to the development of an original Romanian theology is achieved. pp. pp. Iisus Hristos. pp. Ciobotea. 23 In the last period. 559-609.F. “Maica Domnului ca Mijlocitoare. pp. 1992).” Irénikon 54 (1981). Nesser.” Ortodoxia 3-4 (1952). R. . “Une Dogmatique pour l’Homme d’aujourd’hui. and “The Creative Vision of D. S.” ST 6 (1986). and for one so highly acclaimed there has been surprisingly little serious work done on Stăniloae’s unique thought. pp. on revelation: “Revelaţia prin Acte.” Ortodoxia 2 (1957). 1987).” ER 33. 1984). 79-129. 24 The most important works on Stăniloae’s theology are: G. 3 vols. “Fiinţa Tainelor în cele Trei Confesiuni.3 (1981). An Ecumenical Approach.” BOR 3-4 (1955). with a few on his epistemology. Stăniloae published other important works. 3-28. O Antropologie Mistică. meandering 22 For example.” Ortodoxia 1 (1953).” Ortodoxia 1 (1957). 545-614. “Numărul Taineleor. with this magnum opus. Firstly. “Revelaţia ca Dar şi Făgăduinţă. 46-115. but there is a lack of serious criticism of his theology as a whole and of individual components of it.23 For such a prolific writer.22 As a result of the patristic and dogmatic integration. Several articles have been written on his broad system of thought. The Contribution of Dumitru Stăniloae and Younger Colleagues. pp.” Ortodoxia 4 (1954). Cuvinte şi Imagini. 191-214. 347-377. “Dumitru Stăniloae’s Ecumenical Studies as an Aspect of the Orthodox-Protestant Dialogue. I. 472-484 [in Romanian. 272-282. Some of his students have continued his work on the relation of spirituality to theology. 323-357.1 (1981). such as Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu (Craiova: Mitropolia Olteniei.” Ortodoxia 4 (1950). Frunză. Juhasz. 195-215. Roberson. “Problematica Antropologică în Opera Părintelui Profesor Dumitru Stăniloae. pp. Spaţiul Nemuririi sau Eternizarea Umanului în Dumnezeu (Iaşi: Trinitas. E. 12 collection of articles on dogmatics that remain the foundation of his systematic theology. 218-259. 3-40. pp. Anghelescu. and Spiritualitate şi Comuniune în Liturghia Ortodoxă (1986). Aspects of the Thought of Father Dumitru Stăniloae. pp. (1978). Chipul Evanghelic al lui Iisus Hristos (Sibiu: Editura Centrului Mitropolitan. 148-156.” MO 4-6 (1991). 1991). “Faptele Bune în Învăţătura Ortodoxă şi Catolică.” Ortodoxia 1 (1956). 31-37. 98-104]. 1988). pp.

Stăniloae promotes a return to the patristic sources as the way to engage in theological reflection. and interconnected with the modern theological debates of our century. from the obscurities of personalism to a profound grasp of patristic theology. vol.” Thus it is not an insignificant feature of Stăniloae’s theology to work as mediator in the thought of the Greek Fathers and Orthodox modern theologians. and to Filocalia I. makes his approach to theology radically different to other Romanian Orthodox contemporary theologians. 27 Stăniloae once said that he wished to pursue a “theology of experience” and not an abstract theology. De L’Acte (Paris. One of Stăniloae’s achievements in the area of theology. Cf. II. which are regularly interspersed with parenthetical remarks. the breadth of thought and subject matter that Stăniloae has brought together. He tries to show that certain Orthodox theologians of the modern period have failed to do justice to the patristic tradition of the Church. from the Greek by D. 1945). Stăniloae. D. It was mentioned that. 5.26 Together with other Romanian theologians.Împlinirea Umanului. p. 1930).27 This is the reason why Stăniloae’s 25 This is seen in the influence of realistic personalism represented by Berdyaev. or G. from the beginning. Stăniloae’s preface to H. I. tr. Stăniloae (Sibiu. Stăniloae’s theological thinking struggles to keep in balance the unequalled spirit of the Fathers and the actual challenge in the field of Orthodox theology. Secondly. N. De l’Etre (Paris. X-XI. This is why he shapes his theology to issue “the spiritual meaning of the dogmatic teachings. he abandons “the scholastic method of treating the dogmas as abstract statements of faith. 1928). V. in abandoning the scholastic schemes of nineteenth century Orthodox theology and promoting the revitalising return to the patristic and Byzantine tradition with its spiritual inheritance of hesychasm and Palamism. I. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 26 Cf. Dogmatica Bisericii Ortodoxe Răsăritene. such as Mihălcescu and Coman. of a solely theoretical interest and long ago by-passed. pp. is to give attention to the need for the re-evaluation of certain theological formulations in the light of the writings of the Fathers and Christian mystics. and vol. Andrutsos. therefore. vol. Sfinţenia . vol.25 Much elaborated. also due to the revelational approach to the whole issue of theology and to the centrality of the paradox as a form of faith language and mystical theology. Curs de Teologie Mistică 1935-1936 (Iaşi: . 1937). This is seen in Stăniloae’s stress on the neo-patristic spirit and philokalic practice. is apparently impenetrable. allusive references to other patristic authors or periods of history. His theological style. without any connection with the deep. The metaphysics of participation that characterises Lavelle’s philosophical system is seen in his trilogy (often quoted by Stăniloae at the beginning of his theological career): La Dialectique de L’Eternel Présent.” p. Stăniloae recovers the true spirit of Orthodoxy by bringing back the patristic dimension and by avoiding the pitfall of “classicisation. III.” For that. Marcel. to emphasise their truth according to the deep needs of the soul. Lavelle. The Romanian philokalic renewing is also found in the writings of Nichifor Crainic and Nicolae Mladin. Du Temps et de L’Eternité (Paris. Crainic. rather than continuing to rely on later commentators and manuals of theology. therefore. spiritual life of the soul.” Cf. 13 sentences. “Preface.

Bria. (4) the emphasis on the hypostatic equilibrium between the economy of the Son and of the Spirit. 1996). Behind Stăniloae’s theological system there is in fact an important organising structure.30 His theological style claims a “theology of variegation”. Martie 1981). a form of doxology of divine love. 30 For a general view on the Romanian Orthodox theology in this century and the contribution of Stăniloae. Allchin.” in D. “Cumpăna Teologiei şi Culturii Române. 16- 17. and Prelegeri de Mistică Ortodoxă (Tîrgu Mureş: Veritas.”28 A second achievement of Stăniloae’s approach is his conviction that theology must be vertical and personal. 1993). (6) the Church as the icon of the Trinity and communion of persons. (2) the rationality of creation as the revelation of the Logos. (5) the unification of incarnation and deification. His theology is considered original. dogmatician.31 In summary. 14 theology “regenerated twentieth century dogmatics and freed the Orthodox tradition of abusive stereotypes and traditionalist exegesis. but a mode of knowledge. In accord with a new theological approach. See also A. modern theology. A single work can reveal the compactness of his knowledge of patristic. therefore. (3) the Trinity as the structure of supreme love.” in Dicţionar de Teologie Ortodoxă. 28 I. and personalist. a historian.”29 Stăniloae’s contribution.A. “Teologie Ortodoxă Română. contemporary philosophical debates. see De la Théologie Orthodoxe Roumaine des Origines à Nos Jours (Bucarest: EIBMBOR. a theology that seeks to reveal and unfold the profound aspects of Christian tradition. Theology “is not a work of systematisation or argumentation. Mladin. 1971). N. creative. There is an immense erudition packed into Stăniloae’s texts which often reveals itself only in shorthand form. This is why his writings include patristic sources. what is specific to Stăniloae’s Orthodox theology is: (1) the balanced approach to the apophatic-cataphatic issue. returning its ecumenical dimension. pp. The Victory of the Cross (Oxford: The Fairacres Publication 16. a restoration of the mystical dimension in theological discourse. Asceza şi Mistica Paulină (Sibiu: Deisis. rooted in contemporary spirituality.” Comuniunea Românească (Detroit. and spiritual concern. analysis of the new trends in dogmatic theology. and I. and other forms of contemporary thought. 1994). 1974). “Introduction. has brought a new spirit into the Romanian Orthodox theology of this century. 1996). pp. disclosing the insufficiency of cataphaticism in Western theology and the radical way of apophaticism in Eastern theology. (7) the synergetic equilibrium between the free will of man and the Trinitas. struggling to keep the Church’s tradition alive as translator and commentator. pp. and philosopher. Stăniloae was an apologist of Orthodoxy. Stăniloae. Bria. . He was an extraordinary reader and a prodigious scholar. mystical. an act of testimony and greatness of the spirit. 2-3. 383-400. Bria. Spaţiul Nemuririi sau Eternizarea Umanului în Dumnezeu (Iaşi: Trinitas. 29 I.

. by grace. St.32 Basically.” G. that the heart of Stăniloae’s theology is found in the theology of person and communion. Irenaeus. N. Anghelescu’s systematic bibliography in Persoană şi Comuniune (Sibiu. 15 power of uncreated energies mediated by the Spirit as sacramental power. De Incarnatione 54 (PG 25. Christian Spirituality. and to that extent resembling the being of God. Prestige thinks that they are “purely relative” and “express the fact that man has a nature essentially spiritual. vol. his attempt gives fresh articulation to the Christian faith as a personalist theology. Meyendorff. III. Gregory Palamas and the Orthodox Tradition (Crestwood. the theology of the Orthodox Church 31 A complete list of Stăniloae’s work is provided by G. For example. 128. 40. the universally accepted language of that age.). in order to express the unity with God. This difference does not apply to the essence. Saliers (eds. Oratio Catechetica Magna 25 (PG 45. a motif into which the other motifs are usually subsumed.Y. 2. Meyendorff. the Greek Fathers employed the concept of deification as “a Christocentric and eschatological concept. 5-9 (PG 37. Dupré and D. p. Gregory of Nyssa. We may say. Athanasius.” J. 1984). 192B). Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality. see also J.E. further. while during the hesychast period the same reality was experienced more in a Spirit-centered manner. Similarly. p. the deification idea is expressed in a sentence common to many Church Fathers: “God made Himself man so that man might become God.: SVS Press. but the essence of their doctrine is preserved. and by imitation. and (8) the vision of a transfigured cosmos. Prestige. There is a certain agreement among Orthodox theologians as far as the doctrine of deification is concerned. Analysing the phrases used by the Fathers of the Church. St. this is of fundamental significance in the understanding of the nature and destiny of man in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Mantzarides. by virtue of an affinity proceeding both from nature and from grace. His view on deification as the goal of human existence is very much informed by his communitary personalism. 465). p.” in L. affirms Meyendorff. Generally.F. 1993). Adversus Haereses 10. The Deification of Man. 65D). The terminology employed by the Fathers and modern theologians differs. God in Patristic Thought (London: SPCK. More precisely. p.I. 33 Cf. Mantzarides writes: “Man’s deification during the age of the great Fathers was dominantly a Christocentric experience. therefore. 1969). expressed in Platonic language but basically independent of philosophical speculation. 471.” G.L. 16-67. As a result. but to the way in which man’s deification is conceived and experienced. 32 The problem faced by some patristic theologians was the way to express the Christian mystery of Christ's incarnation and redemption in a Neoplatonic language. Post-Reformation and Modern (London: SCM Press. although the term theosis is not found in the Bible. the Fathers created it chiefly in their Christological and soteriological disputes with the heresies of their day.”33 Yet Eastern theology says very clearly that “becoming god” does not mean an identification with God’s divine nature (essence) but by adoption. that he is able to attain a real union with God. The concept of deification in Orthodox theology Despite the great difficulty that many Western theologians seem to have with the notion of deification. “Theosis in the Eastern Orthodox Tradition. pp. 74. 1990).

Mantzarides.”40 Because deification depreciates the value of the human person. see: L. Olivier Clément. the idea of deification has been described in the West as “not only strange. From the Apostolic Community to Constantine (Tunbridge Wells: Burns and Oates. for “to know the mystery of the Trinity in its fullness is to enter into perfect union with God and to attain to the deification of the human creature: in other words.” in P. Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes (New York: Fordham University Press.” H. 39 D. the very life of the Holy Trinity. Y. Dialogue between Christians. and Yannaras. in St. the idea of deification as man’s destiny is adopted by such modern theologians as Afanasieff. “Deification. “The Unassumed is the Unhealed.”38 an unbiblical and “thoroughly objectionable” concept. The Image of God in Man (London: Collins. I..39 “the most serious aberration. 1975). Mascall. The Mediator. 111-120. Our problem today is not the deification but the humanization of man.36 and the process of “emergence” as the “essential openness of man. 1978). A.” Religious Studies 4 (1968). 249-264. pp. Christian Mysticism (London. Lossky. Drewery. pp. History of Dogma. Cairnes. Florovsky. Peter's words. 12. Kern.’” V.J. Origen and the Doctrine of Grace (London: The Epworth Press. 394. 'partakers of the divine nature. Bobrinskoy. pp. For a much more sympathetic position on the concept of deification. p. pp. pp. Natural Theology Today (London: Darton. but arrogant and shocking to modern ears. 16 understands deification as “the religious ideal of Orthodoxy. E. 3. Karmiris.”37 Following the Fathers. . 1934). For further objections to the concept of deification.”41 In order to find Stăniloae’s place in this theological dispute. vol. 1971). what is needed “is not the deification but the humanisation of man. Brunner. a short survey of the history of the concept is required. tr. 1976). It involves an intimate union of the human being with the Triune God. III. 388-399. D. 1976). On Being a Christian (London: Fount Paperbacks. 38 W. pp. 139.). pp. Meyendorff. The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (Crestwood. 217-251. 1950). Deification of Man. Longman & Todd. 40 B. 1973). 1966). 41 “But does a reasonable man today want to become God?. p.J. Nissiotis. 1986). Schmemann. and to become. 109. Catholic Contribution to Ecumenism (London. Christian Spirituality. 108-121. as a reaction to Eastern thought. 37 J. 36 In this respect. Congar. The history of dogma shows that the pagan contribution to the Christian doctrine of deification implies only certain elements of Platonism. p. Essays in Honour of Gordon Rupp (London: SCM Press. p. M. 1960). by N.. see: B.I. Kallistos Ware. A History of Christian Spirituality. Wiles. Antropologija sv. to enter into the divine life. E. 416-420. SJTh 12 (1959). Bulgakov. Dicţionar Creştin Ortodox. 67. Nellas. and a few from 34 C. 1933). p. 200.”34 and “the central dogma of Orthodoxy. E.356. p. Küng. 1978). deification is a divine gift and the ultimate and supreme goal for human existence. quoted in G.R Inge. N. A Study of the Central Doctrine of the Christian Faith (London: Lutherworth Press. 47-56. Ritschl.. Lossky regards the Triunity's revelation as the basis and the ultimate goal of theology. von Harnack. Dublin: Geoffrey Chapman. 217-232. pp.Y. the disastrous flaw in Greek Christian thought. pp. Grigorija Palamy (Paris. Osborn. Brooks (ed. Lossky. 1983).. 224. The Beginning of Christian Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. “Hippolytus’ Concept of Deification”. p. vol. 442. Bouyer. Evdokimov. 35 I. then.: SVS Press.”35 Specifically. Buchanan (New York: Dover Publications. Drewery. 1981). reprinted in Working Papers in Doctrine (London: SCM Press. The Openness of Being. Bria. However.

Salvation. Aubineau. but the pure souls. 17 Hellenistic Judaism. which belong to those who have lived holy” Stromata IV. 25-52. immediately after their separation from the body (“the honours after death. On deification in Irenaeus. pp. La Divinisation du Chrétien d'après les Pères Grecs. 44 For Irenaeus. will.” Irenaeus. his own nature)”. Adam was given the potentiality of realizing his image by growing into the likeness of God. the divinely intended process of deification was interrupted.6). 1938). 82:6. pp. 337-359. human destiny is presented as the soul’s attainment of immorality and incorruptibility after death. the teacher and lawgiver of mankind.” for it is a bringing to its appointed consummation that perfection for which man was intended at his creation. 117-137. “Incorruptibilité et divinisation selon Saint Irénée. When by his weakness and ignorance Adam disobeyed God. 231-238. from knowledge to love. for example. from faith to knowledge. 1120). Clendenin. 1993). Irenaeus proclaimed the essential distinction between the Creator and His creation. leads man from wisdom to faith. the gnostics. pp. vol. 70-111.21). and participation in the divine attributes of immortality and incorruption by mastering the passions. In Maccabees and the Wisdom of Solomon. in order that we may become what He Himself is. it is a “promotion in glory. But Clement wants to affirm that it is possible for man in this life to attain to God. and then ultimately “to where the God and guard of our faith and love is” (Stromata VII. 1977). bearing both the image and likeness of his Creator. for Clement has “realized” the eschatological hope and brought the experience of assimilation to God into the .42 Biblical evidence is concentrated in texts like Ps. pp. theosis is the final goal of man. and created to participate in the life of God not in a poetic metaphor but in reality. By this process of growth. Man and the Incarnation. Mich. divine reason. it is not a negation of humanity. 939. 1959). In refuting the Gnostic heresy. 1994). Wis. J.10). G.l. Gross. 19. the knowledge which deifies which brings man to perfection. where they will gaze on God face to face.1 (PG 7. Man’s assimilation to God is not an absorption into God. I (Münich-Toronto. See for example. Gross. and all men are therefore free to obey or disobey God's law (Stromata VI. Eastern Orthodox Christianity (Grand Rapids.7) be established in “the crowning place of rest. T. then. So sublime is the ideal of deification. The Orthodox Church (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. man would come to his full human maturity. John 10:34-35 and 2 Peter 1:4 in order to emphasise humanity’s organic union with God. The souls of those not yet completely purified will have to undergo further purification. in the Rabbinic exegesis of Ps. by various punishments.13). J.45 With Origen we come 42 See J.44 The Alexandrian heritage shows a narrowing of vocabulary and the use for the first time of the technical terminology of deification (theopoieo) by Clement of Alexandria in order to speak about imitation of the Logos as a model of incorruption.43 These biblical texts constitute the basis for an extended development by the Fathers. Contribution Historique à la Doctrine de la Grâce (Paris: Lecoffre. Others will only attain to the fullness of this blessedness in the life beyond after the resurrection (Paedagogus I. for Clement is something of an intellectual process. Bilaniuk. see M. 2:23: “God created man for incorruption and made him in the image of his own eternity (v. pp.: Baker Book House. that only Christ the incarnate Logos could have realized it here on earth (Stromata IV. Here the concept of deification of man is taken a step further than in Irenaeus' writings. in the likeness of God’s immortality. and he fell into the clutches of the Devil and lost the divine likeness. Judaism’s contribution to the concept of deification is seen.T. 82:6. in communion with God. A Study in the Biblical Theology of Irenaeus (Edinburgh and London.B. the assimilation of man to God. Adversus Haereses III. Wingren. for Clement. D.10). La Divinisation du Chrétien d'après les Pères Grecs. to that likeness to God which is the true destiny. Although not created perfect. 43 Other biblical texts are cited and analysed in: P. 1-69.” in Studies in Eastern Christianity.” a growing into “perfect manhood. pp. “The Mystery of Theosis or Divinization. 45 Salvation is a paedagogic process in which the Logos of God. for it is the acquiring of knowledge. “God the Logos became what we are. 4 Macc 18:3: the martyrs “were deemed worthy of a divine share”.” Recherches de Science Religieuse 44 (1956). and the teaching that man is a psychosomatic unity.B. who have by the divine gnosis already attained a measure of deification. Ware. Gabalda. with knowledge and comprehension” (Stromata VII. but rather.

” JTS 16 (1916). 1060C). Gregory of Nyssa speaks about epektasis (that is. the ensouled flesh which the Logos assumed.50 Accordingly. I. 987). Athanasius writes that the Word of God “became man.16).46 Athanasius uses the term deification much more frequently than Clement or Origen. 16 (PG 26. 100A). 362. for Cyril. 93A. 1971).” SP 26 (1993). 369-374. so that man can even be spoken of as “a god walking about in the flesh” (Stromata VII.42 (PG 26. On deification in Athanasius. to the deification of a believer and of the cosmos. De Incarnatione 54 (PG 25. God reaches down to men. vols. See also Contra Celsum III. Früchte. “participation in the divine nature is fundamentally a participation in the personal life of the Trinity as a whole. “The Place of Divinization in Athanasian Soteriology.4. See also W. 1957). H. Butterworth. Only the body of Christ.” Cf.). p. Referring to the deification in the context of the Arian crisis.9 (GCS V. III. G. Kathegetria: Essays Presented to Joan Hussey on Her 80th Birthday (Porphyrogenitus.” N. 40 (PG 26. O. For Cyril of Alexandria see In Joannes IX. Peri Archon IV. 50 They do not adopt the terminology of the Alexandrians nor are they attracted to the realistic model of deification.” SP 27. Stählin and L. 58-59. Athanasius. through baptism and eucharist.9. 1 (PG 74. Stromata. Früchte (eds. “The Deification of Man in Clement of Alexandria. L. 47 Athanasius. “Partakers of the Divine Nature. 157-169. that we may become gods. Edited and translated by R. 28 (PG 11. and stresses the deification of human nature in a realistic way in Jesus Christ. the aspiration after the likeness with God) and about a divine spark in humanity (that is. The Image of God in Man according to Cyril of Alexandria (Washington. preferring to speak about man's deification in a more spiritualized sense. 1 (PG 76.Orationes Contra Arianos I.). “Partakers of the Divine Nature in the Byzantine Tradition.See Clement of Alexandria. Burghardt. pp. in “Oxford Early Christian Texts” (Oxford. Thomson. Stählin. 29B. 409A). I. O. and its dynamic aspect of participation in God as His sons. 45A). I. 49 Thus.38.3 (1982). I-VI. Chrysostomides (ed. Orationes Contra Arianos I. Russell. 48 Athanasius’ doctrine of deification has two main characteristics: (1) it is linked more with salvation than with morality. VII-VIII (GCS 15 and 17: Berlin. vols.”47 This became a classic statement on deification in the Fathers referring to the deification of the human nature in Christ and. 192B). 45 AB). and U. is deified in any literal . 213 D). pp. consequently.” in J. I. Athanasius. 1018-1023. Hess. 46 Origen. See also for example. and (2) it restricts the essence of deification to participation in the deified body of Christ.39. Kolp. the Spirit making them holy and spiritual so that the Son can make them sons and gods by grace. Treu (eds. 1960 and 1970). 16 (PG 26.48 Cyril of Alexandria modifies the strongly physicalist anthropology inherited from Athanasius. Contra Gentes and De Incarnatione. stressing both the ontological aspect of deification.W. The Use of II Peter 1:4 by Athanasius. 280C). Adversus Nestorianos V. the earthly life of man.49 The Cappadocians take the doctrine of deification from the Alexandrians and adapt it to a Platonizing understanding of Christianity as the attainment of likeness to God as far as is possible for human nature. and ultimately in the resurrected life and eschatological fulfilment of heaven.5-2). see A. Cf. Thomson translates: “For he became man that we might become divine.L. men participate in the divinity with which that body was endowed. Through participation in the body of Christ. 92C. 18 to see a more intimate sense of man's relationship to the Logos through his development of the concept of dynamic and personal participation. 1988). understood as humanity’s transformation that took place in principle through the incarnation. which leads them to participate in incorruption and immortality. pp. 92B.). pp. Epistola ad Epictetum 6 (PG 26.

who has no explicit role for the incarnation. the eucharist draws our fragmented lives together into a “one-like deification. He who is invisible by nature becomes visible by His energies. pp. J.” SP 6 (1962). Maximus the Confessor regards deification in a Christological framework. Louth. 1965). and by divine illumination returns them to the unity and deifying simplicity of the Father. is integrative.. From Plato to Denys (Oxford: Clarendon Press.” Thus our human hierarchy is pluralized in a great variety of perceptual symbols until we are brought to the unity of deification. 54 Russell sums up: “The unifying power descends through the hierarchies to all rational beings. Gregory Palamas uses a more dynamic and personalist idea of participation in a personal God through His energies. struggling to combine the ethical and realistic models. 159-178. in Greek (Athens. Doctorate dissertation (Oxford. Luibheid (New York: Paulist Press.” Cf. 393A). by C. see R. in which the reciprocity of natures in Christ is applied to man’s deification. This means a transfiguration of human life up to the point it becomes like Christ's. In the Church.” See for example. When Juan-Miguel Garrigues discusses . The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition. pp. 53 Dionysius.3 (PG 3.” tr. 649C). the unity enables the nous to ascend to the knowledge and vision of God. (PG 36. It is only through God’s condescension to our condition that the miracle of theosis can take place. in order to become attached to the unique and unchanging God. 62-83. Balas. the emphasis is on moral progress: one must be detached from the dissipation of sin and the desire to possess corruptible things. whereby man was anointed with divinity and made homotimos with God. and D.1 (PG 3. The Concept of Deification in the Early Greek Fathers. the emphasis being as much on the ascent of the soul of God as on the transformation of the believer through baptism. All quotations for Dionysius are taken from Pseudo- Dionysius. 52 We are divinised by rising above the duality of matter to the unity perceived in the Trinity. 376A). Vanneste. pp.” SP 5 (1962). see: Ecclesiastical Hierarchy I. by engaging the idea of double movement.L. I. The elevation of man was the whole aim of the incarnation. man being called to return to God through the process of deification which implies the presence of uncreated energies. so that at the end.” forging a divine unity out of the divisions within us. Human beings are deified in an ethical or metaphysical sense. 121A). the mysterious interchange. 1269). pp. 1988). Gregory of Nyssa (Rome: Studia Anselmiana. 376A). Maximus’ view. Ecclesiastical Hierarchy I. in general. On deification in Dionysius see: J. 344-345. Gillet. Oratio VI (PG 44. 1992). “The Soul’s Participation in God according to Pseudo- Dionysius. 1971). Moutsoulas. “L’Homme Divinisateur Cosmique dans la Pensée de Saint Grégoire de Nysse. Celestial Hierarchy I. the Son “will stand a god in the midst of the gods. in “The Christian Western Spirituality. Metousia theou: Man’s Participation in God’s Perfections according to St. E. 321-325). II. 19 divine presence which makes man truly human). 397-400.”53 and demonstrates this by employing the principle of analogy for the unity of God and the multiplicity of creatures. Gregory of Nazianzus (PG 35. III. “La Théologie Mystique de Pseudo-Denys l’Aréopagite.51 For Gregory of Nazianzus. 785). vol.52 Dionysius declares that deification is “the attaining of likeness to God and union with Him in so far as is possible. 101. On On the Divine Names II. following Maximus and the Cappadocians.3 (PG 3.” Analogically. The Incarnation of the Word and the Theosis of Man according to Gregory of Nyssa. 401-415. 51 “Wherefore it is true both that the pure heart sees God and that no one has ever seen God. 378-392. A.56 sense. appearing to us in some surroundings of His nature. Christ has come down to us and like a fire “has unified them in accordance with their capacity for deification. and sanctifying those who celebrate them “with a sacred deification. 1966).11 (PG 3. 1987). in The Christian Tradition.1 (PG 3.55 Finally. For Dionysius.54 In opposition to Dionysius. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100- 600). Pelikan. and in a dynamic and ontological framework. 440-443. 55 God’s movement towards man in the incarnation and man’s movement towards God in deification. Spearritt. A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. N. For further ideas on deification in Gregory of Nyssa. Russell.1 (PG 3.2. De Beatitudinibus. P. In fact.” Gregory of Nyssa. 424C). pp. The Complete Works.” Downside Review 88 (1970).

928-933AD. Capita Theologica I. Cf. also known as Capita CL Physica. It is. Contos. Microcosm and Mediator. Meyendorff. it is the transformation of human nature by divine action. also known as the Triads . The Dynamics of Salvation. Russell speaks about four models: (1) the titular or nominal model interprets the biblical application of the term “gods” to men simply as a title of honour. Cf. Further important analyses on theosis in the Fathers are found in: P. 1963). it is the eschatological glorification of both soul and body. “La Doctrine de la Déification dans l’Eglise Grecque jusqu’au . The Triads. XCII-CLX. 1336AB. the believer reproducing the divine attributes in himself by imitation. 51-59. Louth. 320B-321A. Ambigua (PG 90. Gendle and ed.58 While some Fathers use either one model or another. 33-77. Thunberg. pp. and Contra Akindynum. Sinkewicz (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. by N. both as a word and as a concept. A.” N.B. in The Concept of Theosis in Saint Gregory Palamas with Critical Text of the ‘Contra Akindynum. (2) the analogous or metaphorical model sees this title as a metaphorical expression. L. The works of Gregory Palamas translated into English are: The Defence of the Holy Hesychasts. 1385B. The One Hundred and Fifty Chapters. 2-5 Septembre 1980 (Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires. it is the ascent of the soul to God.” pp.” pp. pp. I. 337-359.: The Philadelphia Patristic Foundation. it is union with God through participation in the divine energies. Maxime le Confesseur. A Study of Gregory Palamas (London: Leighton Buzzard. and the dynamic aspect concerns the appropriation of this deified humanity through the sacraments. LIX-XCI. 56 For the idea of energies in Gregory Palamas. an approach that recognizes as a methodological base.2. 454-459.C. see Maximus. Winslow explains that deification will not suffer the limitation of strict definition. The Concept of Deification in the Early Greek Fathers. 609A). 198. 1113B. by L. in “The Classics of Western Spirituality” (New York: Paulist Press. Winslow. Berthold. 204-206. 57 According to Winslow. it is the believer’s filial adoption through baptism. 5-70. The Theological Anthropology of Maximus the Confessor (Lund: Gleerup. Doctorate dissertation (Los Angeles. A. like most theological language. it is the attaining of likeness to God through gnosis and dispassion. tr. that “deification”. Maximus Confessor. Russell concludes that the Greek Fathers express the relation between man and God in terms of formal participation. by J.T. but never totally eliminated.”57 and can follow different models. Nichols. M. tr. On deification. 1983). like men become sons and gods by grace in relation to Christ who is Son and God by nature. 936AD. “The Mystery of Theosis or Divinization. 697A). 1040CD. the verbal modality by which the distance between reality and our manifold attempts to describe reality is minimized.193. p. 1088C). Fribourg.S. 59 (PG 90.H. Gregory Palamas.3). pp..). 1124A). pp. 1979).. is. “The Cappadocian Roots of Maximus the Confessor.” SP 13 (1975). because many writers use the words “deification” and “divinization” as synonyms. Moralia et Practica (Capita). Byzantine Gospel. 1-2. are explained by Russell as follows: “Deification is expressed through a number of different images: it is God’s honouring of Christians with the title of ’gods’. 1993). Meyendorff. Patristic Monograph Series 7 (Cambridge. this is a “dynamically fluid term that is descriptive of the creative and salvific economy as well as of the relation between God and creation.E. being more interested in the ontology of things. it is the participation of the soul in the divine attributes of immortality and incorruption. 58 Summarizing his study on the concept of deification in the Fathers. 1996).” pp. and therefore settles for a verbal approach to the idea. 1982). pp. the concept of deification is a “dynamically fluid term. A Study in Gregory of Nazianzus. Maximus the Confessor (London and New York: Routledge.C. p. “Mystère Liturgique et Divinisation dans la Mystagogie de S. reprinted in Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama. a metaphor. 1964). and divinisation as the event of trinitarian love. divinisation as personal adoption in the Son.selections found in Gregory Palamas. by R.” D. şi “Antericul V Contra lui Achindin. The variety of conceptions of deification which existed among the Greek Fathers. see PG 150. including “Apologia mai Extinsă. and (4) the realistic model with two aspects: the ontological aspect concerns the transformation of human nature by incarnation. Maximus the Confessor in Modern Scholarship (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 1965). Mass. Theologica.” in F. see J. Parts from Triads were translated by Stăniloae as “Două Tratate ale Sf. Lot-Borodine. tr. Bilaniuk. he summarizes it in terms of: divinisation as the fulfilment of human nature in God. Grigorie Palama” (Triada I. It is acknowledged that this distiction is somewhat arbitrary. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 22. (3) the ethical or philosophical model takes deification to be the attainment of likeness to God. The word “divinization” (and its verb form “divinize”) will be preserved for those references to the concept in non-Christian contexts when it is taken to mean the transformation of man into a divine being. pp. Schönborn (eds. in a word. See also: G. 145-153. in AATA 9 (1932-1933). 1988). 20 In conclusion. 940C-944B. Russell.’ 2 vols. Mystagogia 21 (PG 91. 97 (PG 90. Dalmais. Actes du Symposium sur Maxime le Confesseur. it seems that Maximus' idea of divinisation. Heinzer and C. pp.

1987). La Divinisation du Chrétien d'après les Pères Grecs. The Nature of the Human Person (Crestwood. It is not too much to say that the whole concept of theosis forms one of the central avenues of access to Stăniloae’s thought.Y. Doctoral dissertation (Duke University. this process first involves the restoration of fellowship with God. K. An Orthodox and Reformed Dialogue (New Jersey: Agora Books. vol. As an essential part of Christian theology. D.Y.A.I. St. “Partakers of Divinity: The Orthodox Doctrine of Theosis. 1980).: SVS Press. Cullen. 1956). Xième Siècle. 21-183. 21 Stăniloae often combines the ethical and realistic models in his attempt to describe the process of deification.” in Luther et la Reforme Allemande dans une Perspective Oecuménique (Genève. “The Orthodox Doctrine of Theosis. in Greek (Athens: Theological School of the University of Athens. More precisely. 8-55.a process of ascent and communion whereby man is enabled to achieve a “divine likeness.3 (1994). 107 (1933). Gabalda. Stephanopoulos. 1985). Patronos. 1957). 365-379.” The achieving of this presupposes assimilation to and union with the divine energies. pp.” in J.C.). 149-161. G. “Salvation and Theosis in Orthodox Theology. Dalmais. P. The Theosis of Man in the Light of the Eschatological Conceptions of Orthodox Theology: A Biblical and Patristic Study. III (Paris. Deification in Christ. the concept of deification in Stăniloae’s approach unifies anthropology with Christology.H. G. 1981). I. Gregory Palamas and the Orthodox Tradition (Crestwood. J.I. The theosis concept is so integrated in Stăniloae’s writings that at each point in particular there is considerable connection with the adjacent elements. 1973). The Deification of Man. 5-43. The Patristic Concept of Deification of Man Examined in the Light of Contemporary Notions of the Transcendence of Man. N.P. pp. J. Theodorou. Gross.” JETS 37. 167-184. Stăniloae’s teaching on deification becomes a basic structural constituent of his theology. Bratsiotis. and then continues as a dynamic participation in the life of God by the renunciation of all that is not of God . this study will seek to demonstrate that the concept of deification has a central place in Stăniloae’s thinking about salvation. Norman. In essence. The Doctrine of the Greek Fathers of the Church on the Theosis of Man. A. Mantzarides.: SVS Press. In this process of deification. 1984).” Revue de L’Histoire des Religions 105 (1932). Clendenin. not with the divine essence. McLelland (eds. It will be argued that. 1376-1389.” Bibliothèque Oecuménique 9 (1970). . N. Meyendorff and J. The Theosis of Man in the Teaching of the Greek Fathers of the Church to John of Damascus. Ware.E. K. in Greek (Athens.B. 1983). pp. pp. Chambesy: Éditions du Centre Orthodoxe du Patriarcat Oecuménique. R. “Divinisation. under patristic and modern influence. Contribution Historique a la Doctrine de la Grâce (Paris: Lecoffre. not a blending of natures into a single being. P. pp. reprinted in “La Déification de L’Homme selon la Doctrine des Pères Grecs. man still retains his full personal identity and integrity and becomes more truly human. 525-574. pp. 3. it is a true mystical union between God and man. pneumatology and ecclesiology. 1938). J.” Dictionnaire de Spiritualité. pp. Deification: The Content of Athanasian Soteriology. in Greek (Athens. pp. Nellas. Purpose and method This thesis will attempt to give a descriptive and critical exposition of the concept of deification in Stăniloae’s thinking. Doctorate dissertation (Oxford. The New Man. 1971). 106 (1932).

that the present study will be seen as an essential contribution in understanding not only his concept of deification but also his theology as a whole. Stăniloae’s views will first have to be delineated. Trinity. world-man. his epistemological basis of deification and the dogmatic methodological procedures will have to be explored. 22 The full treatise of the concept of deification in the theology of Stăniloae has never been written. These chapters on epistemology give us the most direct entry into the issue. It is hoped. Further. but would also deal with the mystical issues which have shaped Stăniloae’s discussion of deification throughout his writings. Because the primary aim remains that of assessing the validity of Stăniloae’s position on the particular issue in question. chapter IV deals with the anthropological aspect of deification in terms of three fundamental relationships: God-creation.59 A full treatment of the subject would not be confined to the dogmatic aspects of the matter. and man-God. chapters II and III deal with Stăniloae’s epistemological basis of deification with two main aspects: the synthesis apophatic-cataphatic and the distinction essence-energies as typified in Gregory Palamas. no attempt has been made to trace the internal development of Stăniloae’s own thought from his earliest works onwards. they may all be treated as subsidiary issues. . After a general introduction and outline of his theology of deification in chapter I. sacraments or eschatology. a particular aim of this study is to gather together the fragments of the concept of deification. Firstly. because our particular point of interest is none of these. fragments implicit in some of Stăniloae’s writings and more explicit in others. without claim to comprehensive coverage. On the one hand. The dialogue-partners who are important for Stăniloae are treated in order to elucidate the subject. The strong degree of continuity within Stăniloae’s theological writings means that it is possible to treat the subject systematically. although the issue of deification itself involves such central areas in dogmatic theology as revelation. This organising principle respects Stăniloae’s conviction that true theology is mystical theology. rather than reproduced. While Stăniloae’s treatment of the issue of man’s deification is scattered in form. the general structure of this thesis suggests the priority of Stăniloae’s approach to theology from a mystical point of view accompanying the dogmatic perspective. dogmatic implications of the concept of deification are discussed in the following chapters. however. It is here 59 It will be obvious that the subject under consideration has resulted in certain inevitable restrictions being placed upon the material here presented. Pressure upon space means that the established results of scholarly work on different theological aspects must frequently be referred to. On the other hand. To study this. Methodologically.

revealing Stăniloae’s incarnational view on redemption with its ontological and progressive dimensions. Chapters VII and VIII explore the pneumato-ecclesiological aspect of deification. with my own translation where necessary. Chapter IX summarises some of the findings through some concluding remarks on Stăniloae’s view on deification as participation. . for the most part. An this point.60 60 Quotations in the text will. showing that deification is actualised in the communitarian and theandric constitution of the Church. The implications. the world and man stay in an interdependence and reciprocity. but of his whole theology are discussed especially with respect to the incarnation and his view of deification. not only of this. Chapters V and VI concentrate on the Christological aspect of deification. 23 that Stăniloae’s interest in personalism is most evident: deification is seen as the reason and purpose of creation. and suggests further areas for research. but with the help of the Holy Spirit by grace. and the image of God in man takes an ontological. the hermeneutic key of Stăniloae’s theological approach to the question of deification is found in the doctrine of the hypostatic union of Christ and its consequences. The work of Christ is discussed in this view. Thus Stăniloae’s main ideas of the concept of deification are considered along with their implications through an exposition and running critique of his view. be given in English. outlining Stăniloae’s view with respect to Christ’s person and salvific work. communitarian and dynamic character.

24 CHAPTER II. the uniqueness of his contribution to the question of deification resides chiefly in the very application of his method to the subject . describing three aspects of deification: anthropological. This does not exclude. the epistemological basis of deification. that is. Stăniloae’s thought. Treatment of the epistemological basis of deification in Stăniloae comes. involving two pairs of concepts: apophatic-cataphatic and essence-energies. of course. and pneumato-ecclesiological. This introductory distinction between the mystical and the dogmatic level dictates the shape of the study presented here. . The cyclical or repetitious character of his thought is no less apparent in Stăniloae’s treatment of theosis. The study will conclude with a review of the concept of deification in Stăniloae and some of the main issues with which this concept is concerned. of the mystical aspect into the dogmatic level of his theology. mystical experience does not produce the truth of dogma. the role of the dogmatic level. but there is a progress in understanding dogma in direct connection with spiritual progress. I (1958). vol. Christological. 61 Clear developments of Stăniloae’s thought as regards this theme are found in the following of his works: Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama (1938). not surprisingly. taken at any given point. theosis is first of all a key element of the contemplative level of theology. This actually may provide the key for the whole theological structure of further dogmatic exploration concerning the concept of deification. that is. THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL BASIS OF DEIFICATION: THE APOPHATIC WAY OF KNOWLEDGE Introduction As in the case of many Greek Fathers. the concept that dominates Stăniloae’s theological system as a whole is that of the deification of the person as a personal encounter with God. reflected in the overlapping and intertwining of the numerous themes and motifs contained therein. Ultimately. in the shape of apophatic theology.61 The tight cohesion of his thought is matched only by the profound understanding of the spiritual life that pervades his the incorporation. For Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. The study will begin with a chapter on the mystical level. immediately brings one into contact with an extremely complex and all-embracing vision of God’s relationship with persons and the cosmos. For him. Three chapters on the dogmatic level will then follow.

that God is utterly different in being from the world. (4) The divine is such that it can be manifested through the human.”62 In Stăniloae’s view. Mass. 181-182.”63 Indeed. in His condescension to human beings. due to God's grace. and Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă (1991). with their whole being. the fundamental reason for the ultimate unintelligibility of God is the existential difference between creation and God. In Him “God is in the closest potential proximity to us. that is to say. This epistemological principle. Barringer (Brookline. Stăniloae holds that God and human beings are profoundly and inextricably connected together within Christ. Theology and the Church (1980). the uncreated . From the beginning. the incarnation becomes the epistemological ground for human beings to be saved. Eastern tradition employs four basic principles: (1) The accessibility of God is revealed through the divine energies. 1994). and Holy Spirit (theosis). in God. to come to the knowledge of God. there has been established within the human sphere of knowledge a real and true knowledge of God. God. (3) In Christ the human has been raised to the highest level of deification or of penetration by the divine. Hence the incarnation became the centre of all thought of God and of the world. Son. when the latter has been purified.between the finite and the infinite. (2) Through the purification from passions. Stăniloae declares that it is impossible for God to be known in His essence. as for Maximus before him. even in this life. 25 To unfold the first stage of the dogmatic level of theosis. apart from Christ. pp. are also called to participate intelligibly or noetically. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă (1981).: Holy Cross Orthodox Press.” and through His incarnation “He made Himself accessible and able to be grasped as God in the highest degree. One indication is that human beings can only have a creaturely knowledge of God. Ioniţă and R. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. yet without ceasing to be human. Stăniloae accepts that both natural and supernatural revelations are sources for the knowledge of God. Yet. what is human is capable of becoming the medium for manifesting what is divine. has created a context in which He can be apprehended (not comprehended): He has committed Himself to being the Creator of the world. has immense implications in understanding the anthropological basis of deification. However. 62 To understand this fact. human beings. and to be taken up to share in the inner life of Father. by I. The Experience of God. For the second stage in understanding theosis. Consequently. Stăniloae. despite God’s ultimate unintelligibility. D. vol. and hence all contact between the world and God occurs within the Creator-creature framework. Yet. . I (1978). This second stage in the dogmatic discourse gives us the reason for studying the Christological aspect of man’s deification. the epistemology of Stăniloae is centred on the divine Logos in Christ because. Cf. there is no other way to unite human beings with the world and with God. “There must always exist an ontological and epistemological gap between Creator and creature. translated and ed.

but a necessary approach within the limits of legitimate diversity in the Christian tradition. 1. establishing also the leitmotif of this study in the triad essence-hypostases- energies. The main purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate the importance of Stăniloae’s epistemology in understanding the concept of deification. pp. Ware. 126-127. The Eastern Schism. the Roman-Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches each claim a particular way of knowledge. As a reflection of the trinitarian perichoresis. 26 The third stage in understanding theosis is assured by the personal. It is known that the soteriological concerns of the Western Church which became focused around justification. the answer to this formal schism has to be sought in the theological field. Moreover. setting thereupon the reason for the pneumato-ecclesiological aspect of man’s deification. how God is to be known.” ECR 7 (1975). During the early centuries of the Church. see A. The last part is dedicated to the conclusions. Rome and the Eastern Churches (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. this does not mean a radical deficiency. is fundamental to any theological approach. A Study of the Papacy and the Eastern Churches . the main emphasis being the positive aspects of Stăniloae’s theological system. in comparison with some of the Greek Fathers and with the radical apophaticism of the modern Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky. S. that is. 1992). This inevitably affects certain themes in theology. In the second part. These three stages or aspects of deification (anthropological. and practical union of God with human beings in the Church through the Holy Spirit. “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction. theology as a methodical 63 K. Methodologically. Christological. Runciman.64 The problem of truth and knowledge. especially chapters 4-7. this peculiar emphasis in Eastern theology was determined mainly by a more optimistic view about humankind's plight. communitary. Nichols. 64 Historical circumstances that led to the formal break between the Christian East and West do not constitute the aim of our study. The Palamite epistemology is fundamental in Stăniloae’s development of the whole doctrine of deification. General background Due to different epistemological starting points. For a good summary of theological differencies between the Eastern and the Western Churches. and pneumato-ecclesiological) will govern the structure of the later chapters in this study. the Eastern Church. Stăniloae understands that knowledge is somehow identical with communion. Thus in historical and theological investigations can be found radically differing presuppositions that divide East and West. As we shall see later in our study. were discussed in the Eastern Church in a different framework. the question of the distinction between divine essence and energies will be examined. However. in the first part the distinctiveness of Stăniloae’s synthesis of the apophatic and the cataphatic approach to the knowledge of God will be analysed.

human reason needs to be not only cultivated but converted. Among their many questions regarding personal relationship with God. Indeed. whereas wisdom contemplates the eternal things of God. through which it reaches to a certain experience of God.” Gândirea 4 (1940). p. 65 Augustine made a sharp distinction between scientia and sapientia: sciences deal with temporal things. is in line with other modern Orthodox theologies where the emphasis lies not on developing during the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Oxford: Oxford University Press. as supreme communion and as the source of the power for/to communion. Theology is a part of the movement of the human spirit towards full union with God and . 1959). while faith involves not a mere opinion but trust (fiducia) and experience.” or “the science of the saints” (of course by science he does not mean in this context merely a methodological discipline).the main role of theology being to convey the experience of God.67 What Stăniloae suggests is that theology is only a means towards an end . . Crainic.68 This approach. As part of the same category. 27 discipline or mere scientia did not really exist. pp. spiritual life of the soul. “Opera Teologică a lui Nichifor Crainic. Those usually known as the Christian mystical theologians had already responded by asserting the priority of faith over reason. 68 D. We have therefore left the scholastic method of treating the dogmas as abstract statements. in general. while experienţă is used more in the sense of experience. 264-276.we consider that an authentic Orthodox Dogmatic Theology is one engaged on such a venture. to evidence their truth in accordance with the deep needs of the soul which is seeking its salvation and is advancing on its way in an ever more positive communion with its fellow human beings. without any connection with the deep.through its task of explaining this movement . 1955). encapsulated in their short formulations .” From the Preface of Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.66 He writes: Theology promotes progress as it helps the spiritual progress of Christian people towards an eschatological communion which is universal and perfect. V-XXIII (XV). vol I. The article was reprinted in N. 5. the question of human capacity to make contact with divine revelation was predominant. The Greek East and the Latin West ( the sense of unpacking the deep and infinitely rich salvific content. Nostalgia Paradisului (Iaşi: Moldova. p. invented by himself. 66 Stăniloae introduces here a new Romanian term. pp. living of God’s presence in the human soul. P. Stăniloae.65 so the great theologians of this period did not follow a given method for arriving at knowledge of God. The Experience of God. Stăniloae. of a purely theoretical interest and to a large extent updated. Experiere is used exclusively for that unique. A constant preoccupation in his Dogmatics was “to unpack the spiritual significance of the dogmatic teachings. 93. Sherrard. feeling. 67 D.that is union with God or theosis. Stăniloae defines mystical theology as “the science of man’s deification. experiere versus experienţă (“experiation” in contrast with “experience”). the Romanian theologian Dumitru Stăniloae believes that the foundation of the whole Eastern gnosiology depends on transformation .has a particularly effective role within it. Borrowing from one of his teachers. If an Orthodox Dogmatic Theology means interpreting the dogmas . unrepeatable and mysterious impression. 1994).

and K. the differences between various theological trends go back to the time of Christianity's encounter with Jewish and Greek thought. Meyendorff.73 The problem seen by Zizioulas is: “How can a Christian hold to the idea that truth operates in history and creation when the ultimate character of truth. on the doctrinal decisions of the Church's magisterium. therefore. especially chapter 6. It signifies active and conscious participation in or perception of the realities of the divine world . 28 theological systems. Studies in Personhood and the Church (London: Darton. and T. “Preserving God's Creation.” King's Theological Review 12 (1989).E. Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and St. pp. seem irreconcilable with the change and decay to which history and creation are subject?” To preserve the Christological character of the New Testament. but because of the associations with Gnosticism. Byzantine Theology. 68-69. but on the mystical aspect of Christian life. Christian writers from the time of Origen adopted the term theologia to refer to the gift of insight into the divine being (not theology in the modern academic sense). See also G. 1983). But to be a true theology. The Complete Text Compiled by St. “The Theology of Mysticism. P. Meyendorff specifies that “mystical” knowledge does not imply “emotional individualism. J. 1982). 2.: SVS Press. N. . Sherrard. 41. 71 This is a very extreme form of the apophatic approach. may and should be based on Scripture. Being as Communion. Hopko. 1984). 14. Meyendorff. some of the Orthodox theologians claiming that the only thing we can know about God is what He is not.: SVS Press. pp. no external criterion which would be required for man's created perception or intellection would be sufficient.” but a “continuous communion with the Holy Spirit. For only then will it be able to discern the unity of Revelation. Catholicity and the Church (Crestwood. The Great Church in Captivity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. the realisation of spiritual knowledge. Ware (London. Faith and Order Paper 30 (Geneva: WCC. vol. See also J. p. 72 Meyendorff specifies: “Theology. All the Fulness of God (Crestwood. Byzantine Theology. or on the witness of the saints. p. beyond the language employed by the saints to communicate their experience. 389.” J.D. p. 73 Cf. translated from the Greek and ed.H. Consequently. Meyendorff. 1985). “The Ethos of the Orthodox Church. 34-36. 128-158. epistemologically. Palmer.” pp.72 The modern Greek theologian John Zizioulas considers that. It must be pointed out in this context that the first creeds of the Christian tradition are entirely cataphatic. a unity which is not simply an intellectual coherence and consistency.” SJTh 28 (1975). 13. theology in the Greek tradition has had a mystical connotation.” while Hopko asserts that theology “is exclusively a matter of giving proper definition to the mystery of God's being and actions.70 This emphasis can be seen today in the Eastern Orthodox Churches that take the unknowability of God very seriously. N. says 69 Similarly.” in Orthodoxy. by G.71 In this tradition theology is about the absolute mystery of God who is beyond conceptualisation. Runciman. being more closely connected to meditation and contemplation than to rationality. The Philokalia. it must be able to reach beyond the letter of Scripture. p. J. S. 1960).Y. Zizioulas. other words. 1968). p. but a living reality experienced in the continuity of the one Church throughout the ages: the Holy Spirit is the only guarantor and guardian of this continuity. Makarios of Corinth. and its uniqueness.” Cf.” Cf. beyond the formulae used in definitions. 70 Theology “denotes in these texts far more than the learning about God and religious doctrine acquired through academic study. A Faith and Order Dialogue. p. Florovsky.16.69 The early Christians used the Greek term gnosis for knowledge. Longman and Todd. 403. “Human Capacity and Human Incapacity: A Theological Exploration of Personhood. p.Y. Boston: Faber and Faber.

Zizioulas. is the truth. that is a historical being.D. in Heraclitus. which. Being as Communion. Then he explains: By referring to Christ as the Alpha and Omega of history. 1956). The Beginnings of Christian Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.A. O. 70-71.A.D.78 74 J. 75 C. See also E. “but it kept a sharply defined identity. as the normal foregoer to Christianity. Markus. like Irenaeus and Tertullian. especially chapter 5. The Philosophy of the Church Fathers (Cambridge. 76 J. see E. the New Testament has transformed radically the linear historicism of Hebrew thought. that man is called to discover the meaning of existence. Cullmann. by rejecting the Greek view of truth and by emphasising the absolute otherness of God. the Apologists used negative theology to counter pagan polytheism and biblical anthropomorphism and to defend the uniqueness of the God of revelation.R Goodenough.but allowing also for possible points of conflict -. Similarly. Being as Communion.V. p. through its changes and ambiguities. Stressing the continuity between the two .”77 For the Orthodox Church. Mass: Cambridge University Press. p. H. since in a certain way the end of history in Christ becomes already present here and now. for example.74 Consequently. since it is in the flow of history and through it. 51ff.D. Stead. Zizioulas seems to be influenced by Oscar Cullmann. Wolfson. Likewise. 1981). was a real solution in opposing and counteracting all the heresies of the first centuries. 1960). in Anaxagoras’ nous as the first principle of all beings. Christianity did not look like a counterpart to the philosophies of late antiquity. or in Neo-platonism’s unitary function of the One. Filson (London: SCM Press. 78 The “logos” category of Greek philosophy was accepted by Christian writers like Justin Martyr and Clement of Alexandria. in Plato’s supreme idea as the principle of all true knowledge.H. An Investigation into the Conceptions of Early Christian Literature and Its Hellenistic and Judaistic Influences (Amsterdam: Philo Press. philosophy and theology remain continually and organically related. An Introduction to Orthodox Theology (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Eastern Christianity is willing to use Greek philosophy as a tool. Armstrong and R. 1952). pp. 72-78. A. It is true that the Christian religion borrowed largely from philosophy. Osborn.75 However. See J. 19. Philosophy in Christian Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 139-175. 1968). the New Testament hurls a challenge to Greek thought. 29 Zizioulas. 77 C. Other writers were more critical of philosophy. Zizioulas. Christianity rejected both Jewish “linear historicism” and Greek cosmological approaches to the question of truth. Christ and Time: The Primitive Christian Conception of Time and History.”76 When it began. Zizioulas. pp. 1994). Christian Faith and Greek Philosophy (London. 90. The Theology of Justin Martyr. We notice the logos idea. by F. Elements of Faith. pp. Cf. For Justin’s idea of the Logos. the Church adopted Greek and Jewish categories. . have influenced the development of either cataphatic or apophatic approaches to theology. Yannaras. pp. in turn. p. tr. the Church decided that “the closed Greek ontology had to be broken and transcended. One practical consequence of the creative synthesis between Greek philosophy and Christian experience. Being as Communion. 79. 1991). especially in view of the connecting link assured by the concept of the Logos. in affirming that Christ.

1991). As regards the Christian apophaticism. pp. It also implies a religious 79 E. LaCugna. and unjustly litigious in his attack against Thomist philosophy. Congar. challenged by the otherness of God. rev. and no distinction between the human and the divine. and the right method for sound philosophy. 1969). III. 24.83 In other words. C.”79 That is. For an interesting and modern analysis of the role of negative theology in the . the Orthodox tradition and history embrace the principle that “all theology is mystical theology and all philosophy must be contemplative philosophy by reason of their empirical (experiential) nature. not affirmation. to some extent. For example. I Believe in the Holy Spirit. 80 In a very general way. in many earlier Platonists). 1983). should be the dynamic way of contemplation.81 The historical record suggests that there are different types of apophaticism. 82 In Greek philosophy the general tendency was to identify the One with nous.S.82 That mode of Christian theologising called “apophatic” implies that the main method of approaching the mystery of the transcendent God is through negation. Stephanou. 14. p. and it was only with Plotinus that a genuine mystical cognition of the One involving ekstasis was really considered. 84 Many Platonists would also say this. and their theological task to keep in balance the mystery of God in His theologia and oikonomia. it is less misleading to say what God is not. the only cause of true and valid knowledge. by calling it “a merely Aristotelian philosophy in Christian dress” (p. to select “light” and “darkness” symbolism as criterion of cataphatic and apophatic is not altogether satisfactory. Plotinus is unique in the link he draws between apophatic theology and mystical knowledge of ultimate Reality (although a similar attitude can be found.” SJTh 38 (1985).A. by B. see Y. 30 Moreover. by S. MacKenna. which was found in the philosophical culture of the first Christian theologians. pp. than what He is. God for Us. Smith (New York: The Seabury Press and London: Geoffrey Chapman. each associated with distinct traditions of religious discourse. it may be said that philosophy in the ancient world is far more religious than in modern times. 3. Plotinus: Enneads IV. by upholding the idea of ontological Trinity.M. by D. The Trinity and Christian Life (New York: Harper Collins. it had to face the intellectualism of Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism with their emphasis on the union of the nous with God in a perfect intellectual apprehension. 83 On the other hand. metaphysical apophaticism that asks for philosophical predications about the limitations of human language. particularly when facing scholasticism and rationalism. Even though there was a constant challenge from modern Western philosophies. 181-207. the Orthodox Church believes that there is no separation of reason and revelation. “An Orthodox Approach to Christian Philosophy. 1-23. 81 For the distinction between theologia and oikonomia and a careful elaboration of its evaluation in the history of Christian doctrine.” GOTR 1 (1956). tr. was the result of the encounter between the language of negation. Page (London. vol. no divorce between grace and nature. Stephanou is extremely. 15).80 Apophaticism as a theological method.84 Apophatic knowledge may imply a fully intellectual. tr. and “Re-conceiving the Trinity as the Mystery of Salvation.

immanence has been understood in non-Christian and even Christian thought to mean that God is indistinguishable from the world. Every asserts that “the real difference between Eastern and Western Christian theology lies not in particular doctrinal points but in the difference between two ways of approach to the whole subject. intellectual apophaticism simply negates the positive statements about God. “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction. Stamoolis. 6. pp. Eastern Orthodoxy Mission Theology Today (Maryknoll.” The Christian East 1 (1951). Every. The question as to what kind of apophaticism or mystical theology is found in this or that author. there have been terrible problems when the two poles.” p. we can say that in Eastern Christianity there are two categories of theologians: those who emphasise strictly (but not entirely) the apophatic way of knowledge.88 An attempt will here be made to establish that in the theology of Stăniloae is found a balanced position in which apophatic and cataphatic are not mutually exclusive alternatives. the position of Gregory of Nyssa as compared with that of Origen. and “this need not in itself be more than a verbal exercise. apophaticism goes with relationship and encounter. . contemporary Cambridge Platonism. unreachable God. and union beyond all words and thoughts. “The Critical Value of Negative Theology. or a silent.Y. 1986). 86. 153. mystical apophaticism is in the narrow sense the use of negative language to emphasise and safeguard the divine transcendence. 87 Western objections consider that the primacy of apophaticism in the Eastern theology will ignore natural theology at the Church’s peril. Kenney. Davies. have been disjoined. 85 K.” Harvard Theological Review. This is because God's transcendence is the assurance of His unlimited goodness towards His creatures. In the West. N. spiritual orientation.”85 On the other hand. p. transcendence and immanence. is often difficult to answer. E. see J. However. within the latter category of apophatic theology can be distinguished a strict or radical approach from a relative approach.: Orbis Books. “The Orthodox Church. 127. Hence. This is also motivated by the main emphasis put by the Scriptures and the creeds on knowing rather than unknowing.” Cf. the religious sense of God's transcendence and the creature’s humble dependence on God is said to be the controlling factor in Eastern Orthodox theology. Meister Eckhart: Mystical Theologian (London: SPCK. a piece of philosophical or ‘natural' theology. 86 Historically. An over-emphasis on God's transcendence makes God “wholly other”. 439-453. However. The more appropriate view should be to use apophatic theology as a kind of supplement to cataphatic theology in order to preserve something of the mystery of God. Ware. On the one hand.4 (1993). cited by J. 1991).87 Generally. apophaticism or Christian negative theology. 99-125. springs primarily from the experience of the awfulness of the God who reveals Himself. Taking apophaticism as essentially an existential attitude rather than a certain method of theologising. through the negation of positive concepts and images. p.” See O. 88 For example. and those who try to make a synthesis between apophatic and cataphatic knowledge. pp.P. deus absconditus.86 In other words. Similarly. radical negative theology is encountered in Meister Eckhart’s negatio negationis and the way of unitive knowledge called “divine ignorance. 31 or mystical apophaticism that asks for experience.

”91 Secondly. although the apophatic way of knowledge is superior to the cataphatic or rational one in its capacity to transcend rational categories. First. apophatic knowledge goes beyond rational knowledge. but it is perceived by man “in a state of revived spiritual sensibility” that requires that man rise 89 D. “In our opinion. in apophaticism. 2. denies that God is cognoscible. Firstly. “the human subject experiences the presence of God as person in a more pressing way. but only in dialectical terms.” This is not the result of rationality. negative theology. Stăniloae. rather they complete each other. p. in the experience of divine light had to be communicated to men. 96. a concept similar to via negativa of Western theology. Stăniloae. “these two kinds of knowledge are neither contradictory nor mutually exclusive.”90 Hence Stăniloae accepts both kinds of knowledge of God. in relation with the world.cataphatic Stăniloae represents a balanced approach to epistemological issues. Apophaticism.” while in apophatic knowledge the human soul “is absorbed in discerning God's presence. 96. The Experience of God. the apophaticism or mystical theology employed by the Eastern Church is the theology of direct experience of God that cannot be totally exhibited in positive terms. The things known. Although it is above knowledge and concepts. 91 D. must resort to the terms of the knowledge of the intellect. “when it seeks to give account of itself at all. and on the other hand virtually no theology is purely cataphatic. “The affirmative rational knowledge is always connected with the world.” and that “caused the Eastern Fathers to speak on occasion of a 'forgetting' of the world during this act.”89 Thus the apophatic way in Eastern patristic tradition gives a direct experience of God's attributes. p. The following analysis serves to confirm that he is a mystical theologian following a relative approach and a synthesised method in understanding apophaticism.” says Stăniloae. 90 D. Stăniloae and the synthesis apophatic . this kind of experience becomes a source of knowledge and concepts. 32 For him. though it does fill these terms continuously with a deeper meaning than the mind's notion can provide. p. all theology must be to some extent affirmative. On the other hand. The Experience of God. Stăniloae believes that negative theology is different from mystical theology or apophaticism. and asserts the intellect's awareness of its helplessness. . for instance. 95. The Experience of God. otherwise it would be merely intellectual nihilism. Stăniloae. This superiority is seen in three effective aspects that demarcate the relation between the two kinds of knowledge.

Stăniloae does not exclude the intelligible character of experience.” and a concrete. and we do need them. that which is perceived gives one to understand that there is something here beyond all perception. p. an apophatic supra- rational. to emphasise both mystical union with God and the otherness of God. 127. Stăniloae accepts the cataphatic way as “imbued” with the apophatic way.” D. “it is through words and meanings that 92 D. on the other. a superior way of grasping His infinite richness.95 By choosing a very cautious terminology.”96 Stăniloae explains: That is why the Eastern Fathers prefer the term 'union' to 'knowledge' when dealing with this approach to God. The Experience of God. 97). Stăniloae.” in the uncreated energies. in fact. 94 D.”supernatural revelation. the problem with this intelligibility is its insufficiency when it works in the spiritual realm. Intellectual knowledge “needs completion through a higher knowledge which is an acknowledgement of the mystery of God. profoundly.”94 In this sense. Although we use words and meanings. The Experience of God. In the experience of this apophatic knowledge God is perceived on the one hand. The Experience of God. 100. particular knowledge in which God communicates Himself “more concretely. Stăniloae. the apophatic way is only “combined” with the cataphatic way. Stăniloae. intellectual knowledge about God could have genuine spiritual improvements and enrichments only through apophatic one who is the subject of reason and of a life which has its own meaning forever . p. general knowledge in which God communicates Himself “in a rational manner. To explain that. the limitation of rational knowledge is seen in the fact that it “does not make use of the entire content of supernatural revelation” (p. 95 Stăniloae explains that the apophatic knowledge is supra-rational or supra-natural “in the same way that the person . The Experience of God. Stăniloae.” However. that is. but. and the apophaticism of that which cannot even be experienced. 100. although both types of knowledge are grounded in supernatural revelation.97 Again. Stăniloae introduces here for both ways of knowledge a common mediator. p. and pressingly. Stăniloae introduces the concept of two apophases: “the apophaticism of what is experienced but cannot be defined. That does not exclude the understanding of God as person using the rational way. more intensely. 96 D. changing the order of terms. Stăniloae. 33 above his passions. Stăniloae. p. p. insists Stăniloae. 93 D. These two are simultaneous. Moreover. but in it “the mystery of God as person is not revealed as clearly. under the form of the attributes. 98. apophatic knowledge is not irrational but supra-rational. 97 D.93 Thirdly.”92 Thus Stăniloae speaks also about the two ways of knowledge: a schematic. p. this is just another way to emphasise the priority of apophaticism. Obviously. The Experience of God. 103. The Experience of God. while. 101. . Both perceptions are expressed through the terms of affirmative and negative theology.

”98 Stăniloae is so excited in expressing the need to transcend all understanding.”99 Even when man participates in God's energies. Apophatic theology must always start with the personal character of God. The Experience of God. . but it has to do with a knowledge that comes through experience. Referring only to apophatic knowledge. In the end. 17CD). 89). in which a human person may have “the most intense experience of the relationship with God as person.. one who severely studies the depths of the mystery.”100 The way in which Stăniloae understands the third type of knowledge counts as a significant step forward in discerning the process of theosis in the Eastern theology. Stăniloae. see also De Vita Moysis (Jaeger VII. for God is always beyond what is experienced.even the words from Holy Scripture. 477. (3) an apophatic knowledge superior to the former. Moreover. apophaticism at the end of prayer. and apophaticism of the vision of divine light. and involves more than the mere pressure exerted by the presence of God as person”. to the experience of the mystery of God and His operations. for Stăniloae. 34 we must always pass beyond words and meanings. 106. Stăniloae sees three levels: apophaticism of negative and positive knowledge. because “it transcends everything that we are able to know through senses and through mind. Stăniloae found a significant support for the spiritual ascent in Gregory of Nyssa: “And so. Consequently. 100 D. (2) a knowledge through faith which depends on supernatural revelation. 98 D. indefinable. p. Stăniloae. a moderate amount of apprehension of the doctrine of God's nature. that he is even ready to assert the ascendance above “the ever more sublime meanings of things and of the words which express these things . pp. p. Stăniloae. the human mind and words are always incapable of communicating these realities. p. Stăniloae’s dynamism and openness are justified by the personal nature of God and a loving relationship with Him. indeed. apophaticism is not the simple negation of certain rational affirmations about God. 1.. What Stăniloae proves is that at the basis of his theological method remains the idea of personal participation or experience. A good summary of different types of knowledge of God is provided by Stăniloae himself in the following order: (1) a limited rational knowledge.” Oratio Catechetica Magna 3 (PG 45. 99 D. all rational affirmations or negations have an experiential point of contact with God’s operations in the world. receives secretly in his spirit. yet he is unable to explain clearly in words the ineffable depth of this mystery. The Experience of God. and (4) a complete or total apophatic knowledge. he comes to that point when he experiences infinite realities that cannot be described. in NPNF. consequently fortifying rational knowledge. 106. 116-117. p. The Experience of God. both affirmative and negative.

103 D. by K. Lampert (London: Geoffrey Bles. becomes new potentiality for negative theology. 1950). and coming to the conclusion that all are unsatisfactory. negative theology. negative theology is a mental operation as related to God’s contemplation through nature. Berdyaev. to assert that negative theology needs positive terms in order to deny them. Any new stage in humankind’s discoveries in fields like physics. and energies. as the absolute principle.1 Apophaticism of negative and positive knowledge In Stăniloae’s view. Kayré. This principle or source should be “the negation of the existence. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. “nobody can practice negative theology except in alternation with positive theology. Stăniloae uses sometimes very obscure interpretations. The human mind wavers between the divine immeasurable and the human measurable. However. this source has to embrace all that which explains the existence and the content of the world. by virtue of its definition. despite of the fact that it is a rational deductive operation. Stăniloae insists that. or spirituality. 225ff. it cannot be part of the existence or the existence itself. . 35 2. Stăniloae quoting from A.101 As such. 1929).103 The first cause means that the ultimate source of this world must embrace something that the world itself does not embrace. the knowledge of God is an endless movement of the human spirit. does not mean that this kind of theology promotes laziness or rational abdication. certain rationalities. 102 This is the reason why Stăniloae disagrees with Berdyaev. Indeed. Scripture. who scorned positive theology. Stăniloae. it must be in a kind of correspondence with the things of its origination. pp. which make existence possible. biology. a foundation. For Berdyaev’s ideas. An Essay in Autobiography. pp. “The whole of existence must have something within it [the absolute principle]. 205.” However. 86-107. see N. encompasses also an “intuitive element” that confirms the unknowability of God. it demands a continuous challenge to reason. and where everything is circumscribed. moreover. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. and dogma. On the contrary. p. history. Stăniloae. Gottelslehre Iacob Böhmes. and that between God’s being and His energies.” due to the twofold cause: the dialectic as relationship between God and world. it serves negative theology. if we understand that form of existence of the world that we know. In this way negative theology is capable of enriching the human spirit with exalted concepts in “measuring divinity” and encountering His incomprehensibility. 202-204. At the same time. In explaining spirituality. Dream and Reality. 101 D. One interpretation is taked from a parallel with Jacob Böhme. scrutinising the content of different attributes and concepts in comparison with the divine abyss. Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phenomenologische Forschung (Niemeyer. tr.102 Thus positive theology exists because general revelation exists. pp. art.

“who never gets into any relationship and in no way shares himself. pp. Stăniloae defines pure prayer as that stage of prayer in which “the mind attained the capacity to banish without any effort and for a long time any thoughts. II. Contra Eunomium (Jaeger I. 105 Cf. Dionysius. He has manifested Himself in order for all things to receive explanation through Him.106 Therefore.” 104 Consequently.” and in which the mind rises above concepts and images. illumination.”107 If positive theology sums up all that we know. On the Divine Names II. Stăniloae.” 105 God.” and an inexhaustible “spiritual bread for the mind. 205-206. even in this relation between the supreme principle and the world that it has created. before the descending of divine light in our mind. Beyond these energies there is the divine “hidden” or unknown. 268). p. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. Pure prayer implies different stages in parallel with the stages of spiritual ascendance (purification. 36 that correspond to different properties of the world. 11 (PG 3. while when we think of God’s being we negate all statements. but at the same time is wholly unlike all things in His being. D. 210.108 Thus the 104 D. 210. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. described by Stăniloae as “the infinite reserve of truth. but as the One who is supra-existent. p. then negative theology offers our souls new perspectives for future insights. concludes Stăniloae. on the other hand. is found in God’s being and its manifestations. God is like all things and allows participation in Himself. 645). 7 (PG 3. See also Gregory of Nyssa. Stăniloae. p. 106 Stăniloae uses here the analogy between our soul and its manifestations. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. As identified with the supreme principle. Stăniloae. is on the one hand an existence and on the other hand not existence. In fact. and union). 108 D. On the one hand. 212. 107 D. as a result of acquiring freedom from affection. The second reason or source of the twofold necessity and the mutual alternation between negative and positive theology. the affirmations we give to God describe the divine energies coming to us. not as One who does not exist. Pure prayer is a total cessation of thinking in the presence of divine mystery. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. the ecstasy of interior silence. negative theology indicates our consciousness of the divine mystery. He is inaccessible to our understanding because He necessarily transcends it. to express the relation between God’s being and His powers. Stăniloae. 2. p. we may find the reason for positive and negative theology. When we think of God’s manifestations we are accustomed to making positive statements about Him.2 Apophaticism at the end of pure prayer A new perspective and a superior stage in apophaticism are realised by pure prayer. 649). . Cf.


mind becomes aware of God’s presence and it has no other idea, no other thought except the
“thought without form” of God. Inevitably, as long as Stăniloae is presenting his thoughts,
there the influence of the Neoplatonic idea of escaping from time, history, and creation
becomes clear.
To attain the stage of pure prayer, Eastern Orthodox spirituality affirms the following vital
elements: first, the mind has to turn from external things into itself, focusing upon the heart.
In this process, the mind is pouring itself out towards the sensible world, and is regarding the
heart as its centre.109 Second, it requires the practice of the Jesus prayer, in which the mind
receives in the person of Jesus a “unifying content,” being permeated by the love for Jesus.110
Following Maximus, Stăniloae maintains that the actualisation of the above conditions is
possible only by preserving the distinction between the mind (nous) and reason (logos).
Reason is the faculty that rationalises things and comprises definite concepts called reasons
(logoi), while the mind is the faculty that thinks about contents. Thus the mind is the ultimate
principle of everything in man, the basis of the human subject. In order to understand the
indefinable basis of ourselves as subject we have to abandon all concepts and also to
transcend the reason that forms these concepts. Only then can the mind consider itself.111 God
is Subject, and in order to understand Him we must leave all internal and external objects, and
thus meet first our ownself as subject. A similar principle works in the relationship between
our own self as subject, the subjectivity of our fellow men, and God as subject. In other
words, to understand God we must understand the reasoning subject within the created
world. This understanding is not an ordinary understanding in the sense of comprehension,
because only objects can be comprehended. In reality there is an encounter with the other

Cf. Gregory Palamas, Triads 2.2, 27-29. In the words of Palamas, “the heart is the organ of thought”
(Triads 1.2.3).
These conditions call for special methods, based on the mutual dependence of soul and body. D. Stăniloae,
Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, pp. 217-237. Stăniloae develops here three expressions of the same method: (1) the
one used in the work attributed to Symeon the New Theologian, called The Method of Holy Prayer and
Concentration; (2) the psychosomatic one of Nicephorus the Monk, found in De Sobrietate et Cordis
Custodia (PG 147, 960); and (3) the one of Gregory of Sinai (published in PG 150, 1316D and in Filocalia
VII, pp. 172-173). Cf. also D. Stăniloae, Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama (Bucureşti: Scripta,
1993), pp. 32ff. Stăniloae was much influenced by the works of Nichifor Crainic in his Course of Mystical
Theology (1935-1936). This course was published recently as Sfinţenia - Împlinirea Umanului (Iaşi: Trinitas,
1993). For the origins of hesychasm and the “Jesus Prayer,” see the appendix entitled “Byzantine
Spirituality,” in L. Bouyer, J. Leclerq and F. Vanderbroucke (eds.), A History of Christian Spirituality, vol. II,
The Spirituality of the Middle Ages (London: Burns & Oates, 1982), pp. 547-590; K. Ware, “Christian
Theology in the East (600-1543), in H. Cunliffe-Jones (ed.), A History of Christian Doctrine (Philadelphia:
Fortress Press, 1981), pp. 181-225; The Power of the Name: The Jesus Prayer in Orthodox Spirituality
(Oxford: The Fairacres Publication 43, New edition, 1986); “Praying with the Body: The Hesychast Method
and Non-Christian Parallels,” Sobornost 14.2 (1992), pp. 6-35.


subject that still remains unapprehended, sovereign, free and undefinable. This turning to itself
of the reasoning subject entails a more definitive removal of rationalised contents.
From the other point of view, at the moment of meeting with itself, the human subject will
discover something greater than the things removed; and so this moment constitutes the point
at which the rational act of negation changes its structure and becomes a feeling or a positive
experience of the subject’s reality. This reality reveals in a very intensive and striking way the
existence of divine reality. The Fathers speak about the mind that, when looking into itself,
becomes transparent.112 But how is it possible for the mind to become transparent? Stăniloae
explains that the mind meets God in its intimacy, and in the same place discovers the
“reflection of Christ’s presence.”113 When we are looking into ourselves the first feeling is the
awesome wonder before an immense, dark abyss followed by the awareness that this abyss is
not entirely a region of our being, nor an empty place due to the absence of reality. This in
fact represents the infinite depths of divinity, which are yet unlighted and indefinable for us.
Maximus speaks about the pure mind as the place of abyss, which is at the same time capable
of receiving the abyss.114 It means that “the mind becomes bounded, limited, when it is itself
limited according to objects and finite concepts, and becomes unbounded when it receives the
One who is without form, and who does not give it any form.”115 This is the stage of
deification, when we feel simultaneously the boundlessness of the mind and the presence of
divinity in it. Stăniloae terms this aspect of deification, “boundlessness according to grace,”
and the kind of apophaticism we are facing here is very close to a total apophaticism.
However, specifies Stăniloae, the awareness of the infinite and absolute sovereign reality in
us, is understood as different from the reality of our own self as subject, which is experienced
merely as indefinite and relatively supreme. The two realities cannot be separated or
demarcated, being “the experience of union and interpenetration of God with our self.”116
Stăniloae insists on the importance of keeping together both aspects of the mind’s experience,
when this is gathered together into the heart: the unmediated relationship of our heart with

Maximus also considers the mind as subject. Cf. Maximus, Quaestiones ad Thalassium 50.8 (PG 90, 500).
D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, pp. 242-243. Much of the material in Stăniloae that follows is
heavily marked by the thought of Mark the Ascetic. Cf. Mark the Ascetic, De Baptismo (PG 65, 985-1028),
and Le Lege Spirituali (PG 65, 905-930); also in Despre Botez (Filocalia I, pp. 319-359).
Cf. D. Stăniloae, Iisus Hristos Lumina Lumii şi Îndumnezeitorul Omului, pp. 5-15.
Stăniloae follows Maximus especially in the explanation that he gives of the main characteristics of the
mind’s character as unmoving. See Maximus, Ambigua (PG 91, 1400-1409).
The mind’s bewilderment includes: awareness, feeling as “knowledge beyond knowledge,” and the
pressure of an acute presence.
D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, p. 243.


God due to the presence of Jesus in our heart, and the inseparable union. The danger of
ignoring the second aspect is to fall into Neoplatonism or Hegelianism, which see the world in
a substantial continuity with the absolute. For Stăniloae, to enter into our intimacy means to
experience the infinite but personal presence of God, hidden in the darkness. Moreover, we
must remember that the only possible way to experience this is by prayer. At this stage in
presenting apophaticism, Stăniloae boldly affirms that “the mind stops,” or ceases to move as
being fixed in a total immobility, and starts to appeal for divine wisdom. The mind’s stopping
is determined by the experience of the divine infinite presence. But this is not the end. What
comes afterwards is the state of prayer that is filled with silent wonder, a state in which the
mind is not able to define what is being asked, nor the One who is asking. This is the state of
prayer beyond prayer (hesychia), the manifestation of love for God. Arriving at the stage of
silent wonder, the mind asks again for help. And this is given by the coming of the Spirit in
His fullness.117

2.3 Apophaticism of the vision of divine light
The final stage in Stăniloae’s perspective on apophaticism is the vision of divine light. Union
with God is beyond pure prayer, and means the perfect love that comes to us as a divine
gift.118 However, the mind has a positive role in its experience even after the cessation of its
mental activities. The mind, says Stăniloae, is capax divini, endowed with the capacity to take
possession of the divine spiritual work,119 to go beyond its natural activities and to be united
with God. The experience of the divine light by the human mind is the result of the cohesive
link between three key elements: love, knowledge, and light. The light is knowledge, says
Stăniloae, and the light of knowledge is the result of love. Moreover, “the life of the mind is
the illumination of knowledge and this is born of love for God.”120 Thus knowledge
understood as life in love has an existential character.
The mind’s exodus from itself, leaving its natural activity and replacing it with the divine
activity, is of course not ontological. This double exodus, in fact, realises the union of the

D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, pp. 244-247.
Stăniloae makes a distinction between love which is increasing at the same time as prayer and love as an
uncreated energy.
See also Dionysius, On the Divine Names 7.1 (PG 3, 864C).
Cf. Maximus, Centuriae de Caritate 1. 9,10 (PG 90, 964). “When in the full ardor of its love for God the
mind goes out of itself, then it has no preception at all either of itself or of any creatures. For once illumined
by the divine and infinite light, it remains insensible to anything that is made by him, just as the physical eye


mind with the divine light.121 The mind sees by means of the divine light that descends into it,
and then illuminates it, so that finally it is filled with light. Thus the mind does not see the
divine light merely beyond itself, but also within itself. In contrast to the former position when
the mind was looking into itself, and thus seeing itself directly and God indirectly, the latter
position is when the mind is seeing God directly and itself indirectly. Stăniloae admits,
therefore, a twofold situation regarding the mind when it is seeing the divine light: the
extroverted, when the mind goes out of itself, and the introverted, when it looks into itself.122
This is also in line with Lossky who maintained that, during the process of seeing the divine
light, self-consciousness is increased.
As a result, the divine light seen in ecstasy at the end of pure prayer is not a physical but a
spiritual light. However, although it is not sensible, it may come out from the soul and
“spread over man’s face and body.”123 The reflection of the divine light can be seen by
anyone, but not the divine light itself; for the latter you need the power of the Holy Spirit in
your mind and body.124 Filling the mind, this spiritual light is a mysterious reality of the self-
disclosure of God, a knowledge beyond our human knowledge. The vision of divine light is
totally different from the pantheist idealism of Plato or Plotinus. Stăniloae even talks about
the necessity of a “leap” of the mind, “through its rapture by the Spirit.” The Palamite
influence is obvious:

The vision of divine light being a vision and a knowledge of the one divine energy,
received by man through divine energy, is a vision and a knowledge according to the
divine mode, man being able to see and know qualitatively like God, or ‘spiritually’
and ‘in a divine way,’ as Palamas says, and quantitatively with the possibility of an
endless progress in the knowledge of Him.125

The apophatic character of this kind of knowledge is present not because of any lack in
comparison with human natural knowledge, but because of its qualitative and quantitative

has no sensation of the stars when the sun has risen.” Cf. Maximus, The Four Hundred Chapters on Love
I.10, Berthold tr., p. 36.
D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, p. 284. Stăniloae is following here very closely Palamas’ ideas
from Filocalia VII, pp. 263-373. Continuing the line of thought in Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus, Palamas
distinguishes within the human mind between essence (ousia) and energies (energeiai). Cf. Mantzarides, The
Deification of Man, p. 17. For Gregory Palamas, see Capita 30, 81, and Triads 1.2 5-11, 2.2.11-19.
D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, p. 285.
Again, the model taken by Palamas and Stăniloae is Moses’ face. Cf. D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea
Ortodoxă, pp. 287ff.
As, for example, in the case of the light of Tabor.
D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, p. 291. Cf. Gregory Palamas, Filocalia VII, p. 328.


superiority. This is the reason why Stăniloae prefers to call the vision of divine light a supra-
conceptual knowledge. Actually, it is “unknowing knowledge.”126
Stăniloae asks how it is possible to harmonise the apparent contradiction between the
warning given by the Fathers not to consider as divine every appearance of light, and the
statement that the grace of God fills the soul with light?127 Stăniloae responds that what we
need to avoid are the “definite images, even those filled with light,” which may end by
becoming idols, while the light which fills the mind is not a “definite form,” rather a “feeling,”
a “sensitivity,” and an “understanding” permeating our being.128 Because the irradiation of the
existential light is limitless, as the divine being is, during this process the mystic is expressing
all experiences in contradictory concepts (seeing and unseeing, knowledge and ignorance).
Indeed, the divine light is supra-conceptual, but it gives rise to concepts and images as a
reflection of its puzzling abundance. Since the suggestion is hard to define, the analogy of a
loving relationship between two persons is after all to be preferred. Some analogical
structures characterise the experience of the one who sees the divine light. Stăniloae adopts
both the suggestions offered by Gregory of Nyssa concerning the immaterial tabernacle of
Moses and its fulfilment in the person of Christ,129 and the idea of typos, image imprinted,
used by Palamas. The mind, explains Stăniloae, is imprinted or shaped with immaterial images
and, consequently, through the knowledge of God, “spiritual transformations and mouldings
are admitted.”130 This conception shows the existential, the experimental, and the
transformatory character of the new structures, structures that represent in fact living
relationships with God. The old created structures are replaced in the visionary believer by the
new uncreated structures. The new experience has the possibility of residing in the form of
some structures as “advancing configurations of the inexhaustible existential relationship
between man himself and God.” However, the ontological distance between the Creator and
the creature remains. Yet in the process of “spiritualization,” the one who has been united

D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, pp. 293-294. Again Stăniloae’s application is personal. When you
meet another person, writes Stăniloae, the moment of encountering in love transforms that relationship in
light. “In its normality, a being is a harmony, and harmony irradiates light.” What Stăniloae says, of course,
is that the “light” we experience when we meet another person is mereley metaphorical;if so, it is different
from the experience of divine light. By extension, it is not a coincidence that the totality of things and persons
surrounding us is called in the Romanian language lume, from the Latin term lumen, that is light.
For example, in Diadochus, Filocalia I, p. 335.
Diadochus, Isaac of Syria, Symeon the New Theologian and Gregory Palamas call this light a “mental
feeling.” Later in this study it will become clear how important is the key concept of “sensitivity” in
Stăniloae’s discourse regarding Christology.
Gregory of Nyssa, De Vita Moysis (Jaeger VII, 1, p. 114).
Gregory Palamas, Filocalia VII, p. 340.


with the light cannot say if he is detached from it or not. “The ontological distinctions persist,
yet they are not perceived.”131 This is, in reality, the blessed state of deification.132

2.4 Summary
In summary, Stăniloae proposes the following trichotomy in the area of epistemology:
positive or affirmative knowledge, negative knowledge, and apophatic knowledge. First,
positive knowledge implies at the first level the Logos’ penetration in nature - knowledge
being identified with an iconic or “symbolic conscience” of the world. Everything starts with
divine intentionality, manifested in the act of creation. Stăniloae asserts the necessity for all
Christians to acquire the awareness of this intentionality or of the divine rationalities (logoi)
of the things. This acquiring is the result of a long process of the mind’s purification by the
work of the Holy Spirit. To be sure, this contemplative knowledge is not anti-rational but
supra-rational, concluding and completing discursive reason. Second, negative theology is not
agnosticism, but a non-science, in the sense that it goes beyond intellectual knowledge. At
this stage, both analogy and negation show that their resources are insufficient. Negative
theology is of value because it reveals the truth of divine mystery, that is, the mystery of
person and the potentiality for dialogue. We need supra-rational “means” to adapt the human
to the divine.
When we come to the third stage of knowledge, apophatic knowledge, Stăniloae employs
three other levels: (1) apophaticism of negative and positive knowledge, (2) apophaticism at
the end of pure prayer, and (3) apophaticism of the vision of divine light. For Stăniloae, the
knowledge of the divine essence and energies through the apprehension of nature is
necessarily followed by the knowledge of the revealed divine essence and energies. Moreover,
between these two kinds of knowledge there will arise a hiatus. The revealed knowledge of
divine energies is no longer the result of intellectual powers, which in fact had to stop their
activity, but is the work of grace in the vision of divine light. The presence of a hiatus
represents a kind of apophaticism “almost unmixed with any positive element of knowledge.”
Stăniloae calls it the “intermediate apophaticism,” that is, the stage “when we leave behind all
mental operations, even negative ones, even though we have not (as yet) received the light

D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă, p. 308.
It is to be noted that, according to Stăniloae, man’s ascension to God begins in the Church and is finished
in the Church.


from above.”133 Throughout the time in which we know the divine energies from nature
through concepts, we are aware that these concepts are inadequate both as regards the
energies from nature and as regards the revealed divine energies, and much more as regards
the being of God. In this sense, negative theology assists and interacts with positive theology.
This is the first form of apophaticism, discursive and negative theology.134
However, as Stăniloae admits, once we rise above all that nature can offer, the awareness of
the total insufficiency of the concepts, separated from nature, and of the mind’s infirmity to
know divinity by itself, will give form to an almost total apophaticism. When we renounce the
ability to consider the concepts derived from nature and any preoccupation to negate them,
and when we prevail over negation as an intellectual operation in a total silence created by
prayer, only at that point may we talk about the second degree of apophaticism. As will be
shown, Stăniloae considers that this second degree of almost total apophaticism is
inaccurately considered by Lossky when it is interpreted as representing the supreme stage of
spiritual ascension in Dionysius’ mystical theology.
Stăniloae’s view is that we may discern a third stage of apophaticism. Dionysius, believes
Stăniloae, is referring to those “supremely radiant” clouds that do not mean an exclusive
incognoscibility of God. In the same way, appealing to Palamas, Stăniloae makes it clear that
the vision of divine light is not equivalent to negative theology. In the second stage of
apophaticism, in the time of prayer, the human soul comes out from the world, enters into a
total silence of the mind, and thus can see or experience the divine darkness, which is
something positive or supra-positive.
In practice, man must activate his natural powers, being helped by the grace received at
baptism and holy unction. In view of the meaning of the second stage of apophaticism, we
may say that in the first stage negative theology is only an anticipatory icon of the vision of
divine light; however, it is not this vision in itself, and is no more than the external seeing of
the divine darkness in which God dwells. In addition, the third stage is not an empty but a
completed apophaticism, filled with light. Negative theology and second degree apophaticism
are evidently inferior to the seeing of divine light. Stăniloae sees here a subtle distinction
between (1) seeing the darkness from outside, when our mind works by its own abilities and
is thus “veiling” God, and (2) penetrating into the same darkness, at the stage when our mind
is transposed there by God Himself. However, even in the third stage of apophaticism, we will

D. Stăniloae, Spiritualitate Ortodoxă, p. 195.

Doctorate dissertation (Oxford. “The apophatic attitude. for example. Lossky. vol. In reality. 138 R. In the Image and Likeness of God (Crestwood. and with a strict approach to it. “The Via Negativa and the Foundations of Theology: An Introduction to the Thought of V. Thus apophaticism implies both contemplation. 96. Williams. and Russian Orthodox idealism which was heavily influenced by the German idealists (Hegel.”138 134 Here apophaticism and negative theology seem to be identified rather than distinguished! 135 R. and which tried to identify faith with rational understanding. 137 V. that does not exclude but involves apophaticism.”135 He claims that apophaticism is the distinctive theological perspective of the Greek Fathers. “is implied in the paradox of the Christian revelation. 14.Y. apophaticism is not coincident with “mysticism” and is not in itself revelation.1 The radical apophatic way. Lossky. I (London: Duckworth. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky. New Studies in Theology. N. 3. as the result of the metamorphosis of the intellect and of the whole human person. 136 V. Vladimir Lossky As a modern representative of mystical apophaticism. Vladimir Lossky sees apophaticism as a prerequisite of any approach to theology. an inaccessible being.” in S. apophasis is not an end. Holmes (eds. apophatic theology must point beyond the intellect to the personal mystery of the Trinity that encounters the human person in the act of revelation. for Lossky. 1985). and “the fundamental characteristic of the whole theological tradition of the Eastern Church. but a necessary means for the understanding of revelation.D. A comparative appraisal of the apophaticism of Stăniloae and Lossky 3. 1975). although the divine light remains a mystery. In the case of the hesychasts.). Lossky. p.26. pointing towards the level of mysterious revelation in the strict sense. 92.: SVS Press. Lossky is challenging both Latin scholasticism for not being able to balance formal theologising with religious experience. mystical theology or “the self-revelation of God in silence. There will always be an advance in knowing a boundless reserve. Schelling). p.” says Lossky. 1980). an attitude that should lead theological discourse “towards the silence of contemplation and communion. p. Williams. p. An Exposition and Critique. 44 experience the consciousness of both the impossibility of comprehending the divine light. . and communion with God. and the existence of a divine being above it.D. Mystical Theology. Sykes and D. that is.N. Even if a hesychast “becomes light” this is only true in relation with those who simply enter under the influence of that light.”136 Saying that. For Lossky.”137 Specifically.

theology and mysticism support and complete each other. Lossky. according to Lossky. Orthodox Theology. p. p. An Introduction (Crestwood. Christian theology is always a means enabling us to attain union with God. In Lossky's thinking. and oikonomia . 144 V. 13. a reflection on faith deep-seated in a sense of the transcendent God and free not for dry speculations. but to affirm the mystical nature of all true theology. while theologia means “everything that can be said of God considered in Himself. . faith exists in man even in his separation from God as a result of sin. 142 V. of that which can be experienced by everyone. Moreover. 45 Regarding contemplation. 143 V. reciprocity. deification (theosis). In the Image and Likeness of God. oikonomia describes God's movement man-wards. N. 14. 1989). 141 V.anabasis. Lossky uses two pairs of concepts: katabasis . The basic model for a mystical theology. and direct experiential knowledge of God. p. the ways to the knowledge of God are placed with difficulty between gnosis (contemplative and existential knowledge) and episteme (scientific and rationalist knowledge). 15. Oikonomia is the work of God's will in which He reveals Himself in creation and incarnation. Lossky. pp. and the first condition for theological knowledge. If the mystical experience is a personal working out of the content of the common faith. an ontological participation. In the Image and Likeness of God. which is a movement of descent (katabasis). Orthodox Theology. Lossky maintains that the importance of this attitude is not only to preserve theology from irrelevant intellectualism and over-definition. would be that God in His infinity transcends every concept of created mind. p. faith as a personal adherence to the personal presence of God who reveals Himself. Lossky. which is a divine gift implying “encounter. 8-9. Orthodox Theology. 13. theology is an expression for the profit of all. doctrinal definitions may tell us truths about God.”142 This faith is a faculty to respond to the divine presence.139 In other words.” 144 As a means to knowledge. We must therefore transcend mind by a supra-rational mode of perception (which is contemplation) if we are to know God. To elucidate the relation between gnosis and theosis. that is.143 Consequently. 16-17. but only contemplation can bring us immediate. Lossky. Lossky. The proper way to have true knowledge is the spiritual ascent 139 V. One is impossible without the other.Y. 140 V. personal. that is. Mystical Theology. but for contemplation.theologia.140 Because episteme is utterly defective due to “the radical lack of correspondence between our mind and the reality it wishes to attain. p.: SVS Press.”141 theology has to pursue the way of gnosis. Lossky. He writes: Far from being mutually opposed.

for instance. or positive theology. Gersh.2 (SC 250. 592B). N.147 However. the words of Scripture do not describe God as He is in Himself. Christian and Greek. 1995). 1989). The Mystical Theology. Lossky. P. even if in an imperfect way. R. and their Common Roots in Ascetical Tradition. raising the minds to those realities that pass all understanding. 43.2 (1994).4 (PG 3. I. The Way of Negation. 1967). 1986).). A. pp. see also The Vision of God (Crestwood. 1984). Louth. which leads us to some knowledge of God. On the Divine Names.149 It becomes clear that Lossky is struggling to preserve the distinction between theologia and oikonomia.” SP 27 (1993). since He is always beyond everything that exists. Maximus the Confessor: A Question of Influence. Nicetas Stethatos. 1975). 46 (anabasis). . 159-178. Armstrong (ed. 125. in Scripture “the Transcendent is clothed in the terms of beings. concludes Lossky. 1969). pp. 103). P. 147 Lossky borrows from Gregory of Nazianzus' metaphorical interpretation of Moses' ascent on Mount Sinai who holds that we can talk about different levels of theology. (Bonn: Peter Hanstein Verlag.” described by Lossky’s favourite mystical theologian Dionysius as “knowing nothing. to be communicated it has to be translated into theological language and to be organised subsequently into a system. Oratio 28. The Mystical Theology. with Special Reference to its Predecessors in the Eastern Christian Tradition (Thessaloniki: Analecta Vlatadon. which are expressed in concepts.: SVS Press. p. pp. 146 V. each appropriate to differing capacities of human understanding.” Cf.” pp. Golitzin. 1994). and numerous symbols are employed to convey the varied attributes of what is an imageless and supra-natural simplicity. p. At this point. Negativity in Christian Mysticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rorem.” Dionysius. pp. p. 1978). 2 vols. See Gregory of Nazianzus. Lossky cannot avoid the role of cataphatic theology.P. Turner. Hathaway. 27.F. the apophatic and 145 Lossky follows here Pseudo-Areopagite's “mystical contemplation. “Hierarchy versus Anarchy? Dionysius Areopagita. p. CT: Morehouse-Barlow. pp. Sheldon-Williams. Denys the Areopagite and St. The Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 25. “St. Lossky. 173-182. 148 Lossky follows once more Dionysius.” SVTQ 38. Implicitly. Spearritt.” in A. p. A. Biblical and Liturgical Symbols within the Pseudo-Dionysian Synthesis (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. “The Greek Christian Platonist Tradition from the Cappadocians to Maximus and Eriugena. Lossky. and is a “mystical union with God.148 Thus. especially the chapter entitled “Cataphatic and the Apophatic in Denys the Areopagite. D. R. Mystical Theology.146 The words of Scripture and of dogma. for Lossky. Symeon the New Theologian. pp. Wilton. ‘Et Introibo as Altare Dei. Brill.” “in order to be able to attain in perfect ignorance to union with Him who transcends all being and all knowledge. From Word to Silence. but contemplative.Y. Hierarchy and Definition of Order in the Letters of Pseudo-Dionysius (Hague: Martinus Nijhoff. V. I. working through concepts. 1983).’ The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita. A Philosophical Enquiry into Dionysian Mysticism (Bosingen: Rotex-Druckdienst.”145 Although gnosis is knowledge beyond words.H. serve primarily as starting and guiding points in an ever ascending process of contemplation finalised in theosis. theology will never be abstract. 97f. The Darkness of God. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition.J. Mortley. Denys the Areopagite (London: Geoffrey Chapman. This goes beyond all perceptive and rational faculties. 149 V. 131-179. From Iamblichus to Eriugena: An Investigation of the Prehistory and Evolution of the Pseudo- Dionysian Tradition (Leiden: E. 19-49. for whom. 457-472. 166-174. see also In the Image and Likeness of God. For other surveys on Dionysius see: S. with shape and forms of things that have neither.

but the quality of the vision. and In Canticum Canticorum.” indicating a terminology characteristic of sensation. Lossky. revealing the inadequacy of language and going beyond the classical terms of light and 150 V. The Vision of God. 3. 421-423). indeed. p. for whom darkness and ignorance are expressions of that dynamic aspect of the knowledge of God. Lossky. Lossky notices that the fundamental datum is the encounter with God. 87). In Ecclesiasten Homiliae. 312-314.”153 The attitude of apophatic theology for Lossky is summarised in “a fully conscious relationship of personal confrontation between man and God in love. The mystical vision means a seeing of God through the mystical eye of the soul in the state of ecstasy. p.2 Lossky and the Greek Fathers Losskylooks back to the Greek Fathers for a normative theological via media.150 Contrarily. The Vision of God. apophaticism has a corrective function. Gregory of Nyssa maintains that the mystical ascent begins where rational knowledge fails. 31. In Gregory of Nyssa. the heart “sees” the divine light. 153 V. Participation in God. as for Gregory. in the greatest possible degree of immediacy and intimacy. XII (Jaeger VI.” or “seeing in the blessed state of ecstasy. affirmation and negation.D. Gregory of Nyssa.155 In one sense. being “undifferentiated. Hom. pp. . God remains incomprehensible.”152 However. can be expressed only in terms of darkness and ignorance. 155 V.”154 In a like manner. Oratio X. but the apophatic prevails over the cataphatic. it is determined by agape. p. 127.151 suggesting that it is an experiential rather than a speculative knowledge. Dionysius postulates a union beyond the level of the nous by means of a dialectical interplay between the images of light and darkness. knowledge signifies a relationship between persons. Lossky is much indebted to Gregory of Nyssa and Dionysius. Consequently. 154 R.” and thus progress and growth in the knowledge of God are excluded. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky. 110. In this union. even though His presence may be felt. a union that is higher than conceptual knowledge. never totally possessed or assimilated by man. p. He rejects Evagrius’ idea that contemplation can have no degrees. for example. for Lossky.” “seeing the light of truth. Williams. pp. “Where there is reciprocity of knowledge. 152 Gregory of Nyssa. VIII (Jaeger V. 356-359). 83. An Exposition and Critique. p. Lossky. 151 Gregory uses expression like “seeing in the dark. The Vision of God. Cf. De Vita Moysis (Jaeger VII. 47 cataphatic approaches are not just complementary or equal (as sometimes in the West). the true feature of the knowledge of God is personal encounter. assumes that “that which participates must necessarily change into what the participated is in its nature. knowledge and ignorance.

such mystical phenomena as the “imitation of Christ.” although unknown in the East. Lossky.4 (PG 3. (3) an insistence on both the transcendence and the immanence of God. In the East. 48 knowledge. Dogma’s formal structure is antinomical. East and West created two different traditions. Lossky. Holding two distinct dogmatic attitudes. 157 V. then there is taken for granted an “irrational residue” that cannot be expressed in concepts. with Dionysius. 105. Dionysius’ “personalism” is developed in line with the Antiochene school.D. We may conclude by asserting with Rowan Williams that the main features of Lossky’s unified thought are: (1) an unequivocal trinitarianism. 126-127. in the beatific vision. Yet. Consequently. not confined to any economic level. The Vision of God. There is a “visible theophany. specifies Lossky. Orthodoxy. (2) a positive evaluation of the role of the body in the plan of revelation. expressed by the ousia-energeia distinction. Williams in “The Via Negativa and the Foundations of Theology: An Introduction to the Thought of V. and generating two divergent spiritualities. On the Divine Names I.” p. Mystical Theology.N. became part of the Western spiritual tradition. the guarantee that in the mystical experience man does not meet his own spirit but the Holy Spirit.” as well as an illumination of the intellect. as an intermediate form between Catholicism and Protestantism. the theme of the significance of the body in the economy of salvation becomes axiomatic for the world of Byzantine theology. 592C). Lossky.3 A review of Lossky’s apophaticism For Lossky. Cf.” “mystical night. expressing two diversified experiences. pp. Dionysius. and (4) the identification of our final encounter with God as a supra-intellectual epektasis. with special reference to the Transfiguration. show fidelity to the vertical and theocentric theology of revelation. displaying the presence of the revealed mystery and the necessity of going beyond the domain of intellect in metaintellect 156 V. 33.158 3. 158 R. is given by dogma. our transfigured senses perceive the incarnate Word as He was seen by the apostles at His own transfiguration.” or “mystical individualism. . p.156 Apophasis is not the same thing as ecstasy. which taught that.157 Hence. For sure. Dionysius’ apophasis never leads to a level of divine existence superior to the three persons. but they are intimately connected as two manifestations of that which makes personal reality what it is. a personal meeting with the inconceptualisable personal being of God. If theosis is realised solely through the capacity for ekstasis (the Greek term to describe the perpetual growth of the soul).

for Dionysius on the other hand God is beyond the Being and the One. “Les Orientaux Connaissent . implies a reduction of the multiple Being to the absolute simplicity of the One. pp. in the form of dialectical mysticism (Plotinus or Meister Eckhart).ils les ‘Nuits’ de Saint Jean de Croix?” in Orientalia Christiana Periodica 12 (1946). 1966). and “L’Imitation de Jésus-Christ dans la Spiritualité Byzantine. “Eléments de Théologie Negative chez S. of non-blending and non-opposition between the persons of the Trinity. Plotinus’ apophaticism. is conceivable because of another applied paradigm: that between the being and the hypostases of God. Hausherr. 1948). Apophaticism results from the ontological status of man as created personal being. 142-152.P. and union beyond knowledge. but the unique existential attitude that is rigorously theocentric. 5-46. 142-143.160 However. In Lossky’s perspective. Irénée Hausherr. who cannot enjoy a personal relationship with God except through the divine revelation and human acceptance. a limit that separates theocentrism from anthropocentrism. Both articles are also found in I. God was the One anterior and superior to Being.F. 49 and metalogic. ecstasy. pp. but only with a corrective role (Thomas Aquinas). The mystery of identity-in- distinction and of distinction-in-identity. as Holy Trinity. Lossky. the possibility of their perichoresis and of their extradivine generosity in the uncreated energies and in the economy of salvation. aiming to release the mind and to make it aware of its primordial unity with the supraessential One. apophaticism is not similar to Neoplatonic negative theology or to the corrective element of positive theology detected in scholasticism. If for Plotinus’ Latin translator. Augustin. Apophaticism is not a chapter of theology. Apophaticism appears for Lossky as connected and co-extensive with the revelatory theological personalism.” Contacts (1979).159 The genuine mystic calls for the conforming and adapting of the whole human being to the revealed mystery in the form of apophaticism. Cf.4 The question of the vision of God 159 Lossky has been criticised here for making too sharp a contrast. seen in the distinction/identity paradigm and applied to the being and the energy of God. any religious thinking requires negation. explains. where apophaticism does not exist. pp. Hésychasme et Prière (Roma: Pontificale Institutum Orientalium Studiorum. 3. seen in the ideas of purification. while in the apophatic theology of the Fathers (Gregory of Nyssa and Dionysius) union is the condition of knowledge. This mysterious and paradoxical connection between divine transcendence and immanence. in fact. Lossky praises the Greek Fathers for their wisdom in stopping short before the mystery and in underlining the limit between theology and religious philosophy. Marius Victorinus. 160 V. or in the limits of natural theology. Cavallera (Toulouse. and if for Augustine He is identical with the Being itself (ipsum esse). 231-259. knowledge is the condition of union. Bulgakov). .” in Mélanges Offerts au R. In religious philosophy (Origen. for Lossky.

Basically. Christianity and Classical Culture. which sustained the possibility of an unmediated vision of divine: first. was not polemical but positive. the concept of the vision of God was under pressure of disintegration into two forms of natural mysticism. Gregoras). 161 Cf. the imputation is that Lossky’s idea of the vision of God replaces the New Testament futuristic eschatology of seeing God with the Hellenistic present and spiritual eschatology of mystical contemplation. represented by Dionysian apophaticism. 1993). the dualism of sensible-intelligible is also detected in Christology. and criticised in the West by the representatives of rationalist scholasticism (such as Vasquez) and evangelical fideism and moralism (such as Nygren and Festugi__ère). Pelikan. while the Antiochians restricted the vision of God to the vision of Jesus’ human nature. Theodore the Studite) and the pneumatological one (John Climacus. the sensible. 50 Difficulties arise with the concept of the vision of God. pp. corresponding to the mystical intellectualism originated by the Alexandrian Platonists (Origen. J. . but between created and uncreated. intellectual vision. After Dionysius. The intellectual mysticism of Evagrius and the “sentimental” mysticism of Macarius were synthesised by Diadochus of Photike. As in anthropology.161 The key distinction here is not between sensible and intelligible. The real Christianization of Hellenism was realised by the Cappadocians who affirmed transmaterial and transintellectual apophaticism as the unique adequate made of access to personal communion in love with the triune God. Lossky’s intention. however. uphold in the mystical “materialism” of the Stoics or Messalians. in the general context of the Church’s effort to go beyond Hellenism. Consequently. The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in the Christian Encounter with Hellenism (New Haven and London: Yale University. Hesychasm and Palamism brought about the final synthesis. trying to demonstrate the interior coherence and continuity of the Eastern tradition. Evagrius). physical. the Byzantine Fathers successively developed the Christological aspect of the vision of God (Maximus. so it is said by Lossky. expounded by Lossky in The Vision of God. the hesychasts). According to Lossky. this emphasis on contemplative mysticism is structurally incompatible with the more practical and communitarian evangelical ethos. the precursor of Byzantine hesychasm. 40-73. In their orthodox version. John Damascene. Usually. and second. vision of divinity. the Alexandrians affirmed the intellectual contemplation of the divine essence of the Logos in Christ. the pneumatological Alexandrian thinking and the Christological Antiochian thinking were synthesised by Byzantine theology. Symeon the New Theologian. immanent and antitrinitarian. in the context of a new Hellenistic revival (Barlaam.

Christe Deus. and does not allow sufficiently for the varieties of expression from one .” L. 191ff.165 To argue in favour of the via media of Dionysius and Palamas. the errors of Clement and Origen while. Reflections on reading Lossky’s Vision of God. pp. from the charge of being crypto-Messalian. appreciates the historical overview offered by Lossky. See J. 163 In contrast with the modern conception of mysticism. 78. His treatment was much debated. the Mystery. see A. Bouyer. 195-206. 166 R. and defends the “popular mysticism” of the Macarian Homilies. “Glorianter Vultum Tuum. Bouyer. Williams. From Pagan Myth to Christian Mysticism (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Williams. An Exposition and Critique. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky. The Christian Mystery. at the same time.” R. but on the sensitivity granted by the mysterious ecclesial presence of Christ. pp. 285-286. against Lossky. Louth. a Catholic theologian. of Symeon the New Theologian. An Exposition and Critique.163 On the other hand. “reducing it to certain states of soul which can be studied in more or less complete abstraction from the object which attracts them. for whom Lossky’s approach “has reduced the Patristic evidence too much to a single pattern. Bouyer. Some of Williams’ objections were adopted by K. The Christian Mystery. XII-XV.166 162 L. Palamism. Sherwood. “Philosophy.”162 This shows also the superiority of the Eastern “objective” mysticism. Theology. 164 Cf. pp. but is concerned with the idea of participation in God and the Palamite theological method. For similar appraisal. 284. 165 “The desire to present a clear and straightforward evolution in the history of Eastern spirituality towards Palamite apophaticism and incarnationalism coexists a little uneasily with the demands of strict scholarly justice.D. p. 1990). This is why. Ware. underestimating the Neoplatonist difficulties of Gregory of Nyssa and Dionysius. active and effective by its presence alone. 91.’” SVTQ 10 (1966). there is the conception of the Fathers for us to return to according to which it is this object. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition. The Catholic writer absolves the mystical theology of Gregory of Nyssa and Dionysius of being unfairly called Platonic.164 Williams disapproves of Lossky’s “over-schematic exegesis” of the patristic historical evolutions. concentrating not on the religious emotions of the believer. Lossky seems to overstate the ecstatic Platonist interpretation. pp. that determines what can legitimately be called mystical in Christian experience. and ‘Secular Christianity. in which “it is the heart rather than the nous (the intellect) and the whole of man rather than the soul alone that are the keywords for the insertion of the mystery into us. p. and of hesychasm.” and the criterion of existential encounter with God seems to be too much the philosophical echo of modern existentialists such as Heidegger or Sartre. Sherwood.D. P. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky. the “Mystery” par excellence. “the whole idea of a coherent orthodox tradition is one that is neither purely historical nor purely theological.” SVTQ 10 (1966). Bouyer admires the “spiritual pragmatism” and the biblical character of the Eastern tradition. 203-208. p. Meyendorff’s response insists on the necessity of validating theological developments in accordance with the continuity and the content of the New Testament revelation. 51 Such was Lossky’s approach to the concept of the vision of God. A positive evaluation of the Eastern Fathers’ traditional mysticism is given by L. Meyendorff.

in a sense. What Stăniloae is denouncing here in Lossky’s insight is the overstress on apophaticism Father to another. while we acknowledge that it has a certain necessity for expressing apophatic experience.5 Stăniloae’s critique of Lossky A comparison between Stăniloae’s and Lossky’s treatment of apophaticism shows that in many ways their understanding of the theme is the same. the interpretation given by Lossky leads indirectly to Thomism. 231. although we are always aware of its insufficiency. Stăniloae emphasises the fact that it is not an exclusive presence. The Experience of God. intermingled with the incognoscibility of God or part of the same experience. Stăniloae mentions also Yannaras. 52 3. who sees Lossky’s apophaticism as legitimate so long as it does not take an extremist position. Lossky. However. how could we distinguish between the apophaticism of union and intellectual apophaticism?” In reality. and finally theosis. “If the incognoscibility of God has a similar wholeness with knowledge on the superior stages. In common with Palamas. Indeed. 122 (n. since the supreme stage in the knowledge of God is an alternation between the positive knowledge of God from nature and the knowledge that accepts that He is beyond all that nature may reveal about Him. but as the supreme awakening of man’s self-consciousness. Lossky interprets the vision of divine light not as a knowledge of something from God.” See Ware. As has been seen. it is preferable not to have a kind of Platonic purification.168 This is a natural result since he believes in a total incognoscibility of God. Stăniloae suggests that. This mystical union is a new state that presupposes transmutations. However. the full flowering of personal consciousness of grace. 168 “But instead of the divine darkness there is now light. K. this is. 167 Besides Lossky. For instance. the difference between them is revealed by Stăniloae himself. “The Debate about Palamism. Although Lossky’s general understanding of apophaticism is correct. Stăniloae. and even within the writings of a single author. insted of forgetfulness of self. Stăniloae thinks that Lossky fails to make a clear distinction between the incognoscibility on the inferior level and its presence on the superior level.167 For Lossky. but a renunciation of the whole created realm. at this stage in our experience. D.. who “attributes no value to affirmative theology. an existential self-surpassing. in order to experience the divine incognoscibility. . 62. p. p.” Cf. we should even cease to call it knowledge due to its supra-abundance. 1). Mystical Theology. p. and negative theology as an intellectual operation that occupies an inferior stage. when we talk about human knowledge. engaging the whole man in a supra- conceptual union with God.” V. Lossky distinguishes between apophaticism as a union of man’s spirit with God.” ECR 9 (1977). from created to uncreated. for it is true that apophaticism is definitely present in all stages of spiritual ascension. asks Stăniloae.

in whom each absorbs the other. which does not affirm what He is. with Special Reference to the Alexandrian scholastic theology practiced these modes of knowing . Sheldon-Williams. 17CD). 381BD. agrees with the negation that denies that He is something. The Apophatic Approach to God in the Early Greek Father. 188-195.5 (PG 3. De Vita Moysis (PG 44. Stăniloae’s summary of the doctrine of the knowledge of God has provided a fine example of theological reflection emerging from historical inquiry and faithfulness to the patristic tradition. Ambigua 30 (PG 91. For more on apophaticism in the Cappadocian Fathers. 28. Like his predecessors. 173 Maximus understands in a similar way the complementarity between the apophatic and cataphatic theologies when he writes: “Negation and affirmation. 593).171 Dionysius the Areopagite (who “everywhere combines apophatic knowledge with cataphatic”). 2 (PG 3. 1000B).”169 From an epistemological point of view. In favour of the inevitable interaction between apophatic and cataphatic.3 (PG 36.6. which are opposite to each other. The main reason of this deficiency is that Lossky “was not preoccupied with the other stages of apophaticism. such as Gregory of Nazianzus. See I. 377. pp. Patristic influence in Stăniloae Stăniloae is much indebted to the Greek Fathers in his theological approach.”173 169 D. 492-505.170 Gregory of Nyssa.” Maximus. 109. “The Greek Christian Platonist Tradition from the Cappadocians to Maximus and Eriugena. Stăniloae. 53 at the expense of the vision of divine light and the idea of growth in the knowledge of God. Stăniloae. 4. In spite of the fact that he knows very well the distinction between divine essence and energies. Cf. 172 Dionysius speaks about a spiritual progress in one who knows God. The Experience of God. partly positive and partly negative . Gendle.J. Stăniloae appeals to the Church Fathers. see D. 1974). 29AB). and above all. Dionysius. The Mystical Theology 1. inasmuch as the consciousness of God's mystery is simultaneously implied in the things which are known about God. . The negation that signifies that God is not a being but a non-being agrees with the affirmation that this not-being is: and the affirmation that He is. Oratio 28. Stăniloae’s approach seems to be much different. are reconciled in God.172 Maximus the Confessor. pp. 171 Gregory of Nyssa. Lossky fails to apply it on the epistemological level. 380. In this way Lossky’s view of the “total” incognoscibility of God is indeed disconnecting him from the traditional Palamism. 32C-33A.” pp.” D. Stăniloae writes: “In knowledge that can be given expression. p. On the Divine Names 1. Doctorate dissertation (Oxford.but rather.P. 388. Stăniloae is one who rediscovered and effectively developed the mystical tradition in Christianity for his generation. fully supported by Stăniloae. Affirmation and negation in relation to each other display opposition. knowledge from experience that has recourse to terms of affirmation and negation only in expressing itself. Oratio Catechetica Magna 3 (PG 45. concludes Stăniloae. 1288C1-11). 290-406. 170 Gregory of Nazianzus. but in relation to God the affinity of meeting extremes. therefore he does not merely see a sum of intellectual affirmations. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă.

and so open to intellection. revealed as three-in-one. without any parallelism in Platonism. In a different passage.2. Basil writes that the divine energies are not created extrapolations of God. Sfântul Vasile cel Mare. and on the contrast between Augustine and the Greek Fathers. 174 For example. their great achievement was to proclaim the mystery of God. Epistola 234. Louth insists on the apparent affiliation between Augustine and Plotinus’ mysticism. Sfântul Vasile cel Mare. A. considered apart from the persons. Basil. cf. Bouyer remarks that with the Eunomian view. Palamas says: “Apophatic theology does not contradict or void the cataphatic. not the unitary simplicity of the divine ousia. only these things are not with God in the same manner as with us. and his search for God must therefore be an infinite quest. 54 and Gregory Palamas. apophaticism is that total attitude of reserve. Andrew Louth observes that the theme of divine darkness. Stăniloae mentions Basil the Great among those who stress the utter inadequacy of all human language in speaking of God. apophasis without cataphasis is empty. 176 L. Stăniloae. expresses the radical departure from the Platonic vision where the soul (or the intellect) and the divine are consubstantial (Plato) or coeternal (Origen). it merely demonstrates that what we say of God may be true and rightly said. If. an antithesis that defies logical analysis. Capita 123 (PG 150. 177 D. Cf. we scarcely promise that He may be approached in His very essence. which is that the divine essence is fully knowable to human reason. 175 Like Clement and Gregory of Nyssa.”176. Indeed. 1205D). for Stăniloae. For although His energies descend to us. 138. on the other hand.175 This aspect of Stăniloae’ thought is obviously borrowed first of all from the Cappadocians. Contra Akindynum 1. His essence remains inaccessible. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition. Beyond that. Although the Cappadocians too were intellectuals not averse to speculation. on the one hand. Bouyer. and a progress into darkness. Cf.174. where Basil writes that “while we affirm that we know our God in His energies. In oikonomia the paradox of the God at once unknown and well known becomes most marked. 1963). Stăniloae. 133. The pressure of heresy led the Cappadocians to an explicit extension of fullness of divinity to the Son and the Holy Spirit. 178 D. becomes the primary locus of apophaticism.6. objects . It has been demonstrated that. in theologia the supreme antinomy of the inner life of God. p. contemplative wonder. Stăniloae points out that because of the infinity of God.177 Stăniloae sees a clear link between Basil and Palamas in a locus classicus. for Augustine the unmediated vision of God is limited to Moses and Paul. Louth. for the Greek Fathers this is the goal of earthly mystical life.” Gregory Palamas. and the beatific vision is one of divine essence. p. 869). seeing the glory but never attaining the divine essence. “the whole of Greek rationalism refused to accept the Christian mystery.1 (PG 32. 55. but by experiencing His transforming presence in us.”178 For these theologians we know God not by intellectual analysis. pp. and cataphasis without apophasis lacks mystery and depth. man never hopes finally to grasp the divine nature. p. 333. controlling his whole theological enterprise. The Spirituality of the New Testament and of the Fathers (London: Burns & Oates. 54.

The recovery of this godlike image was the purpose of the incarnation. 182 Gregory draws on the Platonic analogue of the sun to illustrate his theme: God is to the nous what the sun is to the eyes. for which it now has a yearning. the most mysterious person of the Trinity. but a divine gift that comes through a total life in the Holy Spirit. Basil. God will be known. but overlaid by the fall.17 (SC 247. 49 (PG 32. In this process. pp.”183 The epistemology of of thought like all created things. Oratio 2. the question as to how God can be known in His energies yet unknown in essence remains insoluble. one may note a radical correction of Greek intellectualism. pp. Gregory has a high view of the divine origin of the soul. 183) 180 The human nous when confronted by the infinity of God explains the innate inadequacy of theological language. and the image has ascended to the Archetype. Realisation of the limits imposed in our minds by our status as creatures. when the divine part in us has mingled with its like. in a totally ineffable way. as Basil admits. Yet in the Spirit.181 The Christian life is a process of the restoration of that image originally implanted in us at our first creation. 179 In Basil’s profoundly spiritual and personal account of man’s approach to God.” Cf. 183 Gregory of Nazianzus. the Spirit is not only the agent. Theosis is a supernatural reintegration of man in God. is the absolute sine qua non of any genuine theology. pp. the mystery of the Father and the Son. gazing with inherent weakness at what is beyond its strength. illuminating and gladdening the intelligibles as the sun does the sensibles. and share that ineffability that is His by nature.” for Nazianzus theosis is in fact the fulfilment of that affinity to God implanted in man by the Creator. 112-113).182 One notices here the stress on the inherent incapacity of the soul. The Spirit remains the most hidden. but not laying hold of Him. They are God the Holy Spirit at work in the world.13 (SC 247.. . 106-107). 55 However. “touching God.75 (SC 247.179 Against the alleged Eunomian dictum that God does not know His own being any better than we do. 62 (PG 32.. Gregory of Nazianzus states the radical unknowability of the divine essence as grounded not so much in our sin as in the fact that we are finite creatures.180 The knowledge of God for Gregory is not just an intellectual apprehension of truth ab externo: one is transformed by what one contemplates. that we might recover the character of God to become sons of God and God Himself. Like Stăniloae’s “intuitive element” and Lossky’s “irrational residue. Thus the epistemological gulf has a permanent ontological ground. which gives us the capacity for knowledge of God. 165). The vision of God is not an intellectual achievement on the part of man. 188-189). Worship is a more appropriate response to the mystery of God than curious speculation. the place (chora) of our sanctification. De Spiritu Sancto. 181 Gregory of Nazianzus. Oratio 2. Our approach to God will always be marked by frustration. De Spiritu Sancto. the apophatic paradox of the Christian God is seen most sharply. beyond the contradictions of discursive reason and the multiplicity of matter. Basil. This is why every rational nature longs for God. as far as is humanly possible. but paradoxically. “Our nous longs to transcend bodily things. which is from God and partakes of the heavenly nobility. and God is the transcendent Creator. Oratio 2. He effaces Himself to reveal. Cf.

tentatively worked out by the Cappadocians and more fully explored by Dionysius. Thus the inexpressible yet real distinction between the incomprehensible essence and the self-disclosing energies. but it does not transpose the soul to the dignity of angels. a common ground with Gregory’s belief in this longing impelled by love of God that provides the dynamic of the spiritual ascent. Palamas was led ultimately to the conviction that the purely apophatic way is not adequate for the realisation of the divine encounter. but in the theological rigour with which he used it to defend the transcendence of God.” Gregory Palamas. Such an ascent is possible for anyone who wills it. Gregory teaches that it is the tension between the polarities of finite and infinite. nor of a Plotinian happy unconsciousness.would mean either that the human intellect could transcend time (an impossibility) or that God Himself is contained in time (an idolatry).184 This is why Christianity is the way of faith and love. It follows from this that Christian perfection is neither a static visio Dei. The dialectic serves only to protect and sustain contemplative silence. precisely because God cannot be attained by human knowledge. to comprehend God by our powers . pp. but a firm declaration of God’s initiative. Gregory’s negative theology is not agnosticism.185 This apophaticism of person shows.3. but of a union of the divine and human wills. a particular connection between Stăniloae and Palamas in developing the concept of theosis. as it will become obvious throughout this study. Triads 1. when he discusses the third stage of apophatic knowledge. that provides the dynamic for man’s endless spiritual advance. a fixed contemplative state. In Ecclesiasten Homiliae VII (Jaeger V. Palamism has been defined as an existentialist theology. man’s yearning after the infinite God. When Palamas discusses the mystical encounter of creature and Creator. In particular. it may free the reason from other beings. Stăniloae makes appeal to Palamas. is found in Palamas as natural to the character of theology.21 . and to reveal the Christian life as an infinite pursuit. therefore. 185 “Let no one assume that the great men had in mind an ascent by negation (when speaking of the ultimate union). it is not in terms of a Platonic ecstasis. because it opposes all essentialist notions that fail to reckon with the reality of divine action. 184 Gregory of Nyssa. 56 Stăniloae in relation with theosis finds. but it cannot by itself achieve union with the transcendent things. nor can it be a monistic absorption into the One. The result is to dispose of Origen’s notion of koros (spiritual satiation). The importance of Gregory of Nyssa in order to understand Stăniloae’s epistemological basis of deification lies not in the originality of his negative terminology.the blasphemous claim of Eunomius . However. 411-414).

189 For Dionysius.C). The proportionality of beings makes possible the knowledge that is based on comparison. 188 D. 57 5. man’s participation in the knowledge of God through supra-rational knowledge and union with Him is possible because there is no separation between God’s knowledge in respect of creatures and in respect of Himself.3 (PG 3.190 Stăniloae understands analogy as a mode of being. God is united with believers because they recognise Him as cause.. and as a result.1. “They possess things in common.188 In Dionysian language.” The idea of reciprocity is derived from the dynamic reciprocal interiority of the persons (perichoresis) in the Trinity. that has emerged so far in our discussion is that Stăniloae sees the final stage of mystical knowledge as the stage of deification or union with God. On the Divine Names 1. pp. As in Dionysius. and is somehow united also with unbelievers as their cause. 2 (PG 3. 872). Conclusions The essential point.” through analogy. granting enlightenments proportionate (analogois) to each being. In Stăniloae’s words: God is found in creatures as a potentiality leading them gradually to the actualization of union with Him and of their own final perfection. Stăniloae. “If there were no trinitarian love. analogy is transformed into an epistemological instrument. although they bear “the seal of the personal relationship between Himself and men. neither would there be knowledge of God or any possibility of knowledge and love between God and created persons. see On the Divine Names 7.186 The idea of God’s knowledge through union presupposes the personal character of both God and the man who knows. . p. 205. 200. this union being in progress and assisted by God along this road.” and “the Good. The Experience of God. Although 186 D. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. 202-204. 588A. for Stăniloae. but the kind of union excludes the idea of reciprocity. And this recognition is itself always a faith in Him.. To say that someone is united with God is to say that he is deified.. therefore. then. 187 D. p.those. Stăniloae. Indeed.189 Stăniloae uses the means of analogy in an ontological sense and as bearing an epistemological value. who are found in a certain real union with Him and thus are on the road towards their own full actualization and towards total union with Him. a proportion of beings in relation to each other. 190 Dionysius says that “the things of God are revealed to each mind in proportion (analogia) to its capacities.. God sees the creatures who have set out on this road .” Dionysius.” writes Stăniloae. From the very moment when they recognize Him simply as the cause of things. The Experience of God. “God can always be known through the creatures.”187 In reality human subjects are not fully united with God.

the analogy of relationship that exists between believers and God implies that. central metaphors employed by the church in its language about the relation between the first and the second hypostasis of the Trinity. opening up a strong communion between them. with reference to the ceaseless aspect of man’s deification beyond the furthest limit of human nature’s capacities. 194 D.” Ortodoxia 4 (1954). “Faptele Bune în Învăţătura Ortodoxă şi Catolică. p. Stăniloae understands deification in two senses. deification in this broader sense means the ontological reconstitution of human nature . Stăniloae. contrary and subpersonal power of sin. 58 God is not an object. This implies a full imprint of Christ’s hypostasis in man’s person. but it is closely related to free will and love. His self-expression through the various levels of reality.” J. deification prevails throughout man’s whole earthly life. of advancement through the power of the Spirit and potentially finalised in seeing the divine light. vol. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.195 Therefore. Pelikan. a full communitary being. Stăniloae.194 Stăniloae’s personalism works again by identifying this conflict with “the action of personalization and full rationalisation” of human nature. in Orthodox theology. which includes the act of baptism and extends throughout the spiritual ascension of man in purification and illumination. there is a large or comprehensive sense.191 Salvation then is the concrete expression of deification through the synergetic equilibrium between the free-will of the believer and the power of uncreated energies mediated by the Holy Spirit in a mystical form.through the operation of divine grace in man and together with man. 193 Similarly. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. First. Stăniloae. 352. that is. The axiom of this 191 Lossky suggests that analogy is the means by which created beings participate in the virtues of God. By participation in Christ. God must be objectified. although still retaining in itself the infirmity of irrational habit. 195 D. II. Logos and light. and a permanent openness and encounter with God and humans . Christianity and Classical Culture.193 This means that at baptism our human nature is freed in its rational-personal intimacy from the irrational. 510. In this sense. in one sense. vol.196 In conclusion. Analogy is not a passive quality. along with the trinitarian metaphor of Father and Son as invoked in the language of the baptismal formula. man becomes a full person.a dynamic advancement. Second. freed from the prison of selfish passions. p. Pelikan writes that “these two.192 At baptism. Man’s personal character is progressively strengthened. the will is the first capacity of our nature that receives the spiritual light of the incarnate Logos. p. is conceived as the first expression of man’s deification. 351. deification implies a narrow or strict sense. that is. the reconstitution of the true nature of man by removing the state contrary to nature through the power of the Spirit. 44. 192 D. . This is the dimension of faith and good works. II. were.

59 aspect is found in the maximal deification of Christ’s humanity in His resurrection and ascension. Stăniloae. 199 D. 203). Stăniloae is aware of the difficulty of relating deification with human nature. there is also a continuity. p. for he is experiencing “the new state as ’god according to grace.”200 Man possesses this receptive power for spiritual purposes. Stăniloae borrows the idea of progress. See P. and Gregory of Nyssa. p. and Palamas in order to defend his position.”199 That does not mean that the deified man becomes totally insensitive. II. Gregory Palamas. 63-71. The leap between the two stages is realised by the ministry of grace: in the first stage man cooperates with divine grace. 198 Stăniloae quotes from Maximus.198 From Gregory of Nyssa.’” Vigiliae Christianae 30. 317.” This is possible only because he has received the divine energies. and the Concept of ‘Perpetual Progress. Maximus. as that between two stages of the same ascent. 200 D. It means only “the expansion of the receptive capacity to receive and to use divine energies. in the sense that it does not become the source of divine energies. 303-304). Opuscula Theologica et Polemica (PG 91. finally. beyond the boundaries of his nature. p.88 (Filocalia II. pp. On the other hand. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. If deification in the broad sense meant “man’s ascending to the highest level of his natural powers. and from Palamas the idea of the experience of divine light.”197 Although these two senses are distinct. Stăniloae. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. “Gregory of Nyssa. p. The replacement of human nature’s activities with that of the divine. 309. Stăniloae. Therefore Stăniloae appeals to Gregory of Nyssa. creates inescapable problems. 119). that does not necessarily involve an expansion of his power for natural activity. Cuvânt III (Filocalia VII. Human energies and attributes are not suspended. that human nature can be elevated beyond its limits in the process of deification.M. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. namely. because they are part of this nature by grace. Contra Eunomium V (Jaeger 2. 143. It is here that. The nature of deified man remains unchanged. .55. Maximus the Confessor. pp. Stăniloae. 33).1 (1976).’ but at the same time being conscious of his creatureliness according to nature. Capete Gnostice I. while in the second the work is exclusively divine. p. into the divine plane.3. from Maximus that of the soul’s ever-moving rest. Our personal deification is understood then as transcending human attributes and actions to participate in divine attributes and actions. but “overwhelmed. 197 D. 311. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă.” deification in the narrow sense comprises man’s progress “beyond the limit of his natural powers. for the above theologians deification is according to grace not according to nature. one of them being to attain deification. 310. No doubt. beyond nature. pp. Blowers. Stăniloae defines the spiritual condition of deified man: 196 D. Therefore the nature of man united with the divine energies operates as a medium for the manifestation of these energies.

it is the experience of the unending assimilation of divine energies.which over-emphasised the singularity of the word as mode of revelation and so 201 D. 318. he is god. Dublin. having by deification become God. the unmediated presence of one active power of God. or rather. For such.” Maximus. so that in everything from now on there is only one energy belonging to God and to his elect. p. as the manifestation of God’s will. that is to the level of divine energies.” writes Clément. Christian teaching boldly affirms the possibility of union with God or participation in Him. 60 He is tasting a divine blissfulness. but with the wonder of one who realizes that they are not from himself.” As human beings. no longer displays any energy other than the divine. this world. Methodologically. but aware that he is a god by the grace of the one and almighty God. thus any identity with Him. avoids the idea of a pantheist identification between man and God. we are related to God through our mind and through the constitutional. 202 “From now on there is only one energy of God and the saints. enters into the whole of the being of his elect. Stăniloae specifies that the world as divine creation excludes any emanation of particles from God’s being. but with the consciousness of a creature. by grace. First. cited by O. Stăniloae speaks about mind’s unmediated tie with reality that is “perceived as through a kind of darkness. in Maximus’ words: “The creature. In such a context. Therefore “each particular thing from this world has. 267. Nevertheless. he is god through the things he is accomplishing by his qualities. Thus Stăniloae suggests two principles. even in its intimacy. Clément. in Stăniloae’s view. The Roots of Christian Mysticism (London. personal and “ontological longing. In other words. However. as is proper to love.”203 In addition. because the whole of his being. Finally. . 1993). henceforward there is only God. Stăniloae. based on the principle of creation.” In contrast with the dialectic Protestant theology . p. while never stopping to be at the same time man. Or. a doctrine that summarises his spiritual understanding of theosis very well. was also the manifestation of His active power. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă.202 One final remark on the doctrine of union with God in Stăniloae.201 In one word. Created mind has therefore an impulse for the knowledge of God and an implicit certitude about Him. his approach tries to offer a balanced view for the diametrical interpretations of the mystery of identity and the irreducible separation between man and God. deification is man’s transition from the level of created things to the level of uncreated things. Ambigua 7 (PG 91. Stăniloae tries to prove that in principle there could be conceived an unmediated contact with the divinity. he is experiencing in himself divine powers. and the evidence of an infinite reality. The true sense of Christian union with God. Stăniloae stresses that in general human minds hold the previous evidence of a trans- objective reality. 1076). Edinburgh: New City.

This Christocentrism is emphasised by “the role of the mysteries as means through which Christ dwells in man. affirms Stăniloae. to come into existence by emanation or involuntary unfolding from His being. It is a real relation. 22-23. Stăniloae sustains once more the ontological relation between man and God. Rather. spoken by the prophets. Stăniloae rejects man’s union with God as real identification.”206 Consequently. God’s initiative in offering divine grace does not mean that our human being was changed into divine being.205 For Stăniloae. implies the idea of irradiation of the divine power from the revelatory word. says Stăniloae. The extension given to the word of prophets. a true encounter “through the spiritual energy of attention. but becomes Christ according to divine powers that work within the renewed person. as sources of divine power indispensable for the ascetic efforts and for the mysterious union living with Christ. Applying the creational model.” that is. one divine and the other human. pp. p. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. Stăniloae observes that an identification of man with God could imply the human being’s disappearance as a distinctive being. because 203 D. and its Christological character. 19-22. Second. that is. Stăniloae.”204 Stăniloae makes appeal to the Fathers. for example. 204 D. is an encounter through something proper to each person. excluding man’s transformation into a divine substance. Orthodox spirituality holds a pneumato-ecclesiological character. Stăniloae. the mind’s direct contact with God’s spiritual reality. overwhelming human persons with His gifts and powers: but this is union not identification. Stăniloae. Any other kind of union except union through Christ and in Christ is an illusion. We are dealing here with the prolongation of the divine power towards human creatures. Christian human being remains as such according to nature. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. This is why God has decided to reveal Himself and to manifest His grace towards humanity as sign of His freedom and love. there are two elements that essentially distinguish the Christian spirituality from any other form of spirituality: its refusal in affirming the essential identification of man with divinity. or the world’s as a distinct reality. ending in the event of faith. It was impossible for creation. who spoke about “mind’s sensitivity. Faith as encounter between two persons. because God is an absolute sovereign person. if a personal reciprocity does not operate. pp. by engaging the principle of personalism. towards the human soul. . 205 D. 61 the insufficiency of any contact between man and God . 15. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă.the Orthodox theology admits the function of the revelatory word in establishing a mystical communication between creature and Creator.

206 D. p. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. 44. 62 where Christ is through the mysteries there also is the Church through the Spirit of communion. Stăniloae. .

I. Temei al Iconomiei Bisericeşti. Stăniloae even made the proposal. and 207 Stăniloae’s earliest published book on Palamas. Stăniloae. Stăniloae thoroughly accepts the division between theologia and oikonomia. Few scholars of this century have provided so devoted a study of the historical and theological expressions of the Palamism. pp. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică.” Ortodoxia 3 (1973). sustaining a real as opposed to a metaphorical deification. Mass. 76. including a detailed presentation of the debate on the distinction between essence and energies. Florovsky.209 and also makes appeal to a mysterious distinction in the very nature of God. THE EPISTEMOLOGICAL BASIS OF DEIFICATION: ESSENCE AND ENERGIES 1. Stăniloae also translated parts from Palamas’ works in Filocalia 7 (Bucureşti. in Collected Works. III (Belmont. 333f. Creation and Redemption.” Ortodoxia 2 (1974). 368-371. 425-440. pp. .: Nordland.” Ortodoxia 1 (1969). that the theme of the divine energies should become central for the discussions. Maximus and Palamas. actions. vol. 209 D. For a comprehensive treatment of this subject in Stăniloae.” Ortodoxia 2 (1963). Florovsky asserts that “the concept of 'divinization' was crystallized only when the doctrine of God's 'energies' had been explicated once and for all” by the teaching of Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas. General background The apophatic-cataphatic method applied by Stăniloae in understanding the entire process of theosis uses as a basic ingredient the distinction between God’s being and His acts. “Opinii în Legătură cu Viitorul Sfânt şi Mare Sinod Ortodox. In our previous discussion of Stăniloae’s apophatic theology. and “Iconomia Dumnezeiască. 1977) with a short but relevant introduction. p. it has already been shown how this theology is deeply imbued with the sense of the divine transcendence and the immanence of God in His creation. only those aspects that are directly connected with the theme of man’s deification will be discussed in this study. p. was to set the tone for a very large part of his subsequent work and thought. 223. To explain this contrast. vol. Stăniloae applies theologia strictly to the statements about the Triune God. 1976) p. inherited especially from the writings of Dionysius. Called also powers.”208 Since the question of this distinction leads to very complex issues. Stăniloae. see “Iconomia în Biserica Ortodoxă. G. pp. 208 D. pp. Stăniloae. 152-186. D. for a future general synod of the Eastern Orthodox Church. 3-24.” Ortodoxia 3 (1971). 128. Cf. the energies become a key concept in the understanding of Stăniloae’s doctrine of deification. pp. See also D. Like the Cappadocian theologians. and “Dumnezeu este Iubire. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama (1938). Stăniloae. in 1972. between the transcendence and the immanence of God. being also central in understanding the unity of the Church for man’s salvation. 63 CHAPTER III. or divine operations.207 This means that knowledge of God is not theoretical but a real participation in His uncreated energies. The Experience of God. See G. whether spiritual or corporeal. for “the entire dynamism or movement of creation towards deification has its cause in the dynamism of the divine operations which aim at leading creation towards deification.

421.D. Essays on Theology and Culture. 333.' 'that which is related to the nature. O’Donnell. that for Lossky it is the nature-person distinction which is of more central importance to his theology than essence-energies distinction. p.” p. xxi).” in Scribe of the Kingdom. although they could not be separated from each other. stands another distinction. unconvincingly for this author. 136. Cf. This is a triad working at the same time as a leitmotif or a unifying theme throughout this study. pp. Similarly. and against the recent Western idea of a God wholly involved in “becoming. and K. Stăniloae and the divine uncreated energies Stăniloae employs the distinction between the being and the operations of God as the starting point in his epistemology. see also K. Meyendorff.” Bound up with this further distinction “is the distinction in God between 'essence' (ousia) and 'that which surrounds the essence. Creation and Redemption. “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction. p. in order to make a clear distinction between knowledge of God's being and knowledge of His acts in creation. Sophia is divine being poured out into the world. 1937). Bria. eternal and 210 Florovsky thinks that theologia and oikonomia “must be clearly and strictly distinguished and delimited. Yannaras. the world.” ER 33.” Sobornost 6 (1972). S. He identified divine energies and the eternal ideas of the created things with divine being. vol. p. A Brief Summary of Sophiology (New York and London. an approach that is “a new and significant development. Nellas.”212 Against the Greek concept that God is an eternal static and incommunicable substance. Ware. 1994). and A. p. and the world becomes a necessity for God. 211 See I. not by grace. (p. Florovsky. p.136. that between “nature” and “will. C. 1-19.” Gregorianum 76.'“ G.210 At the same time. “theology summarises the mode of existence of God.” G. 31-45. 48. divinity is understood as immanent and changeable. Yannaras considers that in these three basic categories. This is why it is suprising to find Rowan Williams asserting. hypostasis. “The Theology of Personhood: A Study of the Thought of Christos Yannaras.” while Ware asserts that “it is impossible to understand any aspect of Orthodox theology or spirituality without taking into account the dogma of the distinction-in-unity between the essence of God and His uncreated energies. pp. .211 2. p. Bulgakov.1 (1995). Yannaras.” p. so far as works of modern Orthodox dogmatic theology are concerned” and “thus the first dogmatic in which the distinction is seen as fundamental to the Orthodox understanding of God. See also the Catholic analysis of J. II (London: Sheed & Ward. “The Trinitarian Pantheism of Sergej Bulgakov. and energeiai as essential to the whole Orthodox theological system. In the same context. 33.” Cf. See D. Ware in the “Foreword” to The Experience of God. the eternal apophaticism disapears. “The Creative Vision of D. substance from divine substance. Elements of Faith. 43. and thus called them the uncreated Sophia. Ware. 212 A very significant observation made by K. Stăniloae is also considered one of the modern Orthodox theologians who represent the school of neo- Palamism. Florovsky.” Stăniloae decided to build up his systematic thinking firmly established in the patristic view of a living. “Bulgakov and Sophiology. vol. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică.” SP 81 (1962). and man. Stăniloae adopts from the Greek Fathers the key categories of ousia. Nichols. together with Lossky. Stăniloae. Some consequences are disastrous: man becomes god by nature. I. so the world is a reproduction of divine being. observes Florovsky. “The Concept of Creation in Saint Athanasius. etc. Williams. Ware. “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction. 63. behind this distinction.1 (1981). Moreover. See R. 64 oikonomia to the central fact of divine economy. The Wisdom of God. Stăniloae considers that Bulgakov’s erroneous theory about Sophia originated because of this lack of distinction between theologia and oikonomia. Stăniloae. that is the incarnation.

An Introduction to Hegel’s Theological Thought as Prolegomena to a Future Christology. Stăniloae mentions as an example the Catholic theologian Hans Küng who came closer to the Eastern alternative when he accepted the “possibility” of God in His eternal freedom to manifest Himself in various ways. The Experience of God. 214 Cf.” p. p. but the confirmation of an abounding existence that can produce other existences. could not provide another alternative in reconciling God’s immutability with His “becoming” or “historicity” except by ratifying the Palamite distinction between God’s immutable being and His inexhaustibly diverse uncreated energies.R. 200. the Palamite distinction does allow for potentiality. even in the case of Küng it is hard to avoid the oversimplification of God’s mystery. on the contrary. concludes Stăniloae. which are 213 D. Stăniloae sees in the works of Hans Küng. Thus. according to the definition of the 1st Vatican Council). however. for God can add to His creation whenever He wishes. is how to give an accurate interpretation of the relationship between the divine stability and mobility. but God manifests Himself “in unending and eternal varying acts of love.”213 Stăniloae’s concern. 369. Stăniloae. Catholic theology. The mystery of God remains unchangeable. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. Several central propositions affirmed by Stăniloae are pertinent to this understanding of the role of the uncreated energies in deification.214 As we shall see later. while His knowledge in respect of Himself is infinite since He is infinite. these possibilities should not be understood as merely potencies looking for their fulfilment. God's coming into the world is through His energies. tr. Stăniloae himself speaks about the “possibilities” of God’s being to be manifested in various ways as the evidence of His freedom. for every act of God is infinite and. Stăniloae. . H. 530-538.216 God is the same in the mystery of His being and in His historical manifestations. Küng.”215 the indirect reference here being to the uncreated energies. of prayer and of liturgy. Stephenson (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 215 D. 2. 216 Stăniloae remarks: “Western theology became entangled in discussion of the question as to whether God's knowledge of Himself differs from His knowledge of creatures. Karl Barth maintains that God's knowledge in respect of creatures is finite. 1987). “the living God of the Scriptures. However. Stăniloae expands the Palamite distinction by trying to localise the existence of the energies in the trinitarian life. Stăniloae. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. Western theology. The Incarnation of God. inasmuch as these themselves are finite. by J. therefore hence also his understanding (intellectu infinitus. God's knowledge regarding Himself is not separate from His knowledge regarding creatures. 366. at least to the extent that it concerns the energy of creating. pp.” D. 65 personal God. Paul Tillich and “The Death of God” theology some representatives of an overstated ontology regarding the doctrine of God. suggests Stăniloae. asserts that God's knowledge is infinite both in respect of Himself and in respect of creatures.1 The trinitarian basis of the uncreated energies First. Nonetheless.” p.

and this clarification is done in a pneumatological perspective. Stăniloae. . The distinction exists only when we take into account the modality in which the persons of the Trinity “‘possesses the being and ‘activate’ the common energy. due to His proper status in the Trinity. the energies are various and the “means” of His self- disclosure. Stăniloae continues by explaining that. Stăniloae. the Holy Spirit introduces the divine energies into creation and makes them intimate and proper to the creatures.” p. as the Spirit proceeds from the Father. 219 D. pp. 63. God comes out from His essence through love in the Holy Spirit. Stăniloae writes that. 220 D. the energy proceeds from the essence of the source which is the Father.218 To articulate his monotheism. Romanian edition. p. the radiance of the Spirit is creating our radiance as sons of the Father and is strengthening in us the “perceptive sensitivity of God” as our “filial sensitivity. 225. are received by the Son in His proper way and by the Spirit in His proper way together with the Son. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. p. Stăniloae clarifies this by stating that only in this trinitarian framework can we grasp the meaning of the uncreated energies: these energies originate from the Father.” This actually reflects that true and unique trinitarian sensitivity as a unique energy. Stăniloae. in His coming to us. Stăniloae makes it clear that we cannot speak of three activities or three separate effects of God’s activity. see L’Esprit Saint dans la Tradition Orthodoxe (Paris: Cerf. 218 D. The uncreated energy. 223. Stăniloae exploits again the type of trinitarian language so familiar and quintessential to him. For P. p. as the One who proceeds from the Father and shines forth from the Son. 66 “neither the essence of God nor the persons in whom His being subsists integrally. 87-97. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi în Biserică. specifies Stăniloae. is not received by the Spirit from the Father and the Son as from a single principle. 102. In spite of the danger of confusing the levels of ousia and hypostasis. a divine energy that becomes in our souls a power of knowledge and love for God. but they are 'around God's being.” p. Stăniloae rejects Evdokimov’s attempt to reconcile East and West on the issue of Filioque. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi în Biserică. so often re-encountered in his writings.220 Although the Spirit receives the energy in His proper way. D.” Each operation or energy is accomplished 217 D. 204. the Spirit’s being and energy are not distinct from those of the Son or the Father.219 As the Spirit’s radiation from the Son holds also the radiance of the Son.'“217 Stăniloae explains further that although the divine essence is simple. 1995). Prezenţa Duhului Sfânt în Tradiţia Ortodoxă (Bucureşti: Anastasia. The Experience of God. Stăniloae. Evdokimov.” p. while the persons remain distinct. The Spirit shines forth a real light. Stăniloae. 225. 1969). “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi în Biserică. inaccessible and ineffable. Starting with the realm of theologia.

136. the same Holy Spirit uses the Church as the medium of the manifestation of His uncreated energies. sustaining. Stăniloae. (2) in the Christological aspect of deification the hypostasis of the Spirit.221 When Stăniloae moves to the realm of the oikonomia. 222 D. 223 D. Stăniloae. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi în Biserică. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi în Biserică.” p. The Experience of God. 229.2 The dynamic personalism of the uncreated energies The second main characteristic of the distinction between essence and energies in Stăniloae’s view is the dynamic personalism of the uncreated energies. is defined by Stăniloae in its threefold relationship: (1) in relationship with God. 2. an intensive humanisation. making Himself ever more transparent through it.”223 Stăniloae understands these operations or energies as relations within 221 D. 225. Stăniloae. a special capacity of the soul to perceive God as distinct from the world. Christology and pneumato-ecclesiology) the motif of sensitivity is evident. writes Stăniloae. the direct knowledge of God is possible “only as far as the existence-giving. And what is even more relevant for this study is the fact that in all major aspects of Stăniloae’s concept of man’s deification (including anthropology. which are also of the Son. penetrates through His energies. united with the hypostasis of the Son. It will become obvious throughout this study that (1) in the anthropological aspect of deification.” Moreover. 126. he comes back to the idea that the Holy Spirit brings the divine energy into the intimacy of human consciousness and produces a sensitivity for God. . an accentuation of the human consciousness. the assumed human nature. This sensitivity. and fulfilling operations of the superexistent personal reality and as far as participation in the attributes manifested within those operations. the Holy Spirit introduces the uncreated energies in creation and in the human soul. At the basis of the energies.” p. (2) in relationship with the person himself. as the result of the uncreated energies that deify man. Stăniloae expands in a creative way the Palamite distinction by locating the whole issue of the knowledge of God through the uncreated energies into a personalistic framework. and that (3) in the pneumato- ecclesiological aspect of deification.222 It is interesting to note at this point that the belief about the uncreated energies producing sensitivity in the human soul is directly connected with the doctrine of theosis. but by each of them from their personal status. “is the personally subsistent essence. 67 together and with common joy by all three of trinitarian persons. and (3) in relationship with other human beings. pp.

then. I. 228 Cf. “Les éléments de la théologie de Grégoire Palamas. The Mystical Theology. And because God can think everything from eternity. vol. the divine energies are the possibilities within God’s being of manifesting Himself in various ways. however. we may say that there are countless relationships within Him from eternity. 328. bears the same meaning as when it is used in explaining the inner trinitarian life. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. Kern. I. C. 227 D. because God is a free being. sharable.” Moreover. in opposition to essence. God also has eternal relation “with all that is not in His immediate vicinity. p.226 On the one hand. they are the attributes of God known by the creature. What Stăniloae suggests. relations that are above the relation itself and above all that God is not. 73f. is the passing of these ideas from power to action. 225 D. as Stăniloae applies it to the activities of God ad extra in the divine economy of creation and salvation. As acts or operations. They extend into the world and are. on the other hand.those energies that are possibilities of being activated at the world’s creation. pp. However. they are not the sphere of ideas in the world. personal forces. God enfolds them and they are manifestations of His being: some are held as relations with the eternal ideas of the world. In Thephaniam.225 As potency they exist along with the divine being in virtue of its existence.” Irénikon 20 (1947). Cf. Gregory of Nazianzus. and some energies as being virtually involved in relation with the ideas of the world .as a manifestation of what He is in His intimate being.224 However. See also V. “God Himself experiences together with us 224 Relation. Even before creation. 164. God might activate some of them as His relations with the ideas of things. 327.” a manifestation of His being as an “eternal irradiation of it. Lossky. Consequently the energies are not abstract concepts applicable to the divine essence. for He “makes His energies actual in a gradual fashion. 28-29. 68 the divine being. Divine being has by nature infinite possibilities of manifestation. The energy.228 It is in this light that we may progressively ascend to know God. indivisibly divisible. p. they become potencies only by God’s will. but it is important to make a distinction in them between potency and act. and capable up to a certain point of being thought and named. Stăniloae. 317B). Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. is that some of the operations do not come forth from the divine being in their active form eternally and independent of the will.7 (PG 36. and. 226 Cyprian Kern unholds a similar idea based on the fact that the divine energies are God’s relations with the world. Oratio 38. pp. . therefore. Stăniloae. vol.”227 God is surrounded eternally by what is around Him - by His glory or by the unapproachable light . but living. manifestations of a personal God. they are the acts in which these possibilities may be manifested. but it would be more precise to say that the world of ideas in its entirety is contained in the divine energy.

Schwöbel (ed. God can fully live as person in Himself and in relationship with His creatures by participation and conformation without ceasing to remain in Himself “beyond” them. 533. Essays on Divine Being and Act (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Basically. 232 D. This experience involves various possibilities to “conform” ourselves even at the time of our participation into other persons but. It means taking seriously the God who is wholly other. in fact lives. 230 Similarly. For Stăniloae. taking Christ’s theandricity as model. and “The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity: The Significance of the Cappadocian Contribution. Trinitarian Theology Today. personhood is constituted in relationship.” Moreover. transcendence and descendence. Küng. in human beings.230 As all human beings.” in C. omnipotency . Stăniloae. in order to become together theandric energies of the believer and of God. The Experience of God. . Stăniloae.231 However. Stăniloae is able to sustain both the paradox of God’s immutability in His being and His mutability in relation with His creatures. to whom the metaphysicians out of fear of imperfection have denied life and becoming. omnipresence. 389. 69 the expectant waiting (and hence time) on the plane of His energies and of His relations with us. 2. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. The kind of relationship He has outside Himself is determined by the inner relationship that characterises the trinitarian life. The Incarnation of God. remaining in Himself and going out from Himself.3 The antinomic character of the uncreated energies 229 D. 1995).are heavily influenced by the above understanding. human persons possess that capacity to participate in a real relationship with the eternal God and to become “radiating agencies of eternity. Stăniloae affirms that. J. On their side. God’s being is not defined by the relationships with created human beings. are not mutually exclusive. our human energies “are called to create room for the divine energies and vice-versa. An extensive analysis of Stăniloae’s doctrine of God shows that other basic attributes of God . p.). To accept this would however involve a revision of the static. the existent distinction between essence and energies explains the mystery of the person. that is the distinction between essence and energies and the ontological relationship man-God. in fact.”232 Rooted in these two data. 231 Again Stăniloae quotes from Küng in order to emphasise the paradox of stability and becoming: “The mystery is to be sought in the fact that God. 159.D. due to our limitations.His absoluteness. It does not imply a simple decision for a philosophy of becoming as opposed to a philosophy of being. Being as Communion (especially chapter 1).” p. 44-60.”229 Stăniloae’s eagerness to explain the distinction between essence and energies often leads him to make appeal to the analogical experience encountered in interpersonal relationships on the human level. p. pp. acts and becomes in perfection and from perfection. eternity. Zizioulas. still remaining “with” our being and “beyond” any other relationship or becoming. Parmenidean understanding of God. in whom being and becoming.” H.

not at the level of His being. . p. He becomes accessible in His whole particularity and. 125. Ware.” p. However. See also Dionysius.9 (PG 3. This antinomical attitude.” emphasise in fact Stăniloae’s departure from the Cappadocians’ more restrained application of the notion of divine energies. says Stăniloae. on the other hand. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. On the Divine Names 9. the appeal to antinomy is characteristic of his theology. but a communication of the divine being with the creatures in accordance with their capacity of receptiveness. with all that is particular to Himself and. This makes it possible to speak of man’s deification by God’s “penetration” into the consciousness of human beings through other human creatures. “God Himself is in each of these operations or energies. Indeed. simultaneously. on the one hand. on the one hand. 235 D. is repeated when he stipulates that “although God effects something on each occasion through a particular operation. K. alongside the dynamic idea of “energetical communion. 129. saying that we only know the attributes of God in their dynamism. 916C). He enters only with some of His energies. “it remains a mystery in what way the creating 233 D. The Experience of God.” p. whole. Stăniloae. 125. active. Stăniloae maintains the supremacy of divine operations in comparison with divine attributes. This is why Stăniloae is careful to separate the acts by which God has created and is now sustaining in existence all things. on the other hand. enters into a becoming or historicity by participating in their becoming and historicity and. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction. This intimacy of “touch” between God and human beings. the paradox becomes obvious: By establishing the relationship with man. Ware holds that God's energies are God Himself in relation with the world.”234 The operations are nothing other than the attributes of God in motion. of course. a Neoplatonic emanation of the divine being in its operations.”233 This means that through each operation God produces or sustains a certain aspect of reality. The Experience of God. that is. God enters into this relationship. and the acts by which He enters in direct communication with the creature. and beyond operation or movement. p. He is ‘modeling’ for men. When Stăniloae explains the personal relationship between God and human being. 234 D. 370. on the other hand. remains inaccessible in His being. Similary. Generally. and/or by God’s “transparency” through His operations. met as well in the trinitarian mystery. “God with us” in K. He apprehends this becoming or historicity only at the level of His energies or operations. through His operations. on the one hand. 70 Stăniloae is aware of and accepts the paradox involved in this specific distinction. yet He is wholly within each operation.235 This does not imply.

237 However. This mystery has to be experienced. 71 act of God. has a created effect. 1179). and Apology (PG 150. une véritable hérésie. A being without energy is an inert being. the concept of being in itself implies a source for its acts. Ware specifies that we need to make a difference between the uncreated energeia and the energima as the result of the energeia and part of the created order.239 The operation is the manifestation of the intrinsic power. Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama. As the relationship between operations is antinomic. “Palamas Grégoire” and “Palamite (Controverse). 221.”238 Specifically. so is the relationship between the being and the operations. as for instance is the movement of mind. this antinomy is rooted in the trinitarian mystery itself. operations. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. 240 D. p. Beyond this we know 236 D. but in later Patristic theology a clear distinction is drawn between the created effect and the uncreated energeia that causes it and maintains it in being. as uncreated act. 1932D). the movement does not make the being a composition. in conformity with His being. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. Jugie. powers. 1764. “It is possible that earlier Greek Fathers. there is evolution but not discontinuity. Filocalia VII. not only thought. 330. M.” Cf. other than His varied operations that have to do with the world. however. in certain passages where they speak about God’s energies. nor power or operation without being. p. 131-132.”236 Not surprisingly. du point de vue Catholique. Gregory Palamas. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. similarly. but is “a necessary manifestation of it. it will result in a composite God. vol. Stăniloae asserts his ignorance regarding the inner relation between essence and energies: We experience nothing from God. K. This is why the unrestrained possibilities and manifestations of God are unitary. Stăniloae. by admitting a distinction between the divine inapprehensible being and the uncreated yet accessible energies. I. At the same time. “the unity of God is antinomic for our understanding. Stăniloae.” in Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique XI/2. mean simply the created effects of the divine activity. in the same manner as an energy without being lacks consistency. Stăniloae strongly believes in the doctrine of simplicity and non- composition in God. God’s unity. “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction.241 Finally. 241 D. p. the movement of the ontic power. Regarding the relation between nature and power.” Cf. 133.240 Accordingly. 237 Jugie considers this teaching not only a philosophical error: “c’est aussi. p. which is to say. Ware. While Maximus develops the relation between nature and power in a Christological context. in content. in relation with us. the main objection to this view is that. I. or manifestations. . And because the status of the being does not introduce composition within the being. We can conceive neither nature without power and operation. 238 D. 331. is various in its aspects.” pp. Contra Akindynum (PG 150. 239 Cf. Palamas applies it in a trinitarian one. we may say that. His response to all criticism is that the act does not make the being a composite reality. in Palamas.” because it [our understanding] seeks to reduce everything to an exclusive category. vol.

Accordingly. the uncreated energies are divine personal operations. Stăniloae believes that in the process of deification we become in a certain sense “uncreated” by our sharing into the divine uncreated energy. although not natural. for instance. nominal sharing. Stăniloae. the divine operations do not arise from any necessity for the divine being to be completed. but how it is. In that case God would not be a free God but one ensnared into an unwilling becoming. that of “possessing a part. there is surely a personal possession. 242 D. The Experience of God. in Stăniloae’s mind participation means real sharing. and are the voluntary manifestations of God’s benevolence. sharing in God’s energies means that kind of participation that can only be manifested by a person. First. is someone who remains the same in his being and yet is capable of diversity in his acts. They are not automatic forces manifested sequentially according to a preestablished eternal order. He advances a more dynamic personalist meaning and value to the whole discussion about the trinitarian basis of the distinction essence-energies. in comparison with Palamas’ more technical approach. According to Stăniloae’s concept of deification-as-participation. 72 that at their basis is the personally subsistent essence. Therefore. . it can be argued that.” If by participation we accept solely its technical connotation. If for some people participation means just symbolic. for it is an essence beyond essences.4 Summary The explanation given by Stăniloae to what he sees as the unavoidable distinction between essence and energies in understanding theosis is exceptionally relevant. Stăniloae succeeded in removing several important suspicions that could be imputed against the whole idea of participation in God. and definitely they are not new forms of God’s future becoming. That is. p. the above observation is true especially when this point is applied to the particular term “participation. 126.” then the whole matter of deification becomes very confused and indistinct. Although he uses the notion of participation. in Stăniloae’s view. In this instance there exists a related rational distinction such as the one applied. On the other hand. A free person. to the idea of enhypostasia.242 2. The energies presuppose the person. Stăniloae affirms certain basic characteristics as regards the divine energies. by employing a more personalistic language. Stăniloae prefers to speak about “sharing” in God’s energies in the sense of reciprocal personal giving. we do not know. In common with Palamas.

243 Stăniloae affirms that. God as a personal being can extend Himself through His operations. everything we receive from God is created. the divine operations are not separated in their dynamism from the content of divine being. says Stăniloae. The obvious deduction is then applied to the person of God who. in limited proportions. because there is not a real. unmediated contact realised between God and us. the operations are not one with or identical to the divine being. In this way. Moreover. and some of the concepts used by the Fathers. we are in touch with the special uncreated operations and with the whole integrity of God.” pp. Our mistake.M. To avoid such a grave misunderstanding. Third. insists Stăniloae. Garrigues. in the mutual agreement that. not simply because He is uncreated. having a 243 D. in the process of their operations. in the act of their manifestation. Such an approach. in failing to understand “the mystery of person that cannot dissolve itself.245 The result is that in this theology.”244 Western theology sees deification as a created state. The way of reconciliation between the Eastern and the Western positions is found by Stăniloae. but because He is a person. creaturehood works like a wall between God and us. Finally. 244 D. asserts that “energy is the act of divine essence of which causality creates the deification of men. the divine operations carry on themselves the “particular” of the whole divine being. Through created things. we are closed within the limits of the created. like deification. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. Filocalia VII. . however. they do not carry in themselves the whole divine being. Precisely. it would be impossible for the human persons as subjective essences to be dissolved as the objective essences would be. 285. the personal uncreated energies are voluntary irradiations. is when we try to close up God in Himself because He is uncreated. Stăniloae. The personal God manifests “something” from His being in His operations. p. Stăniloae makes a parallel between the subjective essence and the objective essence. p. receive an improper meaning.” J. Stăniloae. will make it impossible for us to meet Him and to take possession of something from Him. Having their base in God’s being. 73 Second. However. refering to Maximus’ position. in the unity of God’s being. cannot extend Himself as being. we may discern “possibilities” to produce different created things (as has been seen earlier in both Stăniloae and Küng). the divine operations are somehow “modelled” according to the measure and the status of the divine being. 369-370. on the one hand. continues Stăniloae. He assumes that. However. 219.” Istina 3 (1974). “L’Energie Divine et la Grâce chez Maxime le Confesseur. It is wrong to conceive of God’s operations as empty and totally separated from His being. 245 Garrigues.

This. On the Holy Spirit (PG 39. and energies. the need is to accept that. in order to maintain an authentic Palamite position. divine being is truly manifested in a way that does not exclude other modes of manifestation. His providence being defined by Origen as divine unique energy. That is. with creation. 3 and 7 (GCS 5. when it is manifested in relation with other finite things. Here we find the theological basis for the co-operation between the persons of the Trinity. Didymus the Blind admits the Aristotelian distinction between dunamei and energeia. considers Stăniloae.” a human person can “feel” God building up in his being a unique and different status. will. but also that God’s whole being is variously present. 296A). is met in many writings of the Greek Fathers before Palamas. working in a similar trinitarian framework as Stăniloae. He establishes a relationship between essence. and On Trinity. 100-104). without ever being exhausted in that act.1 The distinction essence-energies before Gregory Palamas The distinction between essence and energies is not limited to Palamas and Stăniloae. 1062BC).248 246 Origen is one of the first theologians who used this argument in his Commentary on John. but a salvific necessity that characterises the communal life of the Church. is another possible ground for harmonising the Eastern and Western theologies. and in a different mode. 247 For other thoughts in Origen. . and with salvation. but manifested in multiple ways to a human being who perceives the effects of this energy. pp. by asserting that the divine operations are not dissociated from God’s being. Stăniloae wants to say not only that in each operation God is wholly active. Stăniloae’s notion of divine energy. for both Stăniloae and Didymus. 248 Didymus. asserts that the will and the energy common to the persons of the Trinity are proof of their equally common essence. see his De principiis I. 74 conscious spiritual “sensitivity. the whole divine being is truly manifested.247 Likewise. This is because in every act of a person the whole person is variously present.246 The Father’s energy is an operation ad extra. it would be enough to affirm that in each operation. (PG 39. On the Eastern side. and the principle whereby the trinitarian persons have the same essence. in connection with the distinctions within God. the divine energy is not merely an abstract philosophical concept. On the Catholic side. Patristic influence in Stăniloae 3. 3. On the other hand. 2. and asserts that energy is the life and the mode of knowing the essence. Some characteristics of the uncreated energies found in Stăniloae are met in Origen who.

the Cappadocians emphasised the unknowability of the divine essence by making clear that the divine names reveal only divine energies in which we may participate. If allowance is made for the hypostatic distinctions. De Spiritu Sancto (PG 32. Christology of the Later Fathers (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. “On not Three Gods. what we know of God. 175 250 Gregory writes: “ We do not learn that the Father does something on his own. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition.” A. we know through His acts in the world. and. p. by Dionysius’ cosmological system that implies a hierarchical celestial and ecclesiastical structure that contains three ranks of three. composition. likewise it became the mode of hypostatic mission for creation and eschatological consummation. more strictly epistemological. 136Af). p. The trinitarianism of divine persons received. 1954).R. our incomplete notion of His ’essence’ or nature.). and are traversed by divine energies. that the Son acts on his own without the Spirit. Louth. However. see also Gregory of Nyssa. Stăniloae was clearly influenced. is not complicated by the problem of ’participation’. His distinction is important because it demonstrates certain attributes common to the persons of the Trinity giving their common essence.D. is one who clearly distinguishes between essence and hypostases. 171. 136BC). 251 That is. and baptism. eucharist. De Fide I (PG 45. oil. Rather does every operation which extends from God to creation and is designated according to our differing conceptions of it have its origin in the Father. the common energy expresses the particular mode of relationship of each divine person with creation. then. it is less ’scholastic. Facing the Eunomian idea that the divine essence is accessible to human beings. generating as such multiple theological debates. and reach its completion by the Holy Spirit. while clearly related to Palamism. moreover. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky. 253 Louth explains that “in every triad the highest is perfect or perfecting. . Hardy (ed.” R. number of “degrees” of divinity in God. it is also seen as an essential energy. but of three sacraments. An Exposition and Critique. its formulation in three divine energies.251 The hierarchical orders are God’s revealers. The first rank of the ecclesiastical structure consists not of beings. for example. Williams concludes himself that. pp. or all actions is always triadic.’ less metaphysical. points out that the transcendence of the Godhead rules out any kind of becoming. Because of the simplicity of the divine nature. in which the Son does not co-operate. for example. it should be noted. However. This is a simple enough scheme. 164D-165C). and certain attributes specific to each hypostasis. 261-262. for both Gregory of Nyssa and Stăniloae.249 Gregory of Nyssa. and not the divine essence. and are possessed equally by all three hypostases at once.252 by which we can become united with God. The Celestial Hierarchy 3. For the action of each in any matter is not separate and individualized. 252 Dionysius. Or again.1 (PG 3.” in E. It is for this reason that the word for the operation is not divided among the persons involved. and the lowest is being purified or purifying .” Gregory of Nyssa. Basil. proceed through the Son. and contrasts them with the invisible nature of God. Williams. Because divine energy is actually common to the triadic persons. the fundamental principle is that all actions of God ad extra are actions of three persons together. all the divine qualities coinhere and are of one rank.250 Gregory uses the more dynamic word energies of these manifestations. “the Cappadocian position seems to be that God’s ousia cannot be known by man as God knows it. 75 Important references were used by Stăniloae from the Cappadocians. the middle one is illuminated or illuminating.253 What is specific to Dionysius then is that the divine 249 Basil the Great. divine energy does not exclude the role of hypostasis.

Quoted by B. The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy 3.257 Every essence “is naturally a principle of movement contemplated in potency to it. Nevertheless. Acta (PG 90. 106. Alongside this essence there is an act of will. circumscribed naturally by its own principle. “All essences are in the highest degree foreign and far-removed from the essence of God. The Earlier Ambigua of St.49 (PG 90.254 The relation between essence and energy is a key issue for Maximus. the divine energies. See also P. 260 Gregory Palamas. 1955). On Maximus’ doctrine of essence and energies. even if some begin their existence through becoming in time and others are implanted by grace in creatures. 348C. 257 Maximus. 255 See Maximus.1 Intradivine distinction The primary influence in Stăniloae’s thought comes from Gregory Palamas.259 3. Disputatio cum Pyrrho (PG 91. On the other hand. 1993). Ambigua I. energy is seen as essential and not hypostatic. but never the ousia of God. Karayiannis. 1176B. Chapters on Knowledge 1.”258 Consequently. 258 Maximus. the revelation informs us that in this supra-essence (that is.C). and particularly in the sacraments of the Church. there is an ontological distinction between the divine energies participable in the knowable aspect of God and the essence that is unknowable and imparticipable. 22 (PG 91.” Maximus. Opuscula Theologica et Polemica 22 (PG 91.256 and in Opuscula Theologica et Polemica 22. Dionysius. 259 “God infinitely transcends all things which participate or are participated. 160A). Capita 77-78 (PG 150. See also Diputation cum Pyrrho (PG 91. 1081AC). the foundation of all knowledge of God are the proodoi. which are God.2. 1257AB). see the recent work of V.” because He transcends all essence.260 Accordingly. Maxime Le Confesseur. Disputatio cum Pyrrho (PG 91. Essence et énergies de Dieu (Paris: Beauchesne. for both Maximus and Stăniloae. common to the 254 Cf. 1084AB).1 (PG 3. God is unnameable and beyond description. For Palamas. 138. the Trinity) occur certain mysterious processions that cause therein a real distinction between it and the divine hypostases. is the end of essential movement logically preceding it. Maximus says that energy does not introduce the person but the nature. p. man’s encounter is not with the ousia through the proodoi. for example. Krivoshein in “The Ascetic and Theological Teaching of Gregory Palamas. 345D-348A. 1037CD). For everything claiming to have the term attributed to it happens to be a work of God.3 (PG 90. an infused power which clearly proclaims that God is in all things. 424C-425B). but with the proodoi or energeiai in themselves. 441CD). Chapters on Knowledge 1. Maximus the Confessor (Rome: Studia Anselmiana 36. for Dionysius. 337A). 337C). 7 (PG 91. 256 Maximus. Sherwood. the essence or supra-essence of God is absolutely beyond the approach of any creature. 260D-261A).” and “every act. In union with God.255 In Acta. 2 (PG 91. p. 76 energies come to be known in the liturgical life. 1100A). .” ECQ 7 (1938).2 The decisive influence of Gregory Palamas 3.

and that which is found substantially near it [near the 261 Gregory writes: “God is in Himself.15. that energy can be contained even by us creatures.” Capita 81 (PG 150. p.). 1217C). changing only in degree and in the circumstances of its manifestation. 6. Cf.19. This insistence on the uncreatedness of the energies is not just a matter of logical necessity. while in relation to the creature they are many. 1197B). 138 (PG 150.” Capita 74 (PG 150. Capita 112 (PG 150. The distinction is founded on a principial. 6. but in the energies as well. 136. for He is indivisibly divided and separately conjoined.263 Basically. 1209C). Contra Akindynum 1. “Therefore as the divine essence is omnipresent.3. objectively founded in God.26. Stăniloae. but “natural” processions in God Himself. p. being inferior to the essence as the Son is inferior to the Father. “And it is not only in the hypostases that the divine is thus indivisibly distinguished. that is the energies. such as the creation of the world. the energies are one.18. 266 However this causal relationship cannot be understood as we understand it in the case of created beings.266 Thus “the Divine substance transcends the Divine energy. 7. Krivoshein. 263 Gregory Palamas. “He is all essence and all energy. but that does not destroy the divine simplicity or introduce any composition therein. nor any composition. the argument says that that which has no energy in reality has no existence. wholly.”264 This is the eternal.16. but not hypostatic. but still common to the three hypostases. but this does not deny the distinction between the two. 262 “God suffers no multiplicity through these distinctions. 3. 261 beyond all time and understanding.” See especially chapters 72-84. In relation with the triune supra-essence.. 1. Again.4. 141. but not a real separation. This fact was criticized by the anti-Palamites at the Council of Constantinople in 1351. “Uncreatedness is that which above all preserves the oneness of the divinity. common to all three persons of the Trinity. The energies are not acts outside God.11. p. at the same time the Three Divine Hypostases are essentially.” Contra Akindynum 5. The energies are not created.2. 264 Gregory Palamas. 265 Gregory Palamas. It must noted that the energies are an “inferior” divinity (dangerous language!). Capita 127 (PG 150.3. Similarly in D.” Contra Akindynum 4. it bears on the very unity of the divine essence. substantially held and contained in each other without either confusion or division and therefore their energy is in common” Capita 112 (PG 150.1- 41.7-8. 77 three hypostases.265 Palamas insists that the distinction between essence and energies is a real one.16.4.262 In response to Akindynos and Barlaam’s accusation of ditheism. Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama. causal relationship analogous to that which exists in the divine essence between the hypostasis of the Father and the hypostases of the Son and the Holy Spirit. continuous mode of God’s ad extra existence. it is true that Palamas used images to make clear the distinction (that is the orb of the sun and its ray). 1197B). Palamas is careful to differentiate between what might be called the personal processions and the natural. “There is also a natural participation in the divine energy common to all created beings and a participation granted solely to rational beings who have freely chosen the good. for a created energy modifies a created nature. due to His will. immutable.3.1. inseparable from its energy. Contra Akindynum 6.. 1180A). from The One Hundred and Fifty Chapters (Sinkewicz tr. 1173A). by means of which this supra-essence reveals itself as a procession or a leap outwards. . Contra Akindynum 3.

the deified being is energetically united to the Father. Homilia (PG (1993).15. “Gregory Palamas’ Radicalization of the Essence. The deifying energy is a function of the superessential essence of the Holy Spirit.268 they are inseparable from the essence and are always in act.” T. p. 273 Gregory Palamas. For Palamas. by a real experience in terms of the light of the transfiguration. 2. inasmuch as they are not accidents that can increase or decrease. p.3. it may in a sense be termed an accident.269 It is enhypostatic: it has no hypostatic independent existence of its own. but.36 (Gendle tr. and comprehends by the Holy Spirit. rather it means seeing through the eyes of God.31. he admits that since the energy does not exist a se. The energies dynamically act through the “uncreated” deified subject. . Triads 2.3. the Trinity and the deified individual are energetically one. Gregory Palamas. Gregory Palamas. They are eternal and immutable. the deified subject does not receive the divine essence itself. 3. quoted by Krivoshein. Deification means more than seeing God. making him.”272 To avoid collapsing directly into Messalianism. distributed. Energies. 745C). and Hypostasis Model of God. Cf. 268 On the one hand. Palamas emphasises that this light. Contra Akindynum 6. Palamas specifies that the energy cannot be defined in Aristotelian terms as accident.”267 The chief argument of Palamas is the assimilation of this case to that of the simplicity of the essence that is not destroyed by its real distinction from the hypostases. Capita 127 (PG 150. as something seen. all that God is by nature. Palamas responded that the physical eyes of the apostles were transfigured by the 267 Gregory Palamas. still hypostatically distinct. Son. 344. Cf.270 The deified being receives “an energy identical to that of the deifying essence. In the event of Christ’s transfiguration “the glory of the divinity becomes the glory of the body.1.2. shared in. 272 Gregory Palamas.3.” GOTR 38.273 Contrary to Barlaam. and Holy Spirit who enhypostatically dwell in him. 66).1.L.”271 and hears. sees. especially in the West. and it exists as a function of the three divine hypostases insofar as they enact the divine essence. Contra Akindynum 4. and do not therefore introduce any kind of composition in God. is not essence. 269 Surely the essence is shared by all three persons of the Trinity! 270 “God is contemplated as the divine energies of the divine form of being are passed on to a created hypostasis. 78 substance]. by adoption. that is. contained. Cf. 1209D). Capita 65 (PG 150. 143.3. Consequently. p. Triads 2. Contra Akindynum 4.6. This compromise resulted in one of Palamas’ less fortunate expressions which contributed a great deal to the misunderstanding of his thought. God remains simple in spite of the multiplicity of His energies that are really distinct from one another. who argued that in this case the light must be of the created order. Capita 93 (PG 150. Anastos. 1188B). because. 1168C). The result is an encounter between God and man such that. 271 Of course. on the other hand.2 Theology of light Palamas consistently echoes the Dionysian affirmation that all the divine things that are revealed to us can be known only by participation.

6.35.” Gregory Palamas. The mystical experience of hesychastic mysticism and of the biblical texts (as.278 This light is superior to the knowledge of Scriptures. 276 Gregory Palamas. due to the deifying grace of the divine energies.16. the light illuminated outwardly those who apprehended it and through their corporeal eyes shed light in their souls. 3. to comprehend God insofar as possible. deification could be effected actually.38. The nous is energized or put into action by the divine energies rather than according to the energies defined by the created essence of the individual. Triads 3. This is not vision face to face but a vision of the glory that is promised in Scripture to all human beings in proportion as they are found worthy.” Gregory Palamas.9-10.6.16. the deifying gift. Contra Akindynum 5.. 1168B).274 The apostles shared briefly and really in the uncreated divine radiance. also to possess Him indwelling. that holy men see the garment of their deification. the uncreated deification. enlightening them from within.275 The perception of this light is “when the mind is glorified and filled by the grace of the Logos with the exquisite radiance______.2. Triads 1.11. Contra Akindynum 2. not metaphorically. in which one may supernaturally communicate. then.3. but according to his deifying gift and energy. man objectively transcends his ontological level.5.. The nous has the ability by grace to transcend itself. but vouchsafes to them knowledge and a godly life. the Johannine references to light. 79 power of the Holy Spirit. seeing God in light (apostles) is higher than seeing God in darkness (Moses). for the Orthodox.3. the “means” and the end of the mystical encounter. Capita 65 (PG 150. 278 “The deifying gift of the Spirit is a mysterious light which turns into holy light those it enriches. the enhypostatic illumination..”276 Before it became united to our bodies. which is beyond principle. 2. which one may see and with which one may be united..1.16. In deification. Triads 3.3. This shows the continuity between the Old and the New Testament. the grace of adoption. to assume divine energies as its natural activity. 277 Gregory Palamas.5.25.279 Palamas explains: But you should not consider that God allows himself to be seen in his superessential essence. 275 Gregory Palamas. Triads 2. The central point of Palamas’ mystical theology is found therefore in the doctrine of the divine light.2.1. 4.. . In other words.277 The nous of one who is purified and illuminated by God’s grace sees something different than his own image: the radiance inscribed on his image that reinforces the power of the spirit. Triads 1. Contra Akindynum 3. transcends this principle.3. passing over for that moment from the flesh to the spirit. experiencing a kind of momentary eschatological deification. You should think that that is the principle of divinity. too.280 In conclusion. enables him to understand the word light not in a metaphorical 274 Gregory Palamas. being at the same time that which is the perceived and that by which it is perceived. But the essence of God. the transfiguration of Christ on Mount Tabor). 279 “To see carries two meanings: .. for example.3. it not only fills them with eternal light.

while looking from man’s side it may be said that his body can see with its transformed eyes the face of the living. 80 sense. That is. See also Capita 64 where the energies are the manifestations of the “divine illumination that comes from God. It showed only a divine. Profane wisdom is restricted to knowing the natural world. Theology is a discourse about God. the last being considered the prototype of the other two and surpassing them infinitely. Viaţa şi Învăţătura Sfântului Grigorie Palama. and the uncreated light. the goal of the ascetic is in the procurement of a better energy that allows both his body and mind to share in the life of grace. 84). is the visible part of God. 20-29. p. but in its primary. “Double Knowledge according to Palamas. while theoptia is more a conversation with God. by means of the divine energies. concrete meaning. 1340). 68-69. called also theoptia.281 As with every energy. In this synergy. the light of Tabor is uncreated. personal God. the transfiguration was not a phenomenon limited in space and time. is not of an intellectual or of a sensible order.” SP (1963). in which man can experience deification. Triads 3.” 281 In Tomus Hagioriticus (PG 150. in comparison with the immediate or mystical vision of God. Palamas distinguishes between the sensible light.29. His energy. Chrestou. Thus this light or illumination that transcends both intelligence and senses. while true knowledge comes from God and leads to God and to union with Him. (Gendle tr. 1233. 159-161. . There is a positive and negative theology which use various mediatory things. As such.283 For Palamas the human being is deified and filled with the divine light or with the Holy Spirit according to his preparation in collaboration and ascetic effort.3 Summary Palamas makes a distinction between profane or philosophical knowledge and the true knowledge of God. Looking from God’s side it may be said that there is a complete revelation. and hence to Christ from the very moment of His incarnation. and yet this light fills at once both intelligence and senses. 282 See also in D. Therefore the most fulfilling effect of man’s deification in this life is found in the manifestation of the light that is in him and 280 Gregory Palamas. According to the degree of his deification. a human being is in communion with and has a genuine sharing in the inaccessible ousia. 283 For a short but clear presentation of the doctrine of double knowledge in Gregory Palamas.K. Chrestou writes that natural knowledge is of value only so long as it recognises its partial character. 3. Spiritual knowledge lies above dialectics and demonstrations and is a supernatural gift accorded to those who love God and His commandments. but this is an inferior form of knowledge.282 The humanity of Christ was deified by the hypostatic union with the divine nature. a human being may obtain a kind of “communion knowledge” of God that goes beyond any intellectual concept. Stăniloae. His light. pp. has at all times belonged to God. pp. the light of intelligence. objective reality: the presence of the Kingdom of God. see P.1.

.” Gregory Palamas. 287 Gregory Palamas. those human persons in whom is accomplished the union with God. To this end He instituted holy baptism. 81 which is attained by him. but because it cannot be shared. God being spirit. body and spirit. This is the very basis for the veneration of relics. but to each of those who believe on Him. 285 The plenitude was reached by the Mother of God who is “the boundary between created and uncreated being. How could anyone fail to understand most of our terms for grace. is a certain divine grace. grafted by baptism and the eucharist to the person of Christ.285 For Palamas. who has no grace manifested in him.1. God’s nature is omnipresent. Capita 93 (PG 150.8.” Gregory Palamas. Contra Akindynum 7.287 Palamas’ theology of grace is not a theology that makes use of rational concepts to express abstract realities. but the hypostasis of the individual believer that receives baptism. as they become God’s altogether. insists Palamas. in a manner above sense and intellect. He preached repentance to all. knowing God in God. for it is the grace and deifying energy of God. that which the saints receive and by which they are deified. Contra Akindynum 4. set down as they are not dogmatically but advocacy [as a part of a controversial argument]?” Gregory Palamas. lives by the divine commandments. 1188B).15. Triads 1. So it is not merely human nature. which is enlightened. but not the nature of God. 289 “We termed this grace neither the essence of God nor an angel nor any other being that is susceptible of grace.289 Indeed. is the deified state in which. must become gods by grace or persons in two natures.3.284 The union with God.68. will know God not from creatures alone but. 472B).. a man who does not see God in this life. called both light and spirit. Palamas declares that God Himself is the grace we receive in holy baptism. and whatever names logically follow... Gregory Palamas writes: Those who possess not only sensual and intellective powers. communicates of the deifying bread and cup. the deifying gift is not confined to the spirit of man.286 The way of mystical ascent towards the deifying encounter is pictured in terms strikingly like those of Gregory of Nyssa. Homilia 37 (PG 151..38. in combination or separately.9.4. He set laws conducting us to salvation. Just like Christ who assumed human nature.. see also 3.” Cf. divinity and divinization. not that it is absent. Palamas defines grace variously both as light and as energy. that is. if they . spiritually. 286 “[Christ] grants a perfect redemption not only to the nature borrowed from us in an indefectible union.. that it does not leave them at the moment of death but continues to manifest itself through their bodies. Homilia 5 (PG 151. it is the whole person. “Glorify the holy tombs of the saints and. and He communicated His own body and blood.4. Gregory Palamas.288 Arguing against Akindynos. which reaches its culmination after death and the resurrection.290 This is the reason 284 For Symeon the New Theologian. Triads 2. It flows out of a profound theology of the body. but have been blessed with spiritual and supernatural grace as well. 64D).. will not see God in the life to come either. The difference is that Christ is a divine person. man by grace will be all that God is by nature.3. 290 In the case of those whose whole being is permeated by the divine. but is the apophatic or negative expression of a mystical experience culminating in deification.3. whereas deified persons are and will remain created persons. 3. 288 “This radiance and deifying energy of God by which those who share in it are deified.

I am united to the whole of God. It was this kind of language that raised the most persistent difficulties from the essentialist view of Akindynos: “If I am deified.1. 1168A). save to those who have experienced it. Palamism. according to Palamas. Man is more in the image of God than the angels by possessing not only a trinitarian intellect but a constituting and vivifying energy. Theosis therefore remained for Palamas’ opponents either a static symbol or led to the ultimate heretical alternative of identification with the divine essence.3. I am supernatural and divine and spiritual.” Gregory Palamas.32. To say otherwise would be to confuse hypostatic union with essential union. by God’s grace. 294 A different attack from Akindynos comes from the Christological side. however. For even when spoken of it remains unspeakable. since it becomes necessary to speak. Theosis is a difficult. That is why. Cf. 63 (PG 150. yet knowing that our words will not suffice to demonstrate it. 82 why the saints. are we not then forced to say that Christ’s humanity is of the uncreated order? And is this not monophysitism? Palamas is explicit that the humanity of Christ is indeed created. as the fathers would have said. Contra Akindynum 3. almost scandalizing word. Capita 64 (PG 150. For the fact that only the saints and the angels participate in the purifying. Contra Akindynum 3. Thus when Palamas declares that the nous. Century of Knowledge 2. we have never made bold to write on deification. participating in the light of grace. now at the prompting of the fathers. rightly. He is not a substance to which property is attached. though by nature created. but only a created effect (as grace and light). Triads 3. Images of the Divine. Maximus. whose language is often much more daring when he says that the body is deified at the same time as the soul. Therefore everything God does expresses His whole nature. involves the problem whether it is a genuine development of Cappadocian thought or a new “innovation” added to the Early Christian survive. one and the same radiance. for if participation in the divine life through Christ confers an uncreated grace. see A. in general.” Gregory Palamas. any more than divinity left the precious body of Christ after His life-giving death. Contra Akindynum 5.88 (PG 90. The Theology of Icons at the Seventh Ecumenical Council (Leiden: E.293 God’s attributes are perspectives on His being. 38. now at the request of the brothers. 1168A). for the grace of God has not left them. 1165C).1 The charge of innovation The question about Palamism. Giakalis.1-2.” Gregory Palamas. 1994).1. the effect of the uncreated energies in a human being has an uncreated effect. so by the co-inhering grace of the Spirit. hence it is one and the same energy. channels many tokens of divine perfection to its companion body. 1093A). 293 Gregory Palamas. Brill.25. 1145D-1148C). the remains of their bones.14. Critical evaluation 4. that which is not being is not God. we will speak. But now.”291 In other words. rather each attribute is one way of describing His being and is essential to His being. sanctifying. he is merely echoing Maximus. See also . emphasises the energetic communion in which God is wholly present in His energies without retracting His inaccessible being. 291 “As I am by reason a rational being.”292 Palamas responds that the deifying gift is divine energy. 39 (PG 150. Decalogus (PG 150. Palamas writes to Barlaam: “Deification is above names. illuminating and deifying energy. For Palamas’ opponents.J. 292 Gregory Palamas. having written a great deal on hesychia.294 4. Gregory Palamas. unnameable.4. are called “uncreated by grace. that God and men share.

in their thought. “Palamas Grégoire” and “Palamite (Controverse). Jugie. 83 tradition. “St. 7 Dimineţi cu Părintele Stăniloae (Bucureşti: Anastasia. the divine ousia is ontologically distinct from the divine energeiai. and on the concept of deification. in declining to have anything to do with the distinction between his being (ousia) and his activities (energeiai) which developed in later thought.” in Collected Works. 164. However. “Tradition and Renewal in the Theology of Saint Gregory of Palamas. 207. An Exposition and Critique. 157-190. Gregory Palamas.” ECR 9 (1977). among Anglicans is R. see G. the Orthodox agree in finding something new in Palamas as compared with his predecessors. it provides for a genuine deification of man while at the same time preserving man’s creaturely status. being authentic and traditional. rejects the notion of “creative theology” in favour of “expressive theology. p. I.”296 Mantzarides sees Palamas’ innovation as justified. Mascall. especially chapter VI.L. Dumitrescu.” which means a fuller presentation of Orthodoxy in its mystical aspect. J. Sinkewicz. pp. “Palamas et les Cappadociens. The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God in the Initial Discussions between Barlaam the Calabrian and Gregory Palamas. of great importance is the question whether.” ECQ 3 (1938). 295 Among Catholics who accuse Palamas of innovation is M. p. p. and Holy Spirit. and it maintains that fundamental openness of the creature to unlimited influxes of divine generosity.295 On their side. Via Media: An Essay in Theological Synthesis (London: Longmans Green. 300 An Anglican as Mascall appreciates the Palamite distinction as holding some positive elements: it sees the created order as a dependent reality.-P. a presentation. Mantzarides. pp.In other words. Although the distinction between essence and energies in particular is certainly present in the Cappadocian thought.301 We know that the Cappadocian R. Torrance writes: “It must be said. Houdret. Church. however.E. Barrois.300 One of these is the question if it would have been possible for Palamas to innovate in such a traditionalist theological milieu as Byzantium. 114. Mass. 211-231.” in Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique XI/2: 1735-1776. 296 B. 1974). the Orthodox use different arguments to defend him.299 Contrary to the charge of innovation often made against Palamas by Catholic theologians. on the divine light.” Istina 3 (1974). but also its theological and philosophical expression. 1979). E. Krivocheine writes that in Palamas’ thought “the traditional ascetico-mystical teaching of the Orthodox East not only finds in his work its final and systematic expression. XI/2: 1777-1818.. separation between the activity and the being would imply that God is not after all . with firm roots in the past. starting with the Cappadocians and becoming characteristic of Byzantine theology. 301 In connection with Athanasius. vol. pp. that the very basis of Athanasius’ doctrine of the One triune God in the co-activity and co-essentiality of the Father. 298 G.: Nordland.297 while Florovsky calls it “a creative extension of ancient tradition. 1. with much emphasis on the apophatic character. Doctorate dissertation (Oxford. 260-271. Williams. 297 G. Bible. 187. “The Ascetic and Theological Teaching of St.” The concept of “creativity” must be preserved for God who alone is the Creator. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky.. Son.D. p. although heavily influenced by Palamas synthesis.that is.”298 Stăniloae himself. then.” SVTQ 19 (1975). 299 S. Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View (Belmont. p. For an Orthodox response. Orthodox theologians refer to the “Palamite synthesis.Gregory Palamas and the Tradition of the Fathers. depends upon his holding together the Being of God in his Act and his Act in his Being . 1956). Krivocheine. Florovsky. “Palamism Revisited. 1992).

but merely an epistemological one. “The logoi of Creation and the Divine ‘Energies’ in Maximus the Confessor and Gregory Palamas. theia ousia) as the persons of the Trinity do. differentiated by “modes of being” rather than spheres of operation. Theology in Reconciliation. The persons in God are distinguished only by their mutual relationships.” in Greek Patrsitic Theology.. N. and Gregory Palamas.. 1974). 1080A. Maloney.302 It is at this point that the charge of inconsistency in Orthodox theology comes into focus. Rowan Williams claims that Maximus’ understanding of energy does not imply an ontological distinction from the essence.3. 1975). but he still has the Cappadocian rather than the Palamite notion of energy. pp. 177-178. By insisting upon the consubstantiality of Father and Son. Furthermore. Tsirpanlis.” SP 26 (1993).: Eerdmans. 236. vol. 11-33. and so far as the Spirit is concerned that he is not by nature what he imparts to us. see Joost van Rossum. 1081A). History. III (New York. See in parallel Maximus.F. Triads 2.Y. and to the sanctifying work of the Spirit. . As regards with the relation between logoi and energeiai. N. 84 advance in trinitarianism has given their negative theology much more impact than we find in their precursors. see G. or in a cosmological context. De incarnatione 17.” What Torrance suggests here is that Athanasius declined to have anything to do with the distinction between God’s being and His energies.. pp. Basic Doctrines in Eastern Church Fathers. the Cappadocians make it clear that the Son and Holy Spirit share equally with the Father the ineffability of the divine nature. Williams. there is a difference in emphasis and context between Maximus’ logoi and Palamas’ energeiai. For the Cappadocians the energies are common to all three persons. 213-217.1. 303 R. and also the relation between the energies and divine grace. Ambigua 7 (PG 91.303 ’in himself’ always and reliably what he is towards us through the Son and in the Spirit. However. and are God in His manward dispensation.D.N. pp. “Aspects of Maximian Theology of Politics. Palamas is compelled to postulate ousia and energeia as parallel modes of divine experience. and C.16. Essays towards Evangelical and Catholic Unity in East and West (Grand Rapids. Williams suspects two parallel modes of divine experience: Faced with the Dionysian model of the ’super-substantial substance’ participated in its proodoi. Mich. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky.J. while Palamas’ teaching on the logoi and energeiai is in the context of the doctrine of God. In his comments. T. p. and apparently unable to revise the notion of participation so as satisfactorily to exclude the idea that creatures ’possess’ ousia (that is. I believe.. When we pass to Maximus. and Holy Spirit and substituting an “essential” Trinity.This.: Dimension Books. Compare Torrance’s view with Athanasius. Torrance. the Cappadocians leave largely unclarified the relation of the divine energies to the revelation of the incarnation. Maximus’ teaching on the logoi as the divine “ideas” or “intentions” of creation is in the context of the doctrine of creation. pp. The Breath of the Mystic (Denville.. it seems that he does suggest at times that the logoi are energies. by comparison. is the movement of thought which produces the incoherences of Palamism. for instance. 141-160. Van Rossum argues that. in Palamas’ case. and the Kingdom of God. 302 Stăniloae interprets Maximus in Palamite and not in Thomistic terms. 1987). For further study of the “logos mysticism” and the doctrine of the “logopoiesis” of creation in Maximus.

the doctrine of divine sovereignity and human responsibility in soteriology. but according to the uncreated energies shining forth from divine being. At the same time. would all be impossible. in line with Maximus and Palamas. 179-180. Ambigua (PG 91. we partake of the Divine essence and yet at the same time we do not partake of it at all. have an antinomic character as elsewhere the doctrine of Trinity. including the doctrine of the double nature of Jesus Christ. 307 Maximus. Williams. It became clear that for Stăniloae. inaccessible and accessible. in a certain sense. God is sharing Himself not according to His being nor according to the Trinity’s hypostases. and primarily the doctrine of the Trinity. “a reconciliation is possible on the higher level of contemplative experience. they hold to the possibility of man’s transmutation into and participation in the divine nature. Thus to preserve the simplicity of God. union with God.”304 What in fact seems to be happening is that Palamas takes the Cappadocian view of the energies and presses it further than its original meaning and significance. Gregory Palamas. on the philosophical level. 306 K. see also Theophanes (PG 150. invisible and visible.D. the knowledge of God does not have a theoretical or metaphorical character but it is vitalised by the axial concern for deification. And so we must maintain both (affirmations) and lay them down as the standard of piety. 305 The Orthodox contrasted cataphatic theology with apophatic theology in order to show that the theological antinomy of Palamas’s distinction between essence and energies is only one among various typical Christian doctrines. 85 Williams holds that Palamas had not the philosophy of his theology. God is both incommunicable and communicable. and finally man’s deification. pp.” p. Ware. p. Gregory Palamas comments that biblical texts. so “the needs of controversy drove him [Palamas] to adopt a metaphysical theory fraught with obscurities and contradictions. communicated.”306 The antinomical character of the distinction between essence and energies is emphasised by Stăniloae in direct connection with the Christian doctrine of God. the West makes use of the idea of simple 304 R. 1308B). For Stăniloae. Apology (PG 150. Thus the antinomy becomes the rule of right devotion. man’s participation to Him by grace. “The Divine substance is incommunicable and yet is.” Cf. and their antinomy must be maintained as a criterion of reverence. The Theology of Vladimir Nikolaievich Lossky. Without this divine communicability. due to its logical contradictions. Declining to consider the antinomical method. 145. 932D). Cf.307 It can be seen from all of this that the difference between Eastern and Western theology results from a different understanding of participation. The Orthodox replies that this is merely a typical theological antinomy.305 Although there are contrary truths on the rational level. Western scepticism in this matter cannot see how one can escape a metaphysical composition in God. “Debate About Palamism. Western theology disagrees with the real distinction between essence and hypostasis and admits a distinction only between the hypostases as they are related one to another. Krivosheine. like 2 Peter 1:4. 46. Palamism is accused of philosophical incoherence. Consequently. . 932D).

F. promote an exaggerated mysticism in which “only those beings close to the upper sphere of the divine can feel God’s presence.” deliberately avoiding the acknowledgement of a “real distinction. 311 But having in mind what Timiadis believes about Patristic method. pp. 696A).” in T. 682B.” E. hermeneutics. particular wills and purposes as in Maximus. vol. 1329CD. (2) Criticism of hesychasm and its focus on the vision of the light of Tabor claims that this was but one episode in the life of Jesus. the Western theologians are accustomed to speak of a “distinction of reason.L. Mystagogia 5.310 However. 1080AD. Palamas.” This is why a conceivable solution to draw East and West closer in this matter becomes difficult due to two different approaches. such as ’communion with the Holy Spirit. the danger comes from both sides: the epistemological approach could sacrifice the possibility of a real deification. Microcosm and Mediator. 79-99. p. if that is indeed so. 692CD. This is not the method of . For Maximus. 90. we ask. Eastern apophaticism is placing divine simplicity at a level beyond even essence. see Capita 24. both Stăniloae and Palamas do not hesitate to affirm that deification is “real. see Quaestiones ad Thalassium (PG 90. 81. consequently. On their side. “even if they expounded it in terms of divergent methaphysical systems” and “even if we cannot simply equate existence with energy. 309 E.” meaning by that an ontological union between human being and God. Thunberg. how is it possible to suggest a developed doctrine of the “spiritual senses” and the transfiguration of bodily vision in the vision of God? 310 For Palamas’ doctrine of logoi as God’s uncreated energies. 45-47. “The present-day reader will be disappointed if he looks for clear-cut statements and neatly measured definitions.2 The charge of impersonalism As distinguished from the hypostases. Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Reformed Churches. “God’s Immutability and Communicability.”309 4.L. Mascall. 1985). holding that the simplicity of God is something that transcends our categories. But. Mascall has suggested a parallel between the essence-energies distinction in Palamism and the essence-existence distinction in Thomas Aquinas. it is said that the uncreated energies are experienced as personal.’”311 308 E.). 296AB). because they are God’s personal words (logoi) for created things. Timiadis. Torrance (ed. Ambigua (PG 91. The Openness of Being. Even an Orthodox theologian as Timiadis suggests that “it might be better to use more intimate and personal expressions. his view on the Palamite distinction sounds like a typical Orthodox interpretation. an episode moreover that points forward to the Passion of Christ. it is claimed. 86 substance. (PG 91. 222. A summary of Maximus’ doctrine in this respect is to be found in L. while the East works with the idea of superessential essence. I (Edinburgh and London: Scottish Academic Press. pp. 87-88. However. the next objection to the essence-energies distinction would be that the personalness of our relationship with God is compromised by affirming that God communicates Himself to us through non-hypostatic beings such as uncreated energies. and language. is not an elitist but merely accepts the possibility of knowledge of God in this life. Two observations here: (1) Timiadis’ view (along with Trembelas) could be challenged by other Orthodox theologians. In addition. 1085AC. 1345BC). while an ontological approach could create problems in understanding God’s simplicity and.308 Consequently.

the result is that the divine persons belong to the level of the imparticipable and inaccessible essence that is beyond the sphere of man’s contact with the deifying energies.” pp. permeated but not consumed by the ineffable and wondrous fire of God’s energies. Yannaras. with our contemporary pre-conceived views. “The Distinction between Essence and Energy and Its Importance for Theology. all creation is a gigantic Burning Bush. Moreover. unrelated to humankind. this argument does not hold.. but only with the divine persons as expressed through the divine energies. and not divided or portioned out. The lack of direct communion between the divine hypostases and human being makes one wonder whether in the Palamite doctrine of deification the trinitarian persons have any soteriological functions at all.. 241.. ousia is understood as what God is in se and hypostasis as what He is ad alios. after fifteen centuries.” and thus “God is known only as a personal revelation (and not as an idea of ’active’ essence). We risk betraying the real thought and intention of the Fathers if. the energies would still “dilute” and make redundant the trinitarian persons themselves by taking their functions. 87 The charge that the energies are impersonal is strongly rejected by Orthodox theologians. the energies seem to function as intermediary between the divine persons and humans. However. Timiadis. not a gift which God confers upon man: they are God himself in his action and revelation to the world.For them. In the trinitarian theology of the Cappadocians the three hypostases “do not have a common ousia. Palamas himself introduced the concept of enhypostasia regarding the energies. Thus. This observation leads to the assumption that the Palamite distinction may jeopardise the whole idea of missio Dei.. that is given a personal nature by being used by persons. inviting us to participate in the communion of divine life. 23-24. It should be remembered that in Byzantine theology God is fully present in His uncreated energies towards us. an end in itself. .” Cf.” SVTQ 19 (1975). God remains complete in each of his divine energies. only as a triune communion of person. in the process of deification. terminology is not an absolute. p.”313 If this is true and it is then applied to the Palamite distinction. Therefore we cannot have a direct communion with the divine hypostases. E. we try to give our own interpretation of some of their liguistic expressions and conceptions. as an ecstatic self-offering of loving goodness. Yannaras maintains that “the acceptance of the distinction between essence and energies means an understanding of truth as personal relationship. saying that they are enhypostasized. “God’s Immutability and Communicability. but is dynamic. 42 312 C. It is recognized that this Patristics. because even if hypostasized. The nature of the Trinity is not static. The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”312 In fact. they are the divine ousia.” Timiadis explains: “These energies are not something that exists apart from God.

pp.” ECR 9. in the context of missio Dei. The same interpretation is found in R. p. I/2. we speak only in terms of essence-energies we would end in impersonalism. 313 C. At the same time.1-2 (1977).315 is the heart of the mission of God in human history.M. and of Christians. Timiadis himself indicates that the distinction might contradict “the very sense of Christ’s incarnation. See also I. Therefore. on the one hand. 322ff. Stăniloae’s affirmation is clear that God reveals Himself wholly in His energies. 315 K. LaCugna. Church Dogmatics. If. Bishop Kallistos Ware has insisted that. in the sending of the Son and the Holy Spirit into the world. the centrality of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ. it is hard to reconcile. p.3 Revelation and theosis There is a certain ambivalence in the use of the term “energy” as referring to the idea of God manifesting Himself wholly to us and the possibility of producing an “uncreated” person. adopting a Barthian phraseology. “The Philosophical Structures of Palamism. Barth. 1956-). 88 dynamic and communitary understanding of the Trinity that characterises the Eastern Orthodox Church might provide the Western Church with the true language pattern of dialogue. this participation has its foundation and intensity in the Father’s initiative. If one means by this that God reveals His attributes. 192. “God’s Immutability and Communicability. and human persons are invited in God’s mission as participatory “means” as well? Since we are called to participate in God’s mission and in His self-revelation. keeping in mind that divine energies are called effective “means” of God’s revelation. vols. it seems that the Palamite distinction identifies too closely the energies’ role with the mission of the Son. tr. Again. “Irrationality in Theology and the Palamite Distinction” ECR 9 (1977). for example. this is clearly correct. on the surface. to avoid impersonalism. IV/2. Timiadis. 314 E. 46.” p. Trethowan. while the mission of the Spirit as the subjective reality of revelation is to unite us with the Son. pp. Williams.W. However. I-IV. by G. is definitely one of the main peculiarities emphasised by Orthodox theology. God for Us. we ask how the Orthodox apply the dynamic and biblical idea of the proclamation of the Gospel to the nations. However. we must always think in triadic terms. Bromiley (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. . on the other hand.316 4. the one undivided God is present in His mission in all three persons. the Orthodox understanding of the centrality of divine energies as “means” of God’s revelation and. 19-26. pp. Indeed. 33. 316 In a private discussion on this subject. of the Holy Spirit. The participatory aspect of mission based on the joy of knowing God’s love and on the victory of Christ on the cross over the opposing forces. The danger lays in the language of distinction which could be interpreted as impersonal. 203ff.”314 In biblical perspective the mission of the incarnate Son as our reconciliation and the objective reality of revelation.

To do that. as expressions of His will. The general view is that revelation is that act of divine self-communication in which the triune God reveals Himself through the medium of created reality as the foundation and the author of creation. Mantzarides says that “the man who partakes of this deifying gift even to a small degree is united through it to God in His entirety. The ambiguity and instability in language may point to the fact that in His energies God becomes Himself. and being in this event. 109. and in this way expresses the unity of intention and act. There is thus a weakness here which fails to speak of the simplicity of God. In addition to this view.I. but it is the logic of his position. “God Hidden and Revealed. will and being in God. Ware. revelation takes a relational pattern in which the medium of revelation is an uncreated reality. and resulting in the autonomy and distinctiveness of theological knowledge over all other forms of knowledge. freedom. there is in Him no conflict between being and will. also expressions of His being. This is scarcely Stăniloae’s intention. Stăniloae’s theology is centred on revelation with its emphasis on freedom and uniqueness. this study will follow the logical order of what revelation discloses in the Christian rationalisation. represented by the uncreated energies. what Stăniloae rightly maintains is that God does not reveal only propositions about God. so that all of God’s actions are. p. Since there are no external limitations imposed on God. An attempt will be made to show that the real problem with Stăniloae’s position is directly related to the Palamite distinction between essence and energies. reconciliation. In this context. It is important to start with the biblical principle that the disclosure event is understood as the result of the intentional action of God who expresses His will.” p. 317 Ware affirms that “the term deity (theotis) may be applied not only to the essence of God but to the energies. at one point the energies are the Holy Spirit’s manifestations and at other times they are the Holy Spirit Himself. The Deification of Man. God’s action is not uniform. No doubt. and salvation of created beings. God reveals Himself. this presupposes some restrictions of human while if we speak in terms of essence-hypostases-energies the energies would be understood in more personal terms. At the same time. and the immanent and economic are one. Moreover.” G. 130.317 The energies therefore become constitutive of God. However. but always unitary.” K. Mantzarides. 89 Stăniloae seems inconsistent when at once he defines the divine energies as God’s attributes in motion and at other times as God Himself in motion. . it becomes clear that the whole issue of deification is closely related to the subject of revelation. according to the doctrine of the Trinity. ascribing to it a unique epistemic status. for Stăniloae.

to criticise Palamism as a theology that presents God incompletely revealed and relatively free. Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Spiritual Encounter between East and West (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. The mode of the actualisation of the universal truth of God’s revelation is its personal particularisation in the activity of the Holy Spirit.Father. Although God’s revelation in oikonomia is understood as self- revelation. the essence of God withdraws into an unknowability. For Balthasar “the God of love is apophatic not in a ‘withdrawal’ to a hidden essence as Palamas intends. It is this ambiguity that forces von Balthasar. reconciler and saviour of the world. which Stăniloae strongly maintains. for example. The biblical central truth of the incarnation. Son and Spirit. and this unity of the content and the mode of the actualisation of God’s action is expressed in the trinitarian self-identification of God . the God of . reconciliation and salvation. 90 discourse about God. in Word and Silence. although it is promising to find in Stăniloae the interrelationship of creation and redemption. Self-disclosure means that God discloses who He is and what He is. Gawronski. insists von Balthasar. does not contradict this particularity. as it is present to God Himself. that does not mean of course that God’s self. Son and Spirit is closely connected to the content of God’s action by which God shows Himself to be the creator. It seems that in Palamism. Accordingly. in which this content is expressed. 1995). as presented by R. rather. It is at this stage in the discussion that presence of the mysterious uncreated energies becomes difficult to justify. The formal structure of God’s self-identification as Father. God’s revelation has no other content than His action in creation. “while His knowability becomes diffuse.” Thus the question is if Palamas ever maintained that God “holds something back” in His essence or He covers it by His energies. so its direction or address is also to particular persons. pp. First. Christian revelation maintains that there must be the act of reception of God’s self-communication from the recipient of revelation. The universal content of divine self-revelation and the universal truth claim of the Gospel of Christ. we ask ourselves how it could be that this idea correlated with the Palamite view sustains a wholly free manifestation of God in His energies.318 318 This is von Balthasar’s view. The self-disclosure of God has a particular author and content. is the notion of divine self-giving or the event of self-identification in which Christ identifies Himself in created reality by communicating Himself as person in action. This content becomes effective only in such a way that its universal claim is vindicated for particular people as the truth about the personal reality of their lives and about the reality of creation as a whole. becomes now accessible to His creatures. 56-60. and the revelation which He intended is thereby destroyed.

5. The Experience of God. however. Accordingly.’ The moment of the apophatic is not behind the appearance of God. 124. Theology and the Church.1 Evaluation Stăniloae maintains the fact that there is a progressive and dynamic dialogue between God and creation in general. unconvincingly defined as personal.. It is precisely the supreme spirituality of Christ which contains within itself the power to overcome the automatism of nature. in Stăniloae’s theology the Christ event is seen as the paradigmatic disclosure. it becomes difficult to distinguish God from the world or from ourselves. as if they constituted two parallel peaks. although it really becomes known in them. There is a continuous lack of clarity.”319 On the other hand. Stăniloae. both ‘with and against Gregory Palamas: God’s essence does not cover itself with His ‘energies’. God disclosing Himself in created reality. God's transcendence means that God is “above. in any sense. when the immanence of God is exaggerated. p. Christ represents the supreme stage and the consummation of supernatural revelation. the efficaciousness of the activity of the Holy Spirit. but in the sense that He is beyond our speech and thoughts. and between God and human beings in particular. The overwhelming presence of the uncreated energies.” D. On the other hand. 25.” 319 Cf.” writes Stăniloae. claim some control over the uniqueness of God’s revelation in Christ. Stăniloae. and implicitly over the soteriological role of Christ. 91 Moreover. “The line of supranatural acts and the line of spirituality do not meet in Christ at the highest level. an ambiguity that is at best obscuring and at worst misleading. in divine revelation and especially in relation with human persons.. the Christ event implies not only the bruta facta of the historical events. “is given in a Person. The object of revelation and the agent of revelation is Christ by the Holy Spirit. For many modern theologians. D. He understood theology as the application of the interpretation of the biblical and patristic love is apophatic in that He ‘brings the one filled by Him to adoring silence. Thus. . Of great concern is the need to eliminate any intermediary that could. and the uniqueness of the person and work of the Son.” not in a spatial sense. God cannot be perceived clearly in language or history. For Stăniloae. but also His self-interpretation and the interpretation of His followers under the action of the Spirit. General conclusions 5. obscures the particularity of revelation. “Christian revelation. p. but in it. Stăniloae was a modern and contemporary theologian because he tried to reinterpret the meaning of Christianity in terms that are intelligible for people in a new situation and context.

but these acts “were expressed without alteration by a number of particular words and images.320 The perspective given by Stăniloae. P. . Grobel (New York: Scribner. theological language based upon revelation has both relevance and a cognitive content. the modern notion of “immanence” denies the Lordship of God over His creation. p. and Christianity and the Encounter of the World Religions (New York: Columbia University Press. Robinson. Tilllich. One Lord (London: SCM Press. The main reason for this seems to be the problem of authority. 11. J. 1963).T. particularly in the finite events of history or in human language. The norm for human thinking and behaviour has been secularized . which is believed to be biblical. Stăniloae refers here to Bultmann. Stăniloae. p. 111-112. Redating the New Testament (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. for Stăniloae.”322 On the contrary. is that God enters into relation with the world and that He is distinguishable from the world at the same time. since Scriptures are the “mythological objectification of certain existential references' man makes to God whom he conceives as that which transcends man. 1963). 323 Specifically. in O Antropologie Mistică. One God. but He is also present in His creation. 321 Modern theology questions the traditional view of these concepts. 2 vols. in light of who God is and of what He has done. Stăniloae. the modern era proposes autonomy which leads to extremes. Stăniloae develops the point: 320 Cf. Theology of the New Testament. See also L. Thus Stăniloae discards the views of biblical criticism represented by Bultmann. 1963).321 Stăniloae was intensely aware. in which case we cannot assign some acts to God and some to other factors. tr. Systematic Theology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1955). Bultmann. tr. 322 D. Divine action becomes very problematic: either God is above the world in the sense that He cannot enter into the space-time world. and History of the Synoptic Tradition. and it explains transcendence in a way that avoids the metaphor of control. both transcendent and immanent. The modern notion of “transcendence” denies that God can identify Himself in the world. God is both distant and near. by J. Frunză. Similarly. which affirm the need to change the traditional theological language. Stăniloae also excludes the view that the existence of a God who acts in history impinges upon human freedom. or God is in the world in the sense that He is inseparable from it. 1976). says Stăniloae. Tillich and Robinson.323 Also.. 1988). Cullmann. Hurtado. Stăniloae. pp. 324 D. 109. Theology and the Church. Stăniloae rejects the Protestant school known as “the history of salvation” in its attempt to identify God's self-disclosure only in His “acts” at the expense of His “words. by K. 1952).W. 112-113. God is distinguished from the world in terms of His control and authority over it. Theology and the Church.instead of authority. Christ and Time (London: SCM Press. 92 message to our contemporary situation. D. See R.A. whether in the creation or in revelation and reconciliation. Marsh (New York: Harper & Row. if He is identified with nature He cannot be recognized. If God is above nature He cannot enter in.” It is true that God reveals Himself through a series of acts. The difficult task in analyzing the modern theological field of the last two centuries is to determine which of these reinterpretations are “biblical” and which are not. Theology and the Church. A similae remark is done by S. pp. of the intelligibility and inner rational structure of all aspects of God's actions in the world. O.J.”324 In addition. in which case God cannot act.

in the most complete way. in His essence. 1942). p. p. impersonal and external meaning. faith and reason. and. reciprocal meaning. in Romanian language.” Primarily. 328 The following statement could not be a realistic summary especially regarding the Roman Catholic position. 132. 327 D.”329 Basically. personal. Then Stăniloae concludes: The fact that both intellectual affirmations and negations have a basis in the experience of God's operations in the world diminishes.deification. This is why it is difficult to interpret Lossky’s statement that knowledge of God “will only be attained in the way that leads not to knowledge but to union . Theology and the Church. The Experience of God. Stăniloae uses the Romanian word împărtăşire which comes from the verb a împărtăşi. The Experience of God. the fact that. Stăniloae. Eastern theology reduces it to a theology of participation in various degrees which are ascended through purification. which brings us to another level of experience. “to share. Mystical Theology. due to the identification of theology and mysticism. 326 D. for example. Stăniloae asserts that: “If Roman Catholic theology reduces all the knowledge of God to knowledge from a distance. Stăniloae.113. of all other existences too. L. rather. while sharing involves a more interior.B. the question is whether we conceive of knowledge as an aspect of union or merely the way to it. 93 The reality of supreme Person is totally free of any system of reference. participation has a more detached. p.” D.326 This is the reason why Stăniloae may speak of a certain participation in God. It has been seen how difficult it was for Lossky’s radical apophaticism to avoid its anti-historical inclination and its partial indifference to the area of biblical studies.325 In other words. Thomas d’Aquin (Paris. Only this explains the existence of our human persons and can assure these a certain freedom over against the system of references in which they find themselves. For the idea of participation in Roman Catholic theology see. . it is the ultimate forum of all His acts. 329 V. freedom of person and creation can be conceived only if God exists as an absolute. hence. 110. in the case of Dionysius as well as in that of the other Church Fathers. The Experience of God. 325 D. so we must conceive a synthesis between them. or apophatic and cataphatic. the too rigid distinction between the intellectual and the apophatic knowledge of God. and transcendent being. but. Too much insistence on antinomies may leave his readers with the impression that our natural intelligence is in antithesis with the contemplative experience. Stăniloae. In fact. La Participation dans la Philosophie de S. 112. p. Geiger. God remains for us as one in whom we cannot participate. we experience the fact of not participating in Him or. Lossky. free. “in what is communicated to us from God.”327 Even the negative terms by themselves are just as inadequate as the affirmative ones.328 This kind of statement describes in fact what is Stăniloae’s position regarding the connection between theology and philosophy. 43. that is. Stăniloae. p.

331 this does not mean a total exclusion of rational arguments or proofs for the existence of God. In this sense his theology is an integrative theology because it is able to relate theology with all areas of life.” Cf. C.332 The relationship between faith and reason becomes inescapable due to the personal character of God. Evdokimov. Yannaras. even in our reason “there exists a capacity of seeing God as cause. person. is a “superessential hypostatic existence.” being indefinable. 331 D.”333 However. 1980). That is why the apophaticism should be explained only from the personal character of God. 332 Stăniloae quotes from P. Evdokimov believed that faith is a gift for every man and has priority over logical demonstrations of human reason. p.” C.330 Although God. subsists in person. The being which remains beyond experience. as. Les Ages de la Vie Spirituelle (Paris.” a “divine Personal reality.” GOTR 17. p. Elements of Faith. Of course. 129-134. can be useful aids in order that the need for faith be born within us.334 God's self-disclosure through acts and words creates the possibility of speaking about His knowability and unknowability in an apophatic-cataphatic synthesis. the historical trustworthiness of the sources of the Christian tradition. In this context. Stăniloae. and to see all areas of life and thought as related to theology. p. . in which case. which yet we sense to be the source of everything we experience. The Experience of God. 13. actual experience with God as person. 334 D. and thus even this apophaticism does not mean that God is wholly enclosed within Himself. The Experience of God. Faith is the result of a real. but the heart. 333 D. Yannaras. the objective attempts of apologetics. 46. Paul Evdokimov suggests. For our reason has as its ultimate support the reason of a Personal reality who created it. all things become proof for the existence of God in the believer.1 (1972-73). Instead of reflection about something. 135. p. Stăniloae. But they do not lead to faith. for example. pp. On the other hand. Stăniloae's main concern is not reason. experience without some kind of framework for interpreting it is blind. p. Stăniloae's theology can be described as both apophatic and personalist. “Orthodoxy and the West. This synthesis opens and 330 Similarly Yannaras: “The eschatological self-understanding of Orthodoxy cannot become a matter of experience except within the concrete contemporary historical reality. Subsisting as person. the apophatic has. Yannaras similarly: “Logical 'proofs' for his [God] existence. as its ultimate basis. in His essence. 130. Hence. experience is a form of immediate and personal knowledge. The Experience of God. 103. He uses rational means to expose hidden presuppositions and to relate Christian concepts clearly. the apophatic reality par excellence. being is a living source of energies or of acts which are communicated to us. Stăniloae. 94 Stăniloae evaluates philosophy as a means that assists theologians in developing critical thinking by providing techniques of analysis. nor can they replace it.

if we permit the words and meanings to come between us and God. “The knowledge of God always preserves its paradoxical character. p. In contrast to Lossky. can experience the ineffable presence of God in the way of an impersonal 335 D. man-man. 73. there is no need to embrace unilaterally either the cataphatic attitude which can degenerate into a mythical mentality. Stăniloae's approach seems to keep them as close as possible. Stăniloae becomes aware of the consequences resulting from a radical apophaticism. in this context. and even a complete lack of confidence in man. . Finally. Stăniloae.”336 That is to say. 95 maintains the dialogue between God-man.. “Even apophatic knowledge. 336 D. a false god. Stăniloae.337 This approach becomes for Stăniloae a significant advantage in dealing with theological issues.”335 Apophaticism saves us from “idolatry” and serves us an antidote to dogmatism. In Stăniloae's words. Stăniloae believes that God is ultimately nameless. In Stăniloae's own words. for example. but this does not conflict with his positive use of language in certain contexts. The Experience of God. Although the apophatic way of knowledge is the basis for the true knowledge of God. In Stăniloae’s words: “If we remain enclosed within our formulae they become our idols. or individualism related to experience. With respect both to revealed images and to the attributes of God based upon these images. especially with supernatural revelation. who emphasised exclusively the apophatic way of knowledge and consequently enlarged the gap between theologia and oikonomia. all images. if we reject any and every formula we drown in the undefined chaos of that ocean. We must always unite the cataphatic and apophatic approaches. and man-nature. concepts and doctrines of God must be seen as acts of doxology that place us in the presence of God. he is positively optimistic about the power of language to capture important truths. Theology and the Church. The words of Scripture and creeds are an initial form of teaching which can guide the spirit of human being along the right direction. seen in the impersonal character of knowing God exclusively through the divine energies. p. but which cannot assure the certainty of reaching the destination (theosis). when it lacks supernatural revelation. 105.. or the apophatic attitude which can tend to produce a complete lack of belief in the possibility of any connection between God and man. There is enough room to use both ways and to keep all thoughts in balance. our understanding of God could be transformed into an idol. Hence Stăniloae considers that we need transparency to continue the ascent to the knowledge of God and this means to accept the way of abandonment.

1994). 477-480. Negrut. Maximus. 338 D. For some samples of philosophical debates. Stăniloae. 339 P. the way to understand God. The Experience of God.’”339 Inevitably. it is clear that Stăniloae’s theological thought evolved out of a dialogue with the Fathers. . It is important to note that Stăniloae’s epistemological system that explains the concept of deification has as its unifying theme the triad essence-hypostases-energies. the philosophy of Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger).2 Assessment This examination of Stăniloae’s concept of the nature and function of apophatic theology suggests several considerations regarding the method. but soon he decided to put his main emphasis on the Fathers. Generally speaking. involves significant implications in understanding the Christian view of anthropology. there is a distinction between the apophaticism of essence represented by Western scholasticism. 5. soteriology. In the first place. 153. Stăniloae’s concern is to identify what is the secret of their homogeneity. 96 depth. Poziţia D-lui Lucian Blaga faţă de Creştinism şi Ortodoxie (1942). 36. The contention in this work is that an understanding of Stăniloae’s epistemological basis of theosis requires an appreciation of the basic significance for him of the synthesis apophatic- cataphatic. Dionysius. Symeon the New Theologian. The rational and mystical way of knowing does not reject but presupposes each other to avoid both impersonal apophaticism and cataphatic ‘logolatria. He knew very well the European philosophy of his days (for example. presuppositions and concerns of his theology as a whole. The Development of the Concept of Authority within the Romanian Orthodox Church during the Twentieth Century. p. Doctorate dissertation (London: Brunell University. Stăniloae’s view is extremely important for the intellectual dialogue today.340 Stăniloae is attempting to identify a balanced view in the tradition so that an authentically and peculiarly Christian balanced synthesis develops. No single area of this study can be revised without the triadic structure being called into question. their balanced fidelity and “creative reinterpretation” (but not a “creative theology”). the Cappadocians. and Palamas. p. this does not exclude the importance of philosophy for Stăniloae. see Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului (1943). Moreover. This distinction not only reflects a simple methodological differentiation. 97. Athanasius. a characteristic found especially in his earlier writings.” RT 12 (1939). p. and “Credinţă şi Logică. pp. comprising Irenaeus. pp. 393-401. “Metafizica lui Lucian Blaga. and ecclesiology. but an 337 D.”338 Thus Stăniloae's synthesis “creates space for both history and eschatology to exist in a dialectic relation. Stăniloae. Theology and the Church. 340 However. and the apophaticism of person emphasized in the Eastern Greek tradition. regarded as the expression of the foundation of all mystical theology. His being and His revelation.” RT 11-12 (1934).


apparent antithesis in the area of knowledge and ontology. The apophaticism of essence
postulates that access to the knowledge of existence is our choice, as a reflection of our
individual capacity of intellection. Consequently, we know all existences as concrete entities,
predetermined by the rationale of their own essence. The attitude adopted by Stăniloae is
rightly to be called apophatic, and presupposes that if the essence is uncreated, transcendent,
supernatural, we may hold that it is logically possible to consider the existence of such an
essence, yet be unable to know its reality. Stăniloae’s apophaticism is an apophaticism of
person, by which he understands that the starting point is based on the conviction that our
existence and our knowledge are very complex acts of relationship. Obviously, a relationship
is not limited to an intellectual determination, but is in fact an integrative act. An unmediated
relationship cannot be exhausted by an intellectual determination, hence the rational definition
of the essence follows the diversity of the existent things as we know them from the
unmediated relationship with each of them. For example, if God exists He is known, in
principle, as hypostasis through an unmediated relationship, and not as an essence through
His intellectual determination. In the case of the hypostasis of person, we may speak about
the apophatic character of any determination that is ascribed to the personal diversity of God.
Stăniloae sees in the apophaticism of essence the danger of continuous development of
relativism and agnosticism. In this case, personal relationship is not a mode of existence, an
existential possibility that derives from any essential determination of the existence, but a one-
sided psychological account of the subject to an inaccessible object. Hence the possibilities for
life are defined by the reason of essence and not by the mode of existence.341
For Stăniloae apophaticism means the transcendence of the objective determinations of the
truth, or the refutation of dissipating the truth by formulating it. That does not mean
irrationalism or individual mysticism. Apophaticism accepts in principle the way of affirmation
and negation as possible means of eventual knowledge. This contingent character makes the
difference between apophaticism and any kind of positivism in the area of epistemology.342

In both cases, of scholastic rationalism and erotic mysticism, the individual accomplishments are
intellectual or mystical (ecstatic), while the possibilities for a real life are essentially limited and incapable of
attaining a real relationship in knowing God as a real existence and as a distinct person.
The possiblity of knowing God by analogy, especially in the West, involves via triplex: the way of negation
(via negationis), the way of superiority (via eminentiae), and the way of causality or affirmation (via
causalitatis or affirmationis). In an Aristotelian context, the Scholastics used the analogical correlation
between the human being and the divine Being in order to determine the Being by starting with the beings, or
to attain the knowledge of the Creator through the knowledge of the creatures.


Stăniloae’s apophatic attitude is not merely a supplementary method in the natural
knowledge of God, but the achievement that includes the method of speculative knowledge
and which refuses to absolutise its semantic efficacy. The semantic of knowledge (the
affirmative, negative, and inductive-causal conceptual formulations) simply constitutes for
apophaticism the potential starting point to actualise an empirical relationship with a
recognised reality. This entire character of the cognitive act of relationship saves the
fundamental elements (diversity and freedom) by which we can define the personal existence
of human being, man as personality in the ontological sense. Apophaticism, as active
renunciation of the rational schematization, is the gnosiological attitude leading to the
dynamic ontology of person.
Theological apophaticism, warns Stăniloae, might lead to agnosticism if we overlook God’s
personal mode of existence. Indeed, we may ignore what God is, but we know, in the
experience of His natural and historical revelation, His mode of existence. And this mode is
manifested through the personal activities of God. God works as person, that is, as a
hypostasis of analogical self-knowledge. Thus the existential diversity is known and shared by
us only through an unmediated relationship. Not only God’s person, but any human person
can be known by others only after they start a relationship with them. The capacity to know
God is based on this ontological distinction between His essence and His activities, the
starting point and the premise of apophaticism. God’s essence has the capacity to offer itself
as a will of personal communion, a will that constitutes beings and qualifies them in their
constitution. Because they are the result of the divine will working outside the divine essence,
the beings have no relation with the divine essence itself, so the knowledge of God based on
the analogia entis is impossible.
It has been seen that for Stăniloae the mode of existence (tropos hyparxeos) that is known
only through participation is called personal. God’s personal mode of existence corresponds
to the experience we know about man’s personal existence. Accordingly, by studying God’s
personal mode of existence through the mediation of His operations, we may understand the
reality of the divine personal hypostases and have a better understanding of our human
personal existence. The experience of participation in other active manifestations is suggested,


but is never exhausted in its verbal formulation. This dynamic of relative formulations, the
cognitive dynamic of empiricism in relationship, constitutes the apophaticism of Stăniloae.343
Stăniloae’s central doctrine of the uncreated energies implies an experience of participation,
of sharing in the divinity that is unsharable. Divinity becomes accessible to participation, and
is sharable according to the mode of existence. Human beings can exist in the mode of God,
the mode of reciprocal integration, persons animated by mutual love. This fact is called by the
Church deification or theosis. As regards identity of essence, divinity remains impossible to be
shared, entirely imparticipable (amethekte). This sounds as if it is an intellectual contradiction
(to share something that is unsharable), but it is actually a real and unique way in connection
with God’s knowledge.344
In conclusion, for Stăniloae, knowledge is experience of participation, and participation
becomes possible as a result of the divine operations. Knowledge by participation is not
exhausted by the simple understanding of God’s truth; participation is an existential fact,
union with that which is known. Apophaticism leads to union with God, a union that is
inexhaustible at the inferior level of rational concepts and verbal formulations. This inferior
level is valuable because it leads to the superior union. The superior union, that is theosis,
means that human beings exist in the mode of God, exist as god, yet without identity of
essence. Hence the whole ecclesiastical life in the Eastern Church has as the final purpose this
apophatic knowledge of God, with its climax found in the appearance of transcending light.
Finally, the empirical participation in the uncreated light of God’s knowledge is considered by
Stăniloae to be the explicit difference between the cognitive ecclesiastical experience and any
other cognitive experience.

In the Western Church, due to the fact that the empiricism of relationship was excluded in both its
gnosiology and ontology, apophaticism is identified with the theology of negations or with the mysticism of
sentimental contemplation (contemplatio) of the absolute. This is not a rationalistic error, but the natural
opposition to the risk of relationship. Contrarily, in the East, the empiricism of relationship is better expressed
by the idea of participation in the divine operations. This knowledge is holistic in the sense that every
personal hypostasis (of God or man) does not constitute a part or fragment of divine or human being: on the
contrary, every person summarises in himself and expresses through himself the entire mode of existence, the
entire divinity or humanity. The person is hypostasizing the being, that is she is establishing it as an
existential reality.
In the words of Dionysius: “For the truth is that everything divine and even everything revealed to us is
known only by way of whatever share of them is granted.” Dionysius, On the Divine Names 3 (PG 3, 645A).



The concept of theosis, as it became more widespread in the history of Christian doctrine,
incorporated various ideas related to the salvation of man, chiefly his attaining the gifts of
impassibility, incorruptibility, and especially immortality. All these attributes possessed by
God by nature, could, it was believed, be bestowed on man by God’s grace, thereby making
man a partaker of the nature of God by participation. This state of grace, referred to by the
Church Fathers as deification, was regarded as the ultimate destiny of man desired by God
from the creation of the first man.
In Eastern Orthodox tradition, generally, the concept of theosis is associated directly with
man and his deification in a soteriological context. It is true that soteriology presents theosis
in its particularity as accomplished in the work of Jesus Christ, but, in God’s plan, theosis
includes primarily the deification of the entire created world even before its fall. This aspect is
revealed clearly by Stăniloae at the beginning of his Dogmatics and in other writings too.345
Deification in this sense precedes redemption. Hence the pertinent question at the beginning
of this chapter is whether the concept of theosis is appropriate in connection with God’s
revelation. Does God speak in natural and supernatural revelation about man’s original
destiny as being fulfilled in his deification? In so doing, it will become apparent that Stăniloae
has made a unique contribution to the theological and anthropological thought of his and
succeeding generations.
This is why the main purpose of this chapter is to posit the anthropological aspect of
deification in Stăniloae’s thinking. We will need thus to find when and why Stăniloae started
to develop the idea of deification as such. Methodologically, that means to start first with

The following works devote some space to the deification of the entire cosmos, though none offers a full-
length interpretation: D. Stăniloae, Theology and the Church, pp. 109-154; Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă,
vol. I, pp. 323-375; The Experience of God, pp. 1-15; Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu, pp. 226-271; Studii
de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă, pp. 157-223; “Image, Likeness, and Deification in Human Person,”
Communio 13 (1986), pp. 64-83; “The Faces of Our Fellow Human Beings,” IRM (1982), pp. 29-35; “The
World as Gift and Sacrament of God's Love,” Sobornost 9 (1969), pp. 662-673; “Starea Primordială a Omului
în cele Trei Confesiuni,” Ortodoxia 3 (1956), pp. 323-357; “Doctrina Protestantă despre Păcatul Ereditar
Judecată din Punct de Vedere Ortodox,” Ortodoxia 2 (1957), pp. 195-215; “Chipul lui Dumnezeu şi
Responsabilitatea lui în Lume,” Ortodoxia 3 (1973), pp. 347-362; “Natură şi Har în Teologia Bizantină,”
Ortodoxia 3 (1974), pp. 392-439; “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică,” pp. 216-249.


some general remarks about creation and the relationships between God and the entire world;
then to move on to the particular relationships between man and the world; and finally, as a
result, to concentrate our attention on the main part of the anthropological aspect of
deification, that is, the relationship between man and God.
The chapter has three sections. In the first section we will explore the anthropological aspect
of deification in the context of general creation, or what plan God had with man from the
beginning, specifically in relation with his Creator, the world and other human creatures. In
the second section we will give attention to the reciprocity that exists between man and the
world, a real dynamism that permeates the whole life of the creation. Then in the third section
we will turn our attention to the particular doctrine of man as the image of God, paying
attention to the various views of the term “image,” applied to the human as person, that are
relevant to understanding how Stăniloae have regarded the doctrine.
When we approach the following sections, it will become obvious that Stăniloae’s position is
personalist and is marked by the dynamism of relations between God, the world, and man.
This fact is essential in understanding theosis as a process started and sustained by reciprocity
and sharing. The idea of intersubjectivity is developed at three levels, man-God, man-man,
and man-world - levels that justify the general structure of this chapter. Specific to Stăniloae
is that the concept of time, space, and divine power are God’s created means given to man to
carry on the movement for his deification. Moreover, by his very constitution man is destined
to be deified, and that becomes clear when we see the relation between soul and body, man
and man, and man and world, as a real but partial reflection of the life in the Holy Trinity.
Accordingly, one of the most important conclusions of the whole chapter will be that these
three kinds of relationships reveal the concept of deification as an eternal divine purpose for
man’s relational participation in the trinitarian life.

1. The relationship between God and world

1.1 Deification and the act of creation
Some of the issues regarding the act of creation in connection with theosis have been faced by
Stăniloae in his first volume of Dogmatics. Stăniloae remarks that both Scripture and the
Christian creeds begin by confessing that God is Maker of heaven and earth. Christians tend
to lose sight of the doctrine of creation in their preoccupation with salvation, but Scripture
asserts that the Word of God through whom God saves is also the Word through whom He


created the world (John 1:3). Moreover, God has a purpose in creating and therefore
existence has a purpose. This is perhaps the major truth of creation: we are not our own but
we are here for a purpose. In Stăniloae’s words:

In fact, in everything we do we follow a purpose and for this purpose we make use
of the things in the world. But we ourselves have need of a final eternal purpose, or
better, we must ourselves have need of a final eternal purpose if we are to show
ourselves as meaningful beings in everything we do.346

Consequently, we may affirm that life is not meaningless. The world is ordered and reliable
because it is the Lord’s world.
To a large degree, Christianity is distinguished from other religions by its doctrine of
creation. That God is the Creator of all expresses what Christians believe about God and
reality. Reality is ultimately dependent on God for its existence and essence, for its form and
its function. Everything else that Christians say about God, the world, and the destiny and
hope of humanity depends on this affirmation.

Creation does not have to be understood as an act by which God creates a reality
separate from Himself, like some object exterior to Himself who is the primal object.
God creates the world in Himself, through a manifestation of His energy and His
Spirit. Clearly God must in no way be confused with some part or power of the
world, but God is not separate from the world nor is the world separate from God;
He is the unconditioned cause of the world.347

In other words, when we are thinking of God, we must avoid the idea that God has an
isolated life, living only in Himself. Love is communitary, and needs to be activated as much
as possible. God activates His love not only in the trinitarian communion, but He decided
from eternity to pour this love outside Himself. Indeed, “the first act of God towards the
world, which can also be considered as the basis for all His further acts and of God’s
continuing revelation, is the creation.”348 Creation is the first external manifestation of the
divine love and the premise of all other activities of God in the world.
Starting his theological system with the theme of natural revelation as the basis of natural
faith and existence, Stăniloae suggests that the doctrine of creation expresses the most
fundamental relation that God has with this world.349 In particular, as finite beings, we feel

D. Stăniloae, The Experience of God, pp. 6-7.
D. Stăniloae, Theology and the Church, p. 116.
D. Stăniloae, Theology and the Church, p. 113.
Cf. D. Stăniloae, The Experience of God, pp. 1-14, and Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă, vol. I, pp. 323-328.


ourselves to be contingent on something else. The doctrine of creation affirms that we are
here not by blind chance, but because we have been created by God.

1.1.1 Deification as the reason and purpose of creation
In accord with a general “anthropological” trend in modern theology, Stăniloae builds up the
concept of the deification of man beginning with the doctrine of human existence. This
perception is an important component in trying to understand his vision of man’s deification
because Stăniloae does not start, as other Orthodox theologians do,350 with man’s salvation
but with man’s existence. Thus Stăniloae asserts that we cannot understand the history of
man until we consider the existence of man as fulfilled in his destiny.
This is one of the reasons why Stăniloae’s Dogmatics starts with the doctrine of revelation.
In his view, at the centre of natural revelation is the cosmos and human being. That is because
man “is not only an object that can be known within this revelation; he is also one who is a
subject of the knowledge of revelation.” Both the cosmos and human being are the result of
God’s supernatural action and are stamped with rationality. Man was endowed with reason,
conscience and freedom, while “the cosmos is organised in a way that corresponds to our
capacity for knowing,” writes Stăniloae. These ideas of Stăniloae have found remarkable
support in earlier assumptions that man occupies the central role in nature, and resonates with
what is known as the anthropic principle. He is pointing to the correlation that exists between
some pieces of evidence about the universe which all appear necessary for the emergence of
rational observers.351
The superiority of man over the material universe is found in his consciousness of himself and
the world. Thus the meaning of human existence is understood only from the perspective of
our eternity, because “in our consciousness of self, there is implied, simultaneously with this
search for the meaning of our existence, the will to continue in being forever so that we might
deepen the infinite meaning of our own existence.”352 Employing the paradigm of deification-
as-participation, Stăniloae follows Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus in asserting that the whole

See, for example, F. Gavin, Some Aspects of Contemporary Greek Orthodox Thought (London: SPCK,
1936); P.N. Trembelas, Dogmatique de l”Eglise Orthodoxe Catholique, 3 vols. (Chevetogne, Desclée de
Brouwer, 1966-1968). Regarding Trembelas’ approach, see K. Ware’s criticism [in ECR 3.4 (1971), pp. 477-
480], who writes that “the whole scheme of the Dogmatiki, the order and arrangement of subjects, the
treatment of each topic, much of the terminology and categories invoked, bear unmistakably the stamp of the
D. Stăniloae, The Experience of God, p.1-5. For a modern presentation of the anthropic principle, see J.D.
Barrow and F.J. Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986).

. human persons are “absolute through their participation in Him [God]. pp. “Creation and Participation. 1982). or after union with God.”358 This supreme personal reality communicates 352 D. p. von Schönborn (eds. The Experience of God. on the basis of His will” (p. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. Stăniloae. pp. 354 D. An Orthodox View of Nature (Geneva: WCC. man “is a goal in himself for eternity. The Experience of God. 357 D.” Furthermore. p.”354 Moreover. The creature is a meaningful being because all human actions reveal an eternal purpose along with a real order of meanings. Studies in Honour of T. 28. and Culture. 104 cosmos and humanity participate in the infinity of God. The Human Presence. The Experience of God.” in R. “The Infinity of Man in Maximus the Confessor. By the very act of creation. but by remaining man and by being confirmed in this quality.” Human finiteness was created by an infinite God and is sustained by His infinite power.356 Thus. O’Donoghue in an excellent study. 190). Torrance (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Stăniloae insists: “Man strains towards an infinite personal reality higher than himself. to know an ever more profound reality.” in F. Again. p. Stăniloae expressed creaturely participation in the absolute in the following way: We are called to become an absolute by grace through our participation in the one who is personal Absolute by nature. 57-58. is basically the starting point in understanding the deification of man as the goal of creation and redemption. “cannot endure to live without a consciousness of meanings and without pursuing them.) Maximus Confessor: Actes du Symposium sur Maxime le Confesseur. (Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires. The Experience of God. 5. Stăniloae. P. Heinzer and C.353 In relation with the subject of deification. says Stăniloae. Fribourg. 8. he boldly declares that “to eternity God will never cease to deify the world.W. 356 D. the idea of man’s striving after infinity and love. 358 D. Stăniloae. to progress within a continuous newness. for they culminate in a final meaning which man is convinced he will attain beyond death. 261-271. Chrestou. The one who is personal Absolute by nature wishes to grant the human person a share in his absolute character.”357 Therefore the immanent spiritual life cannot replace the primordiality of transcendent life that is free from all monotony of repetition and relativity.”355 This kind of thinking and terminology in Stăniloae suggests that man aspires after an absolute with a personal character.). Stăniloae. 353 Cf.F. 135-148. and P. 141. Man. The Experience of God. in Stăniloae’s thinking. p. p. p. the conscious person is already a virtual absolute through a certain participation. 355 D. 1978). because we are persons. a reality from which he can nourish himself infinitely. 6. Stăniloae.D. Septembre 1980. inasmuch as he himself becomes man. Similar ideas about man’s sharing infinity are pointed out by N. 7. Creation. pp. Christ. 1976). but its “participation in this infinity is given to the creature through grace. Hence there can be no transcending of the person. Our person does not participate in the absolute by transcending its own nature as person.A. “we strive to discover and achieve an ever greater beauty. 2-5. McKinney (ed. Gregorios.

Christianity reveals itself as a religion of communication and interaction.”362 At the individual level. Assembling together the above thoughts. There are structures of communication that 359 D. This fact can be seen in the triadic relationship of the Holy Trinity as a “structure of supreme love.361 For Stăniloae. On his side. 105 and fosters the sense of existence in man who assimilates it freely and consciously. Stăniloae. the difficulty for understanding the personal and trinitarian dimensions. Stăniloae. we can say that Stăniloae affirms that the need for transcendence is organic in human beings. pp.” and “created for eternity. Stăniloae. in particular. and between God and creatures. man’s immediate response (through faith) is by participation in the life of this supreme personal reality. this dimension of communication should be found within the human being. at the same time.. 362 D.”360 We are enabled even at this stage to remark in Stăniloae’s approach. derives from the apophatic character that surrounds and veils them. This is how the Orthodox Christian doctrine of the deification of our being through participation in God or through grace is to be understood. pp. Stăniloae emphasises the idea of man’s eternal participation in the infinity of God by asserting: Only the eternity of a personal communion with a personal source of absolute life offers to all human persons the fulfillment of their meaning and affords them. is dissimilar to the common relationship between two human beings. the dialogue between divine and human. p. Thus communion with God becomes for humans “the means of an infinite progress in love and knowledge. As a person. who receives the quality as person only in relationship with other humans and with God. that he distinguishes a progressive and dynamic dialogue between God and creation. from person to person. 10. the possibility of an everlasting and perfect communion among themselves______. However. Stăniloae promotes the idea of a personal God. pp. 360 D.. 73ff. But. 361 D. man is “the only being conscious of itself and of the world. 113-114. The Experience of God. The Experience of God.” He is “open to meanings higher than the world” possessing “a kind of absolute character. Such an utterance points to God as the Archetype of the creature and to a communion that has in Himself the dimension of communication. where the ontological basis of the whole creation is actualised from the perspective of those realities that exist in a dialogic relationship. Theology and the Church. as we have already seen. in general. Theology and the Church. 6-8. . a living Creator who manifests Himself in the power of life and love.” a “meaningful being. Stăniloae.359 In summing up this preliminary aspect of man’s striving after God.” There is no place for an intermediate existence between God and human beings.

. Eph. Clement. 2 Pet. As Hendrikus Berkhof says: “We cannot penetrate this mystery. 30f. 3:4). 13:35. 10:6. pp. Early Christian Thought and the Classical Tradition: Studies in Justin. 33. See P.4. Mich.: Doubleday. man is not actualised as person apart from a perennial self-transcendence.: Eerdmans. 8. pp. Out of nothing simply means: not out of anything. 472-478. Ad Autolycum 1. 1:4. “from the beginning of creation” (Mk. God.1.7. 1991). in favour of creation ex nihilo. 4:11. 7:28.364 Creation ex nihilo is not affirmed explicitly in the Bible. 1064 B) and Irenaeus. By seeing the existence of man as a person in relation. As a finite being. Mich. 40:28.1. 364 Augustine puzzled a long time in his Confessions over the problem of what God was doing before creation.Y. 11:3). 106 define the human and the divine person. 3:9. see the decisive role of Theophilus of Antioch.4. 1029 B.” H. For attestations regarding creation ex nihilo in the early Church. 4:17. 285 and 12. 9. Christian Faith. by assuming for himself God’s communication and proximity. 24:21).” is probably derived from a passage found in the Vulgate translation of 2 Macc. pp. Other references are in Origen. 5 (CSEL 33. 1966). Eph. but its truth is everywhere present (for example. 46ff. creation speaks of God as Lord of time. 1979). This has been given added significance by Einstein’s conception of the universe as a continuum where space and time are inseparable. Chadwick. 363 The phrase ex nihilo. 153-154. 13 (PG 6. 4 (PG 7. we can only make it our starting point . Creation. 1:20). Adversus Haereses 2. “out of nothing.. Just as God’s heavenly enthronement speaks of Him as being Lord of space. An Introduction to the Study of the Faith (Grand Rapids. 10. conceiving of creation as expressing a relationship and a process rather than an event.: Eerdmans. there is an awareness that confessing God as Maker of heaven and earth affects all aspects of our life and thought. the Church discarded all the false views about the origin of the world. pp. Berkhof. see H. 2.” From the beginning. Stăniloae is recognised decisively as an ontological personalist. 365 In the New Testament there are several passages which mention implicitly creation ex nihilo in passing: “before the foundation of the world” is a phrase which occurs frequently (Mt. 1. In Ioannis Evangelium Tractatus 42. Augustine. The most fundamental truth about human beings is that we are creatures of God. N. 1703). 736 B). 96:5).K.2 Creation ex nihilo The uniqueness of the concept of creation stands in relation to the unlimited freedom of the creative action found in the formula “creation out of nothing. Jewett. see L. Rev. Maker of Heaven and Earth (Garden City. 2. A Neo-Evangelical Theology (Grand Rapids.1.363 The radical contingency of the universe is supported by scriptural testimony where we read that God created all things (Isa. though it may be inferred. Heb. Rom. “God made them out of nothing” (quia ex nihilo fecit illa Deus). Ps. Gilkey. Confessiones 11. 1 Pet. Throughout the Scriptures.10. and Origen (New York: Oxford University Press. De Principiis 4 (GCS V.. and these in turn can actualise the state of communion as a complete dialogue. also “from the beginning of the world” (Mt. But Augustine’s answer seems preferable: time itself is one aspect of the creation. 314). Modern theologians avoid this question altogether. For a good summary. 14). 1959). It tells us who God is and it tells us who we are. For a good summary of the meaning of creation out of nothing. and Revelation.365 The doctrine stresses both the absolute independence of God and the relative independence of His creatures.10 (PL 35.

”369 What Stăniloae suggests is that the beginning of the world and man gives meaning to the whole of existence. 46. Stăniloae. can the world be elevated to the level of perfection in God by His omnipotent will and by His love. 368 D. . creation is the manifestation of God’s will. Creation and Redemption..” shows that the world must find its meaning at a superior level. Stăniloae. Stăniloae writes: If there were no beginning. so they would not be the exclusive work of God’s freedom and love. He was able to bring it into existence from something that for us is non-existence. imperfect form. upon human relations or even upon the material world as a whole. 107 Creation out of nothing is one of the favourite formulas of Stăniloae’s theology. 239. but depends on God’s energies for its existence. Because He is omnipotent.”366 Thus Stăniloae emphasises that “nothing” is not a real void beside God. but the only fatal essence of reality would be its relative. or as infinite existence. It does not mean a certain self-restraint of God for the sake of the created world. if this is true. in which God is promising to sustain the whole existence and man must obey His Creator. It means also that. the question is the meaning of the “nothing”. creation does not have the source of existence in itself. His acts are spiritual and “they produce effects upon man only in conjunction with man’s own will. Indeed. On the other hand. Stăniloae states that God is the Author of this world not in the sense that He created it out of His being.368 Speaking about the world and man with a beginning. Although it has been shown that in his view creation lies within the life of God. creation is 366 D. Florovsky. fixing the framework of the covenant. ideas and belief exert an influence upon the body. Only if it is out of nothing by the will of God. they would not be out of nothing. Stăniloae continues by specifying that “God’s influence acts in much the same way that spirit. God’s “kenosis” reveals the superiority of His personal character.” 367 D. Thus Stăniloae holds that. that is. Man’s consciousness. not of His essence. Stăniloae. God’s freedom in relation with the world creates at the same time freedom for man. Theology and the Church. and they would not be destined for an existence in the plenitude of God. or out of an eternal matter. p. p. Stăniloae quotes from G. 113. or energies. p. p. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. God created the world out of nothing. God is a subject of free spiritual energy. as “the highest form of existence in this world. but out of nothing. On the other hand.367 Basically the act of creation ex nihilo is the sign of God’s omnipotence and freedom. then there is an essential distinction between God and the world. being created ex nihilo. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.. 241. as plenitude of existence.

in which the world is a result of emanations or the spilling- over of God’s being. then. . A more modern form of emanation would hold that the world develops out of God’s being. This is against naturalism that sustains that the material universe is not eternal (but rather self-generating) and is independent of any act of supreme will or intelligence. The biblical belief also rejects any view that tries to divide reality into two parts. vol. I. 328. Systematic Theology. Usually when we speak of “creation” we refer to giving new form to our environment. Creation ex nihilo means in the end that the world and man are totally dependent on God’s will: on the world’s side to be “saved from its absurd relativity. p. 369 D.372 For Stăniloae all these theories deny the transcendence of God and His sovereign power. there is no neutral or evil part of the universe. 370 D. and it predicates of something that is finite (matter) something that is infinite (eternity). and perhaps returns back to it. has always recognized creatio ex nihilo as the plain implication of biblical revelation. while another form of dualism envisions the eternal existence of two antagonist spirits. 1994).K. 336. pp. All of creation points to God and is here for the purpose of His glory. The church. on the other. a theory according to which the two principles are constantly at war with one another. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” P. and one who is finite is neither the Creator of the world nor its Sovereign. 373 This is similar to what Paul Jewett says: “The rejection of all dualistic theories of God and the world. This would be Hegel’s position for example. II (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. left the church with only one option: creation. defined as God’s making something (the world) out of nothing. p. 371 One form of dualism holds that the two self-existent substances are God and matter. since evil things in the world are regarded as emanations of God’s being or mind. that is. 372 This is the theory characteristic of all kinds of pantheism. Christianity affirms that the eternity of matter is very problematic because it allows no explanation for the origin of the universe. such that the world and God are the same kind of substance. vol. where everything is an emanation of mind.”370 Against all the false views regarding the origins of the universe. co-eternal substances or principles from which all else is derived. Stăniloae. and compromise the holiness of God. Stăniloae’s view is also against dualism that speaks about two distinct. vol. 108 incomplete so long as God does not reveal its meaning in man. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” and on man’s side to be oriented towards God “through the exercise of responsibility. Pannenberg. see W. and what we see is a result of this conflict. Everything emerges from God’s will. Stăniloae’s concern is to demonstrate that the main reason for creation is to establish a dialogic relationship that provides spiritual life. sometimes as evil (so Gnostics). I.371 Repeatedly Stăniloae rejects emanationism. for example. on the one hand. In response. What is more important. and all pantheistic theories of continuity between God and the world. Because God created everything. and creation is seen as God’s forming this matter into a specific structure. hold that God creates out of chaos. Stăniloae’s position insists that creation is ex nihilo and is a free act of God. Process theologians. For a recent critique of process theology.373 In Stăniloae’s view creation ex nihilo is to be distinguished from other types of formation. The first form of dualism holds that matter is regarded as negative. one good and the other evil (Augustine had to counter this view of the Manichees. and His will uses the preceding things. and especially Whitehead’s position. this view posits a God that is finite. and no distinction between a “secular” and a “sacred” part of the universe. Stăniloae. 15-17.

Creation ex nihilo. if God created the world out of nothing. The verb is also interesting in that it never appears with an accusative which denotes an object upon which God worked to form something new. Pelikan. 255.3 Creation as a free and triune act Stăniloae sees creation as a harmonious entirety which is sustained by a unitary rationality and which unites in itself the rationalities of all component parts. For this reason He cannot be understood apart from the Son to Jewett. First. creation “out of nothing” means that God spoke (called. 36ff. see G. God enables man to liberate himself from the automatism of this world while maintaining the freedom of the world. The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition. 1. This shows that the origin of the world is not an impersonal essence. commanded) something into being when there was nothing. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. “Preserving God’s Creation. no factor whatsoever apart from God’s free will was at work or contributed in any way towards the creation of the world. Rather. for whom the purpose of this expression creatio ex nihilo meant that “nothing at all existed previously to creation. specifies Stăniloae. the doctrine of creation ex nihilo is important to us for two reasons. Stăniloae. for Stăniloae. “The Greek Christian Platonist Tradition from the Cappadocians to Maximus and Eriugena. 375 J. 456. 447-448. . 376 D.D. see J. p. pp.1. but “a loving personal Father. A Neo-Evangelical Theology. In the beginning there was only God and His will to create. 43. Because the world is not dependent on itself for this lower existence. Second. 374 The Hebrew verb for “create” (bara) was used in Genesis 1-3 exclusively for God’s activity. For the theory that maintains that the doctrine of creation ex nihilo arose in the second century of Christianity. But God’s creation “in the beginning” did not begin with an already existent substance. the being of God is lived by the Father as the supraessential source and as the plenitude of existence par excellence. For further disscusions. The whole creation has an anthropocentric character because only humans are conscious of self and able to attempt new senses. then between Him and the world exists an essential distinction. Thus the concept of freedom to self-realisation has been included as an important part in understanding the general framework of deification. God’s otherness is the ground for human freedom.374 This is in accord with some Church Fathers.”375 In conclusion. God. it has the possibility of being included into another level of higher existence outside itself. The Doctrine of ‘Creation out of Nothing’ in Early Christian Thought (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. King’s Theological Review 12 (1989). 109 reshaping what is already there.” pp. p. See also the views of Gregory of Nyssa given by I. Only because the world and man are God’s creatures are they destined for perfection outside themselves. Sheldon-Williams. 1994).” II. p. Zizioulas.P. Creation. and expresses the uniqueness of God’s creative work as opposed to the “refashioning” which is characteristic of human creativity.”376 In the Holy Trinity. May. and Revelation.

1 (1983). is the Holy Spirit. This dogmatic formula of the divinity unique in being and trinitarian in persons reveals the basis and support for all the possibilities of communication between human persons and God. A similar position is found in C. in Stăniloae’s view. . pp.the infinite richness of being which is received from the Father. Stăniloae. and will be taken fully into account when we discuss the Christological aspect of deification. creation resulted from the interpersonal love of the three persons of the Trinity. increasing and decreasing continually within a closed circle.” SVTQ 27.379 This emphasis is extremely important for this thesis. For the creating of the world could have no other point.377 According to the Greek Fathers. 103-113. could God have created a world destined to participate in His eternity. p. that is. 110 whom the Father offers “His entire existence supraexistent.” The Son receives this infinite abundance of the being of the Father and enjoys the plenitude of existence as light. Stăniloae’s insistence on the trinitarian structure is 377 D. understood as fullness of interpersonal communion. and the Holy Spirit have decided to pass the existence they enjoy to other conscious beings. 378 D. And thus the creation out of nothing came into existence and reverberates in the variety of the world . Theology and the Church. The joy with which the Father looks at His being given to the Son. 1971). p. See also D. the Son. 153. and with the feeling of joy as it is enjoyed in communion by the Holy Spirit. J. p.and especially in the constant capacity of thinking and living of existence with which the created persons are endowed . who also is the bearer of the Father’s being. Stăniloae.378 Developing the above. pp. a world existing by itself as an impersonal eternity. it is easy to see that Stăniloae is reiterating once again the personalistic understanding of creative act. Stăniloae. Stăniloae sees in this perichoresis the origin of God’s decision to create the world: But the Father. together with its living as a gift and light enjoyed by the Son. Moreover. all increase and decrease. De l’Absence et de l’Inconnaissance de Dieu (Paris. in the super-existent personal reality we find the explanation not only for existence itself. borne and then returned by the Son. 34. but also for the human person. 112f. even though in an infinitely reduced measure. for example. would have no reason and would be entirely inexplicable. 379 Cf. which manifests itself ad extra in creative energy. It is enough to say that. Meyendorff. Yannaras’ writings. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. Stăniloae finds in the life of the Trinity the reason for creation: Only because He is in Himself the fullness that transcends all determination and becoming. The Experience of God. 256. “Creation in the History of Orthodox Theology. The tripersonal community is the source for all existing acts and relations.

I. God shows His love. becomes a matrix of communion that we try to actualise in the mystery of interpersonal love. the reason for creation must be found in God Himself. In the act of creation. Peculiar to the mystical approach of Stăniloae’s theology is his concern to avoid any idea that could be interpreted as pantheistic. Love is understood as an ontological act that brings something permanently into existence. Stăniloae echoes the universal theological assertion in the Christian tradition that creation is a free act of the triune God. God brought forth the visible and the invisible universe. Stăniloae. which.380 The world was created by the divine love and not by any external necessity imposed upon God. mystics can generally fall into variants of pantheism. because. A full personal character demands a triadic correspondent. vol. and man responds to God in love. In fact. Stăniloae insists that such a notion can degenerate into a form of pantheism. and for the praise of His glory (Eph. Of His own sovereign will. on the other hand a dyadic structure is limitative. Stăniloae admits that the creation is not a necessary moment in the process of divine evolution. the person’s existence is only virtual.1. as the organic configuration of this essential reality. the relationship between creation and its Creator was explained in some detail. 1. a monopersonal God does not have the communion in Himself and. in His infinite goodness. the Romanian theologian finds the foundation and the explanation for the ontological-dialogic model of the human selves that aspire for a radical accomplishment of communication. God decided to create. According to Stăniloae. He would be dependent in His very essence on the existence of the world. if He did. and the communion. The triadic formula. In this trinitarian model. because. . 111 understandable. Outside this communication. then.381 The basic idea found in Stăniloae’s writings is that God did not have to create the world out of some inner necessity of His own nature. 381 Orthodox theology thinks that the unity and interdependence of man and nature can be asserted without falling on the side of pantheist extremists who identify them with one another. 1). on the one hand. realises the unity of selves. it becomes real only through the act of love. Only a triadic existence assures the personal character.4 Summary In order to understand Stăniloae’s next premises for the doctrine of deification. Affirming that God was not constrained to create. The highest expression of this communication is love. nor by any internal necessity. and gave it an existence separate yet dependent on 380 D. that is. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. paradoxically. p. 337. the distinctiveness of the persons.

Pannenberg. 70. Polanyi. . the world was created by God’s will and by His consubstantial Word and Spirit.E. are found in Eriugena: “Everything that is. theologia (the trinitarian life) must be clearly distinct from oikonomia (the salvific dispensation). John 1:3. 1984). “one must not therefore introduce cosmological motifs into the definition of the intra-trinitarian Being. “The acts of the trinitarian persons in their mutual relations must be sharply differentiated from their common outward actions.” W. and Spirit. M.” Cf.382 Stăniloae argues that what we need to do in order to keep God’s love and His freedom inseparable. Basil the Great explained this by saying that “we should understand in creation the original cause of the Father as a founding cause. vol. the revelation presents us God the Father as the author of this world. Braaten and R. as a representative of the creative activity. “The Creation. or participated. 383 G. vol. Pannenberg. by O. p. T. See also Gregory of Nazianzus. creation is out of the Father. and Spirit. and the cause of the Spirit as an implementing one. Homila 38. Surely creation was an act of the triune God. J.” In this context. 1958).” the Son is He “through whom all things were made. and John of Damascus. Similar ideas. p. Creation and Redemption. Divine and Human (London: SCM Press. 385 W. Christian Dogmatics. see: E. But the Holy Scripture reveals that creation is the result of the communion (koinonia) of the Holy Trinity (Gen. the created world is intelligible because its Author is a God of order. tr. .” Cf. Torrance.384 Particularly.385 The Triune God wanted to bring other beings into communion with Him in order that these could experience the divine love already present in the Holy Trinity and share full communion with their Creator.” in C. This differentiation finds support in the rule that posits an antithesis between the inseparable unity of the trinitarian persons in their outward action relative to the world and the distinctiveness of their inner activities relative to one another. or [both] participated and participant at once. G. Peacocke.” and the Holy Spirit is the “life-giver” (zoopoion). Stăniloae affirms also that the creative word was a reflection of God’s eternal conversation within the Holy Trinity. W.387 382 For further discussions on the doctrine of creation. 1952). 865).F. 1969). 1993). II. and the seal of the Trinity lies over the whole creation.Natural. vol.2 (PG 94.” 384 Indeed.P. which is the basis of the personal distinctions of Father.W. Brunner. 1-3. Jenson (eds. Subsequently. pp. Hefner. Reality and Scientific Theology (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.: Nordland. a real participation in the life of God. 112 Him. Creation and Redemption (Belmont. is either participant. creation implies theosis. Son. 1985). Florovsky. Science and Creation (London: SPCK. Mass. Florovsky. Yet. or participation. Accordingly. The Father is the “Creator of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. the cause of the Son as a creative one. added Florovsky. De Spiritu Sancto (PG 32. Wyon (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. Son. Pannenberg says that the Greek Fathers used the term activity (energeia) only for the outward actions of the Holy Trinity. Job 33:4). Personal Knowledge (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. through the Son. 320). 1976). 136B). I (Philadelphia: Fortress Press. 1:26. although in a different context.J. Systematic Theology. 9 (PG 36.” Basil. De Fide Orthodoxa 11. and is contingent because its Creator did not have to create it.386 Consequently. 1994).). Being and Becoming . 386 Pannenberg asserts: “From the standpoint of Christian theology the participation of creatures in the trinitarian fellowship of the Son with the Father is the goal of creation. is to insist upon the trinitarian model in creation. Theology for the Scientific Age.”383 In Orthodox theology. A. and in the Holy Spirit. 1988). Theological Science (London: Oxford University Press. Systematic Theology. Polkinghorne. Likewise Florovsky clearly states that “the creation presupposes the Trinity. 73. The Christian Doctrine of Creation and Redemption. and the Cappadocians “made unity of operation a proof of the essential unity of the Father. As a trinitarian act. II (Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

for the idea of the world had already existed in God from eternity and. Stăniloae links creation ex nihilo with creation in time and space. in fact. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. This. 388 D. Periphyseon III (PL 122. and that determines time. 332-333. shows the fundamental relation between time and God’s will. 113 1. Hence Stăniloae frequently specifies that creation in time and space does not contradict the immutability of God. I. p. vol.”389 Moreover. Stăniloae affirms that “an act of God sets in the previous acts something that develops into new orders of existence. 332. and both are linked with the world.” Everything emerges from God’s will and His will uses the previous orders of existence. the world and man are in motion because they are moving towards an absolute that is not in themselves. Cf. nothing was changed in His being. and power.2 The dynamism of creation: theosis and kinesis One of the most attractive explorations in Stăniloae’s thought is found in his contribution to the understanding of theosis in connection with the triad: time.” in B. East and West (Notre Dame and London: University of Notre Dame. I. McGinn and W. 387 Florovsky writes: “There is in creation a supra-natural challenging goal set above its own nature . vol. Stăniloae. 330. vol.the challenging goal. 73. founded on freedom. pp. creation is incomplete until God discloses its meaning in man.390 He affirms that human nature is not filled from the beginning with the whole substance of its pre-existent reason (Logos) in God. Because time is the measure of both motion and change. Otten (eds. 16- 17). Eriugena. Stăniloae. the eternal God is linked with the temporal world. Stăniloae. Stăniloae sees in man’s creation the climax of the act of creation. 389 D. the beginning of God’s descending to His relationship with the world. space. The divine act of creating time is an initiatory act. pp. Florovsky. p. As the source of their motion. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. of a free participation in and union with God. cited by J. Meyendorff in “Remarks on Eastern Patristic Thought in John Scotus Eriugena.). the result is that time should be considered as part of the world. Since the world is not an emanation from God. 1994). I. Creation and Redemption. Stăniloae speaks about the phrase “in the beginning” as “the first moment of God’s dialogue in His descending to the creature.” G. 390 D. p.”388 God produces in Himself a “now” of His will. that is. and since it does not result from His being or from an existent eternal matter but is created out of nothing. Basil. the conclusion is that it has a beginning and a purpose. and “implies the persistence of His continuing descendence in relationship with the whole movement of the world in time. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. in the act of creation. 630A). Homilia in Hexaemeron (PG 29. 51-68 (56). but it is called to actualise this substance by voluntary Eriugena. . On the other hand.

152). as regards both His life and His activity. meets with the creatures of time through His energies. Therefore the creature inclines towards God by his nature. simultaneously.394 First. or his returning to God. Stăniloae. 126-135.1 Time Stăniloae’s reason to justify man’s movement towards communion with God is found in the Christian doctrine of time.2. time. 395 D. Stăniloae.” p. is found in D. so as to be. Neeser. unfailing love. eternal.” ER 33. Stăniloae. 1. 393 A short description of Stăniloae’s thought as regard with the world. By using his pre-existent reason in God.” This is the general context for man’s deification. and this explains the fact 391 D. 392 D. p. omnipresence. 395.” This is possible because true eternity “must be the quality of a perfect subjectivity” and characterised by interiority and free will. Specifically. . Stăniloae employs three elements: time. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. 394.” p. and in this inclination towards God there is present also God’s work in the creature. He explains that the principle of God’s immutability. pp. it is reference to another ‘I’ who is himself also the bearer of his own infinite subjectivity and responds with that same eternal. unfailing love. “Natură şi Har în Teologia Bizantină. man becomes “penetrated by it and raised in God.395 Stăniloae defines the trinitarian life as “an infinite fullness that is continuously present but is not sensed. 114 effort. “God in Himself. 394 See also D.”391 All created beings have stamped within themselves the need and the capacity to move towards God and their fulfilment.393 Interestingly. Stăniloae. and omnipotence. A divine ‘I’ loves with an eternally inexhaustible . Stăniloae speaks about man’s “returning to his pre-existent reason in God. it must consist in a love for another subjectivity and in a perfect union between itself and that subjectivity which has the same fullness. “Natură şi Har în Teologia Bizantină. The life of the eternal subjectivity is an infinite reference to its subjectivity contemplated within another ‘I’ so as to be truly love. who is above time. the theological basis for the idea of movement towards theosis has its correspondents in three attributes of God related to creation: eternity. Stăniloae writes about the divine life: “The life of the eternal subjectivity must be a fullness which in all respects is not a transitory one. space.3 (1981). and God’s attraction. Stăniloae sets up the framework in which the idea of God’s eternity as the fullness of trinitarian communion is fundamental. unfailing life. 151.392 But how is it possible in practice for human beings to accomplish this movement towards God? To explain such a possibility. even as continuity. pp.” Like Maximus.a thing proper to the divine .or with its fullness (which is like that of another ‘I’) and this occurs in reciprocity” (p. and space. Aspects of the Thought of Father Dumitru Stăniloae. and power. a kind of attraction from God. The Experience of God. “The World: Gift of God and Scene of Humanity’s Response. 272-282. There are a few aspects in this doctrine that reveal time as both an interval between God and creature and a medium of deification. Thus the creature’s motion is seen as a reciprocity: the engraving tendency towards God. is a reflection of the Palamite distinction between God’s essence and energies.

Stăniloae asserts that the eternity of God carries within itself the possibility of time. 157. all increase and decrease. as the one means by which they can advance towards final rest in the divine eternity. 1073C. . 115 that “only because He is in Himself the fullness that transcends all determination and becoming.”397 Third. could God have created a world destined to participate in His eternity. 154. The Experience of God. and thus. time is a means in God’s hands to deify man. Time is seen as an interval between God’s calling and man’s response in love. Orthodox Theology. Stăniloae applies the idea of time to the personal relationships between God and men. Stăniloae. Consequently. The Experience of God. 398 D.”400 and “the expression of the fact that we do not remain and cannot remain in what we are. Stăniloae. 1392B). between grace and work. 401 D. becomes a condition of its ascent. Stăniloae says that eternity is found by creatures through their movement towards God. from the outset. come to know the divine reasons of things. Stăniloae. that these beings advance towards God. Stăniloae. p. Fourth. acquire the virtues (among which the foremost is love). Cf. which is to say. pp. Maximus.399 What Stăniloae emphasises is that.”396 Second. there is a strong connection between time and motion. 1072B. Although we as human creatures are finite. through operations.’ It is through work. the past 396 D. they see the meanings of these in God or see God in all things. 397 D. p. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. pp. freed from passions. See also V. inasmuch as they purify themselves from passions. 155-156. between participation and love. 400 D. Stăniloae. 161. 51-63. through good existence. 153-154. “This introduces time. p. p. we are enabled by God’s grace at the same time to transcend ourselves. not by reason of its own nature but through grace and participation in it. pp.”398 Stăniloae develops the point: The motion which rational beings use to pass from existence. in time. to the eternal blessed existence in God. 155. Ambigua (PG 91. “God created the world so as to make it a sharer in His eternity or communion.”401 Stăniloae applies this fact to the love relationship between God and men. is a movement brought about through the agency of the will and so comes to be called ‘work’ or ‘operation. The Experience of God. in the process of deification. Lossky. 399 D. understood as fullness of interpersonal communion. Again. The Experience of God. Time is “the condition of the dynamic relation of the creature (which has not yet attained to God) with the eternal God. Stăniloae appeals to Maximus who maintained that God “has stamped motion on the rational creatures He created. 1144. The Experience of God. Time does not remain exterior to the creature but. that is.

And God. The Experience of God. On this progress of ours towards eternity. or in isolation within one’s own emptiness. Stăniloae. 405 D. p. 403 D. Hence “eternity accepts time within itself. 404 D. growth and effort. see also D. 159.”406 Fifth. 159.” and will come to an end “in the infinite fullness of communion. Not being able to grow any further. God accepts the creature. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. 158. Stăniloae asserts that only by transcending time as a real interval do human beings attain to eternity. He “experiences together with us the expectant waiting (and hence time) on the plane of His energies or of His relations with us. 161.” human persons are expected to stretch out beyond themselves towards other persons 402 D. this takes place because God actualises His energies in a gradual fashion. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. The Experience of God. that is. in a bi-lateral (or tri-lateral) eternal act. Stăniloae.405 Time does not exist in the communion of the Holy Trinity. The Experience of God. into His eternity. pp. p. nor to fall away from this simultaneity and perfection. 406 D.” Practically. . waiting expectantly with hope and living our continual approach to Him. But inasmuch as through our process of becoming we not only reduce the duration that separates us from full union with God. who lives in time.”404 The acts of God in offering His love take into account the level we have reached in our capacity to respond. p. p.”402 From another perspective. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. 366-402. but “the complete response will only occur when God gives Himself totally to them. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. the divine love persists. Although this transcendence “always remains inadequate during our earthly life. but also secure a continuous advancement within the loving atmosphere of His Person. 116 with its discontent with what we have been and with the extent of our self-offering. but “it finds its explanation from that communion. God is offering Himself to His creatures by placing Himself in a position of expectant waiting. and the future with its tendency for us to be something more and to offer more of ourselves.403 Men respond freely through the power of will.” pp. likewise has eternity present during the time of His expectant waiting. our time can be said to fill up gradually with an eternity that we sense more and more. For a similar idea.” Stăniloae talks here about a “spiritual distance” within the framework of love: In God the duration of this expectant waiting is reduced to nothing for the love between the divine subjects is simultaneous in all its perfection. after they have grown in this direction. as offering and as response. 163-164.

Then there will be no more expectant waiting. Stăniloae.. time persists with its double possibility that matches the ambivalent capacity of our own freedom: it can provide the occasion for rising or falling. expressed briefly. Stăniloae sees here three dimensions of time: the initial aeon. God is participating in man’s limitation and frustration during this process of spiritual maturation: Through this experience of the interval between our response and His appeal as well as the appeal to love of our neighbors. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. I.407 Stăniloae cannot avoid speaking about the possibility of refusing to accept God’s love and. The aeon is “time without movement” and time is “the aeon measured through movement. 166-167. As part of the dialogue with man. it can be a road leading towards the bright or the dark eternity. 156. 408 D. Stăniloae. 609A). or when there is no more appeal or response at all.408 In summary. God lives all the pains which grow up between partners who have not yet reached the fullness of love. See also D.” On the other hand. 409 D. Stăniloae calls the final aeon also the aeonical eternity that has in itself a kind of stable and eternal movement that surrounds God. p. Cf.” The initial aeon comprises all atemporal laws of the creation.” Stăniloae is aware of the process of man’s deification. The Experience of God. 167. when God deems that He can make it possible that we respond to love simultaneously with the appeal addressed to us. pp. . and the final aeon. or when we are definitively and totally locked up within our own solitude. Stăniloae quotes Maximus: “Deification. In order to define deification as related to time. Between these two poles we have history. to be judged both as individuals and “as a whole. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 59 (PG 90. the final or eschatological aeon comprises in itself the experience of movement and the entire time. Stăniloae underlines that God created time for man and that He is leading the world towards full communion with Him. consequently. no more hope. when there is no longer any appeal because there will be no response to it. when the appeal and the response of the dialogue correspond to one another completely. pp. Time will cease simultaneously with this ambiguous quality that is proper to it. Maximus. p. 117 and to give themselves to one another with the help of “an impulse given through the holy sacraments. is the concentration and the end of all times and all ages and of all that exists in time and ages.”409 For Stăniloae. the ideas of time. vol. historical existence. the existent 407 D. A continuous refusal to respond to love and to offer oneself will fix the Scriptural creature within a total absence of any possibility of communication.” Stăniloae advances the following explanation to time falling outside divine eternity. The Experience of God. time is seen as a means for man’s deification. Stăniloae. 335-336. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. thus “the interval between the offer of God’s love and our response is also prolonged by the necessity we are under of a growing spirituality. and no more response is produced because the appeal is no longer heard. and understood as an agonising immobility: As long as we preserve a spiritual mobility.

172. 173. Stăniloae justifies his concept of movement between God and men by making appeal to space as their medium of communion. The Experience of God. p. through the distinction of human persons and the union among themselves. Time is nothing else than the medium used by God to lead us towards His eternity. both the origins of space and its unity are given. space is transcended by them.413 410 D. the possibility of space arises “for it is in the distinction of the divine persons that the possibility of the otherness of finite persons arises who are to be attracted into communion with Him. 413 D. p. Stăniloae. Stăniloae writes that “a unipersonal God would provide no sufficient basis for the creation of space. 412 D. Stăniloae. however. The model is found again in the life of the Trinity: In the Holy Trinity. Stăniloae. God created subjects with “adjacent existence” and “clothed in material bodies. . for the body of the person is developed out of all that exists in space and the soul of the person has a content which has been gathered together from the whole of space. The Experience of God. 168. 172. Each human person has in himself the whole of space. in order to make material forms a means of spirituality. Persons who are united among one another carry the whole of space together with them. in a unity which is theirs beyond space. p.2. 411 D.”411 Although God is supraspatial. Stăniloae is trying to reconcile eternity with time. 118 border between the eternal and the temporal does not separate but becomes the meeting place for two realities that enter in dialogue. The Experience of God. The Experience of God. infinite subjects. or is linked to the whole of space. space also makes possible the movement between human persons and towards God. Reflecting his personalist preoccupation. There are two basic ideas related to space as means for deification. Deification is possible in time because “time which is able to move forward towards the fullness of genuine eternity is creative. says Stăniloae. p. Stăniloae emphasises that space has its justification only in a trinitarian context.2 Space As in the case of time. In the Holy Trinity. Space is a single reality borne by each person and borne in common by all human persons. Stăniloae.” and “it absorbs life from the infinite divine energies and transfers it to the created plane.”410 1. He can initiate a perfect communion with spatial.” As a form of relationship between God and human persons. First. the distance that man is asked to surpass by a process initiated in the dialogue with eternity.”412 Space is an interpersonal relation and an existential reality because it depends on the other “I” too.

serving the real communion between God and His creation. the place of encounter and of interpersonal relation. 414 Similar thought are found in D. as related to God and His actual relationships with us. Stăniloae maintains that God. Stăniloae borrows from Symeon the New Theologian the idea of the energy of a person’s subjectivity. and the reality of interpersonal communion.” In personal relationships space can be transfigured and overwhelmed by the subjectivity of the persons. Once more.”414 Second. the main goal of human beings is to make the spatial distance between them no more a spiritual distance. It follows that “space was not made to be on its own. God is seeing us in Himself. because space is. In summary. This is possible only if human beings are comprised in God or in His nonspatiality. The Experience of God. . for space was not made to be on its own. by creating limited beings with the aspiration of intimate communion with their Creator. 415 D. Stăniloae appeals again to the concept of uncreated energies to solve the apparent paradox of nonspatiality in act and spatiality in potency. By viewing us in space. established between them a distance in order that this distance to be overcome by love. This became possible when the trinitarian communion descended to us. Above that. Space is the form of our communion in movement towards the perfect communion in the life of the Trinity. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. Stăniloae asserts that only by transcending space as a real interval do human beings attain eternity. in space. “it is the ambience of another person in relationship with me. working as the model of interpersonal meetings among us. Thus space is a gift because it is a means towards deification. This is why space is defined as “an interpersonal relation” and “an existential reality. for Stăniloae. Stăniloae conceives space in similar terms as time: it is both an interval and a link. To expand this point. 390-394.”415 It is this principle that makes Stăniloae see in human beings the integrative factor of the parts of the world and of space.” Here we can find the full meaning of space: it is “a means of God’s communion with us” and “the form of our communion in movement towards perfect communion. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. 119 It is another way of affirming the existence of the image of God in man as person. human beings are destined to be transformed into the life of the nonspatial God. through space. to understand space from a purely individualistic perspective is impossible. the medium of reciprocal revelation. Ontologically we are above space.” Moreover. but to be “filled with the fullness of communion so as to be the context and the means of communion. around the extension of Himself through the uncreated energies. 176-177. somehow. Therefore.” pp. pp.

the nature of a divine hypostasis. Stăniloae. 416 D.”420 Stăniloae maintains that God is free in His manifestations.”416 Stăniloae is much indebted to Maximus’ system where movement “passes from existence bestowed as a gift to good existence. Stăniloae. p. with this end in view.” There is no other reason for the manifestation of God’s power outside Himself. 188. God has created a being capable of becoming god through grace. 418 D.3 Power Stăniloae justifies man’s movement towards God by introducing the concept of natural power. The Experience of God. and thus able to create human beings capable of sharing His infinity. That is why God implants in the created persons “a natural power of movement towards Himself and also strengthens this natural created power of theirs with the uncreated power of His benevolence which comes to meet them.”419 In manifestation of His power. Hence it is capable of overwhelming any physical power. Human creatures were created for openness and participation in God through the shining forth of uncreated energies. any created power. God descends and glorifies Himself. The Experience of God. 187. and men “are capable of receiving God wholly within itself. God created persons through His power “to move towards the perfection of communion with Him and among themselves. 417 D. with an ontological link with Himself. p. . Stăniloae. p. 1392AD). 193-194. p. The Experience of God. 420 D. 189. The Experience of God. 120 1. 419 D. Stăniloae sees in God’s voluntary and eternal kenosis of His omnipotence the possibility of free collaboration with human beings. kenosis is here linked to creation. But it does this progressively through the agency of the human spirit.” and finally “to eternally. Stăniloae. with capacity and inclination towards the absolute. p. as solidary with time and space. Stăniloae understands God as omnipotent. this movement spiritualises man “by strengthening the power of the Spirit over lower tendencies. Ambigua (PG 91.”418 This is possible because “the infinite energy of the divine essence is spiritual. a condition for the relation of God’s omnipotence with creation.421 In conclusion. Stăniloae sums up: Thus the power given to creation by God and which has as its purpose the ascent of creation to direct participation in God’s uncreated power . His kenosis (again. Cf.”417 Seen as a way to God. gradually strengthening the energy of the latter by means of its own uncreated energy.2. a nature capable of being. The Experience of God. Stăniloae. not only to incarnation) being the condition for extending His interior communion to human beings that they may rise higher towards Himself.His energies . Maximus. good existence in God. 193.

” while in the Eastern Church it is “through condescending love. in a similar way. whereas space will not cease but will be overwhelmed. 423 D. Stăniloae.”425 421 D. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. Second. 121 It is at this point that Stăniloae acknowledges the difference between Eastern and Western theologies: If in Eastern Christian doctrine the omnipotence of God is the source of the deification of creation. Time is the duration between God’s appeal to love and our response. 424 D. while Western Christianity has emphasized more the omnipotence of God who wants to have the world hold Him in respect. and space is the distance linked to this duration.2. First. 190. time and space are divine gifts and are given for the freedom of human creatures to draw near or to move away.. . 422 D. 172. Stăniloae.”423 1.4 Summary In summary. p. 425 D. However. 192. Stăniloae’s optimistic view on Eastern Christianity takes here an extreme position. p.424 Both dimensions create an interval between God’s appeal to love and human response. p. and hence of the communication of the divine power to creatures. “space no longer matters for those who are united in spirit. The Experience of God. Stăniloae. and to foster the “yearning” or the “desire” between them. 174. it is even more difficult to justify his statement that in the Western Church man’s salvation or deification is brought about “through some external force which exists to frighten man. 191. p. Stăniloae. in the West omnipotence has been conceived more as a means of defending God against creation.” Consequently.” seems to be an unrealistic verdict. The Experience of God. The Experience of God. and “time as duration will cease. especially regarding God’s love and justice. Stăniloae’s conclusion that “Western Christianity has represented more a mistrustful brake on humanity’s path towards progress. What distances more profoundly is not spatial duration but temporal duration.. The Experience of God.” while “the Orthodox Churches have always supported the peoples’ aspirations for progress. because God as Spirit is everywhere with us (so the Spirit vanquishes space). The Christian East has put more emphasis on God’s love for the world in His will to lead it towards full communion with Himself in love. p. it is hard to explain the mixture of soteriological and sociological principles in the same context.422 Stăniloae is right here in his observation of the distinction in emphasis between East and West. and between the appeal to love of one man and the response of the other man.

and power. p. 108-119.F. Christine (eds. space. In solidarity with time and space. pp. Stăniloae conceives of time as unfolding unilaterally in one direction.” DOP 12 (1958). 193. Four Views of Time in Ancient Philosophy (Cambridge. Thus the limited power will end finally in the unlimited power of God. and power. having a full reality. and remade. p.430 For the Greeks cosmic time is repetition and eternal return (anakuklosis). Stăniloae. 122 The overcoming of time as duration is more difficult than the overcoming of spatial distance because “the former is always a matter of spiritual effort while the latter is a matter of physical effort. self- enclosed. MA: Harvard University Press. time. 29-57.).” pp. 1948). Osborn and Sr. organic and progressive and. see G. The Experience of God. In contrast with Greek thought that conceived of time as cyclical or circular. “Tradition and Renewal in the Theology of Saint Gregory Palamas. “Cappadocian Thought. pp. In concluding this section. Callahan. 1994). Stăniloae seems sometimes to advance the idea of time as representing an open progression from the past towards future in the form of ascending spiral. returning perpetually upon itself. towards theosis. Sherrard. consequently.427 That is.429 It is known that the Greeks regarded movement and change as inferior degrees of reality. theosis. Ware. pp. “Greek Philosophy and the Cappadocian Cosmology. I. Otis. Stăniloae. The whole of created being will become bearer of the uncreated energies. space. Christianity views time as bound up with the creation and continuous action of God.” DOP 12 (1958). This image includes the basic elements of time as one.”426 The only possible method to overcome this distance depends on freedom and spirituality. what Stăniloae suggests is that only within this framework characterised by the transfiguration of time. B.M. 97-124. 427 D. K. unmade. the implications being seen in the fact that any creation or consummation of the universe is inconceivable. “Time: Prison or Path to Freedom?” in J.428 Basically. A Theological Study into the Nature of Time (Norwich: The Canterbury Press. MacKenzie. 429 In addition to the idea of time as linearly oriented. As time and space will be overwhelmed by eternity and be spiritual supraspatiality. The Experience of God. so will the physical and worldly powers be overwhelmed by the power of the divine Spirit which has become man’s own. 1992). space. . The Anachronism of Time. 1994). 175. see J. 428 For similar treatment of time and space in Gregory Palamas. At first glance. and that time can never have an absolutely defined direction. P. Mantzarides. and power are the setting in which man’s theosis is realised. 430 Both the cosmic process and time develop in a circle or according to an indefinite succession of cycles. Human Image: World Image: The Death and Resurrection of Sacred Cosmology (Ipswich: Golgonooza Press. For further inquiry. God’s power serves as a source of the ever more exalted movement of the creature towards the infinite God. pp. Cf. is theosis possible. This pessimistic attitude towards 426 D. in the course of which the same reality is made. 56-76. There is no theosis outside time. beginning at a single source and aiming towards a single goal. Stăniloae holds a sound Christian view on time and space. 1-18. Wide as God’s Love (London: New City.

B.3 Evaluation By approaching creation as a free act of the triune God. Although there is a 431 O. “must put aside the entire revelatory and redemptive history. Stăniloae maintains that the object of salvation is not as in Hellenism and Gnosis only the nous. In opposition to the Greek theory of circular time. and creation ex nihilo. and it is a medium of a continuous progress towards deification. This interpretation of time rests on a vision of the world clearly opposed to the Greek view. and especially in His uncreated energies. pp. the union of a body. . but is an individual unique in his flesh as well as his soul. Time. a soul. Specific to Stăniloae is his insistence that this world and its destiny stand in a direct relation to the will of God.” SP 14 (1976). time runs no longer in a circle but in a straight line. says Cullmann. Stăniloae sees in space and time the cosmological formula of the relationship between the supraspatial and infinite God and finite persons. specifies Stăniloae. The world is created in time and must end in time. God is manifested in time and space and each of His operations marks a decisive moment in history. but is wholly immersed in time. Cullman. Thus history is definitely teleological and anthropocentric. 432 See. the idea of redemption as taking place through divine action in the course of events in time is impossible. the atemporal self. “Gregory of Nyssa and the Cappadocian Conception of Time. Otis. if time here has a direction. man can know God only in these temporal manifestations. Furthermore. Stăniloae has already created a preliminary background in understanding theosis. Stăniloae was confident in his assertion that time and space appear as a pedagogical instrument employed by God to form mankind and lead it to a glorious maturity consummated in theosis. predestination. it has also a meaning for salvation. finite at its two extremities. Stăniloae’s conception is of a rectilinear time in which nothing is seen twice. Based on a Christian framework. The world it is neither eternal nor infinite in its duration. progresses towards an end. 1. a goal. for example. Whoever accepts the Greek thought. and sustained by the Church Fathers. 327-357.”431 Contrarily. in Stăniloae’s view. 52. 123 time leads to strict determinism. and a spirit. deification concerns the concrete totality that is man in time and space.432 For this reason.” because “for the Greeks. In relation with his deification. Christ and Time. having a beginning and an absolute end. Human beings have been created free and can stand directly in the presence of his Creator. 56. pp. or fatality.

207. For the state that things were in before the creation of the ordered may be characterised as ‘lack of order’ (akosmia). pp. much attention having been given to the influence of Maximus on the concept of movement. Athanasius’ divergence from Platonic thought can be seen in . 36. The Middle Platonists (London: Duckworth.” p. The whole cosmos is marked by life. most of the Christian Fathers adopted an attitude of “controlled acceptance”. 41-42.436 But the categories of Greek philosophy were inadequate to the Christian view that advanced a radical contingency of the cosmos in the order of existence.” is founded in Plutarch: “For creation does not take place out of what does not exist at all but rather out of what is in an improper or unfulfilled state. p. The Fathers were generally metaphysical realists who believed that universals have independent reality.” From On the Creation of the Soul in the Timaeus 1014B. and hope . and a power of motion which was frantic and irrational. Florovsky. love. pp. Cf. having “a dynamism of inescapable circulation. King’s Theological Review 12 (1989). quoted both by one word. the Greek saying “nothing comes from nothing. By developing a distinct doctrine of creation. and this ‘lack of order’ was not something incorporeal or immobile or soulless. In order to understand Stăniloae’s view.” and as earliest examples of Christianism we have St. See also A.” SJTh 44 (1991).” p. that is.” by which he understands “a philosophical system constructed upon Christian doctrine. 437 As opposed. 1981). dynamism. On the other hand. John the Evangelist and St. “The Concept of Creation in Saint Athanasius. and F.433 However. Torrance. it became obvious that the first Christian intellectuals were not essentially influenced by Greek philosophical assumptions. that is. 434 For the Stoics and Aristotle. to metaphysical nominalism where universals inhere in particular realities.” II.435 The biblical idea of creation was completely opposed to the Platonic notion of God’s changelessness and eternity of existence. 124 distinction between God and cosmos. 139-151. Stăniloae believes that the same God created a “yearning” cosmos.434 In the face of pagan learning. Plato seems to identify the intelligible world with God.” This cosmos was eternal and immutable in its constitutive structure and composition. J. Zizioulas. For further debate on the origins of the doctrine. “The Greek Christian Platonist Tradition from the Cappadocians to Maximus and Eriugena. Sheldon-Williams. “Christianism. Louth. see Frances Young’s position from the above article. the Early Church had to face two different views as regards the existence of God and world: the Gnostic interpretation and the Platonic philosophical view of creation. 1-74. for Plato. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition. for example. Dillon. in opposition to T. it is important to locate his patristic background. 1977). “Preserving God’s Creation. Paul. 1988). the cosmos is one single and unchangeable reality. Sheldon-Williams uses a very strange and improper term.P. 435 I.437 It is at this point that the major stumbling block for Greek philosophy is presented by biblical thought: 433 For example. For example.F. 436 G. in Aristotelean interpretations. 425. which produced Christian philosophy. energies. Young. the sensible world is only a ladder by which one ascends to the intelligible world. as in the case of a house or a garment or a statue. Divine and Contingent Order (Oxford: Oxford University Press. but rather it possessed a corporeal nature which was formless and inconstant. The Greek mind conceived of an eternal cosmos. and The Trinitarian Faith (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. “‘Creatio Ex Nihilo’: A Context for the Emergence of the Christian Doctrine of Creation. pp.D.

Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus. Selected Aspects (Tunbridge Wells and Notre Dame.: Search Press and University of Notre Dame. Meyendorff observes that in the history of the Orthodox Church. and its first movement is a form of rebellion against God. 438 For a good summary of sophiology. Moving away from this unity or becoming dispersed. The truth that the divine nature is distinct from the created nature led later to the two-natures-in-Christ doctrine formulated at Chalcedon.”439 because the Origenist system saw creation as an expression of God’s nature. 440 This position builds up a system in which the eternal being of God and the eternal existence of the world were co-existent and co-eternal. namely. as far as creation is concerned. for example. pp. E. intellectual creation is static. In his struggle with the Arians. J. Athanasius placed the main demarcation line “between the Creator and the creation.”441 and “it finds its true logical existence in the contemplation of God’s essence. 1987). Florovsky. See also V. and the sophiologist.Y. p. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought (Crestwood. makes the distinction between the nature and the will of God (or theologia and oikonomia). and not between the Father and the Son. 133. the doctrine of creation was connected formally with two periods: the Origenist. Florovsky rightly observed that the crucial problem resided in how the creative will of God was related to His own being. Byzantine Theology. it is well known that the definition given to the Eastern Church’s stance. p. 1988). the Greek Fathers abandoned Origen’s viewpoint concerning the concept of the created beings in a universe shaped by God. “the original. 27. Bulgakov . the rejection of a schema of the divine hierarchy of Being. Russian Religious Philosophy.438 Regarding the first period.” pp. . 38-39.J. in Orthodoxy and Platonism in Athanasius: Synthesis or Antithesis? (Leiden: E. 125 the Creator-creature distinction (and its corresponding base in the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo). God gave existence to the material world in order to punish the souls for their sin committed before the dispersion.: SVS Press. 1974). and F. Meyendorff. Copleston. for Origen. 442 Origen. 47. Origen tried unsuccessfully to forge “a synthesis between the scriptural account of creation and the metaphysical presuppositions of Platonism. “Creation in the History of Orthodox Theology. p. Meijering. Meyendorff. N.”440 On the other hand. rational beings or souls preexisted as an entity encompassed in God. gave a central place to the distinction between the uncreated and the created levels. “The Concept of Creation in Saint Athanasius.C. p. being of the same nature as His. the question of the eternity of the Logos in the teaching of Arius. says Meyendorff. however. was a consequence of the confrontation between the thinking of Origen and that of Athanasius.”442 As a reaction. Mystical Theology. one of the consequences being their confinement in bodies. One of the consequences was found in the controversies of the fourth century. 1937). as the Arians contended. 93 441 J. 144-147. The Wisdom of God. the immobile state (stasis). claiming that the created world is an act originating in the divine will and not in God’s unchanging nature. Brill. see S.” Athanasius.” p. That is why Origen “also failed to distinguish between the ontological and cosmological dimensions” and so he was able to speak about “everything being eternally actualised. Thus the movement (kinesis) of rational beings began before the creation (genesis) of the material world and this movement is one of their sins. divided reality into the intelligible and the sensible. G. Ind.P. According to this teaching. A Brief Summary of Sophiology (New York and London. following Plato. 129. Cf. Meyendorff. Lossky. 439 J. 132.

5- 42. distance).A Mosshammer. Plass. pp.2). in Bucharest.444 To understand better what Stăniloae says on his central idea of movement. says Maximus. and His Refutation of Origenism (Rome. The Earlier Ambigua of St. energies and wills. 1221 AB). a Godward movement. 112. In Ecclesiasten Homiliae 7 (Jaeger 5. 414). Byzantine Gospel. Sherwood. pp. Maximus the Confessor. A similar terminology is found in Stăniloae’s article. but only a participation in His divinity and infinity “where every natural movement reposes. and in the “Introduction” to the Romanian translation of Maximus’ Ambigua (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. 1955). Thunberg. Gregory of Nyssa’s view on time is treated by A. 444 For Maximus see Ambigua (PG 91. 448 L. expansion). H. 445 Stăniloae acknowledged this fact in a private interview with the author. 180. “if time is motion and eternity is rest. Microcosm and Mediator. Maximus. A. a mystical communion with God. 1217 C).” Or. It is natural then that Stăniloae’s sources for his doctrine of creation are found in the writings of the Cappadocians443 and Maximus. Thunberg developed Maximus’ idea of differentiation within creation by analysing a number of terms used in Maximus’ writings. one must spend much time on Maximus. “Natură şi Har în Teologia Bizantină. 412.446 One of these terms.’”447 It is obvious that Maximus’ cosmology was combined with his Christology “in such a way that a unified vision of God’s purpose and activity is gained. Deification is possible. p. p. see P. “‘Moving Rest’ in Maximus the Confessor. 395f.” Classica et Mediaevalia 35 (1984). 3-208). 126 Stăniloae grants an important place in his studies to the rejection of the Platonic-Origenistic doctrine.” SP 27 (1993). for Basil see Homilia in Hexaemeron (PG 29. diairesis (division). a state in which the two somehow co-exist would be ‘ever-moving rest. pp. 608 D.” pp. Kosmische Liturgie. 447 Cf.U von Balthasar. diastasis-diastema (distance and separation). This distance is a positive presupposition for a movement destined to lead to its telos. because Stăniloae draws heavily from his writings and openly acknowledges his influence on this subject. and diastole (distinction.C. in its cosmological use. 446 The key terms are: diaphora (difference). pp.”448 443 For Gregory of Nyssa see De Hominis Opificio (Jaeger IV. “Historical Time and the Apokatastasis according to Gregory of Nyssa. See also Gregory of Nyssa. For a more detailed examination of the moving-rest theme in Maximus. . 102-110. diastema-diastasis (separation. Thunberg. Cf. that is. 70-93. Microcosm and Mediator. because diastasis disappears in stasis (rest) where man shares “the non-distance character of His [Christ’s] hypostatic union of distinct but not separated natures. P. 1983). Nichols. 1062-1417). pp. 1941). 60-62. p. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 59. is connected with motion or the natural movement of created beings. 115. Ambigua (PG 91. in the paradox of Maximus. 51-67. the man living in Christ will experience deification. 65 (PG 90. 320C-324D). Höhe unde Krise des griechischen Weltbildes (Herder. Cf. pp. At the end of this process. and for Gregory of Nazianzus see Orationes (PG 36. in June 1993.445 In both authors the gulf between God and His creation is an explicit reality due to creation ex nihilo. 760 A) and Ambigua 15 (PG 91.” It is not a penetration into the essence of God. Maximus. L.

Meyendorff. Ambigua (PG 91. Man and the Cosmos. motion (kinesis). 133. 73. 1164B. Stăniloae. Stăniloae himself writes that Maximus assumed a serious defence of the movement of creatures as being a means towards theosis. placed outside Himself a system of dynamic beings. and the principle of the genesis set into motion is God as Creator (genesiourgos). Thunberg. J. Maximus writes: The principle of all natural movement is the genesis of the beings set into motion. 452 D. therefore in creating the world.. 188. “Thus all created being is tied to extension (diastema). towards him they move and in him they shall find immobility. The reason for that is found in the total dependence of creatures on God.1985). and becoming (genesis) . Maximus the Confessor (Crestwood. 449 D. p. N.asserting that firstly the phenomenal reality begins with the act of creation (genesis) and only then proceeds through time as a movement (kinesis). p. Maximus reversed the Origenist triad . Cf. Plass. 45. Here are his comments: To enforce the idea that the movement is not evil. The Experience of God. p. and A.fixity or final stability (stasis). Stăniloae. Byzantine Gospel. 450 P.:SVS Press. 451 Cf. The Vision of St. Maximus’ triad is a modified “vertical scheme of emanation by adding to it an Aristotelian pattern of forward teleological motion. p.” p. the movement given to the created world is not something evil.177. “‘Moving Rest’ in Maximus the Confessor. See also L. especially to the extension generated by the kinesis of time. God is the principle (arche) and the end (telos) of all genesis and of all movement of beings. Maximus. 132-133. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. while Maximus and Stăniloae understood the movement of beings towards God as a necessity: “God.”449 To explain this idea further.” The result is an inverted triad: becoming-motion-fixity. St. See also J.. Nichols. ending in a final rest (stasis) beyond time. during which “and particularly at its end-point in God. Maximus called it passion in good sense. created beings enjoy the uncreated energies of God.C.451 Because creation is God’s free act.”450 The doctrine of motion is also an important divergence from Origenism. Stăniloae borrowed from Maximus this concept of movement and applied it to the whole of creation destined for deification. pp. . notes on Ambigua. The immobile state is the aim of the natural movement of created beings.Y. The movement of the created beings is passion in that good sense because beings are not movement or power by themselves. 158-195. 127 Obviously. but they have the movement or the power from the One who has created them.452 Moreover. Meyendorff. At this point Stăniloae is following Maximus in all particulars. pp. Origen regarded change and diversity in creation as something wrong. from him they come. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought.C).

In connection with this supposition. Stăniloae understands the human creature as creation’s master (archon). the centre and the end”455 of all creation. Consequently. notes on Ambigua. man shares self-consciously and responsibly in the formation of the world and its unfolding towards its final consummation. For further studies on the subject of creation from an Orthodox point of view. pp. 31-40. Maximus and later Byzantine theologians provided a different system for understanding the internal dynamism of creation. Incarnation and Transfiguration: Material Creation and our Understanding of it. Briere. to which it aspires. Ambigua (PG 91. 453 Quoted by J. “the intellectualistic and monistic conception of Origen’s world. 1085D). the participation in God or transfiguration. The dynamism of created nature has its ultimate goal God Himself.” Sobornost 11. The relationship between world and man In accordance with Orthodox thinking. is replaced by the biblical dualism of Creator-creatures. the motif by which we gather together the various affirmations about man is that of created co-creator.456 The theory of the eternity of the cosmos was unacceptable for the Christian Church because it lacked a radical division between God and His creatures. 41-52.1-2 (1989). starting from a beginning and developing towards a perfect state which is its goal.” Sobornost 11. p. the Orthodox system of thinking promoted by Maximus and Stăniloae presupposes a personal and dynamic understanding of God and of the created world.”454 In summary. 134. In contrast to the Origenistic system that posited the continuous succession of other worlds. the doctrine of the redemption became meaningless. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. Tataryn. To conclude with Stăniloae’s comments: “All that moves is created because it is in the making.1-2 (1989). who is “the principle. Furthermore. 456 Thus concludes Meyendorff.” J. 2. Meyendorff in Byzantine Theology. Hence man is God’s co-worker and the continuator of creation. Maximus and Stăniloae assert the eternity of this world’s rationality. The logos of each being implies a skopos as a free movement towards God. the communion of beings in the divine energy. 455 Maximus.”453 Thus the purpose of kinesis is theosis. . 133. p. 128 which are different from Him in that they change and move towards Him. See also his Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. World reality is completed by man and man cannot exist as a reality except in the world. pp. “The Eastern Tradition and the Cosmos. That is. Stăniloae. 100-102. which in turn influenced Stăniloae’s view on the anthropological and eschatological aspects of deification. M. 133. see E. that is. pp. p. 228. “Creation. which assumed the pre-existence of minds in the eternal contemplation of the divine essence. Meyendorff. 454 D.

Man and the world depend on each other in order to fulfil their destiny to glorify God by revealing His attributes. When writing about theology’s openness to the world.457 We are constantly aware of unity and diversity in man and in his relation with the whole cosmos. emerges as a central theme in Stăniloae’s thinking. Stăniloae. “we shall only understand the character of the world when we think of it in terms of the concept of gift. is the affirmation and development of the image that the world was created by God as a gift for man’s knowledge. and of helping the world. 665. for material and spiritual life. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. even in its character of a gift. The Experience of God. . p. 458 D.1 The world as a gift The world as a divine gift is defined by Stăniloae as the first characteristic of the relationship between the world and man. The basic premise for Stăniloae. 459 D Stăniloae. p. towards a genuine development of what constitutes true Christian humanity. The practical purpose of the world. 461 D. Stăniloae declares in fact the value of creation in man’s deification.” D Stăniloae. is to establish a “progressive dialogue in love” with 457 It is important to note that by “world” Stăniloae understands “nature as much as humanity or else. as a coherent word of God towards men. p. vol. therefore. Thus the world is necessary for humanity because humanity needed the world in order to offer it back again to God in the interests of its own spiritual development. 129 Stăniloae often draws attention to the paradoxical character of the relationship between the world and man. “Chipul lui Dumnezeu şi Responsabilitatea lui în Lume. in the sense of recognising the world’s stability and value. 339. vol. 2. In fact. I. the contingent world was created as a “materialised ground” where God and human beings might intervene with their free acts. the other is always tacitly included. 323. Stăniloae unfolds the idea of relationship between man and world by distinguishing the following characteristics of that relationship. as it should.460 That is why we can speak about “mobility in relation” until the whole world and man are deified. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the world shows that it is not the ultimate reality but only an instrument for man’s deification. Stăniloae.459 Accordingly.” Sobornost 9 (1969).” Ortodoxia 3 (1973). Stăniloae.”458 As has been mentioned. “The World as Gift and Sacrament of God’s Love. I. p.”461 However. when using the term to refer to one or the other. This is why theology must “give full attention to the saeculum. The idea that the world exists in a real communion with God and that man is responsible for the survival of nature. 89. p. 460 D. God created this world for the sake of dialogue with human beings. 353.

Stăniloae. 667. the world is not complete in itself and cannot satisfy us completely until it accomplishes itself as a means of communion. “The World as Gift and Sacrament of God’s Love.462 Man and the world are like two partners in the dialogic relationship. Mică Dogmatică Vorbită. but a task for every man. “the meeting place and the bridge of our meeting with God. The conception of the world as the gift of God or as the vehicle of His love. neither does its meaning lie in itself. I. 466 D. An important place is given by Stăniloae to human activity. 1990). thereby humanising it and giving it humanised back to God. 668-669. Thus man is also called imago mundi. 463 D. man is able to put “the seal of his understanding and of his intelligent work onto creation. Stăniloae.: SVS Press.465 In these words Stăniloae underlines the sacramental character of the world: on God’s side the gifts are pure gifts .” p. p.” K. but if one takes into consideration their aspect of having a purpose for a conscious rationality.” pp. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” D. and all man’s activity as a sacramental. p.for God suffers no lack when He gives -. 63 465 D.” due to the fact that “divine freedom and human freedom can manifest themselves in an unbroken dialogue. 168. N. Ware. 340. This is the reason why every man is called to be a priest of God for the world. imagination and labour. as God’s gift. has to be continually renewed. for “it has been enriched by the life which persons communicate to each other through the love demonstrated by the gift they 462 D. Stăniloae. p. 665. 130 mankind.” p. human beings are called to actualise the world’s potentialities because the whole world is not only a gift. The Orthodox Way (Crestwood.467 For those who use it.”466 Accordingly. I. the role of human thought. vol. yet for one who can receive it. through the organisation and actualisation of the world. So the gift does not exist in or for itself.” D Stăniloae. the gift becomes a means of communication and a symbol of spiritual maturation. 326. .it is a eucharist.” p. finding their fulfilment in the principle of reciprocal gift in love. still as a gift. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 467 “Nature. “The World as Gift and Sacrament of God’s Love. Stăniloae. 666. while man’s giving is a sacrifice offered to God . so that “all created things have their meeting-place in him. and as the visible part of a sacrament of God’s grace. divine communion. That is. “The World as Gift and Sacrament of God’s Love. because he is a reflection of the creation. are one and the same. that is.”464 Stăniloae writes: The whole world ought to be regarded as the visible part of the universal and continuing sacrament. “The World as Gift and Sacrament of God’s Love. Stăniloae continues: Things which were stamped with an unconscious rationality would in themselves have no meaning. “The theme of deification is in reality the theme of man’s humanisation through divine love. vol.463 In other words. p. 464 D. Stăniloae.Y. it has a valid rationality. they have a meaning. Stăniloae.

471 D. p. 470 D Stăniloae. might thus be brought about through its mediation. I. on the rational and epistemological level.469 For Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. declares that the world as nature was created for human beings. that is. 469 D. Stăniloae often asserts this dependence. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. Actually. p. Stăniloae elaborates and expands the idea of progress in the knowledge of things and of language.” pp. a real and concrete interdependence. vol. 2. have involved in themselves new meanings or senses. and applies this progress to man’s deification. even the meanings of time and space are fulfilled in theosis. Stăniloae drawing basically from Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus. Thus between cosmos and human beings there exists. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. On this basis.”468 2. Stăniloae. 341. In our faith. “to be a Man writ large or at least to become the content of 468 D Stăniloae. 326. 347-362. “Chipul lui Dumnezeu şi Responsabilitatea lui în Lume. Again: “The meaning of the world lies precisely in its inherent necessity of finding its fulfilment from a source which possesses the power to grant . I. 351. It has been shown that. The Experience of God. Although the cosmos is part of divine revelation. See also D. p. like human reason. 131 have exchanged: thus the persons give themselves to each other and as a result the gift grows spiritually. Stăniloae. Stăniloae.2 The interdependence and responsibility of man and nature The interdependence of man and creation is defined by Stăniloae as the second characteristic of the relationship between the world and man. The fact of man’s self-conscious existence gives him a sense of superiority over the world. p. saying that “the world’s rationality is for man and culminates in man.”471 Things in themselves contain rationalities with this double purpose: to maintain the biological life and spiritual growth of men. but “they have as model and sustainer the eternal rationalities of the Logos. it does not mean that the world has equal opportunities with human beings. vol. the rationality of the cosmos has a meaning only if it is known in the thought of an intelligent creative being before its creation and in the whole time of its continuing in being. the rationalities of the world were created from nothing. having been first brought into existence precisely that it might be known by a being for whom it was created. I. the world exists for human beings and has been created to be humanised.”470 Thus creation ex nihilo reveals the world’s total and continuing dependence on God’s will. The eternal rationalities of the things are located in the divine Reason and.

this distinction becomes inapplicable at the soteriological level. This concept about the interdependence of man and nature provides the basis for an all- embracing picture of deification. 664. 472 D. I. The Experience of God. is structured to strive to discover and know the infinite reality that is found in a communion of infinite Persons. 473 D. 327. as a person.”472 By extension. Nature unveils itself to us as a plastic reality which can in principle be shaped by the conscience in an infinite number of ways and be totally integrated in the content of this inter-human and loving conscience. Man is called to be “the unifying element of all creation” and its “wedding-ring. Stăniloae. vol. are renewing and fertilising cosmic nature. An Orthodox View of Nature. Although we should distinguish between nature and humanity at the level of responsibility. The holy man irradiates from himself a holy serenity and light. a “macro-anthropos” . and he “brings the world more into union with God to the extent that he himself grows in that union. Stăniloae talks about man’s destiny by using Maximus’ phraseology. Stăniloae. founded in Gregory of Nyssa’s writings. Cf. vol. that. p.” p. Stăniloae. was assimilated by Gregory into a Christian cosmology from the Stoics. man himself. Source of Freedom and Unity. p. p. The Human Presence. and the world to become entirely humanised. for he belongs to all of them. This nature determines the inter-human dialogue that can pass on even its corruption. p. a hypostasis of the entire cosmic nature. every person experiences it in a different manner.476 fullness of meaning. Stăniloae insists that nature itself is a means by which man is supported in his existence and brought close to God.” D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.a new term that carries the idea of man’s call to become a world writ large.”475 Within this framework. in turn. The reason is that “every human person is. 4.” ER 26 (1974). The reason is found in a real reciprocity that functions in the process of redemption. 324. Thus man has a certain responsibility towards nature and. I. pp. The Experience of God. P. for he is linked through the elements of his nature with all the elements of nature. 474 D. who defined man as “macrocosm” or. Paulos Gregorios thinks that the idea of experiencing everything as a whole. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. “Jesus Christ. Stăniloae. “The World as Gift and Sacrament of God’s Love. 410. since it gives completion of being. in some way. towards other men. 132 Man. p. but only in solidarity with all other human beings. implicitly. .”474 Man needs to be in union with God. Gregorios. 475 D. 147. 476 D. The whole cosmos is destined to serve human existence. On the other hand.”473 Although cosmic nature is common to all human beings. 64. Incarnate Logos of God. more precisely. Stăniloae. a content which comprehends all things in each person. Stăniloae.

p. Stăniloae. Stăniloae.” D.”479 The dialogue with man gives a meaning to existence and to the worth of the world. 341. 334. but.” p. “nothing in creation is lost. Likewise. “Natură si Har în Teologia Bizantină. 325. Meyendorff writes: “The true purpose of creation is. communion in divine energy. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 133. the divine Spirit can work the spiritualisation of the world only through the various contributions of each person living in this world. Stăniloae. therefore not contemplation of divine essence (which is inaccessible). I. Stăniloae. Stăniloae holds the idea of man as mediator and microcosm reflecting unity and diversity in the created world. vol. This is another way of expressing the “becoming rich by giving” paradox.478 In face of these facts. but everything becomes deified and perfect. vol.3 Man as mediator Man as mediator is defined by Stăniloae as the third characteristic of the relationship between the world and man. 133 Nature becomes thus an instrument for the spiritual evolution of both human solidarity and man’s spirituality. Due to the fact that the act of man’s creation involved God in the process of the world’s deification. transfiguration. “For only those humans that are aware of the meaning of their existence and physical-biological nature can surpass the repetition of the laws of nature. This paradox is explained here by the fact that “the received and then returned gift brings people so close to each other that the object of the gift becomes a mutual and an evident means for perfect communication between persons. and transparency to divine action in the world. I. man finds his fulfilment in giving up some of the gifts received through the world and bringing them back to the Creator as a proof of his total dependence on Him.”480 2. 480 D. and as an entity who consists in body and spirit. Likewise. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. Stăniloae. p. for a believer. p. Man is brought into existence as an incarnated spirit by a special creative act of God. vol.” J. 478 “Nature can be the medium through which the believer receives the divine grace or the beneficial uncreated energies. found especially in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 479 D. . 392. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. The idea of mediation is found in the constitution of man as soul and body. pp. created nature is a medium through which he receives divine assistance for his spiritual growth.”481 While God put a free spirit in man. 324. Meyendorff. vol I. for it finds its fulfilment in human subjects by serving them. Byzantine Theology. I. As a very pertinent articulation of his anthropological purpose. or in a part of nature where the spirit was put. Stăniloae’s view affirms that this world is anthropocentric. being able to reach through it to the pursuit and fulfilment of other meanings too. 481 D. man becomes the mediator or “the priest 477 D.477 More precisely. 339.

the rationalities of the world are another possible means towards theosis. p. creation being an act of free will and free love. bringing things together in the process of spiritualising matter.” ER 26 (1974). Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. 485 “On the other hand.” Accordingly. Stăniloae. Stăniloae begins his Dogmatics with some key statements about the content of natural revelation. 389.4 The rationalities of the world The rationalities of the world are defined by Stăniloae as the fourth characteristic of the relationship between the world and man. reason or logos which is at the same time the end towards which it tends. p.”485 The human being is the only being in this cosmos “conscious of itself.”484 Contrary to the views that regard man as plunged into an impersonal divine. while man (God’s creature) is further endowed with a reason capable of knowing consciously the rationality of the cosmos and of his nature. 410. also because the latter has no consciousness of its own meaning. Thus Stăniloae sees mediation as possible because man was created as a rational being. “Jesus Christ. They disclose themselves insofar as they have human reason as their virtual conscious center and by helping reason to become their own actual center. 3. 134 of the entire universe. and it is through these that human reason extends its vision farther and farther.”482 Possessing a soul and a body. Stăniloae. Between the reasons or inner principles of things and human reason there is a reciprocal influence. 484 D. the rationality of human beings is infinitely greater than the rationality of nature. Man becomes a mediator. Source of Freedom and Unity. . and this point of contact is its idea. the world exists for the sake of human beings. I. Indeed.” it is thus “the consciousness of the world. then. Stăniloae. vol. p. Incarnate Logos of God.” and “the factor able to assert the rationality of the world. man lives in the spiritual and material realm. the Bible discloses him as being like the divine God. the cosmos itself would be meaningless along with its rationality if there were no human reason that might come to know the cosmos because of its rational character. expected even to “personalise” the world. The Experience of God. Stăniloae develops this thought as follows: The reasons within things disclose themselves to human consciousness and must be assimilated by it and concentrated in it. It is man’s privilege to be the means by which grace penetrates the world.486 For Stăniloae. 2. p. The Experience of God.” D. 98. 2. 486 D.” V. Lossky.483 “Man is called by his reason to be the unifying element of all creation. This indicates that man and the world are “stamped with rationality. Mystical Theology. 483 “Every created thing has its point of contact with the Godhead. They are the potential rays of human reason on the way towards being revealed as its actual rays. This is why “the 482 D.

Stăniloae writes: Saint Maximus the Confessor sees the whole of creation prefigured in the totality of God’s eternal reasons which. “man brings the world more into union with God to the extent that he himself grows in that union. The Experience of God. For the world as a whole is a system of materialized reasons or inner principles which human reason gradually gathers within itself through the collaboration of its various subjects. and especially through his reason.”487 Much influenced by Maximus’ teaching about logoi. and suggests. 11. lead the whole world towards an eternal unity in God through the very work of perfecting its individual component parts as a kind of dynamic matrix for the world. 490 D. The Experience of God. 347. p. p.488 This statement indicates the ontological unity of the world in God. p. the rationality of a person. Stăniloae.”490 The dynamic factor behind the growing unification of the world and its increasing unification with God is man. The existence of creatures and of the whole creation is given in the logoi. he is linked with all the parts of the world. The Experience of God. p. more precisely. D. 487 D. Hence the logoi are not identical either with the essence of God or with the existence of things in the created world. Cf. 180. Stăniloae. 491 D. Stăniloae. 135 rationality existing in the universe needs to be completed by. Stăniloae. vol. that there is both unity and differentiation.” Thus the world “bears the stamp of a personal rationality intended for the eternal existence of human persons. in the work of creating and perfecting the world. but unity in diversity. 489 Stăniloae distinguishes between the meaning of a thing (noema) and its strict rationality (logos). 146. in regard to the role of the logoi in the economy of salvation. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae. I. man’s responsibility is to discover new senses or meanings in things.489 When he speaks about the simplicity of the human person in its spiritual foundation. or. Moreover. and seeks an account of itself within. . Stăniloae writes: According to our faith man is the unifying factor of the world because through the various parts of man. 147. Because our progress in knowing the meanings of things stimulates our progress in communion with God and with others. The Experience of God.491 Stăniloae insists that the rationality of the world is for man’s sake and finds its culmination in man. p. as one who is in union with God. branch out from their unity and then return to it. Stăniloae does not want to suggest isolation. 488 D.

It is known that Hellenic cosmology emphasises continuity between God and the world.5 Evaluation Generally speaking. the personal Logos. Zizioulas compares these two attitudes to nature. By contemplating the rationality of things. man is inspired to respond to this Logos. Gregorios observes: “The Reformed tradition follows the Semitic pattern in its exposition of the doctrines of the transcendence of God and the creation of the universe. The contribution of Hebrew culture is recognised in its emphasis on history and prophetism “at the expense of cosmology. and with creation.” as “a new type of prophecy that marked the beginning of a new approach to Man’s relationship with nature. 136 In conclusion. the classical Christian cosmology occupied a central place in Church’s consciousness.” and (2) a “eucharistic cosmology. Indeed. 60. p. God’s words addressed to human beings through the things of His creation. human beings attain “the supreme reality” which confers multiple meanings for their biological and spiritual growth. Observing the rationalities of things. and concludes that primitive Christianity advanced the following sorts of cosmologies: (1) a “cosmological prophecy.” .” as a combination between the reality of nature and nature itself as a gift and 492 P. The progress in understanding the meaning of things invigorates the progress of language and. their connection to the ultimate Reason. with others. finally. In this context. The Human Presence. the human mind can contemplate the partial rationality of things and phenomena existing in the creation. There is an inexhaustible common meaning of things. the progress of human beings in communion with God. Gregorios. a meaning that brings everything together in a large unity: the divine Logos. All created beings have their own rationalities (logoi) of existence in the ultimate Reason or in the divine Logos. their response. Stăniloae’s view on the relationship between the world and man reveals the basic cosmological question of continuity/discontinuity between God and the universe.” while Greek culture renounced changeable history in favour of the more stable and secure nature. which the Church would pick up and develop further later on. But what staggers one is the overall significance of things. 2. An Orthodox View of Nature. stimulate their understanding and.492 The Orthodox Zizioulas asserts that under the effect of the Hebrew and Hellenic cultures. correspondingly. the rationality of things and words is considered by Stăniloae to be the means of the dialogue between human beings and God. while Semitic cosmology puts emphasis on the discontinuity.

as the first divine act. due to their ontological unity.” due to the emphasis put on nature as an instrument for reciprocal dialogue between the world and man. 2-3. for Stăniloae. Thunberg. Stăniloae maintains that humanity is functioning as a conscious altruistic mediator between the world and the divine. Stăniloae. . 180 A). because of sin. particularly in understanding God’s plan for the created world as being its deification. Microcosm and Mediator. The interdependency between the world and man in connection with deification is obvious in the following paragraph: God’s economy or His plan for the world is the deification of the created world and. What is essential for this study is that the apparent interdependence between the world and man takes a key position in Stăniloae’s theological thinking. (2) his interpretation of the created world in terms of Christological insights. For nature is akin to. I. directly and unquestionably. Salvation and deification have their focal point in humanity.” pp. rather in a humanity ontologically united with nature. Although human existence is different in quality from non-human creation because of its privilege in transcending the material world by its spiritual dimension. Zizioulas. L. p. reflecting the world in its manifoldness and diversity. and embraces humanity. pp. The salvation and deification of the world presuppose the creation. “Preserving God’s Creation. However. To a large degree. 495 Thunberg thinks that there were three reasons why Maximus held the idea of man as microcosm: (1) his profound understanding of unity and multiplicity. 496 For example. in De Hominis Opificio 16 (PG 44. 323. 25B-28B).495 In analysing Maximus’ system (influenced by Gregory of Nyssa496 and Dionysius).493 It should be obvious now that Stăniloae’s cosmology advocates “eucharistic cosmology. and (3) the influence of the Cappadocians. 494 D. recent studies accept the relationship between man and nature as applied to soteriology. the world and man involve and account for each other in the process of salvation and deification. has naturally in 493 J. this implies its salvation. 140ff. Thunberg said that “the idea of man as microcosm.D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Three Lectures on Theology and Ecology. Stăniloae criticises Western theology in general because of its tendency to separate man and nature in salvation (the Bultmannian school is considered an “isolated phenomenon”). the natural world is viewed as integrated with humanity. and humanity cannot find fulfillment without mediating with nature or working on nature. Stăniloae is but echoing the teaching of Maximus concerning the idea that man himself is a microcosm and mediator between God and the cosmos. but not in a humanity disconnected with nature. 137 event. Eastern theology conceives of deification as including both humanity and nature.494 Hence. vol. Oratio Catechetica Magna 6 (PG 45. and lifts the whole universe up to God. observes Stăniloae. and the sacramental character of the world.

1304D-1305A). Ambigua 7 (PG 91. Pennsylvania: St. once more sheds light on human nature’s movement towards theosis. See also J. 139. 500 Maximus.499 Thunberg summarises Maximus’ doctrine of the logoi in three main points. 502 Maximus.” in A. Ambigua 7 (PG 91. who unites in himself all that is differentiated without violating its integrity. Microcosm and Mediator. Sherrard in his book The Rape of Man and Nature. 15-41. Both emphasise that God created the world by His will. 497 L. 503 Maximus. pp. Maximus holds a three-fold incarnation of the Logos: in His coming in the flesh. Meyendorff. 138 Maximus’s writings to be combined with the idea of man as mediator. p. Maximus. pp. From man’s point of view. J. 1285C-1288A).502 Third. P. pp. 139. Persons and Personality. in the logoi of the created beings. Ambigua 7 (PG 91. Free Choice in St. Marked by the spirit of interdependence. Thunberg. paradise and universe. Inspired especially by Maximus. 501 Maximus. intelligible and tangible. the logoi pre-exist in God. Maximus the Confessor (South Canaan. More precisely. 1989). Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. p. Ware.”497 Man’s role was to overcome them in complete freedom and to become “a natural link between the extremities of creation. that involves responsibility in regard to the material world.). An Enquiry into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science (Ipswich: Golgonooza Press. for both Maximus and Stăniloae.501 Second. 498 J. and in the letters and sounds of Scripture. heaven and earth. Maximus holds a double affirmation concerning the relationship between the Logos and the logoi: that the many logoi are one Logos. Thunberg.500 and pre-exist monadically in God. all the logoi subsist eternally in God’s good counsel. The Earlier Ambigua. 76-84. man stands as a connecting link.P. 1080A). Microcosm and Mediator. pp. “The Unity of the Human Person according to the Greek Fathers. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. this relationship becomes a prelude for the next central relationship. see L. K. that the unifying factor between God and creation is the divine wills or intentions. 1080A). also called the pre-existent logoi in God. the logoi of creation are intimately connected with the logoi of the economy of salvation and of Christ’s incarnation. found in Stăniloae’s reflection.”498 Consequently. between created existence and Creator. First. referring to the act of creation by the Word. Cf. Cf. Ambigua 33 (PG 91. Sherwood. 175f. 1987). Maximus wrote about man’s movement towards God in the context of five recognized dualities or divisions (diaireseis): created and uncreated.503 Thunberg’s conclusion. For further treatement of the history of the logoi. Sherwood considers that Maximus was clearly influenced by Dionysius in totally rejecting Origenism and developing his theology of the logoi. Peacocke and G. p. The . 625A). 151. 197-217. and the one Logos is many logoi. the logoi are held together by the Logos. 1081BC). the idea of connection between the rationality and the significance of things in our communion with God is one of Stăniloae’s favourite subjects. Farrell. Meyendorff. As fixed in God. Tikhon’s Seminary Press. that between man and God. Ambigua 41 (PG 91. A Contemporary Inquiry (Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 60 (PG 90. This view gives to human nature a dynamic dimension in relation with creation and God. and male and female. 499 Maximus. Gillett (eds. a mediator. 1987). Similar ideas are developed in the chapter “The Human Image” by P. The mediatorial aspect.

identified by Stăniloae as uncreated energies . God plants in human beings that movement by which they will seek to correspond to those rationalities that are in God. Microcosm and Mediator. The rationalities of human beings .are working in human beings and. and to be united with Him as a person. pp. on the basis of the incarnation by grace of the Logos. the full efficacy of the process of gathering together all rationalities and beings created in Himself . from the sphere of beings conceived by God to the sphere of their existence. Sherwood. From this perspective. creation means the coming into existence of human beings according to their rationalities united in the divine Logos who. Stăniloae emphasises that the rationalities of things have their model in the divine Logos. The Earlier Ambigua. Thunberg. I. the re-gathering in this unity is produced by their movement. on the one hand. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Often. 360. on the other hand. vol. By the will of God. Calling into existence. by creation. who is the supreme hypostatic Reason. 137-143. See P. 179f. 504 L. creation produces a ramification of the rationalities from their unity in the divine Logos and. 505 D. . through them the divine Logos is working as well. and L. then. the rationalities are not existences but thoughts of God according to which human beings were created.505 In order to understand the role of this section in the elaboration of the concept of theosis. However. in the act of creation everything has been passed from the rational sphere to the ontological sphere. Man and the Cosmos. 139 is that this “implies to Maximus not only a positive evaluation of creation but the inclusion of the latter in a purpose of universal unification. within an anthropological and/or Christological framework. in which all the logoi of things attained by the Logos. and in conformity with their existent rationalities in the supreme Logos.without confusing them with Himself . is a particular teaching. pp. In fact. at the same time. this rationality admits meaning through the actualisation of this flexibility only if human reason works according to the ethical principles. The reason why Stăniloae adopts the idea is that it helps him to explain the “malleable rationality” of the world and full of multiple virtualities. Thus. 84. question is whether the logoi are situated in the divine essence or only in the divine energies. through His incarnation in Christ. p. It was shown that Stăniloae maintains that. accordingly. Thunberg. p. In this way Stăniloae clearly rejects the Origenist idea that the rationalities were associated with the pre-existent spirits. Stăniloae.”504 Stăniloae remarks that Maximus’ teaching on the logoi as having their origin in the divine Logos. the particular relation between the rationalities and the world must be summarised and reinforced. is helping human beings to advance towards their deification.

Stăniloae’s positive vision is subsequently perceived in the destination of creation. Stăniloae employs the optimistic Aristotelian structure of a world well organised for eternity. combination. In proposing the possibility of deification in earthly life.that is. at the same time as being actualised in these structures and rationalities. spiritually. and in cognitive development until its virtues. 140 Stăniloae’s approach is what might be called a personalist-communitarian view. Stăniloae unifies love and reason based on the fact that between the created reason and the supreme Reason there is affinity or reciprocal personal love. For this reason. Thus one sees that in his vision of radiation and spread of the images of divine rationalities from the personal divine Reason in the creatures. This is wholly in keeping with the principle that human beings are led by the Logos itself in their movement towards theosis. Like Dionysius and Maximus. and even beyond this actualisation. theosis is attained by keeping the movement and not by coming out from it. of course. a view to which he adds the Christian dynamism of the progress towards theosis. Stăniloae sees the world as a virtual revelation called to advance to a full actual revelation. which stands against pantheism and emanationism. To sum up. as rational products of the personal will. In his view. Stăniloae considers that the transcendence and apophaticism of God do not exclude the operation of God in human beings for their deification. Thus Stăniloae’s balanced positive attitude towards creation is discerned in his acceptance of both ideas: that of the creature’s movement in eternal life and that of stability in earthly life. towards a greater likeness of the human personal reason with the incarnate personal Reason. Stăniloae totally supports Maximian judgement. while the stable movement or the movement in communion still exists. passing from one thing to another. and stability. In place of the more pessimistic Platonic-Origenist view. Simultaneously human personal reason. does not annul man’s deification. This is possible because the virtues. that is. sanctify the body and cleanse the cosmos. Thus the world’s structures and rationalities will be filled with rational divine paradigms. 506 Maximus speaks about five categories: substance. movement. will be adequately actualised to embrace God. and their progression towards divine personal Reason.506 The world is called to advance morally. distinction. incorporated in conformity with the divine paradigms. Stăniloae also suggests that deification is not totally transcendent. . The movement of human nature. Man’s stability obtained in God rules out only the sequential movement . This expresses also the dialectic aspect of creation: the stability of the creature’s reason (of essence) and the movement of its modes (tropoi). the human body and the rationalities of the cosmos are elevated.

Stăniloae assumes that the first premise in framing an understanding of human creaturehood is that it is something good. In fact. but we can only exercise it within determinate limits. a person with a relative independence. a determinate self-determining power. The finiteness of human life is not regarded as an evil in his understanding. 507 The individual self is both “open” and “closed. God is the Creator of life who has ordered its physical.” Only individual selves have futures. 141 His vision of existence. self-determination). God is the source of our being while. we live in a personal universe where each person is related to God. the relationship between man and God. and being a person means relative independence: we are creatures of relative independence. to the will of God. We must not bewail the fact that we are finite. man is conceived as a finite personal creature who lives in a covenantal context. that is. In this context.” Throughout his writings. because it is seen from a perspective wherein each finite part is related to the plan of the whole. we have the power of freedom (for example. only selves “exist” (in the sense of having possibilities). as did the Gnostics. morally. Man is a special kind of creature. as human beings. therefore. 3. sustaining a communitary personalism and eschatological optimism as two appropriate aspects of deification. Stăniloae correctly declares that the mystery of man is that we are both persons and creatures. Stăniloae always affirms that the distinction between the Creator and the creature is a good one and must be maintained. insists Stăniloae. we live in a particular body. The relationship between man and God When passing to the most significant relationship that completes the concept of deification. and spiritual dimensions.507 Stăniloae’s priority given to the concept of freedom becomes very apparent in this section. that is. moral. Stăniloae suggests the principle that to be a person is to be a “creature of option. However. Because the questions treated in this study vanish in the theme of personhood. While other “things” are. Ontologically. only selves have possibilities. In Stăniloae’s theological system. the discussions in this section are inevitably related to the key issue of the relationship between man and God. a self-determination that works within certain limits. His thesis asserts that. Thus to be a creature means absolute dependence on God. repudiates any form of pantheism. in a particular time that we have not chosen. the .

holds that the immaterial as well as the material part of man is propagated through procreation and the soul is “mediately” created by God. Stăniloae. Stăniloae believes that our proximate origin is contingent.508 From his perspective.) represent different understandings of what constitutes a genuinely human existence. and (3) it makes God’s act of creation dependent on the exercise of human sexual desire. . p. I. there were not two distinct and successive creative acts but just one simultaneous act.1 The unity of man In continuity with the previous idea of the relationship between the world and man. Orthodox Theology. 3. remains finite. hedonism. humanism. Beginning with his earlier book on anthropology (Iisus Hristos şi Restaurarea Omului). Perhaps some soul sinned in their pre-existent state. or John Chrysostom. p. 509 The pre-existence theory holds that the soul existed prior to its actual embodiment. Stăniloae understands that the first element to actualise the manifold virtualities of the world is the union between soul and body in man. By analogy with Adam. 511 This would also explain how Christ was sinless. and the meaning and purpose of human existence is currently the object of man’s universal search and experimentation. without taking into account the relationship between soul and body. or some time in between).510 Stăniloae’s position on the origin of the human soul or spirit is faithful to the creationism of the Fathers. Stăniloae holds that every soul is thought of as being the result of a direct act of God’s creation. The main objections to this theory are: that there is no scriptural support for such a view. 67. 142 In our modern age we are as far as ever from an agreement about what the person is. The weak points of this position is that (1) it does not explain why sometimes there are psychological similarities between children and parents. a branch or shoot). and the great conflicting ideologies of our time (Marxism. It is not possible for us to understand the possibility of a real dialogue between man and God in view of deification. that we have no awareness of a prior state. (2) it tends to imply that matter is somehow evil (pure soul and impure body). Stăniloae firmly stresses that only in the Christian view can we attain a unified view of man to meet modern fragmentation. 510 Traducianism (from the latin tradux. etc.512 The self. each soul is seen as created at birth (or conception. Stăniloae considers man as a mysterious unity due to this association. like Athanasius. vol. and that it does not explain how we sinned in Adam. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Rejecting the theories concerning pre-existence souls509 and traducianism. Lossky. even though an infinite number of possibilities stands before it. As the self travels through life. in which one element was invisible and the other one was visible. 508 “The mystery of the singular and plural in man reflects the mystery of the singular and plural in God. Gregory of Nyssa. 512 D.” V. choosing some possibilities closes others.511 In the act of creation. Origen used this explanation to account for the disparity of individuals when they come into the world. 379. The question is part of Stăniloae’s theological anthropology and is very relevant to the understanding of theosis.

376.”515 For Stăniloae.1. There are not two distinct principles but only two different functions of the same spiritual nature of man. the act of any kind of creation is a dialogic act. 516 D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.”513 the soul is the product of the eternally conscious Spirit intended “to lift the rational principles of things to their union with the eternal principles of the world as it was conceived by God. the first addressing the latter as an alter ego. 3. even if these two parts exist in an inter-dependent relationship.” So.516 513 D.” Each person born in this world is given a unique soul and body. pp. conscious rationality that surpasses the entire rationality and passive sensitivity in nature. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae considers that the terms “soul” and “spirit” associated to man are interchangeable. like God. 377-378. Stăniloae asserts that the first truth about human spirit is that it is a free spirit. vol. as was mentioned before. capable of taking decisions and of transcending itself. Only in this way is the ontological unity of man maintained.”514 Stăniloae distinguishes here between “the uncreated ultimately conscious Spirit” and “the created conscious spirit”. man is a rational personal being. . With this general view on the concept of man’s soul. 376. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. due to the fact that it possesses in itself. 377. the eternally conscious Spirit does not bring man’s soul into existence by a mere rational act. These contents find a common ground up to a point. 143 unity between these two basic compounds made man to be unique in the universe or. The divine Subject of the Logos starts a dialogue with the created subjects and to share with men “the eternal rationalities of things. the special work of the soul. Indeed. The human body has a special palpable rationality. vol. Defined as a “subjective. therefore. I. from the very beginning. Stăniloae. p.1 Soul and body Stăniloae thinks that the relationship between God and man is possible because the soul is “akin” to divinity by the very act of creation. a “microcosm. I. Stăniloae. I. p. in a cognitive dialogue and in co-operation with Him. Thus human subjects share a common human conscious content exactly as the divine Subjects share a common conscious content in themselves. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. for there takes place a “reduplication of the creative Spirit at the created level. vol. 514 D. vol. but by a interrupting act in His creative action. I. 515 D. p. this soul is imprinted both with all the complexity of rational activity and with its sensitive forms. Stăniloae.

Ambigua 7 (PG 91. p. in order that the soul may be for the body what God is for the soul. Stăniloae. the visible world and its history were recognized as worthy of salvation and redemption.521 517 D. 140. I. Gregory of Nazianzus says that the soul “may draw the lower nature to itself and raise it to heaven.520 and explains further: This great mystery of configuring the body as a participant in the subjectivity of the spirit would not be possible if matter had no specific.17 (PG 35. 518 D.” Stăniloae speaks about a “partial non-objectivity of the body” in mystical terms. 26). Nellas: “Made up of soul and body. as Meyendorff says: “On this point. 78. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. emphasises Stăniloae. a body cannot be defined merely as a pure object.519 In a particular way. Oratio 2. 365. the perspective of the whole cosmos being lived by man in his rationality and sensitivity. 1109CD). 94. .” (Deification in Christ. But penetrating through soul and body. Stăniloae. 520 D. 68-92. Stăniloae. the biblical view decidedly overcame Platonic spiritualism. Byzantine Theology.. being more than a plasticised rationality. 368-369. (London: Harvill Press. This opens the perspective of subjectivising the whole cosmos by each human subject. notes on Ambigua. I. See also Maximus.518 From this stance. p. 367-368. the spirit begins to transform matter into a body from the very moment of man’s conception. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” J. Giakalis. by G. Marcel. pp. see the chapter “Icon and Reality” in A. participating in the spirit as subject. by the same token.” Gregory of Nazianzus. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the spirit is the source of the world’s spiritualisation. Or. Accordingly. God penetrates through the entire human nature as well as through the biological and material universe. the human spirit can take these decisions further “through its body to the external world. gaining a unity whereby God penetrates through man. Hague. See also G. rational character. Images of the Divine. uniting within himself matter and spirit. is called to deify and to unify all creation. man. The Mystery of Being. vol.S Fraser and R. 1927). For the idea of the deification of matter in the context of iconoclasm. 519 D. pp. Furthermore. p. p. showing the continuity of the contingent world and the human spirit. Likewise P. [the rational spirit] is doing this through the assimilation of the sensitivity specific to the plasticised rationality as matter. 521 D. Stăniloae. since all the elements belonging to this universe converge in the unitary human nature. Stăniloae mentions related ideas in Gabriel Marcel’s Journal Métaphysique (Paris: Gallimard. p. The rational spirit as subject penetrates the rationality of the matter as object and assimilates it to the rationality of its body . and thus participating in the life of the spirit. body is interior or constitutive to the spirit. In other words. he stands at the midways point of creation. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. tr.. vol. in the integrity of his being made up of soul and body. to the divine. 1950-1951). a body is “subjectivised matter. 2 vols.”517 Placed in man. Stăniloae. a participant in its subjectivity. Meyendorff. 144 Moreover. I. 425C-428A). vol.

vol. and thus disclosing creation’s dependency on the supreme Creator. Stăniloae speaks about man’s direct knowledge of God. transparent. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the mind’s direct knowledge is possible “through the world that became transparent. and flexible medium of communication between human beings and God.522 The activity of plasticising depends on the will of the spirit that gives to its rationalities this plasticised form. Stăniloae.” Thus what Stăniloae displays in his discourse . materialisation). Created by a free and personal Spirit.”523 The purpose of creation. 383. hence “the world becomes personalised according to the spiritual stage of his body. as in the real world being the rationality of the cognitive world. 524 D.with the capacity to actualise this contingency . Stăniloae. This inquiry elucidates why the contingency of the world and the inclusion of the spirit in it . is that the transcendental itinerary of human beings. receives its explanation from Stăniloae in the context of creation (even equal with creatio ex nihilo). I. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. As the result of the relationship with the world. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. then.1. p. 523 D. one must admit here a synergetic work. Man is deified in contact with the world.” D. The complex occurrence of plasticizing (or plasticization. I. I. vol. p. in order to meet God in a complete spiritualised world through his union with God.”525 Due to the fact that the unity between soul and body is whole. vol. Stăniloae affirms a complete unity also between human soul 522 “From its mystery other various mysteries receives explanation: the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. 525 D. 3. and deifies the world through his personality. p. vol. 145 Combining existentialist and personalist concepts.make sense only in the context of deification. Stăniloae’s concern is the inclusion of human body in the process of deification. Stăniloae sees the transfigured nature serving as a a totally different approach indeed -. Eschatologically. Stăniloae. 372. 371. 369.2 Soul and mind Passing from the external relationship of the human body with creation to the internal relationship of the human body with its mind. a certain implication of our body in our soul after death and before resurrection.”524 Because man’s own work is likewise strengthened by God’s power. “the world is adapted to the freedom of the human spirit. a process conceived this time in terms of the transfiguration and spiritualisation of the entire cosmos. indicates their proper relationship with God. p. . in the process of actualising and elevating the contingent world. I. Stăniloae. the pneumatisating of the resurrected body. is that man “should raise it to a supreme spiritualisation helped by the supreme Spirit.

Stăniloae stresses. 15:45. Participation of man in God through the creation of the soul. 1985). namely. vol. Byzantine Gospel. intuitively. Stăniloae maintains that the relationship between God and man is possible because of the implantation in man of a living soul and of divine grace. pp. union and knowledge are identified. vol. p. 98). Stăniloae. Although the triad is found in Paul and Irenaeus (as soul. Here Stăniloae follows again Maximus’ trichotomy applied to man. Symeon the New Theologian. We need to reiterate that the divine breath is the communion with divine energy and not with 526 A. and spirit).” We may thus speak about a knowledge of God through “sight”. I. pp. Les Sens Spirituels et la Vision de Dieu selon Syméon le Nouveau Théologian (Paris. an obvious characteristic of the doctrine of the spiritual senses. 384-386. a knowledge “which we achieve through our mind in union with the body. Stăniloae sees in the superior understanding part of the soul (nous or mind) the capacity of knowing God directly. Stăniloae. then. Seeing the Form (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. I. 383-384. is based on Scriptural passages that talk about the breath of a living soul as the manifestation of a relation between the divinity and man. Nichols. and many others before him from Origen onwards. p. that Orthodox theology affirms the possibility of a direct knowledge by “a mind belonging to a purified body”. that is. 1 Cor. 528 D. Stăniloae understands that “God’s reality irradiates a spiritual light that pervades man’s mind in the same way as a material light irradiates things. B. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. . 2:7. For an excellent study of the doctrine of spiritual senses.529 The divine breath. The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aestetics. Maximus seems to be closer to Evagrius of Pontus and Gregory of Nyssa in preferring the term nous to pneuma. body. Ethical Discourses V (SC 129. Stăniloae speaks here also about a contact or a “feeling” of the mind. that with the act of creation man receives also divine grace. As did Symeon. Stăniloae mentions Gregory Palamas’ teaching. the uncreated energy of the Holy Spirit. 146 represented by its mind and God. This is a significant point. besides Symeon and Maximus. I. pp. where the human heart is considered the innermost part of body. 527 D. for he is worthy of this gift through his conscious relationship with God. puts spiritual life in man and responds to his aspiration for fellowship with God.526 Accepting Maximus’ division of the activity of the soul in mind. Following Symeon the New Theologian. 529 Gen. see H. However. asserts Stăniloae. 161. the meeting centre of body and soul. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. von Balthasar. Fraigneau-Julien. 1982).U. In order to emphasise this. 365-417. in contrast to Western theology which emphasises an inferential (deductive) knowledge.”527 Thus through the mind’s “movement” towards purification.528 Under the influence of Palamas. reason and feeling. vol. Cf. and the place where the nous may experience God’s grace.

I. because he still possesses a soul. even though it is capable of it and aspires after it. p. Grace is not constrained by the soul to come in relationship with it. Stăniloae. “Image. Grace does not belong to the category of relation in the sense that this relationship is not a result of the soul’s natural power.532 Further.” that is. 1:27). It is more a formative than a creative action. In the case of man. Nature tends to God.” Communio 13 (1986). p. It also does not mean that the soul does not experience aspiration after God. “even after the fall. Stăniloae. and Deification in the Human Person. Stăniloae. 789BC). Hence divine grace is in an incorruptible relationship with the nature of man. 68. man was created by a special act of God and possesses “kinship” with God through his soul.533 530 D. Likeness.5 (PG 34. “Image. For Stăniloae. but rather that it is not able to come in relationship with grace by itself. Homilia 45. Stăniloae often mentions that when God entered His creative act of man for the first time. somehow connected to God’s specific intention for deification. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. D. implying the elevation of man over all else. Yet grace cannot initiate the relationship with the soul by its own free choice. 147 God’s essence. 532 D. 533 All other creatures except man were created “after their kind. and Deification in the Human Person. the issue with which we are confronted regarding human existence per se is man’s place in creation. He addressed Himself and engaged the divine interest in contrast with the rest of creation. but it can enter into relationship with the soul by its own will. and not merely an accident of nature.”530 Making a distinction between the grace of deification and what is proper to human nature. God is the direct agent.3 Summary What Stăniloae holds onto in spite of all else (including modern science) is the idea that the appearance of man on the world scene was a special event. 392. but also in what pertains to the immaterial aspect of man. Stăniloae remarks: This distinction does not mean that natural power is unable to obscure grace and to cooperate with it. in the case of man.” p. there is mediacy in creation.531 3. notes on Ambigua. man benefits from a certain grace from God.1. but rather that natural power is alone unable to achieve deification as the superior state of the nature or as the way towards it. according to a pattern which God had devised. God . 531 D. Stăniloae. vol. but is not able to reach Him without being helped by grace. 21CD). p. and Macarius. Likeness. 210. Man was not created ex nihilo but from dust of the ground. the pattern is designed after the character of God Himself (Gen. For this phrase Stăniloae appeals to Gregory of Nyssa. In almost everywhere else. Oratio Catechetica Magna 5 (PG 45. There is a qualitative difference between man and other animals not only in their physical or empirical aspects. whatever it may be called. 65.

The expression “living soul” is not unique to man.” The concept of the imago Dei is a key notion for a theological anthropology. then. 3. second. although its purposes have not been fully accomplished. and develops his particular agenda in approaching the question of image from a creative perspective. For to speak of man as being created in the image of God is to stress man’s distinctiveness from the rest of creation. Stăniloae maintains that the fact that man was created means he is not autonomous but has an ontological relationship with God. but the way man became a living being is distinct. .2. Human nature has a teleological dimension. Holding that. Stăniloae eschews the divisions of material traditional in other dogmatics. 3. 148 Finally. is fallen man still in that image? For all its expansiveness. the cosmological vision in which the entire cosmos is called to be deified is present in the very constitution of the human being. in Stăniloae’s view. Indeed. We are absolutely dependent on God because we are created as derivative beings and with real limitations. Stăniloae emphasises once more that man was created to fulfil a role not simply in relation to the world but in relation to God. For Stăniloae. The purpose of this ordering is to penetrate behind the conventional dogmatic structures to reach the matter of the communitarian and participatory dimension of the image. He was created to live in unending communion with God. what does it mean to be in the image of God.” human beings were created “in the image and likeness of God. man in the image of God refers primarily to man in his original condition. because the imago Dei is the essential determination of the “humanum” . the concept of imago Dei is elaborately ordered in a way which itself expresses fundamental theological convictions. the whole idea of the image of God in man assumes the indispensable peculiarity of participation by grace to the divine life.1 The ontological and personalist character of the image breathed into man and man became a breather. As normally understood. In the anthropological section.of that which constitutes human existence as opposed to nonhuman existence.2 Imago Dei and theosis Just as God is both related to and distinct from the world. so is man related to and distinct from the world. So there are two issues here: first. While all other beings were created “after their kind.

but that God.536 The apophatic theology that speaks about the mystery of the Godhead is found here as an apophatic anthropology that leads to the mystery of man. We suspect that a strong influence on Stăniloae in shaping this stance. they define this image in terms of the multiplicity of qualifications that the human being possesses. God is not an impersonal essence: 534 Or. 31-40. . 1222). 536 See V.” Ortodoxia 3 (1956). they regard it as unknowable and indefinable. D Stăniloae “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. Palamas. 325. Prosopopeae (PG 150. Staat und Mensch.535 on the other hand. 535 According to some Church Fathers. but by Michael Choniates (d. seems to have been Maximus and Vyscheslavzev.”537 Reflecting the plenitude of its uncognizable Archetype. russisch-orthodoxe Studien (Genf. therefore Stăniloae argues for a variety of expressions given by the Church Fathers to the image of God in man. Stăniloae translated from Vyscheslavzev the article “Însemnătatea Inimii în Religie. p.538 From the very beginning. pp. p. as an image. Bishop Kallistos Ware mentioned me that this writing is not in fact by Gregory Palamas. taken separately. Stăniloae often quotes from B. for example. but also the body partakes to the honour of being an image. created him. “Das Ebenbild Gottes im Wesen des Menschen. but to both of them seen together. 537 D. In 1934. This reflects the antinomical and paradoxical character of the image. 1361). we have nevertheless laid open God’s image in man as personal existence. the highest form of existence. By analogy and extension. 144-145. pp. for they were created together after the image of God. must have in himself all that God has. Vyscheslavzev’s work.” in vol. 538 D Stăniloae “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. to use Gregory of Nazianzus’ own words: “The image is not a genuine image unless it possesses all the attributes of its model. 65. it is also true that there is a negative anthropology for the mystery of man.” Cf. as a proof that he did not create himself. While regarded as a mystery. such as Irenaeus. Thus Stăniloae’s particular theological approach concerning the God-man relationship. Ware. not only the soul. identifies the image with the man as a whole when writes: “The name of man is not applied to the soul or the body. The human being is both known and apophatic. Kirche.” p.” in RT 1-2 (1934). Stăniloae is at pains to establish that God created man in order to imitate the communion existing between the persons of the Trinity. p. the image of God in man is also uncognizable and indefinable. For one thing. Cf.534 Man reflects in himself all the complexity of the divine life. 163. Stăniloae motivates this paradox saying that “man is apophatic because of his uncomprehending depth even of himself. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică. Mystical Theology. The Ortodox Way. is made apparent in his way of defining God’s image as well as the personal character of man.” Gregory Palamas. Lossky. as there is a negative theology for the mystery of God. 327. K. 149 Stăniloae admits that it is very difficult to establish the content of God’s image in man because man. 1937). He who is truly apophatic for man. Gregory of Nyssa and Gregory Palamas. Stăniloae.

His experiences are pervaded with this concern for eternity. 29. since he is preparing himself for eternity in temporality by his relationship with others. Similar idea is found in S. finding himself in an endless transcendence towards his own mystery and towards the absolute One he depends on. yet I do not know anything about myself unless. watered at the eternal spring of communion which is the Holy Trinity. because. The I-Thou relationship. as in a circle. 113. nor the subjection to a monopersonal despot-god who keeps us separated and in a struggle for domination over one another is the goal the human heart is longing for. All that I most directly know is about myself. I have also knowledge about you and him. 541 Stăniloae writes: “In fact. on the one hand. writes Frank. he experiences the consciousness of eternity and moves towards it. but “who constantly asks the question: what am I?” The self partially nurtures this light of self-knowledge. 379. God created a multiplicity of personal beings who bear in themselves the divine image and whose integrity is related also to the others.L. Although both human being and human person are a mystery. At the same time. Reality and Man. Duddington (London.539 Accordingly. person is more than self-consciousness and. on the other hand. man returns to himself contemplating his person in the light of this very self-consciousness. p. and person. ‘I’. Connecting the concepts of time.540 Stăniloae here defines man as a self-conscious existence. forming together a multiple triangle. tr. human nature has self- consciousness itself. Stăniloae looks for the explanation in the “I-thou-he” relationship. but an angle that is not outside the relationship with the other two angles. p. to identify person with self-consciousness is a mistake.” D. but in a certain sense. Frank insists that there is an “immeasurable difference between the average man and the God-man . 61.541 Trying to contemplate 539 D. by this very self-knowledge. p. Stăniloae writes: Man as a being is extremely aware of the value of time. Man is a self always aware of himself. 540 D. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. existence. By his self-consciousness. Frank. Thus. The personal nature that man has is established especially by the necessity to transcend himself for the existence that is beyond being and that lifts him above his environment.” In order to avoid the danger of diminishing the unique role of Christ in the whole scheme. but the eternal communion with one another. Being in time. affirms Stăniloae. is the “essence of the purely religious attitude as such. 1965). 150 Niether the emergence into an impersonal essence. Spiritualitate şi Comuniune în Liturghia Ortodoxă. ‘thou’ and ‘he’ are linked by ‘my’ interiority and condition it. man experiences questions and answers that still do not satisfy his aspiration after the absolute. I hold the position of a fixed angle. by N. he is aware of the reality of genuine infinity. ‘thou’ and ‘he’ are not merely external. An Essay in the Metaphysics of Human Nature. I know that I can not be fulfilled unless I answer to their conscious claims and to my need to share myself with them. There is an alleged contradiction between the centrality of man and his dependence on another’s centrality. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. Stăniloae. p. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.

an absolutely unique connection for each being. and “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. Stăniloae. V. Stăniloae regards man as a person who develops himself by practising his responsibility towards “the supreme court. 62. 2nd edition (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Russian Religious Philosophy. I and Thou.” p. V.”542 In this relationship between ‘I’. M. Copleston. 140).544 In other words. p. On the vertical level. “Image. Likeness. p. 331. The idea of participation in the divine life implies that God “creates creators. but in someone else. The impossibility of being always together. a “Self that turns His full attention to me.” At the horizontal level. Stăniloae understands by the image of God the presence in man of a certain “Thou” who belongs to God..”543 Thus Stăniloae comes close to the definition of the One who so imaginatively created all human beings. for in the unconscious individualities everything is uniformly repeated or otherwise they could not enrich one another without being altered. Jesus Christ” (p. an infinite Self in whom we may put our hope. 155. These two basic assertions that were already indicated are applied to the horizontal level. 68-69. and invoking Buberian concepts. Lossky identifies the image with a “divine seal which impresses the nature setting it in a personal connection with God.” pp. There is a kind of ultimate communicable and attractive centre. Stăniloae says that the more man grows in his faith in a supreme court. p. by R. Stăniloae sees in the trinitarian model the source of man’s uniqueness and predilection for creativity and communion. and in its own right can also address God as ‘Thou. and grants His creatures a share in His own creativeness” (p. Cf. Lossky.” and “the spiritual breathing of God produces an ontological spiritual breath of man. tr. pp. Buber. for “which ‘Thou’ is able to say ‘I’ in its own right. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. concludes Stăniloae. Stăniloae.C. And as this uniqueness in communion can only be a consciously experienced fact. 65. For further examination of Frank’s thought. ‘you’ and ‘him’ one can see reflected the relationship existing between the persons of the Trinity. 544 D. the more he becomes responsible towards others. 542 D.. He must Himself be an ineradicable Self in communion with other eternal selves impossible to be replaced because of the unity of being. 157). shows the necessity of a Self that secures complete satisfaction. and Deification in the Human Person. 543 D. 151 deeper the sensitivity of the human personality. Stăniloae. 1987). an ideal of all created beings.G. see F. Mystical Theology. . He cannot imagine and create this multiplicity of selves of an irreducible uniqueness in communion. 65-79. Unless somebody does experience in himself His uniqueness in communion with other subjects. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. the Creator must be Himself a communion of conscious Selves. Smith. Man feels that the power is not in himself. so that He too could have imagined and created such Selves of irreducible originality in communion.” Cf. There is.

Stăniloae insists upon the fact that the image of God is born in man. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. formal. Stăniloae turns to a more extensive description of the image and its communitarian character. statistic. 68. “Image. 3. and Deification in the Human Person. Stăniloae. In the act of man’s creation. the activity of the Logos is different.549 545 D.2 The communitarian character of the image Appropriately. alongside with the soul. Likeness. and Deification in the Human Person.the result being human person. The name stirs self-consciousness and reveals to the others that each specific person is irreplaceable and possesses an irreducible uniqueness. 547 D. He gives man the assurance that it is God Who is speaking to him and that he must reply. First. then. 70. specifies Stăniloae. which resides in the fact that each human being has a distinct name. Likeness. p. in line with earlier discussions of imago Dei. and it aspires after the absolute.” K. and to the latter He addresses His call while at the same time providing it with the capacity to respond.” p. Stăniloae writes: Into the biological organism God breathes the spiritual support of the soul. vol I. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. and he tends towards the absolute inasmuch as the absolute is the personal God. By breathing into man God begins to speak with him. “The name indicates the inter- relationship between persons as unique persons.”548 The transparency of this image in man is made apparent when it finds itself in a loving relationship with others. pp. having its model in the same kind of relationship existing in the Trinity. The Orthodox Way.2. pp. 549 Ware said: “Man is a finite expression of God’s infinite self-expression. Stăniloae. 64-65. “Man tends towards God inasmuch as God is absolute.547 Second.” p.”545 The true value of each person in society is maintained through their reciprocal acceptance. On most occasions the infinite reality is identified with love in Stăniloae’s writings. 379-380. 64. or after its likeness with God. Ware. after its model. The Logos “enters Himself as subject in a creative dialogic relationship with a created subject which is the visible image of His spiritual subject” . 548 D. not a merely memorial. “Image. the creation of the divine image in man is the result of the dialogic relationship between the divine Logos and the created image of Himself as subject. as hypostasis. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 546 D. but only with the infinite reality. but an affecting and ontological relationship. Man is not fulfilled by his relationships with finite entities.546 In a different place. . 152 This is why Stăniloae focuses his attention on the uniqueness of each human person and his value in relationship with others.

P. being the Word. Stăniloae. 1031-1418).550 He stands in a dynamic relationship with God. Indeed. thus fulfilling the Word in God.554 This is explained by the communion of hypostases in the Trinity and in humanity. vol I. p. rejecting Bulgakov’s idea that the spirit of man is a small part of God’s being.” Cf. 21C). like knots. pp. Stăniloae. Likewise. p. Cf. 1077D). “is an image of the trinitarian communion and a participation in it. 551 D. Hence the divine image in man is an image of the Trinity and reveals itself in human communion. p 393. a circumstance in which God would sin in man. Gregory of Nyssa. Maximus.” while we. 1959). Stăniloae speaks about the eternal rest in infinity that crowns man’s elevation from his earthly life. 554 D. Here Stăniloae finds his support in Maximus’ and Gregory of Nyssa’s viewpoints. Speaking of the unity of nature in mankind.” writes Stăniloae. Ambigua (PG 91. 153 Stăniloae emphasises that man in his integrity tries to partake with God in His integrity. the Word uttered by the Father and also the Word which answers to the Father. Quite in agreement with Maximus.551 Even if sin has obscured man’s communion with God.” p. He brings together His ontological and dynamic qualifications.”553 In a special way. are “particles of God”552 Third. The Birth of the Word is the Father’s final movement towards another Person. L’Orthodoxie (Neuchâtel. the communitarian character of the image derives from the emphasis put by Stăniloae on the fact that man was created in the image of the Holy Trinity. 395. as men. I. 552 D. Maximus. Likeness. “‘Moving Rest’ in Maximus the Confessor. “Interpersonal communion. In Evdokimov’s words: “The image is that centrality or that basis of the spiritual life animated by the aspiration after the absolute. Cf. vol. The Son is the supreme Being. Stăniloae. Communication among the divine Persons is the ultimate form of communication. Evdokimov. 77. Stăniloae. “Image. Plass. The Word is a Person and. p. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the Trinity shapes the ideal form of communication among men. the rationality of the human soul preserves an ongoing participatory relationship with the divine light. on which persons. 553 D. Eternal rest will always have a communitary nature. Plass writes: “In ‘ever-moving rest’ the finite creature (‘ever-moving’) is open to infinity (‘rest’).” Cf. 550 D. But is not the Father also “the supreme Being”? . So. at the same time. are held together by a common bond.182. while remaining forever the Person’s Father. Oratio Catechetica Magna 5 (PG 45.30. God is no more known as a Person but “only as impersonal truth and good that emerge from His covered face. 81-82. and Deification in the Human Person. Stăniloae.C. possessing power even before he becomes united with God and thus experiencing an existence rooted deep in God’s infinity. 107. a movement towards another Person to which He belongs. Stăniloae compares human nature to a thread. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Ambigua (PG 91. P. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.” p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.

Individual human beings. man can “see” this Absolute by experiencing limited things and persons. communion and eternity. caused by the scope of multiple relations made accessible to man. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. The human person is the source of communicating movement. cannot be spoken of as if they were concrete expressions of human nature existing in total isolation. man receives an in-built tendency towards communion and begins a conscious dialogue or relationship.555 This paradoxical union between persons. p. p. . Once we proceed along this route.”556 In sum. Stăniloae believes that man is created for communion. Stăniloae. Man’s feeling urges him to believe in a personal Absolute. Stăniloae. Even if this communion with others has a certain insufficiency and monotony. reflecting and shaping the image of the Trinity. 12-13. Each hypostasis is linked ontologically with the other and this bond finds expression in the need they all have to be in relation. This is why “in the 555 D. 154 In a way. a “word towards other persons. p.558 This aspiration after the eternal communion with God involves the mysterious partaking of the image within us with its model and the active functions of the divine powers. 558 D. This explains the fact that man's soul thirsts for knowledge. pp. since the image he bears in himself is the image of the Trinity. I. The ontological structure of man was intended to aspire after the communion with the divine persons. as result of the divine Logos.557 Finally. in the proper sense. The more he tries to know things. Stăniloae argues that the divine image in man has a communitary nature. 253. this will not keep him from aspiring after a communion with a perfect subjective conscience. is essential for Stăniloae in explaining man as the image of God. man feels he is capable of an intimate relationship with the limitless Absolute. vol. as ontological entity and as movement towards other persons. 556 D. 108. the more he is urged and strengthened to know his Creator. we are brought in Stăniloae’s presentation from a one-sided perspective concerning the man-God relationship into a pluridimensional one. Though limited by his very thirst for the unlimited. The human person is created according to the image of the supreme communion of divine persons. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.” Stăniloae once defined man as “a communitarian word-person. Stăniloae. They are thereby characterized as persons and they develop genuinely when they develop as persons by strengthening continuously the communication between themselves. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. It has been shown that. The Experience of God. Moreover. 557 D. Stăniloae. each human hypostasis bears the whole of nature as this is made real in the hypostatic knots and the string which unites them. 410.

153-156.562 The image has also an ontological and deontological nature as well.K. It is likeness as a potentiality. Crouzel. likeness means the fulfilment of this potentiality. and likeness is the image about to be actualised. a movement having its starting point in the goodness given to man by the act of creation and 559 D. 920).2. Cf. p. See also H. that is. .” p. while his perfection in likeness should be attained by himself only through a personal effort in imitating God (ut ipse sibi eam propriae industriae studiis ex Dei imitatione conscisceret). of course. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.” pp.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press. De Homine (PG 94. For a different view on Gregory of Nyssa. 3. 561 D Stăniloae “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni.340. Théologie de l’Image de Dieu chez Origène (Paris.561 Not all Greek Fathers. Stăniloae. 146-262). the principle of communion is that “human beings can infinitely progress in their communion with one another. Daniélou. John of Damascus.341. Mass. contending that the two aspects of our being are necessarily complementary. pp. 378. likeness is a mission. between the dignity of the image and the perfection of the likeness. p.563 The distinction between image and likeness is regarded by Stăniloae as a journey in time. 66-70. 563 Stăniloae mentions Gregory of Nyssa’s inconsistency. Origen. see J. Partakers of God (Brookline. A similar view is taken by John of Damascus in De Fide Orthodoxa XII.” Cf. Chrestou. Platonisme et Théologie Mystique. 1954). 1956). Essai sur la Doctrine Spirituelle de Saint Grégoire de Nysse. . 337. 337.3 The dynamic character of the image: image and likeness One of the essential marks of Orthodox theology is its anthropological dynamism due to acceptance of the distinction between image and likeness. 21. Origen. Cf. since with in their mutual attraction there works the Holy Spirit. Homiliae in Genesim (PG 12. Man was placed by his Creator on a certain ontological eminency.”559 In a sense. Origen interpreted Genesis 1:26 by making the distinction between imaginis dignitatem and similitudinis perfectionem. which uses alternately the notions of image and likeness. In support of this distinction. 155 communion between person and person lies the life of a person. says Stăniloae. among many others. Irenaeus. likeness to man’s spiritual side. If the image involves man’s potentiality to live in God. p. P. 2nd edition (Paris: Aubier. 52. Stăniloae “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. 560 D. make the distinction between image and likeness but this is very clear in Stăniloae’s works. Gregory of Nyssa. Irenaeus helds that these two words referred to two different aspects of the human individual: image referred to bodily form. Thus Stăniloae declares from the beginning: image speaks about man’s dignity. p. Thus image is a gift. Spiritualitate şi Comuniune în Liturghia Ortodoxă. The distinction is obligatory in order to preserve the Orthodox teaching on man’s continued kinship with God after the fall. Stăniloae. 562 “Image may be characterized as potential likeness. man lives indeed only in communion.”560 Thus Stăniloae is generally concerned to include in his argument the principle that the desire for transcendence is common to all men. D. Stăniloae mentions. Applied to the human interrelationships. 1984). 32. because the dignity of the image was given (perfectio initiis data per imaginis dignitatem). and Gregory Palamas. while likeness about his ethical duty. and likeness an actualized image.

p. In Orthodoxy.2. Stăniloae. vol. 566 In this framework of divine providence. pp. Creation implied only one will. in order to transform the image into likeness. the dynamic element inherent in the human nature. man did not lose his kinship with God. Thus the image of God in man expresses an original ontological dependence. It was mentioned that.566 Here again we ascertain the dynamic sense of the image in becoming. He works in man its satisfaction. in order to bring into existence the image. . Cf.” says Basil the Great. 565 “Man is a creature who received the commandment to become god. radical fall.567 Stăniloae maintains that the image of God in man was created without evil tendencies. as a divine risk. Stăniloae understands by likeness both the process and the final stage of deification. p. Accordingly. Following Irenaeus. In Laudem Basilii. 48 (PG 36. We are facing here a clear paradox: God risks the eternal ruin of His highest creation in order to make it the highest. the image becomes likeness by man’s will assisted by divine grace.4 The imperishable character of the image It is not difficult to notice that the Orthodox point of view is quite different from the Protestant concepts concerning man’s condition after the fall. I. God’s image as a sufficient reason for the continuation of the deification process. Lossky. 30-32. Stăniloae asserts that. Quoted by Gregory of Nazianzus.” p. and not only an ethical or normative significance. 338. we cannot speak about man’s total. 567 D Stăniloae “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. yet he did not possess that transparency of the saints who overcame the obscurity of the world. after the fall.565 Following the Fathers. in his primordial condition. even after it. 560A). 214. and. at the same time. Stăniloae. 156 leading to the achievement of the perfection impressed in this goodness itself. specifies Stăniloae. God’s image in man tends to become the ultimate likeness with God. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică. the former regarding everything around him as divine gifts. but man was not “strengthened” in this purity. both divine and human wills are necessary. The basis for understanding this distinction lies in the active characteristic of the human image. See also D. man was like an innocent child facing the world. that is. This is another reason found in Stăniloae’s writings for employing the distinction between image and likeness.564 God provides man with a desire for Him. Oratio 43. V.568 Man and God were in a perfect relationship. since man holds. In the Image and Likeness of God. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 3. Stăniloae explains this by saying that man’s deification claims the action of two different wills. Lossky sees the climax of God’s almightiness in the imposing to the existence of a certain deliberate inability. Therefore deification is equated with “likeness”. 414. He 564 Cf. D.

572 D. In sum. Stăniloae. if at all. 1959). pp. I. vol. 417-418. p. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. but this was not thoroughly consolidated and assimilated. 410.a freedom that originates in God’s almightiness.” Modern Theology 12. 571 D. For a detailed analysis of this idea. also including his senses. p. writes Stăniloae: “He could not have consolidated himself in obedience to God and progressed in His knowledge. 414. Wingren. p.570 Thus in championing the idea of ambivalence as far as primordial incorruptibility and immortality are concerned. The explanation of this is that man was free but he used his freedom to give up that very freedom. For a recent debate. namely a continuous vertical and horizontal transcendence.S. man should have the possibility to decline it. I.569 As God’s image. at least in part. see G. 163-193. “Jesus of Nazareth and Cosmic Redemption: The Relevance of St. pp.”571 Nobody knows how long man stood in this primordial condition. pp. for in that case the fall would not have happened so easily. The aspiration after the infinite and its grasping is a proof of the eternal potentiality of the divine image within man. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. p. The idea of the world’s personalization obviously belongs to Maximus. in order to fulfil the commandment of becoming god. writes Stăniloae . Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. 157 was made liable to the law of corruption. . 11. Man had to struggle and persist of his own volition in this relationship with God. in order to become free of “the monotony of doing and undoing. which for the individual human person means death” and to become the linking chain that brings together the whole nature and God. I. Stăniloae agrees readily with the Eastern doctrine concerning man’s original condition. I.”572 It is possible that the 568 D. But man can reconsider or wish to reconsider this renunciation any time. Yeago. 465. Stăniloae. 570 D. see D. Only through man can the world become a “christosphere” or a “pneumatoshere” from a “logosphere. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. since he lacked any stability in his innocence that would have been caused by consistent actions. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae. for he possesses the capacity for a cognitive relationship with the infinite God. The progress towards the infinite is made in his soul and body and it can be easily noticed in man’s ongoing perfection. vol. man is immortal. “God puts of His almightiness before man’s freedom”. Man and the Incarnation. A Study in the Biblical Theology of Irenaeus (Edinburgh and London. 14-38. Maximus the Confessor. Stăniloae mentions Basil the Great who suggests that. Man already possessed a condition of incorruptibility and immortality. 569 D. deification implies a double aspect: man is not destined to “disindividualise” or to “cosmicise” himself. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. but to personalise the world.2 (1996). but.

but not the power. but “it is not said that He built it anew. As a rational spirit. Potentially. man possesses the power of self-determination and moral freedom. Man’s freedom is not superior. The image aspires after the model existing at an infinite distance. Man’s freedom is a gift and a responsibility. 574 D. The image of God in man is indestructible. p. the image cannot die forever. the action of his own potentiality. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. Stăniloae stresses the dynamic character associated with Eastern anthropology. his own effort. . vol. that is. Stăniloae finds support in the fact that God “never annuls any of His created reflective images. 124. but the image has also in itself a moral aspiration. p.” This tendency did not disappear after the fall. 338-339. Stăniloae. even if it is “dimmed. in order to secure a further balance with the antinomic nature of sin. Being a rational construction and something created. seen as theosis. Again. Mystical Theology. that is. in 573 D. Stăniloae emphasises that the possibility of man’s likeness with God was the final purpose.” pp. Likeness signifies moral perfection.573 However. but perfectible because of its abiding in the good and can strengthen or weaken the person.”576 However. it presupposes a free and rational person. 467. and God’s likeness which he was to achieve.”575 It has been noted that for Stăniloae the image is given by God. But man declined his part. Stăniloae. being able to advance towards God through the union of his own freedom and responsibility. “a somehow intuitive watching of the divine presence. Stăniloae. and becomes unlike Him in His nature. p. man still possessing the will to do good. I. Emphasising this idea. Giving priority to the distinction between God’s image which man possessed from the very beginning. 158 fall was motivated by “conceit through satiation” which in turn degenerated into imprudence or laziness of the will. Stăniloae argues that “sin presupposes God’s image in man.” V. he remains a person. p. the spirit given by the Creator. 398. In Stăniloae’s view. 576 D Stăniloae “Starea Primordială a Omului în cele Trei Confesiuni. Stăniloae’s view on the image reveals its next important aspect: the presence of freedom. 10. while the likeness is achieved by man’s own will assisted by God’s grace. theosis existed in man from the very beginning and this was to be fulfilled by human endeavour.” 575 D. V. About Christ it is said that He restored the image.”574 It is just a dimmed image of God’s Logos because it remains in a relationship with the creation and the Logos and is impressed by His rationality. Lossky. Lossky says: “Even when he removes himself as far as possible from God.I. man’s image meant also a tendency towards the good. The distinction between image and likeness is preserved even after the fall. vol. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. The image is preserved in man. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.

Likeness. but ineffective. I. Stăniloae. The structures of the human nature remain essentially the same. Evdokimov. 74. but they were partially distorted in exactly the same way as in a caricature the features are preserved in a distorted manner. Stăniloae. L’Ortodoxie. to be “a place where we can respond to God through our words and acts. I. lacking any transparency or mystery that surpasses it. the world “became essentially obscure. To be more specific. 159 spite of its originality. so it is a knowledge in the ironical sense which God employs in Genesis 3:22. It is a knowledge that will never know the ultimate meaning of reality and its purpose. 88. “Image. that is. but this aspiration covered its personal face as far as man is concerned and. vol. the alteration of the image is seen in the obscuring of the mind. in the perversion of the heart and in the weakening of the will. because of the withdrawal of the divine spirit from the weakening of its nature as a transparent medium both between God and man and between human beings. vol. especially that of Karl Barth. the body-soul harmony was broken. Stăniloae’s point remains obscure when he claims that. who asserts the destruction or the abolition of God’s image in man after the Fall. Stăniloae explains it as follows: The image as an aspiration after God. that is. and Deification in the Human Person. communion with others was affected. p. vol. 474.”577 In this abnormal condition. man’s image lost its brightness and transparency. Man’s knowledge becomes more restricted and his person loses its transparency even for himself. However. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. . It is a knowledge that obscures what is more sensitive in the creation. mixed itself up with a contrary aspiration.”580 577 P. but in its action it is reduced to an ontological quiescence. p. Stăniloae. 579 D. p. this is nevertheless a proof that he is a personal being. D. consequently. It is a knowledge that started with a spiritually unevolved man and it remained at that very stage. its features were still preserved. passive. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the image in man is still integral. the patristic tradition admits that after the fall “the image remains unchanged in its actuality. 580 D. Stăniloae repudiates the Protestant view. it preserved itself as an aspiration for the absolute.” Because of the fall. 473. but they work in a way that is contrary to their nature. if someone commits sin against God. stopping his spiritual growth for a far higher realm than the sensory world. I. for it has lost its likeness.578 The results were immediate: man’s ability to know the personal God weakened. altered.” p. p. This knowledge is adapted to the human passions and pride.579 The fall directly affected man’s dialogue with God and thus the main purpose of world’s existence. 578 D. under the power of which man fell and it sees in creation a vast and ultimately obscure object. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 398.

being always open towards what is new. which is that of victory against Satan and turns it into a mere instrument for pain and the appeasement of God’s wrath. Man’s spirit is strengthened by suffering pain and death. Orthodox theology is quite different from Western theology when it speaks about the importance of the incarnation and the death of Jesus Christ. the divine providence being fulfilled by a progressive creative work. His total victory over evil. vol. I. Man’s predicament after the fall is not at all a consequence of God’s doom. and ultimately to redemption and deification. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 475 583 D. p. Therefore Christ’s death on the cross must be seen through His resurrection. In conclusion. the consequences of the fall became apparent in many areas of life in the universe. the consequences of sin become means against sin. this “breakthrough” is accomplished only by the saints who combined these spiritual powers by the permanent unification of reason and feeling. new ways. for believers in Christ. 582 D. Stăniloae.”581 In the effort to raise human nature. man being yet able to “break through” the obscurity interposed between creation and its Creator. by contemplating man’s condition after the fall as opposed to his condition before the fall.583 These remarks are doubtless due to an eschatological point of view peculiar to the Romanian theologian’s way of thinking. Stăniloae. . This is the “stability” in the ascendant movement that Gregory of Nyssa speaks about. Stăniloae understands the conservative dynamic providence as a synergy between God and the conscious being and contends that God uses “ both evil and good powers in order to lead history to higher positions. I. 160 To be sure. A Christian abides in the “renewal of the spirit”. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. In the most evident way. new stages adequate to our age. for it deprives Jesus’ cross of its actual historical and anthropological content. vol. but it is exclusively the result of Adam’s act. death) new opportunities for man’s development. it is a blasphemy against Him. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Peculiar to Stăniloae’s position is the fact that it sees in the negative consequences of the fall (corruptibility. p. Soteriologically speaking. Thus. I. Stăniloae thinks that man’s progress towards deification was not stopped after the fall. a stability that at the same time means movement without 581 D. Stăniloae. by which God works in co-operation with man are made accessible.582 Moreover. it is a heresy. in Stăniloae’s view. Stăniloae believes that God guides the world through movement to the goal of perfection in Himself. To believe that God is the cause of pain and death is a fundamental misconception. p. vol. 490. 486-487.

and employs the idea that beatitude is progress without limit. p. 493-494. 405C). Thus the relationship between image and model is of a special importance in Stăniloae’s theology. in Lossky’s words: “It is a participation in the divine energy proper to the soul. lit. I. . the transparency of the image is secured by its partaking in the original’s life. the Creator imprinting in man a life after His own life. Gregory of Nyssa rejects Origen’s kind of intellectualism. by the continuous communication existing between image and model.’” V.587 The act of divine breath is the act by which the image of the model is shaped in man. Stăniloae.”585 Accordingly. vol. 585 D. Platonisme et Théologie Mystique. 587 Or. pp. to rise above repetition. as the result of what Stăniloae believes and in contrast with Protestant belief.: Cistercian Publications. Stăniloae. as a result. the eternal epektasis of the soul towards God.584 For Stăniloae. tr. 291- 307. the Orthodox Church thinks that one can experience this genuine life with God already here on the earth. On epektasis as a theological concept original to Gregory of Nyssa. Gythiel (Kalamazoo. which focuses on the causa exemplaris or “pondering the meaning of emerging facts. 147. see J.” Stăniloae asserts that God is the model whose 584 D. vol. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. it means opposition against any absolutism of inter-human structures and conditions. 161 which man is not abiding in this ongoing novelty and. falls down. a decisive time for regeneration. De Vita Moysis (PG 44. p. God tries to shape a humanity penetrated by a love that urges us to “a maximally high humanity indefinable before. He contends that God’s image in man does not refer to some external impression which man bears in his life but to the divine image that involves participation in the divine nature. The Spirituality of the Christian East. by A. which is meant by the phrase ‘part of the deity.586 The image involves congeniality and a special relationship with the model.492. See also Gregory of Nyssa. Mich. 1986). pp. Mystical Theology.3 Evaluation: person and nature What became obvious in Stăniloae’s view is that man was endowed by the act of creation with the special qualification of imago Dei. The image God put in man assures a personal and dialogic relationship with God. Commenting on Maximus’ idea that “God and man are models for each other. 300D. sin is the proof of the old man’s continuing existence. A Systematic Handbook. Finally. 586 Spidlik makes the distinction between the Western mind which examines the efficient cause or causa efficiens and the Eastern mind. 3. the absolute person. even if he still is in the condition of a fallen man. there is no place for a crisis in the life of the Orthodox Christian. Spidlik. “expansion” or “reaching forward”) is for Gregory of Nyssa a peculiar and profound mysticism of endless or constantly progressing divine blissfulness and vision of God’s Kingdom.” Cf. p.55. I. The new means to surpass oneself in holiness. Lossky. T. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Daniélou.P. for he already is in the process of deification. Epektasis (Greek.

M. pp. p. “The Image of God in Man: is Woman Included?” Harvard Theological Review 72 (1979). Deification in Christ. P. 1:15-18. Stăniloae seems to involve a relational view in which the imago Dei is the orientation of the person towards God. 162 image became the saint and the man who became a saint is the model according to which God became man. Bray. Thus the content of the imago is intersubjectivity. 4:4. in which man images God by what he does. 114-134. in Platonism. 22-24. . pp. 590 Stăniloae makes indirect references to the fact that man is like God not because he has a particular property. 1:3. 8:29. The advantage of this holistic view of man is that it rejects all kind of reductionism. 195-225. Lossky. however. Stoicism and Neoplatonism). Young. (2) although Stăniloae never claimed an explicit position. dynamic and directional meaning.590 More often. sometimes Stăniloae seems to hold a substantial or ontological view. F. Analysing Maximus. 110-140. and Image and Likeness. it is important to mention two observations that: (1) the influence on him comes from that line of interpretation in the history of dogma which saw a clear continuity between the Old Testament concept of man after God’s image and the New Testament concept of Christ as God’s image.M. The anthropological literature on man as the image of God is voluminous. Heb. 591 For example. Other times.591 Since the image includes the whole person. and in Philo’s works. D. pp.32. What is essential in understanding theosis is that. pp. in which imago is grounded in some aspects of the humanum. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. but also Orthodox anthropology and Christology itself are organised. even after the fall. pp. he seems to adhere to an inclusive view. for Stăniloae. We remember that the term “image of God” was employed in Greek philosophy (for example.” Tyndale Bulletin 42:2 (1991). in Col. 2 Cor. but because he functions in a particular way. “The Significance of God’s Image in Man. Scripture nowhere offers a systematic theory of man as imago Dei. Mystical Theology. 125. it is this which provides the continuity of the imago Dei. Horowitz. 589 This is why Nellas thinks that this theme serves “as an axis around which not only Orthodox cosmology. “Adam and Anthropos. a continuity found in the formula: “man is the image of the Image”589. To be more specific. 169-206. Hence the idea of imago Dei in Stăniloae’s view covers human nature in its total extent and in all its parts. p. it must include all aspects of man’s structure or function. in the Old Testament. the image can be seen to have been preserved in personal relationships between humans. 112. and the theological interpretations are integrally related to the worldviews that their representatives produce.588 To place Stăniloae’s distinctive theological connection between imago Dei and theosis in its appropriate context. notes on Ambigua. man functions as a representative of God’s lordship over creation.C.” Vigilae Christianae 37 (1983).” Cf.” Cf.139. and notes the proximity of the creation mandate to the creation account. Stăniloae seems to support a functional or ontic view. Nellas. To be precise. the idea of the image of God in man has a relational. 1 John 3:2). This enables Stăniloae to maintain that the directional appearance of the image 588 D. However. For a biblical overview on this issue see G. Stăniloae regards nevertheless that it is venturesome to assert that “God and man are models to each other. Rom. finding its climax in the Christological framework in the apostle Paul’s writings (for example. pp. See also V. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică.

pp. 283-300. Rahner. Guider (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 245ff). Ware. 1982). 163 implies man’s participation to the divine life as personal being. and.” SJTh 47 (1992). Lossky.).II (Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. Theological Dialogue between Orthodox and Reformed Churches.V. The Trinity and the Kingdom of God. élan or the onset of the human being towards God. pp. The consistency with which Stăniloae adheres to the communitarian characteristic of the image is re-encountered in the distinction between nature and person. K. Greek theologians such as Zizioulas and Yannaras apply the axioms of the existential personalism in their patristic Neo-Hellenism and liturgical (eucharistic) framework. The question of person is one of the most debated issues in the theological field today. Speidell. . L. Sometimes he calls it the aspiration of the human spirit to the infinite person. 1981). J. tr. 123. 1993). The Experience of God. Stăniloae employed the idea of inclination towards the divine Archetype. trying to avoid by that any psychological manoeuvre. in particular as a reaction to the “rational essentialism” found in Western theology. 1983). Jenson. T. 6-23. Moltmann. For him. “A Trinitarian Ontology of Persons in Society. 1993). Foundations of Christian Faith. K. 593 V. In line with Florovsky and Meyendorff. and he is fulfilled as a human person only through the interaction of these two structures of communication that results in a dialogic relationship. O’Donnell.593 To understand and appreciate fully the implications of theosis. Stăniloae always is working at two levels. An Introduction to the Idea of Christianity. both trinitarian and human. tr. by W. 592 Stăniloae develops this relation especially in the chapter entitled “The Holy Trinity: Structure of Supreme Love. God as the Mystery of the World. one of the scholars contemporary with him. see: R. The metaphysical paradigm where the person is placed is the relation between image-archetype. the following paragraph will analyse Stăniloae’s assertion in parallel with John Zizioulas. Dych (New York: Crossroad. The Triune Identity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press. individual and community. The Doctrine of God (London: SCM Press. Jungel. 1987). And the personal form of existence is the highest form of existence that cannot be expressed in concepts.592 At this point. while Lossky maintains the apophatic and the metaontologic character of person.H. T. For other contemporary discussions. E.W. “The Human Person as an Icon of the Trinity. p. at other times. At the same time. Man is a relational being.” Sobornost 8:2 (1986). Stăniloae is one among many Orthodox theologians in this century who embraces apophatic personalism as an essential part of his theological approach. by D.F. Torrance (ed. The basic idea is that man is totally involved in this movement. vol. The Mystery of the Triune God (London: Sheed & Word. Stăniloae adopts existentialism and apophaticism as key hermeneutical categories in interpreting the Orthodox experience. pp.” from his Dogmatics (In English. the person is the metaphysical compression of Christian reality. Stăniloae’s thinking is an actualised theology of the person. When he discusses the image. J. In the Image and Likeness of God.

While claiming patristic support.” More precisely. that aspect that is directed towards others. basically from the Cappadocians. 1991). 596 J. 1993). Divine and Human (Edinburgh: T&T Clark). it is claimed. In contrast to the Western idea that personhood can be defined in reference to the individual in isolation. 38. Zizioulas. this ontological mutation produced “a revolution with regard to Greek and especially Aristotelian ontology. “Being a person is basically different from being an individual or ’personality’ in that the person cannot be conceived of in itself as a static entity.”598 The first question is a general one. . and through love persons exist in ekstatic relationship. Persons.”596 Zizioulas sees the basis for communion not in the divine substance but in the person of the Father.” p. 409. pp. and The Promise of Trinitarian Theology. Both alternatives seem to operate with a kind of existentialist reductionism which is not found 594 C.D. Gunton. “Human Capacity and Human Incapacity. As an essential moment in the history of Christian dogma. and is related to the validity of reducing ontology to personology (Zizioulas.594 Zizioulas sees that it is only “in relation” that true identity can be found.D.” pp. Zizioulas maintains that. Love not only constitutes God’s being. Being is not restricted but “in its ekstasis breaks through boundaries in a movement of communion. “Human Capacity and Human Incapacity. “Human Capacity and Human Incapacity. establishes communion and relationship as the ultimate ontological category in God. p. Towards an Ontology of Personhood. 446. pp. 595 J. he suggests that capax Dei makes sense only in the scheme capacity- in-incapacity.” p.D. The One. Zizioulas provides only minimal citations from the Greek Fathers.E. Gunton (eds. but only as it relates to. Gunton. “On Being a Person. pp. Creation and the Culture of Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.E. 1991. This. Zizioulas. and therefore the nature of our being is communion. it also constitutes our being. 597 J. rather it is personhood that forms the centre and primary concern.597 This concept of communion finds expression in the term ekstasis. 31-57. Schwöbel and C. Yannaras) or metaontology (Lossky) based on the patristic texts. E. for the Cappadocians. the Three and the Many. God. 598 J. a derivative word used as a contrast to the idea of hypostasis. The Promise of Trinitarian Theology (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. the basis of unity in the Godhead lay in the hypostasis or the person of the Father. 86-90. 164 Ontology is not the central tenet of Zizioulas’ writings.).” in C. 188-195. Thus “the highest form of capacity for man is to be found in the notion of imago Dei. Zizioulas.D. Ekstasis refers to the outward motion in personhood. See also C. communion is found in love.”595 The nature of God’s Being is communion. Speaking about man’s mysterious capacity to enter into a relationship of communion with God. Zizioulas. 407-408.

R. 61-65. Reconceiving the Trinity (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. nowhere in the Fathers do we encounter such an excessive separation between person and individual. they [Zizioulas and Gunton] have ensnared themselves in Neo-Platonic emanationism. 295f. pp. and consequently a hypostatisation of that essence in numerous subjects. The Promise of trinitarian Theology. pp. 104. 601 V. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Ică. Zizioulas’ Being as Communion. see A.D. 104-127. the very Greek philosophy from which they wich to be liberated” (p. 604 For further analysis of Zizioulas and Gunton. and nowhere is person or the hypostasis a supernatural category and nature a simple necessary data which has to be “surpassed” by the existential freedom of person.”606 Referring to the Holy Trinity. the essence is reduced to the person and. pp. Williams. pp.600 While Lossky cautioned against the idea of confounding the Godhead and the Father. . 605 Cf.” and “the actualisation and the realisation of being. 600 For a recent demonstration.G. 63). Torrance. 1943). Mystical Theology.599 In the case of Zizioulas.” in Persoană şi Comuniune. 359-385. 37-39.605 His ontological vision about personhood is detected earlier in his book on Christology (Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. see T.603 Thus Zizioulas has simply overstated the case in his desire to downplay the ousia. 59. pp. 1996). p. it is known that the Cappadocians believed that the ousia and not the hypostasis is the basic unity in the Godhead.601 neither he nor Zizioulas have adequately watched against falling into ontological subordination.” SJTh 42. vol. in the case of Lossky. is not based solely in the Father but is a constituent part of the nature of the Son and the Spirit. 165 in the Fathers. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. p. Lossky. I. 603 As Williams said: “Who on earth says that the divine ousia has a causal relation to the persons of the Trinity?” Cf. Weinandy thinks that “in trying to preserve the personhood of God on the basis of the monarchy of the Father. see T. The Father’s Spirit of Sonship. I. One Being Three Persons (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 129-155. vol.1 (1989). 165. “that subsistent essence which is supreme and spiritual is not a singular conscious subject but a community of subjects who are fully 599 For an ample historical analysis of this view. pp. “Personnalisme ou Essentialisme Trinitare chez les Cappadociens? Une Mauvaise Controverse. Gunton questions the basis of ascribing pre- eminence to the Father on the basis of Cause since these relations are mutual. Weinandy. The Christian Doctrine of God. 606 D. “Review of J.602 Zizioulas’ stress on the Father as source and monarch is so great that he seems to have compounded the person of the Father and the Godhead. However.I. says Gunton. Stăniloae. 602 C. Stăniloae writes: “the spiritual essence that is subsistent only in a subject always implies a conscious relation between subjects.604 Stăniloae’s assertion tries to avoid any existentialist reduction. pp. Gunton.” Revue Theologique de Louvain 17 (1986). 1995). He maintains the paradox of hypostasis as being at the same time “a reality which is distinct from being. p. the person is reduced to grace. Communion.F.” Moreover. Furthermore. de Halleux. “Persoană sau/şi Ontologie în Gândirea Ortodoxă Contemporană. II. 177-180.

for Stăniloae. moreover. attributing to person (in contradistinction to nature) the apophatic intimacy of the ‘image’ which is determinative for the individual. Likeness. The divine person is unity and relation is the quintessence of unity. The Trinity of the divine persons belongs to the divine essence and yet the three persons are not confused with the unity of the essence. on the other hand. 609 D. the relationship between nature and person has an analogical and complementary character. says Stăniloae.”610 Answering to Lossky. which is simultaneously an ontological state and a state of love. 166 transparent. all persons in common comprise the whole of human nature.”607 For Stăniloae. “Image. 80. and Deification in the Human Person. Person is only nature in its real existence. 607 D. Likeness. “Image. p.”609 This reflects the confusion made by Lossky between “human nature as such” and the “distorted condition of that nature. means that which distinguishes it from nature. The Experience of God. while person. in a certain sense.” p. .” p. and in God this act is essential and points simultaneously to a distinction of those who have reference one to the other. p. individual and person mean opposite things. 121. Stăniloae. In the normal state. 611 D. Beside the common participation in the life of the Trinity. out of that power which comes from the communion of nature and of supreme love present in the Holy Trinity. just as this is done in the Holy Trinity. 81. L’Icone du Christ: Fondements Théologiques Elaborés entre le Ier et le Iie Concile de Nicée (327-787). Again. nor relation abolished in favour of unity. human nature is found only in hypostasized forms. Stăniloae. 610 D. Lossky says: “But. See also C.611 In other words. Stăniloae. 2nd edition (Fribourg: Editions Universitaires. 1976). divine love is an essential divine act and this act is a relation. He criticises Lossky who “allows for the existence of at least a partial opposition between them. von Schönborn. the Fathers in general make no distinction of content between person and nature. and Deification in the Human Person. then certainly by grace or by uncreated energy and love) with the Holy Trinity.” V. “reciprocal reference is act. 258. Stăniloae proceeds to the anthropological aspect of the relation between person and nature. in which there is allowed a partial opposition between person and nature. Mystical Theology. and Deification in the Human Person. for Stăniloae. then. This is precisely why human beings can only bring about this state. Stăniloae.” In conclusion. Lossky. 82. Likeness. that is. p. the word individual expressing a certain mixture of the person with elements which belong to the common nature. we are attracted also by the common nature we share as persons. 608 D. “Unity must not be destroyed for the sake of relation. in the culmination of communion (if not by nature. bestowing and receiving it reciprocally among themselves. 256. Stăniloae writes: In fact. Stăniloae. The nature truly subsists in a multiplicity of hypostases.”608 With this background.” p. The Experience of God. both implying the persons. “Image.

123. of course. for Stăniloae. See also T. and would always remain so. Theosis does not eliminate the distinction between God and creation. This understanding. not God. “Image. If God is a creature.”613 Thus we may conclude that Stăniloae rejects both extremities: the metaontology of Lossky. therefore. even after the attainment of theosis. 613 D.612 At the same time. not a definition either of us or 612 See for example. . and Deification in the Human Person. or with any part of it. based on reciprocity and sharing. Man aspires after the absolute with a personal character. pp. On the other hand. theosis was descriptive of a relation between God and creation. We have also seen that. Torrance. 112-135. 83. Stăniloae. its “ekstatic. God-creation. Stăniloae in no way identified God with the world. One cannot literally become God since that would be as absurd as if we were to state that God is a creature. Our created vocation of progressing towards theosis does not do away with our creatureliness. “the hypostasis cannot exist emptied of nature or separated from relationship. due to the fact that the need for transcendence is organic in human beings. and unitarian character.F. For one to be deified is to be a creature of God. Stăniloae suggests that theosis cannot be taken literally. Following this line of thought. Stăniloae. a creature was a creature. for only creatures have a beginning in time. nor the world with God. 167 Hence hypostasis must be conceived as a concentrated centre of totality. as God intended one to be. The Christian Doctrine of God. Stăniloae’s patristic model is rather Palamite. we may affirm firstly that in Stăniloae’s system of thinking. The hypostases are the nature in the concrete existence and form of their inter-relationship. concentrated primarily on apophaticism and the person- energy relationship. is a consequence of a patristic model that is primarily concentrated on the sacramental experience. by definition. man-creation. pp. revealed the fact that deification is seen by Stăniloae as the eternal divine purpose for man’s participation in the life of God. and the ontological personhood of Zizioulas. His approach holds the primacy of a relational over an essential category of person. Zizioulas’ ontology of communion and person is close to the radical existentialist distinction between person and individual. 4. General conclusions The three forms of relationship developed above (that is. Hence Stăniloae’s personalism became obvious when he defined man as person in relation. Likeness. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. including mankind. 103. rather it fulfils it. and man-God).” p.” catholic. then He is. D.

theosis described as a relation is perceived as a relation that is constantly changing and multi- directional. we are never beyond the infinite reach of God’s creative and redeeming compassion. It follows that there is no one time within the divine economy which can be called specifically deificatory. becomes distinct when he asserts the principle that the tripersonal community is the source for all existing acts and relations. We were created to grow into an increasingly intimate relationship with God. The infinity of God can be described. is “akin” to our noetic and spiritual nature. Stăniloae’s insistence on the triadic archetype is understandable because. the distance is not infinite. Thus theosis means after the fall a return to a previous capacity for growth. A full personal character demands a triadic correspondence. This dogmatic formula of the divinity unique in being and trinitarian in persons reveals the basis and support for all the possibilities of communication between human persons and God. on the other hand. including time and space as instruments for deification. In this sense. “akin” to God. the gulf in between is not absolute. the distinctiveness of . first by God’s creative goodness which called us into being. For this reason. but in terms of the conviction that no matter how far we flee from our Creator. Although we and God are separated as creature and Creator. at least potentially. Our somatic constitution. as created. 168 of God separate from one another. was immature. in turn. not in terms of the distance between God and us. From the time of creation. a monopersonal God does not have the communion in Himself and. as noted above. on the one hand. Stăniloae’s contribution in advancing the concept of theosis. as we have seen. the process of theosis is adoptive. by virtue of the image of God breathed into us by the Creator Word is. mankind and the Creator have been bound together. then. is that this relation between us and God is a dynamic relation. contributes to our deification. Everything. and our spiritual nature. Stăniloae’s supplement at this point is that he saw theosis as a process having its initial roots in the purposes of creation. we have seen. Only a triadic existence assures the personal character. he was created to grow. a dyadic structure is limitary. not natural. and subsequently by the divine oikonomia which has ever sought to guide us towards our ordained destiny. because it depends on God’s creative and sustaining initiative. A final observation regards the special connection between theosis and the Holy Trinity. Adam. This binding relation between God and humankind is also part of our created nature. A second thing we must say about theosis. This is why we recognise in the Eastern Orthodox understanding of salvation a dynamic process rather than a static condition.

then. in Stăniloae's view. realises the unity of selves and not being identified. as the organic configuration of this essential reality. becomes a matrix of communion that we try to actualise in the mystery of the interpersonal love. Son. This study therefore aims to assist in interpreting and evaluating Stăniloae as a theologian who establishes an appropriate synthesis of deification upon incarnational and redemptive foundations. CHAPTER V. This fact reveals the incarnational structure of Stăniloae’s theology in relation with the doctrine of deification. and Holy Spirit. 169 the persons. In the act of creation. In this trinitarian model. Methodologically. He starts with the relationship between God and the world. The highest expression of this communication is love which. Stăniloae follows three stages in his presentation of the deification of man in Christ. and man responds to God in love. THE CHRISTOLOGICAL ASPECT OF DEIFICATION: THE PERSON OF CHRIST Introduction This chapter seeks to interpret and appraise the Christological aspect of deification in the theology of Stăniloae with particular reference to the person of Christ. Outside this communication. The systematic centre of this chapter lies in its contention that Stăniloae develops doctrines of the incarnation and redemption which are utterly decisive for his theological system. the Romanian finds the foundation and the explanation for the ontological dialogic model of the human selves that aspire for a radical accomplishment of communication. to being taken up and given to share in the inner life of Father. Love is understood as an ontological act that permanently brings something into existence. That is. It will be argued how. The triadic formula. It will be pointed out that the underlying systematic principle organising Stăniloae’s position on Christ as related to the question of deification is his assumption of hypostatic union and its consequences. paradoxically. God shows His love. Stăniloae understands that God and man are connected profoundly and inextricably together within Christ and hence the incarnation is the centre of all thought of God and of the world. and the communion. for the world was . the person’s existence is only virtual. the incarnation is the epistemological ground for humanity's salvation and knowledge of God. it becomes real only through the act of love. and in particular his theology of deification.

to their completion with all that God has. See also Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. Hence Christ. because man was unable to give an answer to God's call. as a tripersonal communication. Still. As the Father's image. p. the incarnate Logos. The fact that the incarnation was performed by the Son and not by the Father or by the Holy Spirit is a mystery. both as God who calls and as man who is called. 572-573. it was impossible that this decision should not involve also the decision to bring them. In Him God becomes man and man becomes god by grace. 615 D. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Cyril of Alexandria and others believe that the Son came to redeem or to re- create men. remaining at the same time God “in order to listen to Himself. by their own will. Stăniloae. being the medium by which man is prepared and developed in the process of deification. that is. pp. Stăniloae builds up the ontological foundation of the incarnation in man. Men. to eternal happiness or to deification. decided to create man. while the special revelation in Christ is final and decisive. as limited but free beings. For Stăniloae the incarnation is part of God’s eternal purpose. Stăniloae.”615 Thus Christ is intended to be God in order to reach for the man and. 170 created for the communion of God with man in view. 15. For only if the Son of God “becomes man” is it possible for man to “become 614 D. were endowed with a free movement towards God's infinity. Stăniloae asserts: For since God. p. and time becomes for him cause and purpose. God created the history of man and the world in order to bring men to deification by His own power and will. the transfiguration of the entire cosmos is anticipated. Church Fathers tried to give an answer on the basis of the attributes of the Persons in the Holy Trinity. . Deification and incarnation According to Stăniloae the general revelation (including the sensible world and inherent moral law) is introductory and preparatory. Therefore in the person of Christ. Contrary to Origen's theory. 1. John of Damascus thinks that the Son of God became the Son of Man in order to preserve the attribute as born. is the meeting place of two mysteries. or two births. the Son re-made in man God's image. Yet. as a man. the incarnation is not only a descending movement of God but also the ascending movement of man. Surely. Athanasius. God made Himself man. 15. to discover God. Finally. it is not difficult to observe that in Stăniloae's vision the incarnation of the Logos has a cosmic significance. The second stage is that the world is created in view of the incarnation of God.614 God created man as a being within time. vol II. Stăniloae argues that we have good reason to hold that history has a positive role. because He was the Word who created them. This perspective does not suggest that the incarnation occured solely because of the fall.

Thus.616 It is important to notice that Stăniloae understands the significance and the necessity of the incarnation in view of the fall and its consequences. 171 God. He did not come only as man. Stăniloae. The incarnation of the Son of God. Stăniloae explains the possibility of man's deification based primarily on the person of Christ. is evident once more at this point.617 Surely. What was underlying creation will underlie the re-creation too: God's loving kindness. An interesting postulate is found in the idea of the eternal law as the “law of obligation to the Father. intended to bring redemption. the idea of the Logos as a unifying principle in the universe. 106-107.” The possibility to accomplish this law is restricted only to a man whose communion with God was not broken by sin and who sacrificed himself. The history of how God prepared His Son's coming is apparent especially in the history of the Jewish people and it demonstrated that the fall did not mean a radical condition. or as a content of man. In addition to these preliminary ideas.” The Son of God became man in the full sense. and second. After the cosmic catastrophe caused by man's fall. The divine Subject came down having the function of a human subject. the idea of hypostatic union in the person of Jesus Christ. Admitting man's abnormal condition that imposed a unique solution. 616 D. Stăniloae thinks that the necessity of the incarnation is motivated not as much by the satisfaction of divine justice. but He makes Himself a human subject for communion. peculiar to Stăniloae and the Orthodox theology as far as redemption is concerned. there will be some indications that this has been only partially achieved. man became more and more separated from God and from any possibility of restoration. the incarnation of the Son of God. as by the lifting of the fallen man. The optimistic spirit. followed the most important event. is a spring of harmony in the divine attributes. by making appeal to a pair of concepts: first. like that of the rebellious angels' fall. that was intended to unify man and God. However. despite the effort of Stăniloae to maintain an equilibrium between God's love and justice. pp. . that is. man still possessed the desire for truth and good and the awareness of his wrong acts. the death of Christ for humankind cumulates in itself the maximal effect in preparing human beings for communion with Him and God. anticipates Stăniloae. Iisus Hristos sau Îndumnezeirea Omului. Hence Stăniloae boldly affirms that in incarnation God makes Himself a reality. By altering the image of God and by forfeiting the divine grace.

p. p. affecting their complex unity. then. the fall distorted the comprehension of things as images of the rationalities possessed by the supreme reflective Person and as words of divine love. “man could not find any help. man did not fall only by himself. 569. 617 “The angels sinned from their own initiative and by themselves. However.”619 All personal subjects. II. 12. 618 D. From the beginning. without any temptation from the outside. the rationalities of the things are means for dialogue and communion between human beings and the Logos. vol. 172 1. vol.1 Communion with the Logos and transcendental Christology The first idea on which Stăniloae builds up the Christological aspect of deification is the theology of the Logos. our coming into existence actually coincides with establishing the interpersonal dialogue. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. reflect the truth that this universe has its origin in a supreme person. 84. justifies the necessity of the incarnation of the Logos. Stăniloae. . in the reason still left in the human being and in the rationality left in the objects (which no longer possess the transparency of the divine Logos). Therefore. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. II. 619 D. Stăniloae. based not only on intellect but also on love. Man started to regard things as reasons per se. but he was deceived by the Devil. pp. Stăniloae. According to Stăniloae the person has a fundamental intentionality towards communion. “is based on our being called into existence by the Logos.” says Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” Thus man's movement towards eternal dialogue is understood by Stăniloae as the Logos' attraction. Stăniloae. 620 D. Previously.618 From this point of view. This.” D. in fact. II. facing alone a world of things. vol. The goal of creation is to bring into existence not only impersonal objects but essentially personal subjects destined for an eternal dialogue with the Creator.”620 The link between the Logos and human reason weakened. p. when the anthropological aspect of deification was analysed. against the irrational tendencies and passions originating in himself. we observed that Stăniloae spoke about human beings as beings called by the divine Logos to have communion with Him through the world of created things. that gives consistency to the subject and who is seen as “a kind of projection created by Himself. Stăniloae employs a perspectival and synthetic approach in understanding the unitarian and personalist mark of salvation. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 9-10. Because this agreement is in a process. This kind of communion is possible because the rationality of things involves a creative person. “Our movement towards existence. emphasises Stăniloae.

Christ opened the opportunity for us to have communion with God in its consummate form. neutral. Stăniloae. Stăniloae develops this thought and writes: Every man is a reflective word in dialogue with the personal divine Word and with every other personal human word. the centre of creation. 622 D. enhypostatized in Him and penetrated by His energy. constitutes the natural state of the humanum. origin and meaning. as well as from things. we have the challenge to bring together in ourselves all the rationalities of things and to express them. words and standards. By His incarnation in man. What Stăniloae wants to point out is that the Logos created subjects able to be in dialogue with Him.622 In other words. created as an image of the personal Logos. is the Logos that unites all things in Him without confusion. says Stăniloae. material and spiritual goods and. This dialogue promotes love. continues Stăniloae. He achieved what we could not: the unity with 621 D. Theology and the Church. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. is the leaven working secretly within the whole body of mankind. every man extracts his power from the divine Word. in incarnation “the humanity of the Word. The unity of all is the Logos. . without divine grace. for they secure our fulfilment. receiving in turn the communication addressed by others and developing in this way his relationship with the Logos of God and his understanding concerning things. II. brings together their rationalities in his thought and their power in his life and conveys them to others. It is in this sense that we exist only because the Logos called us to life. And since we are partners in this dialogue with the Logos and are also able to speak and think. the hypostatic Word. 191. he is invited to bring together in himself all the created plasticised rationality in order to share thus a thought and a life content in common with the divine Logos. vol.”621 Further. that does not mean that they are identical with the Logos. the foundation of the doctrine of man's deification. p. The human subject is invited to a spiritual-material conscious life in communion with the Logos. but He does not identify Himself with the human creatures that are distinct from Him and from each other. Stăniloae. Hence there is no such thing as “pure” state. the Word shares Himself developing new meanings. they receive from God new meanings and utilities. p. 173 First. What plasticising means for the rationalities of the Logos or for the images of these rationalities and the human body. the human body also means for the human subject. 8. mediated by objects. Stăniloae affirms that the personal Reason. after these are processed by the others. meanings. Human subjects receive. the communion to which the Logos invites human persons is mediated by the created things. where man was united with divine grace. Although human beings have a common reason. The original state.

. Stăniloae. vol. Stăniloae. 9 (PSB 16.624 Stăniloae concludes that in incarnation the divine Subject can change the human subject. Thus by His human nature.” similar to the position of the Catholic theologian Karl Rahner.627 The idea of the Logos’ presence in creation leads Stăniloae to admit a “transcendental Christology. Stăniloae. 47. This is inevitable (1) because the fundamental law of spiritual existence is the law of communion. as a subject of loving reflection embodies in Himself human nature. He brings together in Himself not only human beings but the whole world. resulting in a culminating human personal achievement. p. 626 D. vol. in order to relate the doctrine of the deification of man to the work of the Logos. an 623 D. 33-34. For. Stăniloae. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. 625 D. into the divine person. an image inseparable united with its model. and (2) because the restoration in communion with God cannot be effectuated through the being itself but only as the result of the initiative from God. Stăniloae suggests a need for Christ written into the spiritual constitution of man. is no more such a special partner in Christ. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. the model potentially involves in itself His image. remaining as subject of the divine nature. “only through man as a person can the supreme personal reality descend in the order of the created nature. deriving from the relation between the triadic Persons. The ontological pursuit for ultimate transcendence for the human person reveals the existence of a supreme personal transcendence. Stăniloae. by assuming the human nature as the unfolding image in Himself. Basically. II. Indeed. notes on Athanasius. both as a divine Son and as man. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. pp. 12 624 D. “In His Son the Father loves also the humanum assumed by His Son including His Spirit that is resting in His Son from eternity. II. inherently and ultimately. but the Logos Himself is in dialogue with the Father and with us. Epistola către Serapion (Ad Serapion) II.”625 We have here the ontological sense of salvation. 77). His human image. In conclusion. 90ff. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. II. p. p. Stăniloae’s concept of deification in connection with the presence of the Logos in creation clearly carries with it personalistic meaning. that is. to fully integrate it into the human person through it. that is.”626 Essentially. as a special partner in the dialogue with the Logos. the supreme personal reality made known to us in the person of Jesus Christ. vol. a model which He achieves. Stăniloae employs the basic idea of humanity's communion with the Logos in the act of incarnation. if man is shaped after His 'image'. 627 D.623 Stăniloae explains this possibility in Christ as follows: The Logos as a Personal Reason. with the divine Logos. 174 man's model.

Rahner and W. A New Christology (London: Burns & Oates. vol. This means that the grace is no longer an exclusive property of the Church. Rahner equates self-acceptance with implicit faith. the understanding of death as accomplished in the death of Christ. and the hope in the future. Christologie systematisch und exegetisch dargestellt (Herder. there is no such thing as “pure nature. so the Second Vatican council seemed to allow that grace may be present in nature. 630 The consequences of this position are significant. 14-16. 62-63. In this context. and it may be obtained outside the traditional Roman Catholic Church. II. Rahner. in Cyprian in the third century). Grundlinien einer systhematischen Christolologie.629 In post-Vatican II theology this strict dichotomy between nature and grace has been questioned. While the majority of people do not have an official connection to the Church. that is. In one sense. K. Thüsing. due to the fact that there is grace in nature. one of the outstanding teachings in Medieval Catholic theology was that there is no salvation outside the Church.” because nature is always “graced. 175 ontological Christology founded in our very existence. that is. for the Church is the means of grace which is transmitted through the sacraments. From this hope Rahner deduces the essentials of Christology.” and adopts the basic truth that man is in a transcendental necessity. This blurring of the distinction between nature and grace has some important implications for their understanding of the Church and for salvation.” God being related both to humanity and to the world. It is generally accepted that after Vatican II there is an exciting plurality within the Roman Catholic Church. Stăniloae interprets Rahner's position and accepts that there are three specific elements involved in it: the need of man for an absolute love. pp. and says that it is very 628 D. According to Rahner. this supernatural existential. In English. this supernatural existence means that human beings have both a capacity for God or the transcendent.” Grace on this understanding is not a static thing but rather a dynamic orientation towards God. 1980). However. This understanding derives probably from one of the more interesting confrontations today between some Roman Catholic theologians and liberation theologians.630 The incarnation signifies that God is embodied in the world and in humans. 1972). Presumably this understanding was partially determined by the fact that in the Roman Catholic world view there was a dualism of nature and grace. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 629 Of course.628 “Transcendental Christology” claims to be a Christology from “below. and that this capacity is being exercised even if we are not aware of it. Stăniloae. For Rahner. this orientation towards grace. Cf. On the other hand. pp. the very conception of “Church” has been broadened. man has a thirst for the absolute and a hope of a free self-communication on the part of God. the principle “No salvation outside the Church” is in itself far more ancient than the medieval nature/grace dichotomy (for example. there is such a thing as . pervades human experience even if this happens in an implicit way. Karl Rahner's theology advanced the doctrine of “supernatural existence. in K.

but in a different context. for understanding the plan of salvation. this approach may suggest a critical attitude to traditional Christology and. The mode in which Stăniloae and Rahner start to develop their Christology is build on a deductive foundation that could imply a transfer of transcendence to man himself. If the answer is positive. an equilibrium granted by “transcendental Christology. is found in Stăniloae's theology of the Logos. the Church remains special in that it is the visible sacrament of salvation. That involves a subtle reversal regarding the starting point: from the Gospel to a kind of preliminary revelation posited in human life. the “historical manifestation” of the grace of God's self-communication to humanity. Both theologians seem to demand. Stăniloae’s methodology seems to support an anthropologically-oriented Christology. therefore. Indeed.” However. “ascendant” or “descendent”). everyone is an anonymous Christian. prior to any consideration of the Scripture texts. Anonymous theism exists whenever a person is open to the mystery that grounds human existence. invisible membership. the danger of misinterpreting Stăniloae is present. What was happened is that the old formula has been reversed: not “outside the Church . may lead to a demythologizing tendency concerning beliefs about Jesus the Christ. His main intention is always to hold a balanced position in the unity in difference of the two types.” Nevertheless. 176 plausible that one can be justified without a conscious commitment to the Jesus of history. but this aspiration can be revealed only in the presence of the Saviour described in the Gospels. to start within the heart of man. On the other hand. For it is Christ who reveals the human heart to itself. This is the reason why the author asks to confine the whole approach to the truth that advocates that the human heart has a secret aspiration for an absolute Saviour. Although this certainly is not Rahner’s or Stăniloae’s intention. or a Christology “from below. Stăniloae is never concerned to name his Christological approach (as “from above” or “from below”. throughout his writings. the question is if Stăniloae’s view implies that every human being has the capacity for a transcendental Christology. then. says Rahner. What he tries actually to avoid is the disunity of the two types.” The question is whether this transcendental method can really be accepted in Christology. Rahner argues that preaching makes clear the fact that even sinners are living in a sphere of grace. Nevertheless. The presence of the Logos in the world could be a basis for a “transcendental Christology. in spite of its advantage of setting forth doctrinal affirmations prior to historical inquiry. A similar tendency.

Stăniloae gathered into a coherent synthesis various themes from Scripture. and thus in the plane of our common experience.631 One major assertion for Stăniloae is that in the act of incarnation the Son of God Himself entered into a maximal union with us. one may (and one must) say that the 'Word suffered' hypostatically. vol. 77. 36-37. Meyendorff. The frequent allusions to Chalcedon and the key terms used to describe the incarnation and deification. 632 D. the Fathers (in particular Leontius of there is no salvation. 101. in a substantial community with them. 633 Stăniloae specifies of course that. Basically.” 631 See D. Christ remains even after His incarnation a hypostasis belonging to the Holy Trinity. but the same hypostasis has a twofold quality: of God and man. in his attempt to answer the questions risen by the Chalcedonian formula. 177 1. “where there is salvation there too is the Church.” J.632 Hence Christ is not a twofold hypostasis. Similarly. p. Stăniloae. the Word of God did not multiply the hypostases of the Trinity. the type of Christology with which we have to deal in Stăniloae's case is very closely linked with the formulations of the Council of Chalcedon. from the moment of the incarnation. Therefore the foundation for his theology of deification arises from the question of the communicatio idiomatum of the two natures in Christ.. Since.” but rather. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. pp. II. In the Romanian language. p. No doubt. becoming man. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. Stăniloae admits from the very beginning that we are facing here a mystery. . by hypostasis being meant first of all the integrity of reality.2 Deification and the hypostatic union The second idea on which Stăniloae builds up his Christological aspect of deification is found in the doctrine of hypostatic union. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. He made Himself the Person of our human nature. Hypostasis is synonymous with the notion of “individual” or “person”. because his hypostasis is not a mere product of the divine nature but is an entity ontologically distinct from the nature. clearly indicate the theological context in which Stăniloae develops his Christology. However. Thus in conformity with the formula affirmed at Chalcedon. in his own flesh. Stăniloae. In this way. The communion of these two natures was called hypostatic union. the subject is one in Christ but his natures are two. the human nature had become as fully his own as the divine nature.. John Meyendorff writes: “The Word remains impassible in his divine nature but suffers in his human nature. the distinction is apparent by the differentiation between the terms “hypostasis” and “appearance” (which changes according to the circumstances). Stăniloae affirms that the unity of the natures in Christ is according to the hypostasis. being in the same time the Person of divine nature. It is this capacity that becomes the focus for Stăniloae in the subsequent section.633 This understanding shows both the value of human persons and the capability of human nature to receive the Logos as hypostasis. In theological language. the hypostasis designates a reality which has a specific content by which it distinguishes itself from others of the same kind.

Maximus. and.634 Thus the hypostasis is a unitary centre of all its relationships. 37 635 D. 1. However. p. Thus. a concrete mode of existence. in relationship also with the personal God. a human nature too. From the beginning. analysing man's structure. and modern Orthodox thought. The assuming nature can do this because it is situated within the person. and John of Damascus).2. 178 Byzantium. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 101. it is one of the unities belonging to such a nature. Stăniloae explains that “the Hypostasis of the divine Word was not united with another human hypostasis. 634 D.that is. to have a reality as hypostasis . p. vol. alongside with the divine nature He possesses from eternity. in his view. as far as the human person is concerned.”635 What is essential here is that Christ was not united with a human person but He assumed in His person. The assumption of the human nature is not achieved by the divine nature but only by one of its hypostases. See also Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. can be extended at once to the person of Christ. assumed and integrated in His eternal hypostasis. Stăniloae. . This definition. a human nature. p. Stăniloae defines what the hypostasis is: The hypostasis or the person is the self-condition of a spiritual nature or also spiritual nature. II. In a more comprehensive order to say that Jesus Christ is the same person as the Son of God before the incarnation. although it is applied to the human person. by the incarnation. vol. It is important to mention three major themes. and consequently. in close relationship with other unities. thus achieving the Hypostasis of human nature. Stăniloae. Stăniloae comes to understand that each man possesses both a hypostasis (as a subject) and a nature (as an object or means) without implying that the hypostasis is something introduced from the outside. Stăniloae employs in his argument Leontius of Byzantium’s idea of “enhypostasy” . Stăniloae is interested to define correctly what is a hypostasis. but the necessary form nature assumes as soon as it really exists.1 The enhypostasized human nature in the pre-existent hypostasis of the Word The first theme is related to the enhypostasized nature in the pre-existent hypostasis of the Logos. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. II. the hypostasis is something that cannot be described by features that belong to the law of being. the assumed nature starts a new life in the person. but He formed for Himself. 36.

II. There was established a divine center among men. the humanity assumed by the Logos is hypostatized in the Logos and deified by the Logos and becomes the source of divine life. but in a pre.636 There was achieved in Christ. human nature. notes on Ambigua. from the level of special experience in the Old Testament to the level of “common experience of those who believe in Him. Humanity achieved in its ontological sphere a center and this center is God the Word. p. unifying in itself the divine and the human natures in such a way that the Self is not alien from penetration in the infinite God. Thus incarnation changes the levels at which the divine Person is experienced. but in the framework imposed by the divinity. . Thus Jesus Christ 636 D. 106-107.existent centre. vol. The relationships established by other men with this person are not relationships experienced outside God. for Stăniloae. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. 638 D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” Assuming a human body. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. pp. Human nature is the Word's own flesh. a “completion” of the human nature not in itself. In addition. p. II. p. has some personal features that are distinct from other persons. whose center is no more outside God. but in God or He Himself is God. 48. in the unity of the divine hypostasis in the divine Logos. Stăniloae. and (2) an irradiative power for good towards other beings. 39. appropriated and personalised by Christ. Since this hypostatic center has an attractive energy for good by which it surpasses all mere human centers. Stăniloae comments: A man walked among men. vol. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. since the potentialities of human nature are no more put in motion by a human hypostasis but by the divine hypostasis. p. Stăniloae. the Son of God becomes completely humanised and completely deified.637 One can speak of a divine-human centre in which humanity exists not as a self-existent reality. All the power necessary for man's elevation to God irradiates from a human hypostatic center. it is in a certain way the center of humanity. 41. Christ's hypostasis has a different extension from man's hypostasis.”639 In sum. In Him. 117.638 Here is the distinction between Christ and all other human beings. 637 D. 179 However. 639 D. but relationships within God Himself. but rather in the larger unit of the wholeness previously existent. “the human nature received actual existence not as a private centre. Cited also in . As a hypostatic centre. by supernatural intervention. Jesus was endowed to work in two directions: (1) He had a special power that drew Him by attraction towards God. the divine hypostasis of the Logos. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului.

.”642 By re-establishing human nature in conformity with itself. “This could only have been achieved in men after it had been realised in Christ in whom the human will was the will of the divine hypostasis. Disputatio cum Phyrro (PG 91. p. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. because “it is not possible to actualise a nature except by personalising it. p. human nature brings in Christ its natural will which is never activated against human nature. Thus. “the relationship between God and the man Jesus includes within itself.” In the case of Christ. there is virtually included the potency of man’s personal character. 180 holds in creation the role of human and divine personal centre. “the second root of the human race.” As a consequence. 189. p.”641 In incarnation. because in Himself. and hence in accordance with the will of the Father. this means the sanctification of the humanity He assumed.2. 188. God has renewed the human race. 1.” The perfect substantiation of human nature in Christ is apparent in the orientation of His will for all men's benefit. 704C). De Adoratione in Spiritu et Veritate 9. Theology and the Church. and because our human nature was borne by the divine hypostasis of the Son. as the model for man.”643 Thus all believers. The Son. it “has indeed become holy and righteous in its very root. 10 (PG 68. can become saints.” Stăniloae employs here the Pauline concept of the second Adam. or in Cyril's terminology.2 The complete actualisation of the human nature in Christ The second theme in Stăniloae's approach of the doctrine of hypostatic union is the actualisation of the human nature in Christ. 620D. completely unselfish. 641 Cyril of Alexandria. “the hypostasis of the Logos has personalised in the most authentic way the assumed human nature.644 We may therefore affirm that Christ personalised human nature in the most authentic way. 643 D. in turn. in a relationship of union with Christ.”640 Because of His total devotion to the Father. Theology and the Church. the will was harmonised with nature and we can experience reconciliation with God. Stăniloae states: 640 D. says Stăniloae. potentially at first but increasingly also in act. all those who believe in Christ. 292D). 642 D. according to God's will. Theology and the Church. because human nature recognised in Him its true movement towards deification. 190. due to the fact that “His human will is moved by its divine hypostasis in conformity with His own divine will. 644 Cf. continues Stăniloae. “All the holiness of His divinity becomes proper to His humanity and takes on human form. Maximus. glorified the Father by His will and acts.

647 For Stăniloae. (2) the union according to the work (or energy). human beings and the relationships between them. 647 D. p. pp. Man and the Cosmos. As the man for men in the highest possible degree. Stăniloae defines Christ as “a human personal centre. peculiar for the divine and human nature in Christ's hypostasis. Stăniloae explains that the two natures in Christ are in a relationship of “intentional community. however. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. Here Stăniloae uses the classification made by Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain and Gregory Palamas for the ways of union. Becoming an hypostasis of the human nature. pp. proper for the relationship existing before the incarnation. Stăniloae. Deification in Christ. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. Stăniloae.” Therefore Christ's humanity became transparent for Godhead and mankind. 181 Human nature is willingly subjected in Christ to His divine will. Christ's human reason was opened to “the infinite horizon of divine reality. for its rationality is illuminated by His divine reason as its model and origin and regards soundly and thoroughly things. 646 D. 45. Stăniloae delimits: (1) the union according to being or essence. and (3) the union according to the hypostasis. 142-143. II. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. in a mutual interpenetration. in whom the divine will meets human will. P. and the “irradiative centre” of life and power. Nellas. in the incarnation. Cf. He provided it with the function of acting as a medium for God's love.” The unity between the divine and the human is absolute and. vol. Not only do believers aspire to unity but God Himself is pleased to see and to realise the intimate unity of all.646 1.2. in the unmediated relationship with us. impossible between man and God. . And this unity is actually realised in Christ. 44-45. II. Therefore. Stăniloae. vol. and that is why He is keen to actualise not only human will but also its reason. 276. Stăniloae. the divine 645 D. the complete union between God and men should be realised only according to the hypostasis. and L Thunberg. 648 D. In the same time.” as the “re-established Man” in conformity with God. 32. although these are not mixed together “each is experienced by the same Person with an extreme intensity.3 The maximal realisation of the union of God and man in Christ The third theme employed by Stăniloae in understanding hypostatic union is the maximal realisation of the union of God and man in Christ.”648 Thus the Son becomes the subject of the human nature in communion with us. 43. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. vol. II.645 The divine Logos is the ultimate foundation in which human nature subsists.

182 hypostasis by becoming also a human hypostasis. Stăniloae. vol. Stăniloae. at the same time. Still. and the kind of power conveyed by the Logos to all human hypostases. Christ reveals Himself as man and as God through the human nature. Stăniloae is equivocal when asserts that. One can assert in this framework that the intentional communion with others is the main aspiration of the subject. 48. the relationship between the Word and men. As man. vol. 49. Moreover. Stăniloae follows the Fathers’ idea of mutual interpenetration and asserts the doctrine of the perichoresis of the two natures. human nature lives in its separate hypostasis this tendency. Christ knows always that He is sharing from infinity and is resting in it. the kind of relationship between the Logos and all human persons.” and second.649 The unifying power of the Word explains the possibility and potentiality of unifying all personal beings in His unity. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. took over men's behaviour. p. is not precisely specified by Stăniloae. human hypostases are reinforced in their relationships with it. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Having the Logos’ hypostasis as the ultimate hypostasis.” Stăniloae becomes even more ambiguous when writes that: If it is made for unconfounded living in infinity. so that “all the human hypostases have as an ultimate hypostasis the hypostasis of the Word. 650 D. is more complete and direct than before the incarnation. a relationship that originates in this unity. the communion of His human nature with men and the mutual communication of His human and divine natures. wrapping up His intentionality in human intentionality. human nature lives instantly the whole real openness towards infinity. their hypostases meet in this relationship. not spontaneously but advancing eternally in it [tendency]. It is here that we see the main reason of Stăniloae's insistence on this doctrine. any human being aspires to the infinite horizon of the divine life and. any human being shares into it [horizon] through its relationship with the non-incarnate Logos. which means that the human nature is “an adequate transparency” for God. yet unconfounded with the divine infinity. II.650 This statement echoes the idea of theosis as progression and participation in the divine life. “to some extent. II. p. that is. Jesus Christ becomes the linking chain that brings together mankind as a whole and God. . The reason for this is twofold: first. it possesses the image of deification. But in the real existence of the Word’s hypostasis. in Christ. The human nature acts and shares with the other through the 649 D. Christ knows that He is the source of this infinity not as man but as God. This explains also the maximal union realised in Christ.

Stăniloae. pp.” Without this communication of the properties. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului.654 651 D. penetrating it with divine energy and transfiguring it. To quote again Stăniloae: All human subjects living on this earth feel the compulsion and the guidance which this divine-human agent provides to the common stock of human energy. and He performs all these actions in order to deify us. He appropriates our thinking and our sensibility. Nellas.D.C. So close a unity between the divine work and the human work or passion is called by Dionysius the Areopagite the theandric work. is effectively possessed by the divine Subject. but neither of them loses its own character. The divine work humanizes and the human work deifies in their union. Stăniloae. notes on Ambigua. Christ provides the gift of harmonisation and deification to all those who embark upon a relationship with Him. the ultimate reason for the incarnation of the Son of God. not in order to destroy it. 673B. the mystery of the harmony initiated in Christ reflects itself in those for whom He was incarnated. II. Stăniloae. Human nature is respected by God forever.651 In sum. notes on Ambigua. The natures cannot suppress themselves by merging. The wave of cosmic spiritual energy. The possibility for our perfection is made open by the fact that the Son of God “floods His human nature with the powers and gifts of His divine nature. Nicolas Cabasilas. Hence. Stăniloae holds that Christ appropriates our senses in the holy sacraments. He conveys the qualifications of His deified nature to our bodies. 654 D. . but in order to bring it to perfection. theandric works. common to numberless created subjects. God did not create human nature in order to merge it later in His own nature. vol. in the Origenistic sense. 183 hypostasis. Stăniloae. 653 D. 61. The phrase theandric work keeps us from the idea that the unification of these two works would produce a middle work. “God would not have humanised Himself and man would not have deified himself.De Vita in Christo (PG 150. 593C. but the absence of separation does not mean that the two works are merging. Cf. 127. pp. that is. 652 D. and the human one receives also from the other through the hypostasis.653 As God and man. So its work was received by Creation and not by the fall. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 52-56.”652 The consequences of the unification of these two natures in Christ are reflected in man. p. to an extent hand-in-hand with Cabasilas. p. p. without any merging of the two natures and works. Here is the basis for the understandable mystery of the concrescence. So we can talk about Christ's acts as divine and human acts at the same time. 223-226. accomplishing thus the most intimate relation and inter-penetration between God and His creation. 61. see also P. The divine work is humanized by its intimate union with the human work. 513B). 612D-613A. There is no separation between one work and the other. Deification in Christ.

the Son of God becomes the central agent of theosis. human nature is reunited with God in a very intimate mode. p. 1989). Stăniloae. Stăniloae maintains that the hypostatic union has accomplished three things. the union between the two natures in Christ is the highest possible union through the fact that they are united in a hypostasis. In this way. Stăniloae. Christian Spirituality. the model and the image. 184 In other words. and men are reunited with one another.”655 Man's unity with God is performed in Christ as the unifying centre of all. or deification. Stăniloae comes to the insight that our deification has its basis in the deification of the human nature assumed by Christ. In a certain way. a dialogue which on the one hand is due to the Son of God who descended to man's level. 1. Theology and the Church. 657 D. without ceasing to be a divine person or losing anything of His human nature. to God's level. . “Theosis in the Christian Eastern Tradition. Saliers (eds. vol. Dupré and D. the basis is set for an unfailing dialogue of any willing person and God. 191. To achieve this highest possible union God made His Son man. III. First. in theosis.4 Summary In summary. the incarnated Word. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.656 Summarising. the hypostasis of Christ is the basis of this maximal union between two different natures just as a common nature is the means that unites persons of the same nature. Thus “Christ is the central hypostasis which connects all human hypostases to one another because He first connects them to Himself. p.” J. 656 In Meyendorff's words: “In Him divinity and humanity.” in L. and on the other hand lifts man.E.657 In the gradual construction of his view on theosis. for Stăniloae. the human nature is elevated to its personalised status in God and the person of the Son of God has descended to the status of humanum. The hypostatic union achieved in Christ the absolute proximity and communion of man and God. in the act of the incarnation.2. and humanity finds its ultimate destiny in communion with God. and as the divine subject. Stăniloae considers that the fact of the transmission of the qualities specific to the deified nature of Christ to human beings through the community of nature has to complete the whole picture of Christ’s hypostatic 655 D. Meyendorff. Besides the regular emphasis put on the direct personal relationship. humanised by His descent. 321-322. Post-Reformation and Modern (London: SCM Press. Second. Finally. that is. 472. pp. being also the model and the power of the moral unity between man and God.). are united in a perfect personal unity (hypostatic union). all human beings are united through their nature in the hypostasis of the Logos.

Stăniloae gathers together the ideas of personalisation and deification as two pairs of concepts that determine our understanding of theosis. through this hypostasis is maintained the essential stability of the natures and. through the person of 658 D. The most important one for Stăniloae is the communication of properties. Stăniloae. In Him we perceive and actualise the humanity as fully transparent for God and the divinity as fully given to us. through the acts performed by the human nature. p. our deification and Jesus' sinlessness). Stăniloae makes here the distinction between the implications of this unity as fundamental for hypostatic union (for example. through His will. As a result of hypostatic union we are able to see two categories of salvific outcomes: those which are directed towards the human nature that was assumed by the Logos. The immediate result is that Christ appropriates our modes of thinking and living in order for them to be transfigured or deified. and because in this hypostasis the properties and the actions of both natures subsist and are activated.the hypostatic union involving the communication of the properties and the actions of the two natures. kenosis and the quality of Mary as theotokos). a real communication is established. Thus. 57. For Stăniloae.3. Because the Logos is the hypostasis of both natures. divine and human. at the same time. .” and.”658 From the person of Christ “iradiates the divine love. or communicatio idiomatum . and the consequences of this unity as actualised due to the incarnation (for example.1 The communication of the properties. Stăniloae insists that the communication of properties “is accomplished through the unity of the Person. on the other hand. vol. The hypostatisation or the personalisation of human nature in Christ and the personal relationship between Him and human beings achieved their complete personalisation.3 Consequences of the hypostatic union 1. 1. And all those who enter into a personal relationship with Him are humanised and deified. II. Teologia Dogmatică şi Ortodoxă. in the concluding part of this section.” and this is possible because “God can make Himself a Person of His creature. and those which are directed towards us. Christ is the total man for God and for men: fully humanised as God and fully deified as man. 185 union in view of man’s deification.

Stăniloae follows Leontius of Byzantium in saying that. in Christ. 660 D. namely in the personal actuality to which these properties belong and not in the abstract. 1581D-1584A). Stăniloae. each nature preserves its properties and action. 661 D. 59. Stăniloae explains this by making the distinction between that which is conformed to nature (kata physin). the first is accomplished through oikonomia. which is the result of the will. nor did the human nature perform miracles. says Stăniloae. that “in the assumed human nature. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. therefore. the power of the divine nature produced a change in the human nature by leading it to its aspirations. 1289). pp. the mutual communication drives them to action. pp. 57-58. See Maximus. Stăniloae. 186 Christ. on the basis of these very properties. vol. However. II. “not as person to person. pp.”659 Each nature.”661 The paradox is apparent: for one thing. Accordingly. through its hypostasis. nor a direct communication of the properties of the one to the other. II. is that both actions are performed by and through the same hypostasis. vol. 57-58. For Leontius of Byzantium references. states Stăniloae. 1. 105B). 1. participates in this union through their common person.” Thus the communication was performed within the same Person “in the highest degree allowed by the condition that the properties do not merge together. or through oikonomia. II. but through the will of the Word's hypostasis. but in the interiority of the same Person. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. and this will be completed after His 659 D. but for the other.”660 It was supposed that Stăniloae affirms that the communication of the properties does not mean the change of the two natures. when they are thought to be in themselves and separated. “the human nature impresses its particularity in the acts performed by His divine nature. and Contra Nestorianos et Eutychianos (PG 86. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică şi Ortodoxă. the properties of the divine nature were impressed not because of necessity. see Adversus Nestorianos IV (PG 86. 146-149. The suggestion is that the human nature was deified to a certain degree during the Christ's earthly existence. The solution to this paradox. See also Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. and that which proceeds necessarily from the nature (ek physeos). Stăniloae specifies. Stăniloae appeals to Maximus' idea that one nature is imbued by the properties of the other nature only to a certain degree. the divine nature did not suffer. Ambigua (PG 91. Thus the communication is made indirectly. For example. . vol. The communication of the properties occurs only when the two natures are regarded as being in their hypostatic union. based on oikonomia and not on necessity. Through the person of the Logos one nature communicates to the other its actions (or energies).

but rather to the Son Himself who appropriated the human nature and its weaknesses. but the Calvinists rejected. (4) that the attributes of the natures were preserved. 665 Lossky explains kenosis saying that: “[it] is not a sudden decision. the way towards theosis was opened. 187 resurrection. There is therefore a profound continuity between the personal being of the Son as renunciation and His earthly kenosis. nor an act. Stăniloae sees the paradox and accepts that. the glorious fulfilment. not only before the incarnation.663 Stăniloae uses again the analogy between soul and body in trying to illustrate how “the Son of God overwhelmed His human nature with the powers and gifts of His divine nature. communicatio idiomatum means not only ascribing human properties to Christ as God and divine properties to Christ as man.a kenosis in the eternal Trinity itself! 666 D. (2) that there was a close intercommunion of the natures in a personal union. 120A. Cf. there is a continuous progress in the deification of human nature in Christ. 61. 108). fully divine and fully human. we observe that the two sides agreed: (1) that in Christ there was one person in two natures. Christ accomplished our redemption by pain and miracles. which is no longer a willing of His own. Phil.662 In conclusion. The Lutherans proposed (beside the idea of exchanged actions and qualities between person and natures). vol. on the one hand. and on the other hand. Although the Lutherans and the Calvinists coincide on the main points regarding the Chalcedonian formula. 1. that divine properties such as omnipotence and omnipresence are attributed to the human nature (the so-called genus majestaticum). a will of which the Father is the source. p.”664 Hence. Stăniloae. p. but also a real impressing of human properties with the divine properties and viceversa. Opuscula Theologica et Polememica (PG 91. the obedient realisation. pp. Comparying the Lutheran's Formula of Concord (1580) and the Calvinist Heidelberg Catechism. The kenosis of the Son of God does not refer to His act of giving up the human nature he had appropriated. and the Spirit. His decision to give up the glory that He had before assuming human nature (John 17:5. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. Christian Dogmatics. 507-509.71. 663 Stăniloae remarks that Lutheran theology followed the Alexandrian emphasis in upholding the communicatio idiomatum. 2:5-8). . II. Lossky. p. there is an existing restriction of the human nature by its very definition as human. 664 D.”666 662 D. vol. apart from sin.665 Stăniloae states in simple terms: Christ’s descendent to us is the condition of our deification. Cf. the distinctive feature came in the doctrine of the exchange of attributes.3. Orthodox Theology. Stăniloae. II. p. I. Stăniloae. 117B. II. but also prior to the creation . Maximus. but His very hypostatic reality as the expression of the trinitarian will. the Son. thus the role of kenosis is “to make possible the Son of God's direct participation in the strengthening of the human nature in order to make it an active medium for the divine love through its manifestation of power and by its resistance to and surpassing of pain. (3) that these natures kept their identities and were not commingled and yet did not exist separately in two different persons. but the manifestation of His very being. 63. Lossky’s interpretation seems to imply a heavenly kenosis. of personhood. 101. Braaten. C.” V. vol.2 Kenosis Another aspect of the incarnation of the Son of God is His kenosis. that is. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.

Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. thus “the deeper hypostasis of human hypostases becomes this time directly the hypostasis of His human nature. Stăniloae. The virgin birth of the Son of God means that the Word “comes to life as a man”. 80. helped by the Spirit. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. in its total availableness for God. Stăniloae summarises all this process by saying: Descending Himself as an hypostasis in her and starting to shape His body in hers. That does not mean that.”667 According to Stăniloae. kept in its virgin purity. vol. Therefore. Stăniloae.670 Thus. 79. as a new start. and this dialogue is continued in us by His Word. The initiative must come from above. the nature being “restored to its original state. p. not fallen human nature. God created us for this dialogue with Him. 82. the Word's hypostasis creates its body. the Spirit being “sheltered in the hypostasis of the Word. II. the Word itself creates. vol. by the Spirit's breath Christ's human soul is produced. Christ's divine nature is united with the human nature in His person. for a new pair would repeat Adam and Eve's mistake. p. 85. 671 D. II. II. vol. the soul united with Himself as His hypostasis. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. p.”668 The Holy Spirit and the Word co-operate in the act of the virgin birth from the very beginning. is cleansed of the Adamic sin. in order that the divine hypostasis should not take as its body a body still under sin and the law of birth as a result of lust. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the Son of God can no more use man for humankind’s redemption. Stăniloae. II. . Stăniloae uses the principle of Christ’s continuity with nature.” By this. in terms of which the Son appropriates to Himself the nature of Adam's descendants in order to make it new from the inside.”671 Man's dialogue with God is completely taken over by the Son Himself. her body. Moreover. consistent with the idea of dialogue. II. p. 72-76. alongside with the work of the Holy Spirit as a person. 188 Although He could have demonstrated His power in its plenitude. Thus Christ traverses the entire process of the structuring of His nature. Christ repressed it so as not to annul the body. so that the 667 D. 669 D. 668 D. the Word of God is calling Himself into existence as man. in co-operation with the Holy Spirit. in Christ. 670 D. of His shaping as man so as “to traverse from the very beginning the entire evolution of man”.669 As a consequence. God being “touched” by her love for others. at the incarnation. vol. He descended. pp. As regarding Mary's purity as the basis for the Son's incarnation. to the condition of human struggle “abolishing in the human nature the selfish disorders caused by wrath and lust” and restored and completed it in and through His Person. in the power of the human will enforced by the divine will. shaping us as His images. Christ takes unfallen. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.

J. those who are in a personal relationship with Christ have the possibility of overcoming all their sinful affections. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. It seems that here Stăniloae suggests a sort of perfectionism. The divine nature conveys to the earthly one the absence of pain and the human nature conveys to the divine one the human affections or passions. being sinless. Stăniloae. for Stăniloae. when he asserts that the believers may use their will in the way Jesus did. 674 D. II. a possible common ground between Orthodox and Reformed theology in this issue is found by D.”672 Stăniloae notices the theandric work in the communication of the two natures by their energies. and in the fact that He did not inherit the Adamic sin. or a common nature (between man and man). 93. “the divine nature. Stăniloae. Or.C. putting it in Maximian terms. depriving sinful nature of its evil powers and making room for “the resurrection to a painless and incorruptible life.”675 The deification of the human nature in Christ means its maximal elevation and perfection. rather than its widening to the divine dimensions or its change in nature. 219-241. as Christ's. Stăniloae in Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. God's incarnation helps man to become God “at the same degree He Himself becomes man. These elements are essential for Stăniloae in teaching Jesus' solidarity with all men.”673 Hence the secret of Christ's sinlessness lay in two elements: in the power of His human will received from the Word's hypostasis. 97. However. Likewise. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 675 D.” Saying that. 189 “human nature should partake with the divine and the divine nature should take over man's weakness. In Christ. p. 166. because there was no human subject to decide apart from God. 182 . Stăniloae rejects “the anthropological pessimism” specific to the Protestant theology where “man receives forgiveness without being transformed. p. II.” SJTh 35 (1982). Moreover. See also Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. 91-92. Again Stăniloae specifies that “deification is not a physical. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. pp.” Thus men's sharing in His divine nature is helpful for the overcoming of sin. Stăniloae. Cooper in “The Theology of Image in Eastern Orthodoxy and John Calvin. II. represents. substantial dilatation of the human 672 D. but within the limits of its created being. because “the same hypostatized will of Christ is communicated to them. 673 D. a filter where all sinfulness which could activate its affections is destroyed.”674 In conclusion. vol. vol. p. the communication by the energies is different from the communication between two persons who bear opposed natures (between God and man). Maximus thinks that Jesus did not possess a human free choice. vol. The interpenetration of these natures results in the communication of the energies from one to the other. in its real existence in Christ. p. the opposite to the kenosis of the divine nature is the deification of the human nature.

” The problem of this was that it constantly has to show how Christ was not just another inspired prophet. united manhood to Himself. Although the hypostatic union occurred in time. but a spiritual purification and intensification. Alexandria was much interested in the divinity of Christ. R. a general Christological framework is required.680 The flavour of Antiochene theology was literal not allegorical. While it is not our intention to describe the whole process of the formation of Christological doctrine during the first centuries. Although the object of council of Chalcedon (and of all councils). while remaining what He was. 679 Antioch put its stress on the humanity of Christ and understood incarnation in terms of “inspiration. This Johannine Christology put the emphasis on the Word of God. human nature experienced perfect purity and absolute divine love.”677 2. 677 D. 678 J. the Logos. p. in order to understand Stăniloae's approach to Christology. 680 Sellers may be overstating the case when he concludes “that there is no fundamental difference between the Christological teaching of the Alexandrines and that of the Antiochenes. the two elements. was understood in terms of the Logos coming to make us like Him: that is. pp.679 However. being “traversed and filled by the uncreated divine energies. the theologies of the two schools were complementary. 253. for our salvation. are to be recognised. p. the issue of deification “stands as a necessary background to the clash between Alexandrian and Antiochian Christology in the fifth century. p. Îndrumări Misionare (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. Byzantine Theology. consequently. Historically. 32. His Son. “In Jesus Christ. did this not mean that there were two persons in the incarnation? Alternatively. Meyendorff. However. To do that. On the other side.V. First. Salvation.”678 Both schools of thought were formative centres of Christological thought and each had its distinct theological perspective. 1986). Radu. thereby making it His own. therefore. the Logos. therefore. it will endure in eternity. did He have a human “person. has.” yet he is right to suggest that there are two principles on which the two schools would agree. we will simply point out a few distinctive aspects. 330. Stăniloae. 190 nature. therefore the Saviour had to be a whole person. two Persons. rational not mystical. . Alexandrian flavour was influenced by Platonism and followed an allegorical hermeneutic. Two Ancient Christologies.” Second. the Logos. In Christ. but one Person. Patristic influence Having elaborated Stăniloae’s aspect of deification as related to the person of Christ. and in particular the essentially ontological emphasis of early Christological thinking. If this were the case.” and if so.” Cf. the Logos Himself in His incarnate state. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. Sellers. “In Jesus Christ. not antagonistic. we are now in a better position to present his most characteristic ideas in Christology. 243. 202. 177.”676 The human nature that the Son of God received at the moment He was conceived in His hypostasis remains forever united with the divine one. He is not. this tended to belittle the humanity of Christ. and. since these remain in their union in His Person. since salvation had to do with the whole person. each with its properties. any idea of confusion or of change in respect of these elements must be eliminated. 676 D. God became like us so that we could become like Him.

682 Some theologians think that Christology stopped at Chalcedon. the key theme of Chalcedon was the definition of faith. This last interpretation. A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. Jesus Christ is “truly God and truly man” . (2) strict Monophysites who rejected the Council of Chalcedon as Nestorian. Jaroslav Pelikan argues that from the sixth through the ninth centuries the three major Eastern groups (the Nestorians. the divine Word is regarded as the unique subject of the incarnation (thus preserving the essential truth of Alexandrian theology). 683 See for example.. Meyendorff. 1977). The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition. Daley. was to establish a single faith throughout the empire. and the Chalcedonians) articulated distinctive Christological positions that would endure for centuries. and in particular Leontius of Byzantium.E. This is what is meant by hypostatic union: the human nature had no personal subject of its own. the Chalcedonian definition avoids both the heresy of Nestorianism and that of Eutychianism: both the unity of the person and the integrity and separateness of the two natures are maintained. Meyendorff classifies the post-Chalcedonian theologians into four groups: (1) Antiochene Dyophysites who rejected Nestorius but interpreted Chalcedon as a victory for Antioch and for Theodore. Pelikan. The human was not absorbed into the divine. 682 But how can we speak of a human nature without a self-conscious ego? Chalcedon left this issue undecided. J. 37-90. Christ was “co-essential with the Father according to His deity and co-essential with us according to His manhood” . Pelikan. There is human nature in the Christ of Chalcedon but no separate human hypostasis. a person. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. In addition. The Spirit of Eastern Christendom (600- 1700). For a criticism of Meyendorff’s view on Leontius of Byzantium. In turn. pp. The human nature had no existence apart from its union with the divine which had created the single person: Jesus Christ. and (4) a creative and Origenist view of the council. in The Christian Tradition. A. the Church tradition has accepted the boundaries set by Chalcedon. For the fifth century theologians. the Monophysites. In a sense Chalcedon is not the answer: it is the question. Some important attempts tried to solve the union of the natures in Christ in the last two centuries. pp. but rather was the authentic expression of patristic Christology as a reflection of the gospel datum. 684 It has become obvious that the Chalcedonian definition was not intended to formulate a particular system of thought. Chalcedon served to refute the contemporary errors as well as provide an statement of concord. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. and partially as a disavowal of Cyril.683 However. Although the Chalcedonian formula does not explain what a nature.a statement which avoids the danger of Apollinarianism with its human body without a rational soul. and asserts two basic Christological facts: (1) the reality and integrity of the two natures. J. In this way.and J. vol. 191 from the imperial point of view. nor did the divine adopt the human. (3) the neo-Chalcedonians who interpreted the council as a condemnation of Eutyches. Grillmeier.a statement which avoids the error of Arianism with its intermediate being. Meyendorff. “The Christology of Leontius . II/2. but the reality of Christ's human life was also affirmed (thus preserving the essential truth of the Antiochene tradition). exemplified in Leontius of Byzantium. Chalcedon was a stage and at the same time became a starting point for new researches. the Church has recognised its efficacy down through the ages. and (2) the union of the two natures in one person. For his part.684 681 Hence the council rejected any union of the natures which might obscure the integrity of either. J. The council does not give us a fully coherent position with regard to the two natures. had influenced decisively the whole Christological approach of Stăniloae. both Alexandrian and Antiochene interpretations of Chalcedon emerged. but post-Chalcedonian development is a proof that there was an authentic clarification of Chalcedonian teaching. see B. Christ in Christian Tradition. or hypostasis is.681 Consequently. 29-30. Chalcedon affirmed that the divine Logos was joined to a human nature (ousia or physis) rather than to a human person (hypostasis or prosopon).

K. theologically Stăniloae’s approach is Chalcedonian. This union does not negate or diminish the specifically human but rather restores it to its natural state of union with God.685 According to Stăniloae. his concept of the unity of the person. the predominant way of understanding salvation and one of the several prominent images for salvation (along with other theologies articulated more fully in modern Christian theology. 150. 154. that is. The culmination of this strand was perhaps Bultmann's Jesus and the Word. In Search of Deity (London: SCM Press. On this approach the basis for understanding Christ is not the historical Jesus but the kerygma. Christologies of this type seem to prefer the writings of Paul and John rather than the Synoptics. the human person of Christ is not personalised into a separate human hypostasis. the doctrine of deification as the heart and soul of soteriology is based on the presupposition of an interpenetration of divine and human life. pp. 1992). . who was incarnated as true man and possesses two natures in one person or hypostasis: divine and human. Christology from below supports Christology from above. then. 357f). justification. Christological investigations pointed out that there were two themes running parallel in the proclamation of Jesus Christ in the early Church: the eternal Son of God. 1983). for Stăniloae. 685 Meyendorff comments about two Chalcedonian implications: first. 686 In the twentieth century the method is particularly associated with Karl Barth. The argument proceeds from Jesus' humanity to His divinity. I/1 (pp. This is why. 192 The structure of Stăniloae’s doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Hence the notion of hypostasis is irreducible to the concepts of “particular nature” or “individuality. IV/1 (pp. the two would go hand in hand. 135f. Barth. In Stăniloae’s view. Meyendorff. about Him. there is no absolute symmetry between divinity and humanity in Christ. liberation). If historically it holds the Alexandrian tradition. 278ff. with a consideration of Jesus' life and death. Jesus Christ in Modern Thought (London: SCM Press. p. that is. Macquarrie. 179f). faith in Christ cannot be based rationally or scientifically. Patristic Monograph Series (Oxford: The Philadelphia Patristic Foundation. This is surely because deification would always require a doctrine of incarnation. Church Dogmatics. resurrection. For this position.” in Papers from the Ninth Conference on Patristics Studies. the Christology from “above” of Byzantium: Personalism or Dialectics. is salvation as deification. 1984). Byzantine Theology. See J. and the historic Jesus of Nazareth.” J. He recognises in Christ the true God born of the true God. Practitioners of this position argue that Christology from above merely assumes its conclusions rather than arguing for them. The so-called Christology from “below” begins here on earth.686 Alternatively. for example. manifest in the hypostatic union or the deified human existence of the incarnate Word. Methodologically. which argued that faith in Christ may not necessarily be connected with the historical life of Jesus of Nazareth. the concept of hypostasis designates personal existence. the Church's proclamation. and also his language about Christ support the view that his position is basically Alexandrian. The content of faith lies outside the sphere of natural reason or historical investigation. in Stăniloae's view. Second. he maintains that the Christological aspect of deification has at its basis the dogmatic definition of the Chalcedon.

. Christology from above tends to neglect the significance of the distinctive historical features of Jesus of Nazareth . The great strength of Stăniloae’s Christology is that it insists on the completeness of Jesus' human nature and also on the fact that its metaphysical subject is the person of the divine Logos. His relation to the Judaism of His day. Built on the assumption of Leontius. 2. Christology's task is to look at the “fact” of Christ. However. The content of the kerygma is the starting hypothesis to interpret the data supplied by inquiry into the historical Jesus. W.1 Leontius of Byzantium and enhypostasia The first idea on which Stăniloae builds up the concept of deification as related to the person of Christ is the idea of enhypostasia. At the fifth ecumenical council in Constantinople (553). the Trinity and the incarnation are simply assumed. Stăniloae’s Christology conceives a dynamic union between the two natures of Christ and having in view a soteriological goal. By doing this it also “provided” the immutable and infinite God with a human nature in which He can perform human acts and undergo human experiences. 193 begins from a God's eye point of view. with a new perspective in the interpretation of Chalcedon. Thus. The Gospels do not appear to make this distinction.687 From this Christological perspective. We cannot have the Word apart from the flesh. Cf. Pannenberg claims that historical enquiry behind the Church's proclamation is both possible and necessary by demonstrating. Leontius of Byzantium proposed the doctrine of the anhypostasia and enhypostasia. the problem for both positions is how to link the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. 1992).in particular. the interpretation of the Gospels is held to make better sense of the historical data than any other option.God and Man (London: SCM Press. His claim to be God) and then the actuality of the resurrection.” To emphasise this dynamic mode of union (not only unity). the essential trends of Stăniloae’s theology of deification become obvious. history and theology are not incompatible. In the Gospels. Stăniloae’s Christology focuses its attention on the historical concreteness of the person of Christ. Stăniloae propounds the theory of Leontius of Byzantium. and to reflect on the “mode of union. On this view. In other words. and then one reaches Jesus' humanity by arguing downwards. In order to underline his understanding of theosis. Jesus' messianic self-consciousness (that is. a doctrine that clearly stands as a platform for 687 Moreover. the further presentation of Stăniloae’s Christology in this section will gather together several strands of his thought under some specific headings. for example. event and interpretation are held together. This was Stăniloae's view and the approach of the Church throughout most of its history. For Stăniloae. as part of the Alexandrine tradition. Pannenberg. not the flesh apart from the Word. Jesus . The message of the Gospels is that the Word was made flesh. argues Pannenberg. when the historical reliability of the Gospels was never questioned.

Christ is the name of the Logos. he insists that the natures are distinguished from one another but not divided. II/2. Sellers. and “in complex hypostases one nature exists in the hypostasis of another. pp. and the Logos “receives not human nature in general but an individualised human nature. Gray. Jesus . Christ's human nature is enhypostatic. hypostasis designates someone in particular. 181-229. in what is indivisible. Grillmeier. with Prolegomena.” For the following ideas and quotations.P.688 Leontius’ theological system and its terminology see the concept of nature (physis) as identical with essence (ousia).” There exists a complexity. uphold both by Leontius and Stăniloae.” Here Leontius introduced the notion of something having its existence “in” something. not hypostatic. K. The Defense of Chalcedon in the East.Y. Brill. R. Again.V.God and Man. by J.”690 Thus Leontius posits an enhypostasized nature in order to explain the union of the two natures of Jesus Christ in one hypostasis. The Council of Chalcedon. Wesche. bringing them into an orderly and complete system.E. Moreover. 1995). A.689 What is characteristic for Leontius' concept of hypostasis. writes Florovsky. However. 1983). pp. is that the personal centre of the life of Jesus Christ as the incarnation of God is to be found not in His humanity but in the divine Word who is incarnate there. is that nature is real only in hypostases. A Historical and Doctrinal Survey (London: SPCK. The Christology of Emperor Justinian (Crestwood. Cf. Patristic Monograph Series (Oxford: The Philadelphia Patristic Foundation.” The human nature is “individualised” in the “hypostasis of the Logos.T. see: B. Florovsky. 333-369. 194 Stăniloae's interpretation of hypostatic union. Doctorate dissertation (Oxford. However.” . vol. 690 In the same work. IX (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt. 451-553 (Leiden: E. pp. P.R. G. Cawte and P. “nature can be 'realised' in a different hypostasis as well. some scholars speak about Leontius as 688 Pannenberg thought that the concept of enhypostasia was even older. “The Christology of Leontius of Byzantium: Personalism or Dialectics. 1953). 338. tr. 1991). while enhypostasia implies an essence that is not accidental but has real existence “in” another. but not a systematic thinker. which he calls enhypostaton. 1978). p.” in Papers from the Ninth Conference on Patristics Studies. In the spiritual world hypostasis is person. in Collected Works. 191-203. The Church of Constantinople in the Sixth Century. The Byzantine Fathers of the Sixth to Eight Century. 689 Florovsky says that Leontius was a scholastic and dialectician. 1979). cf. vol. The essence of this theory. When Leontius applies the possibility of interaction of natures to the mystery of the incarnation. Christ in Christian Tradition.” JTS 27 (1976). N. Daley: Leontius of Byzantium: A Critical Edition of his Works. Allen (London and Louisville: Mowbray and The Westminster/John Knox Press. In the incarnation. For a historical survey. pp. Florovsky remarks on Leontius' inconsistency when he tries to express the idea of differency of Christ in comparison with human hypostases.: SVS Press. 304-320.J. Leontius “subjects the old and undisputed definitions to a strict analysis. Since the human nature in Christ is not a distinct hypostasis in relationship to the Logos. “The Origenism of Leontius of Byzantium. 1987). inconsistency based merely on the “imprecision of language. On the Person of Christ.

Again. pp. Doctorate dissertation (Oxford. von Balthasar. II/2. 692 For a critical position. 1958). Minn.M. an acknowledged authority on Leontius. Die Christliche Wahrheit (Gutersloh: Bertelamann. vol. pp. . 49-50. Harnack. Barth. Leontius of Byzantium (Washington. Christ forms in the divine economy an essential 691 Cf. equals”. the natures of Word and flesh are both enhypostasized natures. 150.U.” Evans' final conclusions are excessive: “God and man are components of Jesus Christ. see W. 506.”695 In Daley’s view. 85-93. Daley. “Léonce de Jérusalem et Léonce de Byzance. Human personality is an essential constituent of human nature. 1984). states Evans. I (Philadelphia: Fortress Press. III. Daley: Leontius of Byzantium: A Critical Edition of his Works. for example. The Word Incarnate: A Study of the Doctrine of the Person of Christ (Digswell: James Nisbet. D. 99-111. Hence 'anhypostasia' abolishes the true humanity of Jesus. we must conclude that he believes that both natures of Leontius' Christ are enhypostasized (like Leontius of Jerusalem). M.” “having a concrete existence. 695 Cf. Evans. Leontius is an “Origenist heretic. A.692 Other critics angrily dismissed this doctrine. History of Dogma. “Leontius cannot say that Jesus Christ is God. Theo-Drama.” In consequence. Meyendorff. See J.” Mélanges de Science Religieuse 1 (1944). 1940 BC). so. Theological Dramatic Theory. 1970).693 This critical line of thought was heavily influenced by Evans who suggested that Leontius taught that the nature or ousia of any being in its mode of union is an enhypostasized nature. but each to the nous Jesus Christ. 195 influenced by Origenism and Evagrius Ponticus. 694 D. Richard. Church Dogmatics.691 or suggest that enhypostasia slips easily into anhypostasia. for example. vol. argues that Leontius' main interest was in “the mode of union and the product of it.B. in which Word and flesh remain distinguished as natures. pp. With two sets of qualities. understood the word enhypostaton not to mean “hypostatic. 2:225. 1978). Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. Althaus. Karl Barth too observed that anhypostasia as a negation must be linked with enhypostasia as an affirmation. asserts: “One cannot separate the nature from the person. 216-217.” but to mean “hypostatized” or “existent within something else. Richard believes that. 1992). Dramatis Personae: Persons in Christ (San Francisco: Ignatius Press.E. Leontius of Byzantium. there are other theologians with a different opinion on the contents and implications of Leontius' Christology. the truth of his being tempted. and “The Origenism of Leontius of Byzantium. Pittenger. p. In Him. Cf.” for whom Jesus Christ was not the Word incarnate but an incorporeal nous. Epilyseis (Solutiones Argumentorum Severi) 8 (PG 86. Therefore. 132-146. with Prolegomena. pp. Meyendorff seems to be influenced by Evans. 181-229. for Leontius.”694 On the other hand. 1948). God was in Christ. pp.C. Leontius explains that both universal and individual beings are defined by means of distinguishing characteristics (idiomata) or properties.” pp. M. H. Goergen. Baillie. 91-92. pp. B. and as such. Grillmeier in Christ in Christian Tradition. pp.: Dumbarton Oakes Studies 13. 232-237. Loofs. K. N. Braaten in Christian Dogmatics. 1977). “in their union in Jesus Christ. 155ff.: The Liturgical Press.” P. p. IV/2 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. for example. pp. 333-369. Cf. vol. The Jesus of Christian History (Collegeville. See also D. which play a unifying and distinguishing role. A similar position is taken by A. 35-88. An Essay on Incarnation and Atonement (London: Faber & Faber. 1992). 1959). Holding a like position. all natures are enhypostasized.J.” Cf. cited by C. and only in Him to one another. 693 Paul Althaus. “God and flesh are united not to one another. so. his believing and praying human ego. D. pp.

the ontological basis of the trinitarian perichoresis is the identity of being or nature. Daley suggests three positive implications in accepting this interpretation of enhypostasia. Finally. because Jesus was a normal human being. the Word of God and a normal human being share a single. the same being existing in all three. because the natures are essentially distinct. every individual being is ontologically comprised by both its similarities to other beings and by the particular qualities and circumstances that make it unique. while of the 696 These two levels of being can never be blended into one. rests on the realisation that God's humanity and ours have truly become one in Him. Alternatively. Furthermore.696 The relationship between divinity and humanity in Him is an “essential” or “substantial” relationship because it engages two substances in their essential character. the promise to all of us of a share in His humanity's eschatological transformation. historical existence. because the persons are one according to the being. First. while each of them remains fully itself. Second. The notion of relationship is an ontological rich one: it is the connecting and articulating link between universal and particular being. 2. reciprocal.2 Maximus the Confessor and perichoresis The second idea on which Stăniloae builds up his concept of deification as related to the person of Christ is the idea of perichoresis. The difference between the trinitarian and Christological perichoresis reveals new aspects of the latter: the trinitarian perichoresis is complete. Daley thinks that such a theory resulted from inherited misconceptions. one unique set of personal characteristics results from the Son's place within the Trinity and Jesus' place within human history. The result is a single hypostasis. perichoresis expresses both the mode of existence of the persons in the Trinity and of the natures in the person of Christ. 196 part of the set of characteristics that distinguish Him from the other persons. Christ . unilateral. within our own history. concrete. Daley rejects the idea that frequently depicted Leontius' doctrine of enhypostasia as the view that an “impersonal” human nature was “enhypostatized” into the person of the divine Logos. a kind of hypostatic union of spiritual and material reality. in incarnation. the heart of Leontius' system is really an insight into the relationship between God and the world. thus becoming personal. Saying that. forming as its product a concrete individual. a single concrete historical individual. However. The good news of the Gospel is that. The concrete human individual is a composite hypostasis. For Stăniloae. the Christological perichoresis is incomplete.

Cf. 144. perichoresis means a reciprocity within the divine-human relationship. so far as man. N. The active reciprocity employed by perichoresis is found again in the distinction between term “adhesion” and “penetration” as expressing the unified activity. 1113BC). Lossky describes it as follows: “The divine energies radiate the divinity of Christ and penetrate His humanity: the latter is therefore deified from the moment of the Incarnation. in the most intimate mode. Ambigua 10 (PG 91. .and. observes Thunberg. With regard to the Christological perichoresis. this does not imply that perichoresis is the dogmatic reversion or consequence of the hypostatic union. has deified himself” . p. the katabasis of the divine incarnation being matched by the anabasis of human deification. then. 697 L.” Maximus. 608D). like an iron in a brazier that becomes fire though remaining iron by nature. Microcosm and Mediator. p. the divinity inter-penetrates humanity.” in J. is frequently used in relation with the whole doctrine of deification.). Cf. 197 Christological perichoresis is the unity of person. Similarly. 63. 33.”697 The human penetration is into the totality of divine nature. Russell. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 22 (PG 90. Moreover. without confusion. Maximus used the analogy of fire and iron. 1053B). and that God makes himself man for the sake of love for man.” V. p. “Partakers of the Divine Nature. Stăniloae closely follows Maximus’ idea of perichoresis as the divine penetration into the human level. “that man is rapt up by God in mind to the unknowable. Ambigua (PG 90. p. Microcosm and Mediator.”699 The most important aspect of perichoresis refers to the union as based on a certain polarity between the two natures. L. a formula of reciprocity called also tantum-quantum: “. Sherwood. p. Cf.” This union is never “of nature” but there is a “newness of modes.” while penetration denotes “a consequence of this relationship. is that “Christ deified us by grace in the measure that he became man by nature. a double penetration. Maximus’ fundamental tantum-quantum formula (which goes back to Irenaeus and Athanasius). enabled by God. 320B). 700 This enables Maximus to say that man and God are examples of one another. It is the mysterious mode of existence of the natures in the human person of Christ. Orthodox Theology.. Thunberg. The term perichoresis in Maximus. Thunberg.”700 Thus man's ability to deify himself through love for God's sake is correlative to embodies a unity of distinct realities that neither confounds its components nor condemns them to radical dualism. mutatis mutandis.. 699 To illustrate the union. Although it is true that Stăniloae takes as its basis the doctrine of enhypostasia.698 the result being a real not illusory union. Cf. The Earlier Ambigua. Maximus. 99. Chrysostomides (ed. Adhesion denotes “the relationship established between the two natures through the incarnation. conveying its exceptional powers and benefits. Kathegetria: Essays Presented to Joan Hussey on Her 80th Birthday (Porphyrogenitus. Maximus. Maximus. “defined as an ascent (epanodos) of the believers to their Cause and End. Ambigua 5 (PG 91. 1988). 27. so far as man has manifested through virtues the God who is by nature invisible. and P. Lossky. 698 Cf.

and God is and is called man by condescension.” Maximus. by a fair inversion. this doctrine goes against Nestorianism and Monophysitism. see D. and accepted human nature. in Latin circumincessio. Again. 1. has aptly called a “reciprocity of natures between God and man. but it can also indicate the coinherence of Christ's divine and human natures in their communion or personal union. deification is “identity with respect to energy. having wholly impressed and formed God on himself. Likewise. 704 Maximus. the communication of energies is 701 This is based on what L. The term perichoresis. 702 In Thunberg's words: “Man becomes god as it were. Muller. “refers primarily to the coinherence of the persons of the Trinity in the divine essence and in each other. McGinn and W. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 59 (PG 90.” Cf.”705 So deification takes place first of all because Christ deified our nature through the incarnation. paraphrasing Maximus. 1084CD). Following Maximus. Eriugena. Stăniloae sees in perichoresis the real act of the deification of human nature. in proportion to God's becoming man. and the power of the reciprocal disposition is shown in this. without change. a supernatural gift. quoted by E. and in deification as imitation from man to God). 53-54. II. 97 (PG 90. 198 God's becoming man through compassion for man's sake. Stăniloae affirms that the divine nature becomes united with the human nature in the person of the Word by “mutual inherence” or by inter-penetration.701 Thunberg summarises and asserts that this statement (followed in Maximus by the expression “blessed inversion”) could be applied to the Christological issue of union of the two natures. Thunberg. For always and in all the Word of God and God wills to effect the mystery of his embodiment. “Metaphysics and Christology in Maximus Confessor and Eriugena. as unique person. On Leontius. Maximus’ ontology is summarised when writes that man is deified by “emplacing himself wholly in God alone. 33. theosis is God's gift of Himself. influenced by Leontius. Perl. Otten (eds. Stăniloae. Man and the Cosmos. 609A). and the existential or dynamic level where the reciprocity is expressed in terms of movements.”702 This involves two levels: the ontological level in which reciprocity is expressed in terms of archetype and image.”704 It makes us partakers of the divine nature not through identity of essence but through the power of the Son's incarnation. East and West (Notre Dame and London: University of Notre Dame. In other words. pp. and God man by the hominification of God. 1728).” Certainly. Thunberg. vol. between God and man (seen in the incarnation from God to man.” in B. Thunberg. 1725. so that he is and is called God by grace. which has its fulfilment in heaven when we shall “behold with unveiled faces the Lord's glory. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.D. Thunberg.706 In Christ. it is not a consequence of the hypostatic union but another aspect of it. 62. pp. 53-54. or actions. Man and the Cosmos.” L. pp. R.). 1994). Ambigua 7 (PG 91. says Stăniloae. because it implies that “the incarnation of God and the deification of man condition each other mutually. 321A). 91ff. and he is elevated for God's sake to the extent to which God has emptied himself. Stăniloae discusses also the expression “new theandric energy” as divine and human energy in co- operation. L. p. Microcosm and Mediator. 257. Dictionary of Latin . Capitula Theologica et Economica I. 705 Maximus.. see Adversus Nestorianos (PG 86. and hominifies God to man. 60ff. in which the divine nature is assigned human properties and conversely. p. 706 On perichoresis in Stăniloae.703 For Maximus.. and makes man God by the deification of man. 703 L. which both deifies man to God.

Christ is one ontological being but He is ontologically one in a different kind of way than that of the soul/body. Mich. the effect being a reciprocal communication of their powers. there are two aspects to this analogy. Christ is a composite hypostasis not only because He has a composite human nature. 517C). vol. Second. the natures communicate to each other their energy as part of an inter-penetration process. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. so the divinity and humanity form one ontological reality (Jesus). As the soul is united and relates to the body. pp. II. One Being Three Persons. 707 D. due to the soul that penetrates it.: Baker Book House. The problem. as the soul/body form one ontological reality or being (man).707 2. p.F. 199 different than in a common human being. . Thus the incarnational union is not a compositional union of different “natures” or “parts” which is inherent within the analogy. is not merely a material composition and cannot be conceived as separated from soul. so is with the human nature hypostatized in God the Word. the incarnation is not the union of natures nor is it then like the union between the soul/body. the soul/body relationship illustrates also the type of relationship between the humanity and the divinity. However. Stăniloae appeals to Cyril of Alexandria who seems to perceive the true nature of the and Greek Theological Terms. In order to advance his view. Dwelling in the same person. 708 D. 709 Cf. 168-202.709 However. manner and nature of the union. Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (Grand Rapids. Maximus. Indeed. so the divinity is united and relates to the humanity.3 Cyril of Alexandria and the soul/body analogy Stăniloae uses the union and the relationship between soul and body as an analogy of the union and relationship between the divinity and humanity in Christ. nor are they related to one another as the soul/body are united. The Christian Doctrine of God. but the second is not. nor do they interact with one another. Stăniloae. 1988). see the chapter “Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity. 67-68. in Stăniloae’s view. Epistula 13 (PG 91. 63. interact and relate. 92. but rather because He freely united in Himself the divine nature with the human nature. p. Stăniloae writes that “as our body. The first aspect of the analogy is legitimate. For a recent inquiry into the subject of perichoresis in the Fathers. This is because the divinity and humanity are not united to one another. First. vol.”708 Man is a composite hypostasis because his nature is composite. pp. to this point. Stăniloae. is that the soul/body analogy has been used not only to illustrate the oneness of the divinity and the humanity but also the type. On the other side. II. Torrance.” in T. There is a substantial union between the divinity and the humanity analogous to that of soul/body.

quoted by T. because of this the Logos directly assumes the experiences of the flesh. The objection is that if Jesus is a divine person then He can not be a human person. Weinandy. but rather the person of the Son taking on a new mode of existence. To become incarnate does not mean “that the nature of the Word was changed and became flesh. moreover. they did not do the same within the incarnation because the soul/body analogy does not allow them to gain this insight. mentions Stăniloae.but without each nature losing its natural properties (cf. Tertullian.”711 The incarnational union is not a compositional union of natures. 106-110). in the fullness of divinity. Tertullian. Adversus Praxean 27. but rather that the Word. While the Cappadocians distinguished “person” and “nature” within Trinity. 1985). Microcosm and Mediator. that is. did in an ineffable and inconceivable manner become man. then there would be two complete wholes and two wholes cannot form a third whole.). Thunberg. for both Cyril and Stăniloae. The union is explained in terms of “mingling” and “mixing. for example. pp.712 Moreover. where it was conceived that if Christ must be one ontologically. Epistola ad Nestorius 2. The Early Christian Fathers. In order to show that Jesus is composed of two substances. but the manner of His existence is as man and therefore He lacks nothing human. Christ is mia physis because the Logos and flesh form one organic whole with the Logos being the vivifying and governing principle just as the soul is to body. The Cappadocians were against Apollinarianism and so insisted on the full humanity. comes to exist as man. We find the same problem in Apollinarian Christology. pp. 200 incarnational union. The Nicene Fathers had difficulties in responding to Arius' objections partly because they were attempting to conceive the incarnation in an analogous way to the soul/body. though now once again in Stoic terms. The full implications of the soul/body analogy are found within the extreme forms of Logos-sarx Christology. In Arianism. However. However. 710 Oppositely.: St. p. similar to the soul/body.mixture or mutual compenetration .G. Bettenson. first because it is difficult to imagine how two substances can mutually mix and compenetrate without losing their distinct qualities.” the emphasis being on the divinization of the humanity. understood that. The Logos becomes the life principle within this substantial union. the human experiences would be located within His very nature as the Logos. of krasis/mixtio . yet they nevertheless see the incarnation according to the soul/body analogy. the incarnation is understood as the Logos uniting to Himself flesh (without soul) so as to form one reality. Does God Change? The Word's Becoming in the Incarnation (Still River. where it is acknowledged that as the soul is united to the body so the divinity is united to the flesh (only). God cannot enter into such a compositional union. Thunberg argues that there is a distinction between the hypostatic union employed by Leontius and the natural union used by Maximus (L. so do the divinity and the humanity in Jesus. This understanding is not satisfying. in the fullness of humanity. for He is changed in the process of becoming man and. (ed. or that it was converted into a whole man consisting of soul and body. who is eternally God. in H. and if Christ had a soul. 123-124. Within Apollinarianism it is the humanity that is now jeopardised precisely because the incarnation is modelled after the soul/body relationship. The fact remains that Maximus . Similarly. becoming substantially one. Leontius of Byzantium and Maximus used the analogy of body and soul resulting in one hypostasis. and therefore He is lacking something essential to His humanity. In this view. The mingling and mixing cause the union of natures in Jesus. for example.the compositional union of natures. the manner of the union is quite different from that of soul/body. Therefore the Logos cannot be God. Tertullian uses the Stoic understanding of the relationship of soul/body. existing as man. But these critics do not grasp the idea that the identity (the who) is that of the Son. 711 Cyril of Alexandria. 712 Those who criticise Cyril and Chalcedon often do so because they believe these understand the incarnation from within a soul/body framework .710 Cyril makes a distinction between person (the who) and nature (the manner of person's existence). 54. Jesus is the person of the Son of God. having personally united to himself flesh animated by a rational soul. and second because the incarnation is not the compositional union of substances or natures. One and the same person. Mass. Bede's Publications. as soul and body mix and interact without losing their individual qualities. A careful investigation would therefore disclose that.

. or Process Theology. has been said by some critics. Stăniloae. is not useful. 2. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.4 Evaluation The Christian doctrine about the incarnational claim of Jesus. pp. Madden. while the divinity is of one substance and the humanity is of another.715 Hence the incarnation is not the fusing together of two incompatible natures but the person of the Son coming to exist as man or coming to be man. B. and In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh. the substance of his soul is one thing and that of his body is another. Stăniloae’s position rejects the charge of patent incoherence that claims that found in the example of body and soul an illustration of the perichoretic unity of humanity and divinity in Christ. Accordingly. 201 Stăniloae clearly affirms that Christ’s divine nature is not united with the human nature in a similar way as soul and body are united in man: the analogy does not illustrate the relationship between divinity and humanity but only their ontological reality. for Stăniloae. it thinks the act of incarnation brought together and united two contrary and incompatible natures or essences containing within themselves contradictory attributes. Christology is not an essentialist. or conceptual sense. because the person is one. Opuscula Theologica et Polemica 13 (PG 91. Weinandy. in agreement with Cyril. “Composite Hypostasis in Maximus Confessor. because while man is one. to be nonsensical or absurd in a logical. 1993). and not by the unity of being as a result of the natures. Hebblethwaite. 175-197.” N. give up. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. 11-13. in the case of the Lord Christ. Indeed. In the same way. Does God Change? The Word's Becoming in the Incarnation. between Christ's divine nature and His human nature there is an “infinite ontological distinction.”713 Again. 310. Stăniloae rejects kenotic Christology which proposes that the Son must either empty Himself of. Finally. 145C-148A). as a way of grasping the mystery of the incarnation. 715 This line of thought is recognised in T. there is identity of person and diversity of substances.” Maximus. In other words. p. In one sense.” SP 27 (1993). II. since the Word would be no longer eternal. but personal/existential.G. Stăniloae rightly says that the primary misconception within kenotic Christology is that it conceives the classical interpretation of the incarnation in an essentialist mode. However. kenoticism is Apollinarianism in reverse. that is the hypostasis. that is. p. It denies those divine attributes that are incompatible with or would interfere with the humanity. vol. 713 D. 714 D. in the writings of Thomas Morris. kenotic Christology sees the incarnation as the compositional union of natures analogous to the soul/body. For example. 67. pp. However. And in total agreement with Madden we should acknowledge that “a literal insistence on a strict parallelism would obviously empty the incarnation of divine content and reduce Christ to the status of a mere creature. this unity and distinction between the natures is produced and maintained exclusively by the one composed hypostasis. Maximus perceives the limitations of analogy when he writes: “In man there is identity of hypostasis and diversity of substance. An Essay on the Humanity of Christ (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. those divine attributes which are purportedly incompatible with the incarnation (such as omniscience or omnipotence).714 Correspondingly. or He must hold them in abeyance during His earthly human life. or semantic. fully sustained by Stăniloae. Recently it was stated that Maximus admits that the comparison of soul and body.

is not two Christs but one and is not divided into two sons. Conversely. 717 Cf. 49. For Stăniloae. although man was constituted from the beginning of body and soul and possesses one nature by creation.718 Although the ideas of John of Damascus and Gregory Palamas were not explored. In the God-man we find complexity but not confusion. by subsisting in the divine personality (enhypostasia). Microcosm and Mediator. the human nature is maintained and confirmed with the divine nature in Christ and is enhypostasized there. p. Stăniloae is adopting the position of Leontius of Byzantium. union are the two distinct natures. Microcosm and Mediator. It has been shown that. in his desire to preserve the integrity of Christ's two natures within the one person by means of the term enhypostatos. which did not 716 L. the most coherent proposal suggests a personal union of the divine and human natures in one hypostasis. The human nature of Christ differs from all other human natures. negatively. . Stăniloae claims that in the incarnation Jesus Christ was both fully human and fully divine.716 Indeed. this is not the case in Christ.' individual nature. John of Damascus writes that “what the Logos took in His incarnation was the 'first-fruit of our substance.that is. incorporeability). Thunberg.717 Further. L. so also Christ. The analogy was used by some fathers “to show that just as one man. though constituted of divinity and humanity. both Stăniloae and Cyril of Alexandria use the soul/body analogy. 202 some individual could be divine without some properties that are constitutive of deity (for instance omnipotence. not two.” against those who used the analogy to prove one nature in Christ. To illustrate that divinity and humanity form one ontological reality . Justinian argues that. in the personal. hypostatic. omniscient. Both theologians hold that Christ's authentic humanity had no subsistence in itself but came to subsist only in union with the Logos from the moment of the incarnation. according to Stăniloae. The second person of the Trinity condescended to partake in or share our humanity. In the synthetic union. pp. the Son existing as man -. is produced from the body and soul. we should mention that they also speak about Christ's humanity that realised personal existence in and through the Logos.” Cf. In conclusion. Thunberg. Stăniloae's position is that the one concrete person of Jesus Christ in reality possessed two natures from His conception and birth. Stăniloae follows the elaborated version of Maximus in the context of perichoresis or mutual permeation. but the two sets of attributes are neither mixed nor confounded. in his understanding of the doctrine of hypostatic union. 718 A similar understanding is found in Justinian's “Edict on the True Faith. by not having a different human personality of its own (anhypostasia) and positively. Maximus develops the concept of hypostasis by speaking about a synthetic hypostasis that includes the universal human nature and its individual qualities. 21-50.

a view that became “the common property of the Orthodox tradition. 720 Gregory Palamas. Mantzarides.”720 For Palamas. spiritual and physical. The Deification of Man. For him. The Deification of Man.725 Thus K.”722 In the light of these premises. otherwise. Orthodox Theology. 724 This main premise means that Christ must always be God because He is Son from eternity. a single person. 347. the flesh (human nature) of Christ is the unique point of man's contact with God. while Stăniloae would not necessarily see his view under the heading of “physical theories”. Mantzarides. 721 See J. 38ff. Cyril of Alexandria. the term “physical theory” is misused today to imply a purely mechanical and automatic bestowal of salvation or an assimilation of mankind due to the presence of Christ and who He is.Y. Athanasius. Wesche. For Cyril of Alexandria see his Epistola ad Eulogium. 1991). The Deification of Man. De Fide Orthodoxa 3. this more properly belongs there.: SVS Press. Stăniloae partly utilises Platonic thought in speaking of God.I. 30.I. Gregory of Nyssa. Maximus the Confessor. 1021D-1024D). Christ renewed. 149. but a single real presence. pp. but our nature. Mantzarides. Hence. This must not be interpreted as if Stăniloae adopted Platonic theories uncritically but he used these ideas in connection with his theology.”723 To explain the above observations. John of Damascus and Gregory Palamas . Stăniloae’s concept of salvation is physical. 29. p. 725 Mantzarides points out a similar idea when he writes: “The physical view of deification developed by the Greek Fathers and by Palamas does not imply any mechanical commutation of humanity. p.P. 203 previously exist as individual itself. 95 723 G. Lossky asserts that “there are therefore two consubstantialities.”719 When the Logos took on human nature. Gross. Stăniloae adopts Gregory Palamas’ interpretation when he speaks about the regeneration of human nature and not of the individual human hypostases. John of Damascus. we need to add that Stăniloae's thought is that God is in His essence what He does or what He is towards us. p. Cf. La Divinisation du Chrétien d'après les Pères Grecs.I. 64BC).” V. “not our hypostasis. which He assumed. but an ontological regeneration of human nature in the hypostasis of the incarnate Logos of God. The hypostasis encapsulates two natures. a “new root” was created as an inexhaustible source. 722 G. A Study of Gregory Palamas. 719 G. 11 (PG 94. p.724 While basically rejecting much of Platonism. Thus the Son is ontologically the Son of God. Cf. The Christology of Emperor Justinian (Crestwood. Finally. at once true God and true man. the incarnation achieved a deification of human nature. “transmitting this divining energy to men and thereby deifying them. but came into existence in His hypostasis. to a certain extent. N. 171-173. p. Stăniloae’s position might be set in line with the “physical” view of deification developed by Irenaeus. 33. Meyendorff. He delivered it from corruption and death and deified the human nature He assumed. On the Person of Christ. accessible to every man who . It is important to mention that. as the culmination of this interpretative tradition. Homily 5 (PG 151. p.721 Thus through the deification of Christ's human nature. However. J. united to it in His own hypostasis. God must have changed and can change again. Lossky.

When Christ assumed a body He also brought about a change in that body (the universal in participates personally and freely in the life of Christ. 98-101. . Similarly. 204 by physical theory is meant that in Christ becoming man . Turner. 1991). The Logos thus becomes the sole motivating principle in Christ and hence the Logos was the bearer of all Jesus' spiritual functions. man could have no “solidarity in suffering” with Him. 1952). vol. The Logos in Christ's flesh gives the sarx life and power. The archetype idea designates that particulars are related to universals somewhat like a copy to an original. There has been a change of some sort in mankind effected by the incarnation and this has been expressed as a restoring of the divine nature in man or even as deification. For patristic thought. Moltmann. vol. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 179. tr. basic to Greek patristic theology. II. IV/2. pp. A. J.” G. Karl Barth stated: “In Jesus Christ it is not merely one man. which He posited and exalted as such to unity with God. the incarnation being the ground for our participation in Christ. Mantzarides. on the very assumption of humanity or human flesh . The Logos could concentrate itself in Jesus Christ because the human soul (rational) is the most perfect copy within the earthly. 728 D. 31. On his side.727 What happens to the person of Christ happens to the human race because human flesh is joined with true divinity. it has been noted already in Stăniloae's thought that not only was the divine nature of Christ united with His human nature but. Son. I. pp. Christ in Christian Tradition. Cf.726 Thus Stăniloae understood that the deification is possible not by nature but by participation. Mascall. E. 49 727 D.W. the body being only a tool. and Holy Spirit. Christ entered into ontological relationship with all men. Stăniloae acknowledged that Moltmann’s theology of hope is close to his view on solidarity in suffering.there was not only a change in the second person of the Trinity but also a change in humanity's nature. Contributions to Trinitarian Theology (London: SCM Press. particulars are related to universals either by archetype or by participation. in which the world is created in the Logos who acts as the life-giving principle to the world. p. by J. Hence the position of Stăniloae and Athanasius seems to be according to the Stoic-Alexandrian Logos doctrine. Moltmann himself confesses the influence of Stăniloae.that is. 1980). Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the victims of needless timidity if we write off as merely imaginative or rhetorical the language in which many of the Eastern Fathers have seen the human race redeemed and transformed from the moment when the eternal Word was enfleshed within it. The communication of the Logos is the cause of the redemption of the whole body/man. corporeal creation. A Study of the Development of Doctrine during the First Five Centuries (London and New York: Mowbray. pp.E. For a similar debate in the case of Athanasius. p. The Deification of Man. Church Dogmatics. 1975). This is why.” E. I suggest. Grillmeier. vol. this model is not as important as the participation concept. affecting the being of all. p. Stăniloae. and effects the redemption of that body. Bowden (Atlanta: John Knox Press. In a private conversation. II. Through the communication of the Logos in Jesus Christ. The Patristic Doctrine of Redemption. but the humanum of all men. Cf. 173.L. 193-219.” K. 100. 726 These ideas. Hence Stăniloae goes beyond Platonist thought. and hence Christ must have assumed the whole man to save it wholly. Similar ideas are found in Athanasius. Stăniloae. and asserts that Christ has entered into an ontological relation with all people. attracted wider attention. From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451). p. 51. In supporting this point. Barth. For example. Mascall writes: “We are. History and the Triune God. and not just of some unassumed human body.L. by becoming man. if Christ were not fully man. Whatever Happened to the Human Mind? (London: SPCK. the incarnation brings about participation in the divine nature for all mankind. see H.728 The supposition behind this is that the divine hypostasis in which believers participate is the agenetic hypostasis (ousia) of the Father. According to Plato.

Lossky. This assumption of the body actually deified or divinized that flesh so that all who participate in it participate potentially in divinity.” be renewed from within. for whom the human nature is restored to its authentic condition in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Louth. Russell is right when he asserts that “each writer's concept of deification is correlative to his Christology. Stăniloae's theological method is centred on this Christological axiom. Because it is impossible for human nature .729 3. The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition. Or. as in Origen. . Bria’s summary is helpful at this stage in attempting to find a proper 729 Again. 136. as Lossky explains: “What man ought to have attained by raising himself up to God. Instead. the concept that the soul contemplates God and so becomes divine.that includes Irenaus. Cyril of Alexandria.60. Mystical Theology. and Maximus the Confessor -. and nature. remarks that the essential part of Stăniloae's Dogmatics was devoted to Christology. To solve this issue. where he approached the basic ideas of redemptive incarnation (following Athanasius). Neither does deification imply. some direct relationship with God. 205 which people participate). and it is predicated on the idea of Christ taking us from corruption to incorruption via the incarnation. man is deified as he is restored to conformity with the Image of God (that is. Giving priority to a Logos-sarx approach to Christology . and ending with the victory over death. Therefore Stăniloae has no room for Origen's deification by theoria. that the normal ontological state of man is based on his unity with God as it was accomplished in the divine-human nucleus of Christ. only by Christ becoming incarnate could mankind be redeemed.” The impassable barrier formed by death. p. Thus the renewing of the image is for Stăniloae another way of speaking about deification. 730 In this sense. “is broken through by God in the inverse order. hypostatic union (following Leontius of Byzantium). Ioan Bria. sin. and the ontological aspect of Jesus' sacrifice (following Cyril of Alexandria).731 Although an unfinished observation. 78. Rather deification is the result of the incarnation. This principle is fully applied in Stăniloae's thought. the Cappadocians. Athanasius. for He is being per se and thus can overcome our corruption.” p. p.which is corruptible in character . Stăniloae breaks with Platonic ideas by understanding that the soul of man is not in any way co- natural with God (because of the ontological gulf between them). Cf. beginning with the union of the separated natures. participation is only possible with the transformation and renewal of it. God achieved by descending to man. Russell. Precisely. Stăniloae understands deification as fundamentally a Christological concept. the Word) by the Word (Logos) taking on the flesh Himself. General conclusions One of the problems which the concept of deification sought to resolve in the theology of Stăniloae is how to build a bridge between the uncreated God and created man.” V. A.730 One of Stăniloae’s disciples. “Partakers of the Divine Nature.

1993). Then.F. Westerhoff and ed. Stăniloae adapts the doctrine of deification to a Platonizing understanding of Christianity as the attainment of likeness to God as far as is possible for human nature. T. Weinandy. 1994). An Essay on the Humanity of Christ (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. 1965). “Logos-sarx? Sarx and the Soul of Christ in the Early Thought of Cyril of Alexandria.: A Michael Glazier Book. the higher part of the soul.G.” SVTQ 38. therefore. the emphasis being as much on the ascent of the soul to God as on the transformation of the believer through sacraments. . Winslow. and ultimately in the resurrected life and eschatological fulfilment of heaven. T. by understanding deification as participation in the divine nature - that is. L. 206 model of deification in Stăniloae’s theology. Furthermore. C. its metaphysical sense from the Cappadocians and Maximus. see: R. Welch. whose theology was considered more personalist. McDermott. The Liturgical Press. For further debates on Logos-sarx and Logos-anthropos Christologies. McIntyre. The Faith of the Early Church. 171- 199. following Athanasius. Trinity and Incarnation. The Dynamics of Salvation. following the Cappadocians and Maximus. Stăniloae’s view on deification.E.732 In line with the Alexandrian theology Stăniloae maintains that the transformation of the flesh by the Logos was mirrored by the transformation of the believer by Christ. tr. Dimensions of Christology (Collegeville. On the other hand. The Shape of Christology (London: SCM Press. Longman & Todd.J. pp. J. combines its physicalist dimension common to Athanasius. Word Become Flesh. and the ontological and dynamic aspect of participation that characterises the 731 See I. 18. First. 1993). D. pp. Studer. Hence the contrast between the metaphysical union of the Alexandrians and the moral union of the Antiochenes in their Christology is reflected in their attitude to deification. B. Stăniloae seems to favour a Logos-sarx framework. 1994). Christ and the Spirit. men participate in the divinity with which that body was endowed. Spirit-Christology in Trinitarian Perspective (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. which leads them to participate in incorruption and immortality. Del Colle. by M. Stăniloae prefers to speak about man's deification as the transformation of humanity that took place in principle through the incarnation. and “man” is deified by intermingling with the Logos through the mediation of the nous. the flesh is deified by participation in the divinity of the Logos -. Thus human beings are deified in an ethical sense. Yesterday and Today: A Study of Continuities in Christology (London: Darton. 732 Other writers work within a Logos-anthropos framework. In the Likeness of Sinful Flesh. Spaţiul Nemuririi sau Eternizarea Umanului în Dumnezeu (Iaşi:Trinitas. As it has been suggested. Bria. used this text to express the dynamic participation of man in God. 271-292. Stăniloae maintains that it is possible for man to participate directly in the deified flesh of the incarnate Logos. by A. Theology in Reconstruction (London: SCM Press. the Alexandrine school.F.O. This is one of the reasons that the writers of the Antiochene school do not quote 2 Peter 1:4. Torrance. Louth (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Minn. following the more spiritualized sense of Cyril of Alexandria. Through participation in the body of Christ. 1966). 1993). B.3 (1994). p. 1983). Gunton. their theology being classified as essentialist.

Christ is real man and God. The Concept of Deification in the Early Greek Fathers. Stăniloae is led somewhat far from the functional purposes of the original formulations. However. This is not to deny that there are ontological implications for the hypostatic union. Thus Christology and anthropology are harmonised in the concept of reciprocity. See N. For Stăniloae. the result is perceived in the fact that between God and man a kind of space has been created. the ethical model is correlative to a Logos-anthropos Christology and is connected with imitation. Following this dialectic. This explains Stăniloae’s realistic model of deification as correlative to a Logos-sarx Christology and closely connected with the idea of participation. in which man can move intentionally to communion with God and God can deify man. that is. one must also say that Stăniloae's development of the doctrines like enhypostasia and perichoresis. Hence the doctrinal basis of the deification of man is to be found in the hypostatic unity between the divine and human nature in Christ. when Stăniloae discusses the question of the deification of man as a result of the hypostatic union in Christ. Extending these limits and extrapolating ontological and doctrinal implications from them. The hypostatic union enables mankind to be brought into communion with God in the inner relations of His own being as Trinity. and keeping in mind that deification means God's taking of humanity into Himself. man's deification is a consequence of God's humanisation in the incarnation of the Logos. Russell. The relationship between the human and the divine has to be activated on the basis of God's will and man's response. then. In other words. that what concerns Stăniloae at this stage is the central concept of reciprocity between God and man that is manifested on the existential level. Knowledge of God thus arises out of direct experience of God. allows the boundaries encompassing the doctrine of the hypostatic union to be far wider than the limits set by Chalcedon and the other councils. which like all true knowledge is determined by the nature of what is known. 207 theology of Cyril. Definitely deification is not a consequence of man's ability but of reciprocal relationship between him and God. It is known that these formulations were originally meant to preserve a mystery and to concede certain beliefs. beyond which one would fall into heresy. by the mode of being that Christ assumed in our space and time. Connected with this idea. hence the need for deification.733 It appears. Doctorate dissertation . We have seen this principle working as a double movement in incarnation and deification. we ask why should we need somebody to be taken up into God if the whole universe is intimately related to God? 733 On the other hand. for Stăniloae.

The incarnation seems to have the effect of sanctifying the universe of God. Stăniloae sees that the coming of Christ as incarnate implies the reality of the intersection of God's reality and the world's reality. Cunliffe-Jones (ed.). A further implication for Stăniloae is that the real connection of the incarnation and the redemption is seen as a restoration of the rational order of the universe. the ontological understanding of Christ as incarnate where God is to us as He is eternally in His own being. That is why Stăniloae presents Chalcedonian Christology not in static but rather in dynamic and ontological terms. Stăniloae. the event of incarnation of the Logos attempts to provide a unitive theology. and the redemption is order-bringing and order-renewing activity.” in H. as Stăniloae wishes to. Christ deifies our human flesh. One implication of that is that all of creation is somehow ontologically related to Christ who entered into His creation as a creature. 208 In Stăniloae's thinking. p. vol. since the act of the hypostatic union resolves the duality of difference between God and man. “Christian Theology in the Patristic Period. Thus due to the fact that there is an inseparable link between the rationality of man and the rationality of the universe.H. 98. but He is the restorer and fulfilment of it. that is. 1981). establishing the validity of personal being as the very essence of reality. Again following the premise that God is in Himself what He is towards us. Lampe. Here Stăniloae follows the Early Fathers. Christ fulfils the place of the highest level of the universe. 734 D. But there is evidently a confusion in wanting to say. God's work in the world is seen and the redemption of the whole universe is worked out. 1988). if the world was made open to God through the act of creation and incarnation. A History of Christian Doctrine (Philadelphia: Fortress Press. pp. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. and G. who stressed the being of God in His acts. Thus the world is then made open to God through the incarnation where Christ constitutes the actual centre. Given man's interrelation to created being. that implies the openness of God for the world He made. Stăniloae can now move to a consideration of man's redemption by the incarnation of the second person of the Trinity.734 Within this framework. II. On the other side. . In a real way Christ is the “theopoietic” principle. His flesh is not just related to man's nor just interrelated with the created reality.W. 23-180. In other words. Of course. man (as a constituent element in the rationality of the universe) is the highest level of this ordered universe and has a central role in it. the redemption being an order-bringing activity. that in the hypostatic union God is joined to humanity or that humanity is taken up into divinity and that this divinity is truly God. Stăniloae is not wanting to say that mankind is divine in (Oxford.

p. Stăniloae asserts that the incarnation of the Logos unveils the man as “the most accessible being for us”. this gives the impression in Stăniloae's theology that the act of the incarnation determines God's being antecedently. “The Via Negativa and the Foundations of Theology: An Introduction fo the Thought of V. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. and a statement that mankind encounters not all of God as He is in Himself. there is a danger of subsuming human nature to God's nature. knowable.” writes Stăniloae. 209 the sense that God is divine or to posit a pantheistic absorption into God's essence. but also of human nature in general being assimilated to God's nature.735 This raises questions for Stăniloae's view of deification based on the incarnation. 736 D. we are enabled to become “persons capable for a perfect communion.” Consequently. Despite the strong Chalcedonian formulation behind Stăniloae's ideas. However. unknowable. Williams. it participated in His absolute freedom. God's being is of a different order to 735 See R. or united to what the Eastern Church calls God's proodoi. which relies so heavily on Greek patristic formulations. without change. free from any kind of egoism. “Our humanity. without separation” are somewhat blurred here. The other side of the problem implies man's being in relation to God's being. It is known that in the Eastern system there is a separation between the absolute. Lossky.”737 These tendencies in Stăniloae's theology become evident when taken out of the Chalcedonian context. 105. Stăniloae.” p. This subsumation is true not only of Christ's natures (the human being subsumed to the divine). Stăniloae always tries to maintain the distinction between God's being and human being.G. As such mankind is only related to.”736 It is sometimes difficult to see where the idea of man's deification really stops and prevents the tendency towards pantheism or to obscure the Creator-creature relation. and particible divine energeiai. without division. where they may lead to either a form of universalism. and “the most capable being in becoming the medium of God's manifestation. 160. as shown in incarnation. and through this. due to the identification of God's being as relation with the person of the man Jesus and hence of all men to God. . There seems to be a contradiction in drawing extrapolations from the fact of the hypostatic union to include mankind in God. While there is compatibility. The Chalcedonian phrases of “without confusion. “came to its climax in Christ.N.” because “it participated in the loving communication and in the absolute character of His divine hypostasis. or a lack of emphasis on proclamation. imparticable ousia of God and the relational. and never to His ousia.

while Stăniloae wishes to retain the Creator-creature distinction. The incarnation assures us of the “compatibility” between God and man since there human mind and body were joined to the Logos of God. p. Stăniloae. These riders have important implications for an understanding of the purpose of the incarnation.738 737 D. through his stress on the idea of deification-as- participation. Surely there will always remain a difference in being between God and man. 738 This may imply. . substitution. 164. for man's being is the image of God. such as fulfilment. that the purpose of the incarnation was not to deify man as such but must be seen in a much more relational. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. It must be remembered that since the beginning there was nothing alien to God in man. etc. for example. it is not always obvious that he achieves this. 210 mankind's being. eschatological and teleological way. However. especially with respect to the ideas of deification.

Stăniloae affirms that both revelation and redemption are centred in Him. Christ is seen as the mediator that stands between God and humanity. THE CHRISTOLOGICAL ASPECT OF DEIFICATION: THE WORK OF CHRIST Introduction With Christology we arrived at the centre of Stăniloae's understanding of deification. person and work are interdependent.739 Thus Stăniloae speaks of one person with a duality of nature. In other words. as mediator. He makes possible the restoration of fallen humanity to a state of salvation and wholeness in right relationship with God. V. Christ mediates in this double way: from humanity to God and from God to humanity. It will be obvious that Stăniloae has no hesitation in beginning his soteriology with incarnation and moving on to redemption. distinctive definition of each of the Christian doctrines is given in and through the special revelation in Christ. . This does not mean that everything that Stăniloae believes can be deduced from Christology. 143-144. 740 Surely. Christ saves us by becoming incarnate and thus deifying human nature. or function. 211 CHAPTER VI. In fact.” J. in the largest framework. While all other aspects of the Christian doctrine are organically related to each other.” states Meyendorff. Christ in Eastern Christian Thought. 97-98. the main goal of this incarnation being our re-integration into the natural state based on the 739 “This essential dynamic doctrine of salvation. and He was who He was because of His saving deeds. we shall examine the main suppositions of Stăniloae's methodology on the relation between the incarnation and redemption. there is a special sense in which the understanding of Jesus as the Christ is the focal point of deification. For that. Similarly. Since. and a human movement towards God.740 Stăniloae is following the Fathers who speak of the incarnation of the Logos as the whole mystery of God’s oikonomia. Meyendorff. “supposes a double movement: a divine movement towards man consisting of making God partakable of by creation. Christ provides true knowledge of God and saving power. as he presents the matter. willed from the beginning by the Creator and restored in Christ. Christ had to be who He was in order to save. pp. Lossky sees a necessary relation between Christ's katabasis and man's anabasis in order to understand theosis. In the Image and Likeness of God. therefore. Lossky. so a twofold movement of relationships can be discerned: Christ relates us to God and God to us. pp. but that the specific. The main purpose of this chapter is. to show that throughout his writings Stăniloae aims to present a unitive theology in which the centre and integrating factor of all our knowledge is the incarnation consummated in redemption. role.

pp. 369-380. Although Stăniloae does not exclude the idea of substitution on the cross. II. hence the incarnation must be linked to redemption and creation. pp. V. 212 idea of participation and of communion. often expressed as a “penetration” into our sinful humanity. 224- 229. in the context of redemption. pp. Incarnation itself is God the Son entering into our human alienation from God. See for example. the incarnation “creates as it were a 'void' between the Father and Son. this is seen not only in terms of the whole incarnate life but must also be intimately related to Christ's incorporation into humanity as man. from Hell. ontological and eschatological nature of his “incarnational” theology. 99-103. 153-192. 110-111. What does it matter being saved from death. It means. 489f. The emphasis in Stăniloae's later writings is more on the resurrection of Christ as the determinative factor. He does not want to limit Christ's work or His person to the cross. Salvation itself is only a negative moment: the only essential reality remains union with God. Stăniloae is concerned to establish the view that all of Christ's life is integral to the redemption. Stăniloae. the prominence of the resurrection references in comparison with those which mention the death of Christ. In the Image and Likeness of God. then. an open space that follows for the free submission of the Word made flesh. Iisus Hristos Lumina Lumii şi . Cf. life and ministry of Christ are continuous in the process of salvation.742 The second supposition of Stăniloae’s methodology is based on the strong ontological relationships that characterise salvation. 741 This is why. 21-34. 226f. 9-53. where less importance is given to the passion within the life of Christ. the spiritual place of redemption. pp. This means more than merely taking our flesh and its problems. Not only has something been done for man.741 1. the means to the only real goal: deification.” Even if Stăniloae himself uses the idea of “open space” for such relationships. I. Background and premises in Stăniloae's soteriology The first supposition of Stăniloae’s methodology is the close link between incarnation and redemption. 85-92. basic to Stăniloae's whole theological method is the view that not just the death and resurrection. Orthodox Theology. Consequently. Lossky’s expression “void” sounds enigmatic. but also the birth. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. in the following writings: D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Lossky continues: “For the atonement made necessary by our sins is not an end but a means. if it is not to lose oneself in God?” For Lossky. by and large. vol. 742 In this context there appears to be a shift in emphasis from Stăniloae's earlier to his later writings. According to Stăniloae.” Cf. which is included as a central aspect of the incarnation. Stăniloae defines salvation as something internal to man and not as an external act unrelated to him. the idea of theosis seems to be “strange and abnormal. pp. that the appearance of evil into the world has affected all contingent existence. 192-210. the work of re- integration is the work of redemption. and vol. and at the same time he wants to avoid splitting Christ's work and person. and probably because of the lack of emphasis on the penal nature of Christ's death. Lossky. Hence resurrection has prominence because of the holistic.

119-143. both being inseparable due to the hypostatic union. pp. It is firstly within the being of God because of the real relationship existing between Father and Son. This trinitarian paradigm for a real union is. If the content of God's self-revelation is not the reconciling life of Christ. though. revealed truth.” p. D. Theology and the Church. It is important then to see that the process of salvation linked with its goal. 745 This is for Stăniloae a particularly Greek patristic concept and somehow alien to Latin theological thought. K. healed and sanctified nature from within. If salvation means to be united with God or Christ. It is from such an internal understanding of the redemption that other aspects of Christ's work are emphasised or criticised by Stăniloae. the result is an epistemological and ontological dualism between Christ's person and His work (seen as external) for us. Stăniloae sees atoning reconciliation taking place both within the being of God and within the being of man.745 Accordingly. p. in the incarnation. For Stăniloae. Sermo XIII de Tempore (PL 39. or theosis. Stăniloae. incorporation. 189-208. Sermo .” MO 4 (1987). 7-24. expressing the various sources of his concept: recapitulation. pp. not so much an external. 194. 744 Cf. 171. 743 See for example. Ware. Christ. revelation is Christ. Stăniloae. This union with God as a goal is a direct result of the importance of the hypostatic union. What Christ accomplishes He does as God and it must be Îndumnezeitorul Omului. Stăniloae assumes the ontological relation between Christ's humanity and man's. For Stăniloae salvation is a real union. For the idea of theosis in Augustine. Stăniloae's theology is to be regarded as a “participation soteriology. Theosis refers then to God's self-giving and adoption of humanity into the communion of His divine life. 101-110. by taking our nature as fallen. a real sharing in the inner relationships of the Trinity. misses the strong deification aspect of Augustine that had a great influence in Roman Catholic theology. and the idea of solidarity forms a major base not only for man's inclusion in the benefits of the redemption but also for the whole concept of union with God. and of seeing the incarnation as being directly related to redemption: It is reached by man by being assumed into the divine life in Christ through adoption into communion with Him. then this union must be seen to be more than a forensic or declarative transaction between God and sinners (and especially more than a moral union). the starting point in understanding salvation and as such he uses a number of phrases and words to describe the union. 1097-1098).743 From this point of view. “Fiul şi Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu Cel Întrupat şi Înviat ca Om: Reunificatorul Creaţiei în El pentru Veci. but the self-giving of God to us. for Stăniloae. 213 but something has been done in man. “Salvation and Theosis in Orthodox Theology. According to Stăniloae.”744 The third supposition of Stăniloae’s methodology is based on the idea of the vicarious humanity of Christ.

“form part of His plan to guide creation towards union with Himself. 369-385. Thus substitution is real. “the whole history of salvation is guided.”746 1. Stăniloae uses the concepts of theosis and assumption. According to Stăniloae. and our incorporation into Him means the recreating of our humanity within His own life. . 747 D.” where Christ is “the ultimate stage of supernatural revelation and the fulfilment of its plan. being conceived in eternity but executed on the stage of history. says Stăniloae. “Augustine's Conception of Deification. Bonner. The various means God uses to achieve salvation are not in a chance configuration but rather they are all parts of a single master plan or pattern which is only fully seen when we come to Christology. 216). and must be seen in the light of the patristic formula: “the unassumed is the unhealed. towards deification.1 The plan of salvation We must deal with two preliminary issues before we develop the previous suppositions.2 (1986). Hence. and strengthened in goodness by divine revelation. being the ontological counterpart of the redemptive work of Christ and also the ground for the real union with Christ. Stăniloae. Secondly. 214 understood in terms of the internal relationhip with God. recreation. that is. For Stăniloae. Sermo VI in Nativitate Domini 5 (PL 54.” Moreover. 27-28. See also G. Theology and the Church. in Stăniloae’s understanding. this plan of salvation unfolds itself progressively through time.” JTS 37. enlightened. Christ Himself is the new creation. God's acts and words. atoning reconciliation is within the being of man since Christ is the hypostatic union between God and man. 746 Substitution for Stăniloae includes elements of the Irenaean idea of recapitulation where the details of Christ's life are the healing aspects for humanity. His very act of redemption is a recreation of our humanity. pp. The first issue in understanding Stăniloae’s Christological aspect of deification is the personalist dimension of God’s plan of salvation. It was a total substitution of Christ's life and death. The entire life of Christ is redemption.”747 Scripture does not encourage us to seek out the logical order of God's divine decree CLXXXXIV (PL 38. pp. there is a union between our sinful humanity and God which is explained by the fact of the solidarity Christ has with all humanity and the inclusive nature of Christ's person in which people participate. 1017). the work of salvation is complex. This is why Stăniloae can speak of redemption as being accomplished within the incarnate constitution of Christ. and indeed a Greek way of thinking about human nature and God a great deal. As such. the Son took our position in order to convert it to obedience and true sonship by His vicarious obedience in all aspects of His life.

p. Stăniloae fully upholds this principle when discussing the basic idea of the revelation of the Holy Trinity in the work of salvation. through whom we are created. p. Stăniloae takes a personalist view of the history of salvation in which Christ’s incarnation and the resurrection accomplishes God's eternal plan to unite humanity with divinity. 215 regarding salvation. 653. 137-138. for that has a significant impact on how we understand salvation.” in J. 28. wholly identified with the world. That is why there can be no other essentially new acts of supernatural revelation beyond the incarnation and resurrection of the Son of God. with Christ or in Christ. Minn.” V.” Gregory continues: “It was necessary for us that God should take flesh and die so that we might have new life. if He is. 45. Tobias (eds. Meyendorff and R.” where “God prepared man's salvation in the same eternal Logos of God. Lossky. Stăniloae. pp. Theology and the Church.750 In fact. Gregory of Nazianz. Minneapolis. For Easter. of participating completely in the personal Absolute.749 Basically. 751 D. p. A personal and saving God is a God simultaneously transcendent and revealed in immanence.751 In other words. “Orthodox Soteriology. 661.748 Stăniloae writes: The incarnation of God as man leads our own absolute aspiration to its perfection through participation. namely. Salvation in Christ. Mystical Theology. The Trinity is reflecting in the plan of salvation something of its unity and internal love. it records the unfolding of the plan. 1992). a few drops of blood redeem the whole universe. A Lutheran-Orthodox Dialogue (Augsburg. then men are no longer real persons but only apparent ones manifesting a single being.. 29 (PG 36. for Stăniloae. rather. Stăniloae. salvation and deification are “the extension to conscious creatures of the relations that obtain between the divine persons. so that even after our fall we may return to immortality. He writes: A uni-personal God remains an exclusively transcendent God who does not Himself accomplish the salvation of men but issues instructions to them as to the way in which they can save themselves.” Cf. is no longer a personal God. Oratio 45. The Roots of Christian Mysticism. . the Holy Trinity reveals God to us as an “economic” Trinity and as a personal Saviour-God.” Maximos Aghiorgoussis.. Thus. 28. 750 Stăniloae’s presentation follows the Orthodox understanding of the plan of salvation as the plan of “divine economy. Theology and the Church. That is why the Trinity 748 Gregory of Nazianzus explains the divine plan where “humanity had to be brought to life by the humanity of God. it is important to see how the plan is characterised. Nothing can equal the miracle of my salvation. 40. 749 D. quoted by O. Although this plan is a mystery. The history of salvation now has as its purpose to provide believers with the opportunity of making themselves capable.: Augsburg Fortress... An exclusively immanent God. or.). Clément.” and where “we had to be called back to him by his Son. their very own essence. p. 22. Lossky sees the plan in which “God has foreseen the fall of Adam and the Son of God was the ‘Lamb slain before the ages’ in the pre-existent will of the Trinity. 74. Let the rest be adored in silence. the idea of a plan is significant because it means that God must be personal. 664).

p. 624). justification. 248. 60 (PG 90. receive additional expansions in Stăniloae’s theology. 755 Again. a present experience. Stăniloae presents a Christianity in which there is no salvation apart from the person of Jesus Christ. for Stăniloae. the Father was not Himself incarnate.755 Broadly speaking. Quaestiones ad Thalassium. Stăniloae boldly declares that “on this Person and on our relationship with Him depends our salvation. And the Spirit was wholly in the Son. the Orthodox heritage stresses sanctification and personal deification. Christ is defined as “the centre and foundation of that act whereby salvation and deification are extended to all who believe. participation in divine life. and (2) in correlation with that. which penetrates true humanity and . when the creature has cut himself off from the Creator. salvation is both a possibility and a reality. Christ has won the battle. p. Indeed. Speaking about the plan and the mystery of our salvation. Similarly in Maximus: “The Father was wholly in the Son when he fulfilled by his incarnation the mystery of our salvation. Clément. The Roots of Christian Mysticism. the plan of salvation has been fulfilled. then. vol. Stăniloae. The link of soteriology and Christology in Stăniloae’s theology is proven by the fact that (1) salvation is always a past fact. In other words. Stăniloae holds that. and referring to this tridimensional aspect of salvation. as in its foundation. which is perhaps one of the greatest problems in our times of inter-faith dialogue and religious pluralism. we have to deal in his soteriology with the scandal of particularity . cited by O.the scandal being that only this particular Name can bring salvation -. sanctification through the energy of God. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. 216 reveals itself essentially in the work of salvation and that is why the Trinity is the basis on which salvation stands.”754 Stăniloae’s theology is therefore in opposition with some modern theologies where this linking of soteriology and Christology seems presumptuous. In Him. without indeed being incarnate with Him. the basic contradiction or denial of reality is man in a state of contradiction against God. but acting in complete unity with him in his mysterious incarnation.”752 In a soteriological context. and a future hope. 38. but He was united to the incarnation of the Son. but the battle continues. As Meyendorff puts it: “Communication in the risen body of Christ.”753 Moreover. Man is in a state of contradiction against the natural world. Nonetheless. 753 D. the personalist and communitarian dimensions of theosis. for example. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. derived from the trinitarian framework. Stăniloae sees salvation in some sense as an affirmation of reality that overcomes the contradictions which man's denial of reality forces upon him. II. whereas Protestant theology stresses. 44). 109. Indeed. against his fellow-men and against himself. from the 752 D. 754 D. because of what the one man Jesus accomplished. until at the last day all His enemies will be put under His feet. p. Theology and the Church. Stăniloae.” Maximus.

but what is distinctive about the salvation which Jesus announces is that it is offered to sinners. This is perhaps one of the greatest reasons for the scandal Jesus presented to the Jews. The goal of Christianity is not merely personal holiness: it is community holiness. In this respect there is no parallel in rabbinic. Stăniloae. prelapsarian 'being. a change in one's being or fundamental condition rather than status. one which would be accomplished at the end of history and result in a new act of creation. Theology and the Church. 43:11). pp.' His relationship with man is not only that of a healer. pp. Christ's exaltation is the signal that He has fulfilled. he uses other soteriological terms (like “redemption” and “atonement”). soteriology is linked with the idea and arrival of the Saviour. salvation in the theological sense entails the transformation of the whole man. although Stăniloae favours the term “reconciliation. in Deification in Christ. See the original and illuminating presentation of man's condition by Nellas. In the New Testament we notice again the historical dimension of salvation found in the Christ event and Christian message. referring to the past aspect of salvation. Indeed. 217 very source of his own being. but a kerygma . Meyendorff.759 In this sense.a proclamation.” J. is that the scope of salvation is not primarily about rescuing individual souls from their otherworldly fate. 100-101. 242-275.these are at the center of Byzantine understanding of the Christian Gospel.756 This is why. The “not yet” refers to the fact that salvation is now seen only with the eyes of faith. 184. completing his iconic. or sectarian Judaism. p. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului.758 Furthermore. there is not a “religious” sphere per se. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. but also in a positive way. God's purpose for mankind and therefore for the whole of restores it to its 'natural' state. rather than justification. especially in his first writings. God's salvation in the past is understood by the prophets to be a type or promise of a future salvation. pp. 53ff. 757 D. or remission of inherited guilt . p. However. 756 Salvation resolves these contradictions by giving men new hearts and making them whole. therefore.”760 Specific to Stăniloae. We are confronted in Stăniloae’s theology with a communitary and cosmological dimension of salvation. the main emphasis in the Old Testament is that it is God Himself who saves (Ps. Byzantine Theology. When we move to the New Testament. for Stăniloae. Isa. 3:8. for all of life is under Christ's dominion and all areas have to be affected. referring to the future aspect of salvation. not as a philosophical teaching nor an ethical code.” and “makes it clear that salvation is brought about by re-establishment of a normal personal relationship between man and God. Stăniloae. salvation has also an eschatological reality which alludes to the tension between the “already” and the “not yet. Salvation in its final an fullest sense will be accomplished in the “day of the Lord” (1Pet. in representative fashion. To become a new man means to become a different person in the social and economic spheres as well as in the “religious” sphere. 1:5). As Nellas stresses: “Christ accomplishes the salvation of man not only in a negative way.”757 Referring to the present aspect of salvation. The Gospels represent the ministry of Jesus as concerned with salvation. 759 D. The . 758 Certainly. See for example. 32:15. Stăniloae understands that historical deliverance is transformed into eschatological expectation. Indeed. Stăniloae prefers the term “reconciliation” because “it emphasises the character of both man and God as 'persons' in the economy of salvation. liberating him from the consequences of original sin. 760 There is a consciousness in the New Testament that we are standing between the ages. Stăniloae puts the accent on sanctification and transformation. 146. apocalyptic.” in the context of Christ’s sacrificial ministry.

761 In a similar way. 762 D. On the one hand. pp. especially 2. 39. Stăniloae.12.” K. 1960).2 The link between the Person of Jesus Christ and His salvific ministry The second issue in understanding Stăniloae’s Christological aspect of deification is the real link that exists between the person of Christ and His salvific ministry.” K. the work of Christ in salvation does not take place outside of Christ. On the other hand. Lannoy (ed. Barth.T. very man. Ware. Christ is in Himself God and man in one person. The Experience of God. insists Stăniloae. The uniqueness of His person determines the efficacy of His work.” because “salvation is not solitary but social.” P.the theandric Person . His person is present in all salvific acts. Nellas. for “there is an indissoluble link between His Person and His salvific acts. and very God-man that He works. Deification in Christ. and all His acts fall within His own being and life.3. the person of Christ saves us through the transformatory acts of His love. Consequently. 218 creation. Accordingly. p. Stăniloae clarifies the fact that Christian dogma assures the freedom of the believer as a person and lays the foundation for his spiritual development. IV/1. as a system.. p. as something external to Him. p. For Us and Our Salvation: Seven Perspectives on Christian Soteriology (Utrecht/Leiden: IIMO Research Publication 40. man's personality is so linked with his environment that he must be saved in the context of all his corporate relationships. Christian dogmas constitute a system which is not formed by abstract principles but by the living person of Christ. Institutes of the Christian Religion.). achievement and aspirations. and He works in the fact and only in the fact that He is this One and not another. adds Stăniloae. the way in which Stăniloae's dogmatic theology unites the person and work of Christ is by reintegrating and synthesising the traditional doctrines of Christ and His threefold office. 66. Calvin. 1994). 2 vols. 128. Kallistos Ware stresses that “we are not saved in isolation but in union with our fellow humans from every generation. Or. 26-27. but takes place within Him. 763 See also J. “The Understanding of Salvation in the Orthodox Tradition.761 1.” That is to say. In Stăniloae’s words: “Christ . McNeill (Philadelphia: The Westminster” in R. in Karl Barth's words: “It is in the particular fact and the particular way that Jesus Christ is very God. Rather. Thus the salvation of human beings should not be conceived of as a rescue operation of certain individuals out of a doomed world to participate in an otherworldly existence unrelated to life on earth. Church Dogmatics. Edited by J. .763 Christ Himself saves as “the irreplaceable Person. universally comprehensive in exactly the same manner as He remains open and dedicated to promoting freedom in those who wish to be saved through Him.” and man receives salvation through a personal relationship with Him.”762 Thus Christian dogmas express the plan of deification of all created beings in the person of Christ and His work. it coincides with deification. salvation of man is something much wider than redemption.

” p. corresponding to four moments of Jesus' work. which is deified by the power of His divine nature. even the Old Testament law. 767 D. 769 Maximos Aghiorgoussis speaks about four obstacles.” pp. Stăniloae works here with the principle that the acts achieved by a person have been at the same time “recorded” within that person with all their consequences. and (2) salvation is personal. at the same time. His earthly acts “accomplished in Him a continuous irradiation of His love” and. Stăniloae excludes from the beginning any other alternatives for a personal salvation except in a real and personal relationship with Christ. 219 because “apart from them His person as man is not truly fulfilled. vol. 199. II. This explains why Stăniloae is rejecting the idea of salvation through other teachings. 204. for “He does not exhaust His reality in His salvific acts on earth.” Christ's acts are historical acts and. p. Stăniloae.764 This is the reason why Stăniloae insists that Jesus Christ is much more than any other person. death (resurrection) and the dominion of the devil (descent into Hades). 110. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 765 D. Moreover. became a source of unceasing love towards us.”766 In conclusion. by the divine powers 764 D. p. and King The previous ideas establish two key points in framing Stăniloae’s soteriology: (1) salvation is directional. pp. The second direction is towards our nature which. as the man completely accessible to other men. “Dumnezeu este Iubire. Stăniloae.” Christ's person will remain as an active and permanent presence in the spirit of His acts. vol. Stăniloae. 766 D. II. 110. Cf.765 God manifests in Christ an absolute love for humankind by giving Himself as hypostasis “in order to irradiate through Him [Christ] the supreme divine love. and so freed from its passions and death. Priest. they become a motive to believe in Him as a real existence. in “Orthodox Soteriology. 2. 401-402. Stăniloae. in this sense. p. Christ's Tridimensional Ministry: The Saviour as Prophet. The first point reflects Stăniloae's special contribution to the soteriological aspect of deification in implanting the idea of three directions or intentions of one salvific ministry of Christ.769 The first direction towards His human nature. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 111. Aghiorgoussis. vol. because the former is “the necessary manifestation of His personal structure. being motivated by love.”768 Thus the person of Christ is present in the salvific acts which are the concretisation and the actualisation of all the hypostatic union’s implications. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. then. 768 D. Christ is not a static but an active person. for “His Person is everything.”767 Stăniloae firmly declares: “Christianity is personalist. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. 44. it means salvation of the human person through the supreme Person. sin (cross). M. that He had to overcome: the obstacles of nature (incarnation). II. .” For Stăniloae. We cannot separate the work of Christ from His person.

He is the permanent prophet in His own person which is not only God most intimately near to us.770 2. Jesus Christ is the prophet who saves by speaking forth the truth.”771 Accordingly. D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 112-115. because only in such a combination and completion do we see the Person of the Son of God as the Saviour of the world in His fullness. Furthermore. and therefore His teaching is the culmination of that revelation about God and man. Deification in Christ. “but only in union with God. II. Stăniloae. Jesus is the unique prophet in that the word He receives is not an external word. in Stăniloae's view. In His teaching Christ interprets Himself. with whom Jesus enjoys an intimate union. And therefore after Him can come no prophet announcing anything superior to what Christ has announced to us. the consummation and the most pre-eminent of the prophets. and humanity’s goal of deification is in Christ Himself. 111. The third direction is towards God. whilst in His person Christ represents a realistic prophecy about what man is destined to be. Christ's prophetic calling is accomplished by illuminating man's soul through His teaching. for Stăniloae. p. vol. A similar idea is found in Nellas. He as a person is the culmination of God's revelation.” Because Jesus Christ brought the perfection of doctrine.1 Christ as prophet (salvation as truth) The first dimension of God’s salvific work is seen by Stăniloae in Christ’s office as prophet. priest. According to Stăniloae. One of the main differences between Jesus Christ and other prophets is that. the salvific works are continued by the Holy Spirit in the Church. but also perfect man risen from the dead. Jesus Christ did not bring an abstract doctrine but a teaching intimately connected with His person. it is not too much for Stăniloae boldly to assert that the way to deification. vol. whilst they proclaimed a received truth. not just talk about 770 After Christ's ascension. In His own person He is the assurance of our ultimate fulfillment. p. . Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. is liberated from sin. II. the truth that Christ proclaimed was precisely Himself. Stăniloae. then. but the word of the Father. In Him we see fulfilled what will also be fulfilled in us. for the work of reconciliation glorifies Him. the quality of Jesus Christ as a prophet is directly connected with His person. and king). 116. 771 D. He is the last in a long line of prophets. Stăniloae sums up these ideas: He is our ultimate future. He is both “the Teacher” and “the teaching” because “in Himself the Subject of His teaching is identified with its object. p. the three directions should be combined with the three forms of ministry (prophet. 220 extended to us through His body. Thus.

pp. Stăniloae. II. is “to persevere in intimacy with [Christ]. 89. 123-124. His words. 773 D. . 117-118. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. as life. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. and spreads the 'brightness of the Spirit. “All that is true. What we need. God makes Himself “His type” or “His symbol. 221 that fulfillment. vol. we know that Jesus Christ actually revealed Himself. are “a direct irradiation of His Person as their source and a self-interpretation of that Person. 774 Here Stăniloae quotes from the works of Cyril of Alexandria. But precisely on account of this the words by which He promises these things also serve to interpret Him to us. “has its origin in the creative act of the personal God. 122. “the integral truth was revealed in Him as a living person. Christ came from the Old Covenant's “indirect level” into the “direct level” expressed in dialogue with us.”776 This truth.” considering that a type is not separated from God. Stăniloae. The dynamic quality of the truth is virtually seen in man's configuration according to Christ's image (that is.” That is to say. concludes Stăniloae. vol. is communicated through the humanity of Christ in order to stimulate all those who are in the process of deification. That is. Stăniloae praises the human nature assumed by the Logos. 508AB. and reach His infinite divinity. by Christ's self- communication. especially from Glaphyrorum (PG 69.774 But while the Word of God came in Christ into direct dialogue with us.772 Although God revealed Himself in a partial form through the prophets. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. reconfiguration). 241. II.” writes Stăniloae. or to 'the truth' par excellence. 776 D. 777 D. “[Christ] Himself as person is the 772 D. since the incarnation of the Son God's revelation is no longer incomplete. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 121. Stăniloae. vol. from whom all energies and works are originating. 509). 775 D. which was filled by the divine life and which stays as a “dynamic truth” open to all human beings to be shared. 88. p. 166.”775 Again. His body and His human words remained “symbols” of His divinity. vol. II. p.” and so He started “the most accessible and direct mode of communication” with mankind. Stăniloae writes that. being able to penetrate through Him as type. from whom originates all words.” so is the Spirit “the enhypostatized energy that dwells in the Son.”777 That is why we need to know Christ's personal words and acts in order to understand the spirit of His person (2 Cor. by revealing the meaning of the Law. and is maintained and perfected in life or truth by participation in the divine personal life. “as the Son is the hypostatic Word. Stăniloae. II. p. Theology and the Church. So we may state that. 4:6). Stăniloae explains this possibility based on the trinitarian activity in which “the Son has the Spirit as a ray of His nature.'“ then. Stăniloae. and in imitating His model through the work of the Holy Spirit. pp.773 As an example. writes Stăniloae.

(4) and the words of his fellow men. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. and particularly to man’s deification. “Aspectele Esenţiale ale Operei de Răscumpărare în Concepţia Ortodoxă. ontological. 104-118.” Being the divine hypostasis and the human Word in the highest degree.” Ortodoxia 31 (1979). 781 D. 780 D. See also “Învăţătura Ortodoxă despre Mântuire şi Concluziile ce Rezultă din Ea pentru Slujirea Creştină în Lume. 219 (see also pp.” Ortodoxia 24 (1972). 195- . II. Stăniloae. II. p.” to His words and His person.778 Stăniloae applies these thoughts to the relationship between Christ and man. II. Today. God speaks in Christ as God and man not only through His words. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. an idea which is most commonly associated with Jesus' passion and death. Stăniloae. the specific aspect of man's deification. pp. “Jertfa lui Hristos şi Spiritualitatea noastră prin Împărtăşirea ei din Sfânta Liturghie. as priest. Jesus represents God to man.” He awakes then in us “the most acute responsibility and deep obligation to respond positively. p. 126. This explains the fact that most people tend to identify it with the notion of salvation itself. vol. vol. Man is a hypostatic word depending on the supreme hypostatic Word. “Iisus Hristos. Arhiereu în Veac. Stăniloae. vol. pp. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.”779 Therefore. 125. 778 D. (2) Christ's words. or his likeness to God. p. for “He interprets the mysteries of divine will through the means of His human being. Stăniloae puts the point in simple terms: as prophet.”781 2. 779 D. Christ’s whole teaching then is to cause our immediate response to God's call. II. 222 Word as divine hypostasis. pp. Stăniloae attempts to synthesise the major theories of redemption by adopting a scheme that includes three aspects of redemption: sacrificial. asserts Stăniloae. we may conclude that from Christ irradiates “the most demanding word. but also through His response towards God. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. as God and man. 616-657. Stăniloae. p.” writes Stăniloae. 782 Stăniloae developed these aspects in. “the full efficacy” of Christ is exerted on us through the sacraments. and therefore he is compelled to respond. Christ is a mediator between God and men. and 782 recapitulative. pp. “and is sustained in his existence because he is called in every moment to proceed into a like existence with Him.2 Christ as priest (salvation as communion with God) The second dimension of God's salvific work is seen by Stăniloae in Christ's office as priest. He represents man to God.780 In this way. Other writings on this subject are : “Iisus Hristos ca Profet. with our word or act. 217-231. vol. (3) the words of Scripture. pp. 128. 214-241).” Ortodoxia 1 (1983).” in Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică.” RT 11-12 (1941). Supremely. is seen in the fact that God is speaking to man by using: (1) his conscience. as a model for man. 469-485. “Man was called into existence by the divine Word.

the sacrifice of our own existence. 196.1 The sacrificial aspect of redemption First.” that honoured God's glory “more greatly than human beings have disregarded it by their disobedience. II. Arhiereu în Veac. Sacrifice is actually a total surrender to the Father. In Christian theology. pp. 785 D. restored human nature from its selfishness and. in this surrender of Christ we obtain reconciliation. In presenting his view. . Stăniloae. 223 2.” Therefore Christ's death “was not solely a punishment. In a specific way. In other words. the image which Stăniloae calls upon is that which represents Christ’s death as renunciation of life itself. a value sufficient to compensate for mankind's disobedience. “The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation and Its Implications for Christian Diakonia in the World. the reason for God's initiative in sending the second person of the Trinity to become incarnate is because “God's infinite majesty demanded to be honoured fully again in the creatures' eyes. In this sense.2. 622. according to Stăniloae. 131. “Iisus Hristos. Stăniloae develops his concept of sacrifice: Because it is only in this state of total surrender in Christ that we are reconciled with God. for Stăniloae. Stăniloae. but homage to God. In English. the Son’s offering as spotless sacrifice to the Father re-established communion between man and God.”784 Moreover. salvation is not simply a renewing of human nature but also humanity's return to obedience to God. 784 D. on the one hand. Stăniloae. vol. on the other hand.”783 Essential for understanding theosis in Stăniloae is that. Christ's sacrifice demonstrates total obedience to God. the key concept is the infinite value of Christ's obedience. “Aspectele Esenţiale ale Operei de Răscumpărare în Concepţia Ortodoxă. that very existence which we want to hold on to and keep as a good for ourselves alone when we are in a condition of sin and selfishness. Theology and the Church. holiness and the right to communication with God. generally. p. 181-212). “restored God's revealed and unimpeded love in its will in order to adorn man with its gifts.” in Theology and the Church. p.” We could see in Christ “a free movement towards death. in his view. Thus.785 212. the sacrificial aspect of redemption is primarily directed towards God. we can say that reconciliation demands sacrifice.” Ortodoxia 2 (1979) 783 D. Stăniloae simply reminds us that the salvific work of Christ as sacrifice starts with the incarnation and culminates in crucifixion. this aspect is expressed by ransom and penal ideas.” p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. That means that Christ's sacrifice.

correcting through sacrifice the state of enmity between human nature and God.” D. according to Stăniloae. creating in us the possibility for eternal communion with God. The results take a similar simplistic form: God’s love for human nature and raising up that human nature. Stăniloae confidently declares that “the gradual transfiguration of the human nature of Christ is the condition of our 786 The key text for this summary is: “Christ as man.786 2. vol. Following Leontius of Byzantium. Therefore we can speak of a human nature “in process of becoming” in Christ.” or as a process of in-humanisation of the divine. 231. . Thus moral activity receives salvific efficacy only in the unity of His person and with the help of divine grace. As a result He perfected human nature ontologically but not morally. Stăniloae does not spend too much time analysing the juridical aspect of redemption.2 The ontological aspect of redemption Second.2. and a total compassion for humans. The second stage in deification takes place when “humanity obtains immortality according to the flesh and is totally overwhelmed by divinity. Jesus redeemed His human nature virtually and the whole human nature potentially. Or vice versa: manifesting through sacrifice the will totally to give Himself to God. God has connected death with the life process of fallen nature itself and not with its “external punishment. Stăniloae’s theology therefore sees in Christ's obedience and death a renovation of the human nature. Stăniloae’s simplistic idea of Christ’s sacrifice comprises two parts: a total surrender to the Father. In Stăniloae's perspective. At the same time. and therefore exhibited a genuine co-operation between divine power and moral activity. p. Christ's obedience and sacrifice was also directed towards His human nature. the following rationalisation is acquired.” Christ's obedience unto death eliminated in His human nature the affections and death inherited by nature after the fall. 224 In conclusion. Stăniloae reminds us that the first stage of deification takes place when moral activities arise as “a gradual penetration of the human nature by the divine nature. the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In such conditions. in fact. These are two indivisible aspects of sacrifice. In understanding the ontological aspect.” These two stages reflect. gains precisely through this the love of God for this nature. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. This was fully possible because He was God and man in the same person. the ontological theory he defended is decisive also for understanding his concept of deification. II. human nature is restored precisely through this from its state of sickness. because the ontological significance of Christ's sacrifice is the determinative factor for him. Stăniloae.

” It is this body sacrificed and raised. 225 deification. Stăniloae. pp. 789 D.” The permanent centrality of His body remains “because it was not sacrificed 787 D. signifies “a total commitment of Christ as man. . 790 D. Stăniloae. 349. Nicholas Cabasilas. and so the whole of humankind's salvation. This He did in order to create in Himself as man the condition of complete surrender to the Father and thus like a magnet. 197. “He nevertheless permanently retains His sacrificial disposition of total surrender to the Father in order to draw all men into this same disposition. It is at this point.” Ortodoxia 4 (1970). but as the culmination of His love for His people. The external content takes heed of the re-establishment of communion between God and man.”791 Moreover. that Christ must be seen as remaining permanently in a sacrificial state. to all human beings. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. It is total surrender to the Father.” Cf. II. Although Christ dies no more. Christ's sacrifice has both an internal and an external content. In this way He wished to show that when He comes again in dazzling light He will remain for His servants the same Lord. Sacrifice is the rejection of all selfishness as the very form of sin. pp. p. 195. 1352). According to this approach. it became “the incandescent ring through which is transmitted to all of us the divine flame that removed death in Him. p. crucified and pierced. Contra Nestorianos (PG 86.” pp. 788 D. 1946). Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. and “Tranparenţa Bisericii în Viaţa Sacramentală. the new life attained by Christ's body.. “Aspectele Esenţiale ale Operei de Răscumpărare în Concepţia Ortodoxă. and to “infuse” a similar surrender. p. “Christ did not suffer death from necessity. that receives a “permanent central importance in our salvation. to attract us also into the same condition as His own. 791 D.” being predominantly motivated by His total compassion for mankind. See also D. hence for Himself. and these wounds will serve as His kingly adornments. specifies Stăniloae. vol. continues Stăniloae. p. Stăniloae. because this body is the body of the Logos. Leontius of Byzantium.”787 Stăniloae concludes that in the incarnation there takes place the potential deification of the whole human nature of the Logos. De Vita in Christo (Sibiu. The internal content. Cf. Stăniloae. 138. 133. 276ff. in suffering and self-emptying.”788 This internal.. p. likewise. this is another way of presenting the sacrificial aspect of redemption as a reflection of its direction towards God. Here Stăniloae is quoting Nicholas Cabasilas: “Christ thought to preserve in His body the witness of His sacrifice and to bear in His own person the scars of the wounds He received in His crucifixion. Theology and the Church.789 Actually. 625-627. Stăniloae. 501-516 (507). Stăniloae.”790 Mankind is particularly saved when it “appropriates this sacrificial state and. Theology and the Church. and Christ alone was able to offer such a sacrifice. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. psychological content of Jesus' life has two purposes: to express a total surrender to the Father.

Stăniloae. Similar ideas are found in Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului.793 In other words. and omnipotent God. Stăniloae states that Christ's sacrifice and His priesthood are necessary for communion and.” And the actual effect is perceived not only in the resurrection. 184ff. p. pp. but by its own subject. loving. or beyond the apparent contradiction given by these conditions. but at the same time it is the place where all the divine glory and power destined for us resides. pp. but also in the sanctifying and liberating of that 792 D. The Father needed this sacrifice on our behalf in order to establish communion with Him. 793 D. 794 D. 134. Maximus underlines a similar idea when he says that the condescending philanthropy. and in the eternal value of human persons. this sacrifice unto death does not have any purpose except in the context of a personal relationship between man and God.” Thus as the expression of His divine Sonship. This power is a new and true power that enables us to give ourselves to God. 300. See also D. In order to link the idea of communion with that of theosis. p. Stăniloae is aware of a new paradox: The body of Christ is a sacrifice in eternity infusing His spirit of sacrifice into us. we can talk about a simultaneity: “the permanent central importance of the body of Christ depends on His identification as the Great Priest with His quality as Sacrifice. That is. that communion is the result of the sacrifice. In the Christological context. Not a sacrifice “to satisfy His honour” or “solely to resolve a conflict.”794 The Son's sacrifice became the supreme sacrifice. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. however. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” Cited by L. When he is explaining the efficacy of Christ's salvation. pp. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. It is a body permanently in the actuality of sacrificial condition as well as of deifying action. Stăniloae cannot avoid the mediatory role of holiness in very personalistic terms. Thunberg in.” who had in Himself “the divinity carried by the hypostasis of the Logos. 226 by another subject. Stăniloae. pp. at the same time. and of fortifying the soul to love God. the glorified body of Christ can irradiate from Him deifying power over all. Stăniloae. . Man and the Cosmos. II. vol. 136-137. II.” but to open the way for communion. in the act of sacrifice there is involved “faith in a personal. “God transfigures the material universe through the human personal body of His Son. 713 B). 254-257. The relational context validates such a sacrifice. Mystagogia 24 (PG 91. “invites man to the very end to an imitation that liberates him from his anti- human egoism. the idea of communion. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. Cf. Stăniloae sees the assumed human body of Christ as an indispensable means of bringing man and God near to one another. Moreover.”792 The internal content of Christ’s sacrifice introduces the leitmotif of the external content : that is. Maximus. 67. Stăniloae. 296.

”797 According to Stăniloae. Cf. Stăniloae. a link confirmed by the liturgy and practice of the Orthodox Church. pp. Clément. 16. all people have access to holiness due to Christ's incarnation. 9. and in union with God.” 798 D. Galot in the part 4 of his book. p. 47. Stăniloae. 12. so salvation consists in going beyond selfishness. 17 (PG 68.” Thus God. p. sensibility. then. moreover. The Roots of Christian Mysticism. 227 person from the sin of egoism.” helps us to discover our own subjective sensibility. along with it. Similar ideas are developed by J. “there can be no entry before God except in a state of sacrifice.” Ortodoxia 1 (1974). 1025B. an awe in the face of our own person and of others along with the obligation to care for its purity and to work for its eternity. in mutual love of all men. pp. p. p. De Adoratione in Spiritu et Veritate 1. 1113C- 16B).”800 It is obvious. 797 Cyril of Alexandria. as “the human subject of a culminating purity. 799 D. 985B-D. 172). 1989). 229. 11. The Experience of God. 87. Stăniloae. Cyril continues: “As iron when it is brought in contact with fire immediately begins to share its colour. why Christ's self-offering became the model for all human subjects. Stăniloae. 163 (and note 29. Stăniloae. p. “Dumnezeu este Lumină. Cyril of Alexandria. 19 (PG 72. Homily on Luke V. says Stăniloae. Stăniloae. so the flesh when it has received the life-giving Word into itself is set free from corruption. Thus he put on our flesh to set it free from death. . Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 15. Christianity has abolished the boundary between the sacred and the profane. Theology and the Church. 196). 796 D. and communicability. through man's intimacy 795 D. The Experience of God. This is the meaning of salvation: “As sin consists in the selfishness which separates men from God and from one another. holiness comes “from the total surrender of the human subject to the absolute Person. for holiness means “a loving relationship between the human person and the divine personal existence.”795 Christ was able to conquer death because on the cross “He conquered the sin of lack of love. Although in some sense. 824A-25A. By becoming man Christ “has kept His divinity active in the humanity he assumed. Stăniloae was heavily influenced in this point by Cyril of Alexandria who frequently couples these attributes. 800 D. that is. See also D. in a state of death which you have willed in regard to yourself. Cyril asks: How can humanity recover its wholeness? The answer is: In Christ who “took a body subject to decay in order to destroy in it the power of death and transform it into life. 200.”796 This is the reason why Orthodox theology affirms the vital link between sacrifice and holiness. in a total offering to God. cited by O. 197B-D. Spiritualitate şi Comuniune în Liturgia Ortodoxă. The experience of this mystery became possible. p.”798 Stăniloae's definition of holiness is relevant here. 255-313. Who is Christ? A Theology of Incarnation (Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press. 298.”799 As such. 592C-93A. p. In Christianity our nature was given back the experience of the mystery of its own existence as subject and.

Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.”806 Jesus Christ conquered death not only because “His humanity was in conscious unhindered communication with God. “a full transcendence of a human into the life of the absolute God. the Father's love and 801 D. Stăniloae. The Experience of God. Stăniloae. 231. . and finally death. 802 D. 187. p. p. Christ plunged into the divinity of the Father (and also into His humanity). Stăniloae. Stăniloae. Stăniloae reminds us that we cannot be truly humanised and we cannot become saints except in Christ. The Experience of God. holiness can be an attribute of human beings in their surrender to God. moving. “Having a humanity filled with love for us. among men themselves. in which He lives. The positive role of death is seen “in its power to sustain and to indicate the truth of a higher life.”805 Because Jesus Christ articulated this truth openly through His life and word. The Experience of God. Cf.801 In this way. The Son of God uses death to vanquish death. Stăniloae. This act of consecration is a priestly act. 225-226. p. It receives a kind of re- orientation in the spiritual life of a Christian who is united with Christ in His death and resurrection. Christ's mercy and love for others became a source of power to conquer all pains. A. 805 D.” p. 804 D. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.” but also because He accepted the death of His humanity not solely for Himself but for His brothers. in this sense. 93. for man has entered into a relationship with the absolute subject in human form who is holy par excellence.”803 To complete such a statement. Stăniloae.” Christ transformed death from being a punishment for sin into a way of exaltation of the humanum to God. because “He takes us in Himself. in His sacrifice to God. p. 69. revealing the main character of theosis in relation to holiness. and then gives us the same act or state of sacrifice. By death was opened a supreme. Schmemann. For the Life of the World (New York. 184. 238. as a response. 228 with the supreme subject in human form. He believes that “holiness is not something static and individual. 1963). and between them and the cosmos as a whole. “Dumnezeu este Lumină. or self-transcendence and fidelity for God. His sacrificial death should be considered an “anticipated consummation. but a process of unending Christian humanisation through deification which is brought about in the relations between men and God.”804 Death thus becomes reversible. 803 D. pp. “All who sacrifice themselves or give themselves to the supreme Person are priests and are sanctified through their act of offering to God. and because He did not stop calling people to such a truth. intimate encounter with God.”802 Here we find one of the most consistent statements of Stăniloae. p. since direct communication with God has been made accessible to the human subject. 806 D.

” Indeed. this is also a kind of glorification for God. on God’s side. 118. being accepted into communion with God. Therefore Christ did not avoid death 807 D. The Experience of God. but because of his effort to sin no more. 810 Similarly Breck wrotes that.”807 And the main reason for such a love is that. Thus Christ was sanctified both by God's initiative and by His response as man. love and being. K. On the one hand. an even more real one than that resulting from suffering pain and death as a punishment for sin. is His response to the Father's initiative: “the initiative of the Father is met by the simultaneous and total response of the Son before incarnation and with His response as man after the incarnation. 95. or as a satisfaction brought to God's injured honour. God “undertakes an action whereby He lays an immovable foundation for communion between Himself and us. “by the initiative that belongs wholly to the three Divine Persons. Hence God accepts man not because he suffers the punishment for his sin. . which came from the Son. 229 power for His humanity and for all those for whom He suffered death. “Dumnezeu este Lumină. forgiveness is assured.”809 On the other hand. humans as creatures are introduced into personal relationships of participation in the uncreated. We have seen that the idea of Christ's sacrifice is not developed in the context of satisfaction or substitution. 69. in the plan of the divine existence. do we. coincide. Stăniloae. but a consequence that results in the possibility of confining or surpassing sin.810 The solution offered by Christ creates the new basis to understand man’s deification as “movement towards communion. since He took over the pains implied in the notion of punishment for sin. p. But only Christ can do this and so. p. uniting our nature with His nature within one of the divine persons.” Cf. 274ff. Salvation in Christ. and when human beings respond. transforming them into the mere consequences of sin and into the means of resisting against it and of entering into the communion God has provided. John Breck. Stăniloae elucidates that the initiative for sacrifice.811 Hence. Stăniloae. His movement towards communion with human beings creates the framework and the challenge for their response.” in J. as in Catholic and Protestant theology. Indeed. but in the context of communion. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. “Divine Initiative: Salvation in Orthodox Theology. pp. in Christ. divine energies or grace. 808 D.” In this way we understand that “Christ's predilection for sacrifice” was stamped upon Himself from the beginning of His human existence. Cf. Meyendorff and R.808 Once more we face the motif of the double-movement of God towards man and man towards God which characterises Stăniloae's soteriology. 189. II/1. Stăniloae. Barth. death and pain are no longer a punishment for sin. p. Church Dogmatics.). 809 D.” p. in Him. Tobias (eds. the ontological and the spiritual.

“Our whole nature had to be recalled from death to life.was possible first because Christ's humanity had been assumed in the hypostasis of the Logos. and by means of his own body provided nature with the capacity for resurrection. 143-144. 230 but suffered it and overcame it by His total self-sacrifice. as part of man's effort to fulfil his aspiration for communion with God. death comes as a result of the separation between the human composite and God. It is the same for humanity as a whole. or a “spiritual mortification for God and communion with Him. In Christ this return or recovery was possible absolutely. Stăniloae. but He commits Himself to God in order to teach us that communion with God also involves human effort.” that culminated in His death on the cross. When somebody turns his back on God.814 Accordingly. having the power to remain in a total unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In this context we should explain. Oratio Catechetica Magna 32 (PG 45.” Christ accepted death in Himself in order to create the opportunity for His “divine powers” to be manifested in the reunification of soul and body. As the divine hypostasis 811 D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae proceeds to a new dimension of Christ's work. so to speak. a “previous purification” from any kind of egoism.first the union of Christ's humanity with divinity and then of soul and body in His humanity . 80). We might say that in His resurrection. Gregory of Nyssa. pp. and being able to sanctify His humanity. vol. This union is called by Stăniloae “the maximal communion” between Jesus Christ as man and God as His Father. To support this idea Stăniloae employs Gregory of Nyssa's thought about death and resurrection. which forms. God therefore stooped over our dead body to offer his hand. for the first time. 139-142.. 812 Cf. because His hypostasis “keeps eternal in Himself both the soul and the body. II. thus by his power raising to life the whole of humanity. in the earthly life of Jesus. by virtue of the cohesion and unity of human nature.. pp. 47. vol. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. The Roots of Christian Mysticism.812 He argues that. cited by O. . as a separation of soul and body. the reason is found in the quality of Christ as the divine hypostasis of the Logos. Christ united Himself with the soul and body “as a unified principle. so to speak. a single living being: the resurrection of one member extends to all. II. and that of a part to the whole. and then because of His total consecration. p. Clément. Christ conquered death in Himself so that the communion between man and God might be accomplished in Himself through death. He came near enough to death to make contact with our mortal remains.” 813 D. Again. The resurrection accomplished by Christ for His own human nature is extended to all. In our body the activity of any one of our senses communicates sensation to the whole of the organism joined to that member. to the creature lying there. divinity and humanity.”813 This double aspect of union . Stăniloae. He is the One who reconstitutes the broken relation between soul and body. He does not avoid death.

pp. by A. Stăniloae. Christ as person re-established the unity and life of man. Stăniloae. in contrast to an ordinary human conscience. p. 148. Nichols (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. II.” but ontologically “from the body of 814 D. after acquiring the whole satisfaction. Mysterium Paschale. 309-331. vol.”816 On the ecclesiological level. . But the Church is an eschatological community. see J. and controls the wretchedness of being abandoned.” “Death without hope of resurrection. II. 815 D. Christ offers His human nature to be shared by us. p.U. drawn out from Christ's resurrected body. 1993).817 In contrasting Catholic theology with Orthodox theology.” Jesus was not despairing.” Gregorianum 77. vol. including the notion of abandonment. “in re-establishing a perfect communion. or the first-fruits. by conquering death. and death without resurrection is identical with a decisive sinking into solitude. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. II. 231 of His human nature. see H. Even on the cross Christ hopes and knows that He will be saved. von Balthasar. vol. Stăniloae. and so “to establish the most intimate relationship with us as our fundamental hypostasis. Stăniloae rejects once again the theory of satisfaction in which Jesus Christ is seen as a victim plunged into “the abyss of abandonment. and not as the final point of the work of salvation and the deification of the body. The Mystery of Easter. 150. 49-88. Blondel. 816 D. because “His divine look is lightning in the darkness. p. II. resurrection. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.” continues Stăniloae. For an interesting parallel between deification and mortification in M. Stăniloae. in the sanctified and fulfilled body of Christ. Stăniloae argues here that the Church was not grounded juridically “under the cross. Stăniloae tries to justify his incarnationalist approach. is a Church exclusively understood as an earthly society of those whose conflict with God has been removed through Christ. considers resurrection only as a simple reward given to Christ because He accepted the cross. The divine and human person of Christ is virtually using death to accomplish the relationship between God and humankind. vol.”815 By saying this.” Stăniloae emphasises that. 149. 817 D. pp. Christ's Person conquers within Himself the death He suffered in the place of other persons. 145. as a foundation for mankind's salvation and deification.” This rejection is better understood when we remember that Christ's final appeal on the cross to the Father shows that. “comes from the sin of isolation. Stăniloae explains: The Church which is considered as realized only under the cross. His conscience was not “blunted. and ascension of Jesus Christ. that is. “Blondel’s Idea of Assimilation to God through Mortification of Self. by emphasising the distinction between the Church given virtually with the incarnation and the actualisation of the Church in the death. Moreover. For an interesting comparison. Le Grys. tr. The theory that everything was solved by paying the price for sin on the cross and not by the deification of the body as the source of our deification. 2 (1996).

Thüssing. crucifixion. and ascension as man of one of the persons of the Trinity so that this person might recapitulate all men in Himself and thus bring all into eternal communion with God in Trinity. We have to do here with a circular movement that sets out from the Trinity towards men in order to lead them into the Trinity. 3-24 (10). the sacrificial work of Christ is also directed towards human beings.3 The recapitulative aspect of redemption Third. 2. therefore. pp. 820 D. although it rejects the ransom theory. . Rather. “having united to Himself all of humanity that desires this. [Jn.” Ortodoxia 1 (1969). (2) another sense embraces the idea of divine revelation. All He requires is penitence on the part of the sinner. and (3) a third involves the idea of recapitulation of all men in Christ (p. Rahner and W. 83ff. This is part of Irenaean doctrine of the economy of recapitulation in two stages: “human nature in general is purified. Cf. K. in line with the one presented by Stăniloae above.820 Based on this circular movement. Cf. Christ descends from the Holy Trinity and then returns. pp. Thus the purpose of Christ's death was to effect a change in man.” Stăniloae explains: The Holy Trinity determined upon the incarnation. proceeds from certain assumptions about God's nature.” To clarify this point. since God is love He is ready to forgive our sins quite apart from any satisfaction. 232 Christ. The Experience of God. Stăniloae claims that some modern Catholic theologians adopt a wider and. Irenaeus. does not believe that Christ's death was an objective satisfaction of God. according to Stăniloae. 819 The moral theory upheld by Abelard.2. criticises the insufficiency of New Testament soteriology which works with the sacrifice categories. the recapitulative aspect of redemption takes a trinitarian framework. that the fundamental quality of God is His love. (PG 74. Cyril of Alexandria. This theory. p. namely. like others. Stăniloae maintains the fact that the recapitulation of all humanity in Christ is virtual and can become actual by faith in Jesus Christ. a position that roughly corresponds to the moral theory of redemption. 76. A New Christology. 932). for example. resurrection.818 Thüssing’s interpretation of soteriology is. The true New Testament soteriology is the one which sees in salvation the restoration of communion with God through the present work of Christ. Adversus Haereses 3.18 (PG 7. “Iconomia Dumnezeiască.”821 Virtual recapitulation is part of the so-called objective salvation. Stăniloae. Thüssing. Temei al Iconomiei Bisericeşti. Commentarius in Johannem 12. better position than the scholastic one (represented by Rahner). and mankind is virtually recapitulated in God. 696C). where the main stress is put on the sacrifice as instituting communion and perfecting this communion through love. Stăniloae. Our 818 Cf. Stăniloae sums up three senses for the idea of oikonomia: (1) the central meaning is that which refers to the incarnation of the Son of God.819 As in the previous cases. 20:16]. while actual recapitulation is part of subjective salvation. 21). 821 D. implicitly.

Stăniloae. .”825 2. p.” Therefore we receive our true new humanity directly from Him. 825 D.” p.” p. Soteriologically.823 By saying this.3 Christ as king (salvation as transfiguration) 822 D. but that does not mean it has ceased to be His own. attractive and divine. Stăniloae. Christ's compassionate love stretches out like an “ontological bridge” between Himself and all people.”824 That is why we can explain how people are attracted constantly into a sharing relationship with Him. At the practical level. 824 D. says Stăniloae. Christ remains the source and the centre of humanity in both senses: active (He wants to attract people by His love) and passive (people are attracted by His abundance). is the wilful appropriation of what we have virtually from the beginning in Christ. From this we see that the death and resurrection of Christ do not have the exclusive role of enabling His human nature to receive those qualities for deification that are communicated to us by sharing. 640. “Hristologia Sfântului Maxim Mărturisitorul. having the possibility to share His resurrected body and ultimately His deification. 823 D. and to make it more effective for us as an ontological bridge between Him and us. Because Christ is the centre of the relational system that virtually functions between Him and us. who is the source of humanity and who “somehow has our existence in Himself. “we are relationally comprised in Him.” Ortodoxia 3 (1988).” p. that is. Stăniloae clarifies the sense of the mysterious unity of nature that exists between Jesus Christ and human creatures. “humankind is called to realise itself as part of the Person of the Son of God. He can give it to all of us as God. “a change from virtual union to actual union with Him by faith. but to make this human nature more communicative. “Aspectele Esenţiale. Stăniloae. to enhypostatise itself in Him. Stăniloae sees Christ as “the efficacious centre” of mankind's salvation being simultaneously God who saves human beings and the man who saves himself from death. 233 personal salvation. for all human beings throughout the history of this world. “Aspectele Esenţiale ale Operei de Răscumpărare în Concepţia Ortodoxă. 639. or the new Adam. 72. both with the divine resources and with us.” He makes Himself central. to receive its personal character in Him. Because His humanity is the humanity of the divine hypostasis. working for others and pressing through His love for an awakened “Thou” in us. He became “a powerful Self. Stăniloae.”822 Stăniloae appeals to the Pauline model of the second Adam. Consequently. “Aspectele Esenţiale. 637.

Church Dogmatics. The Experience of God.826 And in this reality of the resurrection “the whole Trinity is active and reveals itself anew and in a still more visible way. the resurrection of Christ is a reality based on His appearances and on the radical transformation of the human body by a divine work.”829 This inadequate conclusion.”827 At this point Stăniloae criticises the Western view in which. it was particularly in His death and resurrection where this power received “a culminate dimension. p. “To sum up. IV/1. Stăniloae is following here the thoughts presented by Berthold Klappert. 829 Actually. vol. Christ lives this full communion even in His body “which is filled with the incorruptible divine life and becomes a medium of His divine powers.” For Stăniloae. D. As a spiritual force that exists only where there is full communion. 309).”830 We need to observe here the crucial role of the Holy Spirit in Christ's bodily resurrection. Christ is active too. initiating this communion in His Person. is due to the juridical view of the redemption used by most Western theologians. The Experience of God. Eastern Orthodox theology in turn emphasises the mutual work of Father. pneumatises it through the Spirit. believes Stăniloae. But where the Spirit is active. in pneumatising the Lord's body. p. K. the problem is that Western theology considers the resurrection of Christ as an act of power “exclusively” applied by the Father on the dead Christ. Stăniloae. The theological basis for the Orthodox position is founded first in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. 828 Cf. the fulfilment and proclamation of God's decision concerning the event of the cross” (p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Son and Holy Spirit in Christ's resurrection. although Christ's regal power was partially manifested in His victories over suffering and demons. II. The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. in Diskussion um Kreuz und Auferstehung (Wuppertal. the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the great verdict of God.828 In other words. 73. pp. 156-160. Western theology also views resurrection as an act of the entire Trinity. 234 The third dimension of God's salvific work is seen by Stăniloae in Christ's office as king. Stăniloae. . the Holy Spirit fills Christ's humanity with divine life because He is received into the perfect communion of the Trinity as man. and especially in the role of the Holy Spirit. Stăniloae. 1971). In this 826 Cf. since Christ can not be an object. and neglects “the act of power exercised by Christ Himself. 830 D. and not only offered His sanctified body as a sacrifice to God. Barth. he says. The Father. Stăniloae insists that. and thus remains disclosed forever with a view to full communion with us. 74. but is also in the Son. but He also continues to empower the believers' participation in the Kingdom of God through His kingly office. the act of resurrection is “exclusively” seen as the evidence of God's acceptance of the work of Christ on the cross. Jesus Christ not only proclaimed the Kingdom of God as communion in perfect union with God through His Person. 827 D.

833 D. p. vol. as “our fundamental hypostasis. also Leontius of Byzantium. Stăniloae again regards the doctrine of the hypostatic union of the two natures of Christ as a concrete basis for Christ's resurrection. pp. the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and who. 835 D. through Christ as man. Christ's resurrection was not only the result of the Father.” Therefore. at the moment of death the body was still deified. 834 Speaking about Christ's descent into hell. See also notes on Ambigua. II. vol. “in the unification of His soul and body through the act of resurrection there is virtually included also the unification of the soul and body of any man who dies as a believer in Christ or who is in an unmediated relationship with Him. Thus He enters into the most intimate relation with us. Christ overcame not only the death present in the spirit of His appropriated humanity. II. In conclusion. Cf. Moreover. 832 Gregory of Nyssa. 147-148. 171-172. Contra Nestorianos (PG 86. Christ's resurrection in His human nature was extended to all men. and only after that the believing souls in hell.” Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae. . 222.834 As result. but “was also prepared by the union of His humanity with divinity. Developing Gregory of Nyssa's ideas.”835 Christ's resurrected body is not only a guarantee for our own future resurrection. Christ “gives His human nature to us. the Spirit irradiates into the world from the body of the Son. II. we should conclude that during His death the body could not be emptied by this deification. a source of pneumatisation that assures the process of deification. As a result of this total pneumatisation. 1341 D).832 he sees the work of Christ on the cross as the unifying principle for soul and body. 167. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. II. 168. Therefore Christ is not passive in this irradiation of the Spirit from His body. Because divinity was never separated from Him. will be sent into the world. but also the death existing in the body. the supreme communion between the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit is accomplished. 52). Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Oratio Catechetica Magna (PG 45. vol. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.831 The immediate resolution in Stăniloae's understanding is that Christ Himself participated directly in conquering death as well. Stăniloae thinks that first of all Christ overcomes hell by His deified soul. He strengthens us and He appropriates our responsibility as men as well. p. This is possible because 831 D. p. vol.”833 This is possible because Christ deified the body even here on the earth by His efforts to preserve its purity. Stăniloae. “Out of the soul thus filled with the Holy Spirit irradiates also into the souls of those who hoped in Him the power which saves them from the grasp of the hell. through His divine hypostasis in which human nature was borne. 235 communal act of the supreme pneumatisation of the body. Stăniloae. but is also a source of power and purity for believers. as a communion”.

346-360. Christ's sacrifice begins to reveal its power in the resurrection but. II.. II. II. Stăniloae. through the Holy Spirit. leads all creation to incorruptibility and transparency. p. . 839 D. Christ's body irradiated this power and glory.837 This is a real possibility for us today. the full revelation of the divine life in His humanity. the power of Him who made that body indestructible irradiated and unimpeded. “La Dynamique du Monde dans l'Eglise. On the level of oikonomia the Son of God still retains His body after the resurrection. vol. 837 D.” and filled the hearts of believers. and through both of them the transparency of Christ as a person full of love is realised and affects us. Stăniloae. namely. 200. remains in a permanent state. it means that “the incorruptibility of His resurrected body is working in us by taking into account our future resurrection. 180. Stăniloae. and thus 836 D. 236 through the resurrection Christ combines within Himself the condition of the victim and the state of resurrection. in its spiritual essence. See also D. Moreover. 1976).” Ortodoxia 3-4 (1977). In French. Stăniloae concludes: Through Christ's resurrected body. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Virtually. Those who are intimately related with the Son receive from Him. 288.. vol. new dimensions in life and knowledge. 838 D. and moreover. to the absolute transfiguration and communicability between persons by the Spirit and to a total personalisation of the cosmos. 178. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p.836 Even in His earthly appearances.” in Procès verbaux du II-e Congrès de Theologie Orthodoxe (Atena. for there is an ontological communion between the substance of the body and the substance of the cosmos. in Christ and in men. Stăniloae.”838 Having in view the moral and mystical aspects of deification. beyond objectivity and subjectivity. Thus Christ “is no longer an objective or subjective reality for us. but we and He become a real unity.839 Having this perspective on the coming transformation. believers are stimulated and empowered in their spiritual warfare. giving us a foretaste of the likeness of His death and resurrection and leading us at the same time towards perfect likeness to Him. From the risen Christ His Spirit shines forth most powerfully. And to those who believe in Him He imparts this same combined nature. vol. merely to be “on a closer plane to us.” This bodily transparency means also a spiritual transparency. Stăniloae. 174. p. The idea of deification continues with the ascension of Christ to heaven. because we experience a “spiritual familiarity” with Christ when we become increasingly open to Him. “Dinamica Creaţiei în Biserică. p. Theology and the Church. p. pp. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. this power continues gradually to spiritualise their bodies. leads all those who partake in Him to resurrection and indestructibility. although partially pneumatised. “the light and the power of the Holy Spirit.

where Christ's humanity is filled with divine glory and “is now with the body where He is with His divinity. vol. the resurrection of the body. Christ's body became “a free transparent medium for the infinite love of God towards us. yet did not cease to be truly God. but around unbelievers and even elsewhere. Stăniloae is aware of a possible confusion between the state of pneumatisation and spatial ubiquity. 183. 842 D. II. through His body. and the divine level. filled with divine power and glory manifested in freedom and love. Therefore he defines the state of pneumatisation as a presence of such spiritual depth and height that it becomes sensitive to different degrees of intensity.” this position being the result of overemphasis set on the resurrection’s uniqueness and soteriological importance.” Thus the communion between Christ and His believers reveals the richness of a reciprocal interiority between them. or in other words. by its complete filling with the divine infinity.” In other words. p. . These last two represent “the total pneumatisation and deification of His human body.” More precisely. Christ is leading us as a man. Christ deifies His humanity in four successive moments: the descent into hell. vol. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. He has “supreme efficacy over believers. a model-man. the personal presence of Christ is not only perceived in believers. “the divinity totally overwhelmed His body. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. and the sitting at the right hand of the Father.”842 Receiving authority from the Father to lead the world towards deification. Specifically. 841 D. 186. Christ remained a man.”840 Once more Stăniloae rejects Western theology where Christ's resurrection and ascension occur “at the same time. 237 able to make Himself visible whenever He decides. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. in order to elevate human beings into perfect communion with a personal God. according to the intensity of the spiritual power or faith which characterizes the one who is opening himself to Christ. p. yet not eradicating it. pp.” Thus Christ was exalted in heaven and is present in us. but as a personal invisible body. and by doing that is able in himself to 'see' Him or feel Him. at the same time. For Stăniloae this is not enough. vol. II. 184-185. the ascension to heaven. where Christ's body is able to live and abide influentially among believers.841 Also. 840 D. Stăniloae is now working on two levels: the human level. it worked transparently and irradiated freely through the body. Stăniloae. We do not need to imagine this state as an immense body extended in space. Christ was exalted as a man to the highest state possible for a man and. II.

towards the assumed human nature of Christ. in this section we have seen that Stăniloae criticises Catholic and Protestant theology for losing this dimension of continuity and intimacy between Christ's exaltation and “our exaltation from passions. the most comprehensive understanding of Christ's sacrifice is that which involves a three-dimensional work: towards God. then. The emphasis placed on the ontological aspect of redemption through Christ is apparent in Stăniloae's theology. Son. Christ's obedience to death is a strengthening work for human nature. and Holy Spirit. Thus Christ's ongoing obedience worked out in human nature a constant perfection to the point of absolute deification. “the divine throne is the supreme stage of existence. when 843 D. the accent is put on the presence of the Son and the Father in the intimate being of the believers through the Holy Spirit.”843 In the Orthodox perspective.4 Summary Of direct relevance to the summary of this section is the fact that when we approach the concept of deification in Stăniloae’s theology as related to the work of Christ.844 As king. 191. and towards human beings. namely. Stăniloae. the line between soteriology and Christology becomes virtually indistinguishable. 844 The triad of essence-hypostasis-energy. 238 In conclusion.” and “the state of supreme pneumatisation of the Son's body. which coincides with the absolute communion of the Father. the stage of supreme transcendence. Because of its hypostatic union with the divine nature in the Son's hypostasis. p. Christ shows that His death was in fact a passage to resurrection. Christ's humanity fills itself progressively and totally with the divine uncreated energies of the Holy Spirit and becomes more and more transparent for the Holy Spirit. is re-encountered again in this excellent summary: “That the East sees the incarnation of the Lord as so important for the unification of mankind is due on the one hand to the divine hypostasis in which Christ's human nature has been assumed. This view explains the existence and the unity of believers in the body of Christ. the three directions of one salvific work of Christ emphasise salvation as truth.” in unity with Him. and on the other hand to the doctrine . displayed in the epistemological basis of deification as the leitmotif of Stăniloae’s theological approach on theosis. communion and transfiguration. a work of restoration and renewal in order that man can enter again into communion with God. Christ is the culmination of God’s revelation and the dynamic truth. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. from whom irradiates the divine words that challenge our response towards God. This is apparent in the approach of Christ's sacrifice in “directional” terms. Correlated with the threefold offices of Christ. As priest. II. As prophet. the Church. For Eastern Orthodox theology. vol. who always dwells in the Son. 2. that is.

and Christ as the great symbol of moral perfection. see in D. Christ made His humanity “a perfect medium to irradiate this love in human beings and.” Cf. for example. 847 Evangelical Protestantism is inclined to exaggerate one aspect of Christ's work over the others. Stăniloae. Finally. Salvation in this view tends to be associated mainly with the past and with the individual. although potential. a teaching so dear to the Greek Fathers. Having employed this approach.846 that is. Theology and the Church. p. George Hendry's reply. they see Jesus as the great prophet. not as an antithesis of spiritual but in an inclusive sense. 848 Bultmann. p. After His ascension. The great mystery for him is how the proclaimer became the proclaimed. Christ's work. which experiencing difficulty in accounting for the necessity of the cross. For an excellent presentation of Jesus Christ’s historicity. Stăniloae tries to avoid the errors in Christology of certain modern theologies which neglect one or more of the aspects of Christ's work (or one or more of His offices). in The Gospel of the Incarnation (London: SCM Press.848 For Stăniloae. for example.” Thus the incarnate Son made Himself “the unifying centre in love” for all kinds of personal relationships. 7 Dimineţi cu Părintele Stăniloae. the foundation of the doctrine of man's deification. 846 Against Harnack who understood the deification in the Greek Fathers as “a chemical transmutation of the substance of human nature. 1959). vol. at the expense of the present and corporate implications of salvation. emphasises Stăniloae. enhypostatized in him and penetrated by his energies. 239 His human nature was totally penetrated and filled by the plenitude of the divine life. Stăniloae criticises the classic nineteenth century theological liberalism which see Jesus as a great teacher who espoused the idea of the universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man. The humanity of the Word. many modern theologians who have abandoned the quest for the historical Jesus still assert the uniqueness of Christ as a symbol of moral perfection. consequently. Stăniloae rightly accused this weak aspect of practical Protestantism on many ocasions. it continued to irradiate divine life to those who enter into communion with the glorified Christ. is the leaven working secretly within the whole body of mankind. Stăniloae. II. This is why. 21-31. The idea of the incarnate Word that entered into the very depths of or fallen condition and became a “leaven” to the whole mankind is found. the problem with of the uncreated energies. sees Jesus exclusively as a prophet. the section entitled: “Chipul Evanghelic şi .845 These thoughts indicate that Stăniloae conceives of salvation in a “physical” sense. in Gregory Nazianzus.21 (PG 36. 132B). See for example. Oratio 30. becomes actual by the use of sacraments. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. p. 191. Stăniloae.847 For example. and made the Father overflow His love over them. salvation includes man's nature in its entirety. Motivated by love for His Father and humankind. 845 D. like Him. or which try to discard any notion of the historical reality of the resurrection. Much popular pietism sees Jesus only as the perfect sacrifice that washed away our sins. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. made them persons capable of loving the Father. 13. Like Stăniloae. Sorin Dumitrescu. 55-57. pp.” D. What Stăniloae attacks is the temptation to make a disjunction between the historical Jesus and the proclaimed (kerygmatic) Christ. 363. The divine hypostasis is actively opened out by the humanity because the latter is not enclosed within a human hypostasis and so subjected to the limitations of created nature. pp.

This “functionalist” Christology finally asserts that we know that Christ is God because He saves us. W. Pannenberg argues that there is no a clear evidence that Jesus ever claimed any of these offices for Himself. Jesus is the archetype of what we cannot accomplish for ourselves. Cf. which in turn mediates this power (this historical effect) to those who come under its influence. Pannenberg. Stăniloae prefers the traditional approach. 1976). Jesus Christ Liberator (Maryknoll. for He communicates not only the form of authentic life but also its power. and Christ as the power of moral perfection. since the Enlightenment. 1969. Stăniloae never asserts an explicit liberation theology in which God's kingdom can only be instantiated by exposing authoritarian ideologies and by removing political power from those who oppress the weak. Moltmann. although in his view Jesus Christ is somehow the king and the liberator of the human condition. Theology of the World (New York. Boff. 1989 and 1994).Y. not vice versa. 850 This view is unacceptable because it is a diminished view of Christ's work. Thus the principal aim of liberation theology is to generate activity on the part of the Church that will be of real help to the poor. but this position is largely due to Pannenberg's predilection for a Christology from below. Schleiermacher affirmed that we cannot know Christ as He is in Himself. A Theology of Liberation: History. This is the reason why Stăniloae specifies that the significance of Jesus cannot be fully explained by His teaching office. The Kingdom of Christ in this programme is characterized by justice and freedom. 1992). . in which the work of Christ is seen in terms of the three offices. 852 It is one work. J. the Church. On the Grounds and Implications of a Christian Eschatology (London: SCM Press. D.851 In contrast with the above views on Christ's work. 849 An example is found in classic liberal theology where Jesus is seen as the great priest. I (Oxford: Blackwell. They see Christ entered into history as a kind of holy leaven. although this idea is one of the most popular misconceptions about Christianity. 1973). Jesus . N. Christian love and faith is a matter of praxis not theory. See J. 1976). The Liberation of Theology (Maryknoll. making those who were influenced by Him receptive to God. For liberation theology representatives. N. and Christ is portrayed as liberator. but His voluntary sufferings and death have no atoning significance. Ford (ed. This theory of Christ's work takes no account of the status of sin (but only of its pollution). Christ's example is a life-giving influence which is continued in His Church. Jesus Christ in Modern Thought (London and Philadelphia: SCM Press and Trinity Press International. 851 It is primarily in the Latin American liberation theologians (Gutierrez. vol.” See also Chipul Evanghelic al lui Iisus Hristos (Sibiu: Mitropolia Ardealului. to reduce Jesus' significance to that of His teaching. in that He possessed to a unique degree a sense of union with God (God-consciousness).God and Man (London: SCM Press.: Orbis Books. W. Boff) that we see the tendency to exalt Christ's kingly role to a position of supremacy. You are not a Christian simply because you follow Christ's teaching.Y. Schleiermacher's explanation for this is that Jesus' own life of God-consciousness had a historical effect. 240 this view is that it diminishes the real purpose of Christ's death. with three different aspects. Macquarrie. Moreover. Segundo.Y. G.: Orbis Books. and is interested only on Christ as a mediator who communicates a God-consciousness to us. Stăniloae is clearly against the tendency. He is more than a mere example. Gutierrez.849 or to appreciate the self-giving or sacrificial love of Jesus but to refuse to recognise that this love is a result of an official God-given office.L. J.). J. Segundo. Metz.852 His doctrine of the Istoricitatea lui Iisus Hristos ca Dumnezeu şi Om. Following Kant. N. 1992).850 Moreover. Christ was the archetypal man. Politics and Salvation (Maryknoll.: Orbis Books. Theology of Hope. but we can only know Christ by His effects on us. 1988). see: L. therefore political liberation is part of salvation. this interpretation (that believes it is the mere idea of Jesus that saves us) has no room for an historical accomplishment and consequently we are faced with a salvation unaccomplished yet applied. The Modern Theologians. Salvation is understood to be a realization or fulfillment of humanity. It gave rise to the Christian community.B.

and priestly king. The key idea here is that the three offices of Jesus are aspects of His Messiahship. pp. Salvation in Orthodox Theology.854 Christ. as priest dedicate himself to the service of God. 1955). and as king rule righteously over the created order as God's vice-regent. tr.1. Longman & Todd. a priest. cited by J. more clearly. II. Gunton. Maximus. Yesterday and Today: A Study of Continuities in Christology (London: Darton. Jesus was assigned three offices that interpenetrate: Jesus is a royal priest. The first question in Stăniloae’s Christological treatment of theosis concerns his incarnational view of 1992). Ambigua (PG 91. Meyendorff in. Lynch (St. and identifies with humanity on the other. Calvin's Doctrine of the Work of Christ (London: James Clarke.C. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. pp. Jesus is prophet who declares the will of God for our lives and by His Spirit continues to lead us into truth. Louis: Herder. 212-224. 2. see C.” Theological Studies 50 (1989). ed. As king He grants us a new habitus or nature so that we are from now on His slaves rather than slaves to sin. 113. by P. 224. to save us from their guilt. p.F. for example. shows an attempt to extend soteriology beyond the death of Christ. 179-191. . General conclusions 3. 1348D). by J. Stăniloae.E. In Maximus' words: “The Incarnation took first the form of a bodily birth because of my condemnation. as a representatives of the traditional Reformed and Roman Catholic theology.1-6. 241 threefold office. (this occured) for the sake of my salvation. Rather.1 The incarnational view of the redemption Some general comments on both Stăniloae's system and theology can now be made. a priestly prophet. As priest He changes our legal status before God and intercedes for His people. in Institutes. or. 854 D. and Ludwig Ott. “New Life in Christ. The public baptism of Jesus. was the most important step in His preparation for taking on His office. Stăniloae maintains that the three offices refer to this original purpose that God envisaged for man. although the main emphasis remained on the priestly office.853 Stăniloae alerts us that Jesus' work was not arbitrary but in response to His specific offices. so that I may be created anew.” Cf. When Jesus undergoes baptism He subjects Himself to the will of God on the one hand. or “the climax of his mission” on earth. 3. p. Calvin claims that Christ performs His mediatorial work by executing the three offices. thus brings to completion human destiny. In the exercise of these three offices lies the true purpose and destiny of man. Jansen. Interesting enough is to mention the fact that Stăniloae did not allow any special place to Christ’s transfiguration on the mountain (much emphasised by Gregory Palamas and the hesychast tradition). and a king. or munus triplex. so that I may be recalled by grace. See also J. 853 Protestant theology understands by that that Jesus accomplishes our salvation in dealing with each of the three aspects of sin.1 Evaluation 3. For a critique of Christology from below. to save us from their dominion in our lives. but it was later followed by a birth in the Spirit through baptism which had been neglected (by a fallen humanity). in taking up these three offices. Teologia Dogmatică şi Ortodoxă. Linked with the concept of theosis. Christ must be a prophet to save us from the ignorance of our sins. We cannot speak of the work of Jesus as a “profession” or even a moral calling which He Himself preferred. 496. 1956). 205-213. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. The first man was created in the image of God so that as prophet he should proclaim the word of God. 1983). pp. Bastible. vol.15. etc.

Salvation is more than satisfaction or imitation: it is the sharing of divine life. See T. in Protestant theology for example. Stăniloae is heir to Orthodox tradition. Salvation in Christ. properly expressed by Theodore of Mopsuestia in the following words: “If he [Christ] had not taken a human soul. rather than the forgiveness of his guilt. For a fine overview of the link between theosis and metamorphosis in the history of dogma. ii. delivered out of the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the sons of God. De Incarnatione 15. Though this theology is grounded in the historic event. Tobias (eds..” p.). the starting point of Stăniloae's methodology regarding the doctrine of theosis is the incarnation and the reconciliation which took place within it. Hart. involves primarily a metaphysical theory about human nature which. and if it had been simply the Godhead that proved victorious. Ware.” that is. the approach from the nature of Christ enables His saving 855 Cf. Swete. 21. the assumed approach to Christology has its starting point in the nature of the person of Christ which interprets the work of Christ. 280-295. Essentially.In this sense. salvation through participation. see the chapter “The Metamorphosis of Human Nature. which are complementary and certainly constitute the dominant understanding among Orthodox theologians. pp. and not from the work of Christ and its influence upon mankind. for Stăniloae.. “Humankind in Christ and Christ in Humankind: Salvation as Participation in Our Substitute in the Theology of John Calvin. his theology strongly emphasises the transfiguration of mankind.” Although Stăniloae does recognise the substitutionary aspects of redemption. Pelikan. theosis. . 856 Incarnational theology. J. For Stăniloae this implies that Christology interprets soteriology. between Eastern and Western (Catholic and Protestant) theologies. of course.” in J. 242 redemption. 169. pp.” Theodore of Mopsuestia. in “Salvation and Theosis in Orthodox Theology.855 Because Christ shared our humanity we are enabled to share in what He is. Meyendorff & R. but nowhere are the neglected elements denied or ignored completely. 67-84. but rather to have happened merely for the sake of display. Stăniloae has already responded that the relation of Christ to creation is fundamental to an understanding not just of redemption but of all Christian theology. The Lord's struggles would seem not to have brought us any profit. Stăniloae's theology is primarily an “incarnational” theology because its attention is focused on Bethlehem rather than on Calvary. 311). areas of tension manifested in the partiality of perspectives upon one part or aspect of soteriology. we need to answer the question of how the incarnation of Christ is related to redemption. There are. In order to grasp his theological discourse. That explains his preoccupation with the restitution of man's corrupted nature. its tendency is to look at the metamorphosis of human life as a whole and the “summing up of all things in Christ. is often neglected. In other words. In Stăniloae's theology we recognise the classic and the incarnational view of redemption. More specifically.856 Accordingly. then the things that were done would not be any value to us.” SJTh 42 (1989). cited by K. A close view is that of Calvin. Hence Stăniloae's theology follows the soteriological model which emphasises “Christ in us” rather than “Christ for us. p. 3 (ed. The relationship between incarnation and atonement is an illustrative case. roughly speaking. on what God achieved in man through the incarnation of the Logos. Christianity and Classical Culture.

858 This view includes the idea of Christ's saving obedient life and self-sanctification on our behalf. the salvation of the whole man was brought about. His humanity is therefore seen in terms of vicarious humanity. His writings definitely support the view that Stăniloae's more 857 Here Stăniloae is following Athanasius. Kettler. so that redemption takes place within the mediatorial life and person of Christ. 858 On this subject.). Hence to understand our relationship with God we must first understand how Christ assumed human nature. for theosis. see J. 1991). but also the very essence of salvation includes the vicarious nature of the entire humanity of Christ. that is.857 The Son of God did not simply come as God in man but as man in his wholeness as human being. Torrance (ed. Because of the ontological relationship of Christ with humanity as a whole.” in T. Tobias (eds. The whole person is renewed in Christ's humanity for our sakes. is to see in some detail the connection of Christ with humanity as ontological. 116.. Breck.” Athanasius. Ecumenical Studies in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed A. who says: “The Saviour having in very truth become man.1. 230. In this regard. .B. Hence Stăniloae’s emphasis on personal communion as the content of salvation is in accord with “the main trend in contemporary Orthodox theology.”860 3. incarnation and redemption are inseparable. p.. Torrance in Theology in Reconciliation. the former becomes impersonal and abstract. 1981). Torrance. Thus Stăniloae's approach is warning us that when we separate Christology from soteriology. Not only is the redemption accomplished by Christ's vicarious death. “Divine Initiative: Salvation in Orthodox Theology. That is. “the ontological participation of God in the human condition opens the way for human participation in the being of God. Stăniloae has already developed the concept that Christ’s coming had the result that the world was made open to God and God made open to the world by virtue of the fact that man's being has been taken up into God. 381 (Edinburgh: The Handel Press. Ad Epictetum 7. 127-147. and C. The Incarnation.” in J.2 Redemption as ontological relations As an extension of the previous ideas. Meyendorff and R. The soteriological motive needs to be integrated in Christology in its personal form. but the whole body and soul alike.). nor does it extend to the body only. It follows that Stăniloae sees that salvation is the redemption of the whole man. has truly obtained salvation in the Word himself.F. Salvation in Christ. 243 work to be established ontologically in His divine being.D.”859 that is. p.. 859 J.F. the second appropriate thought as related to Stăniloae’s Christological aspect of theosis.D. “The Vicarious Humanity of Christ. Truly our salvation is not merely apparent. pp. This is a classical Orthodox position which understands that in becoming man Christ entered into an ontological relation with the whole human race. cited by T. The Vicarious Humanity of Christ and the Reality of Salvation (Lanham and London: University Press of America.

vol.”867 This seems to be the foundation of Stăniloae's redemption doctrine. Christ can be truly High Priest in His vicarious humanity. 199. He speaks about Christ as “the central hypostasis which connects all human hypostases to one another because He first connects them to Himself. involving that aspect of redemption which assumes the idea of solidarity between Christ and mankind where Christ is seen as the archetype or universal figure. 244 concrete concept of union is derived from his reliance on the Greek Fathers. See also Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 861 Most of Stăniloae’s references to Cyril of Alexandria comes from Glaphyrorum and Adoratio in Spiritu et Veritate. Thus Christ entered into some form of ontological relation with humanity as a whole. 198. 866 D. and Maximus. Stăniloae has an ontological conception of solidarity. Thus “the incarnation is the fruit of God's love for mankind with whom He unites Himself definitively and indissolubly. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. G. says Hendry. 280. 863 D.” p. Theology and the Church. Cf. . 864 D.S. Theology and the Church. p. Under their influence. 865 D. Athanasius.”863 and changing the theological metaphor. 862 The problem with the Fathers. therefore. pp. p. Salvation in Orthodox Theology. Stăniloae. 867 D. it is implied that the ontological relation is only potential since human beings do not actualise it morally or personally. Some understanding of the ontological basis of soteriology in terms of the relatedness of man and Christ must be retained. Stăniloae uses different notions and metaphors to illustrate that. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. Christ's humanity becoming a universal. In this way Christ substitutes in every aspect of His life. the Cappadocians.”866 Obviously. Christ has entered into an “overloaded” and “voluntary. Stăniloae is able to articulate more extensively how Christ heals and hallows human nature in His own humanity. II. Theology and the Church.861 but also including Irenaeus. “New Life in Christ. Stăniloae. But it is through the incarnation that the being of all people is bound together in Christ. Yet. Meyendorff. he writes that Christ became our Brother. 362. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu.864 Moreover. moral. 191. was that none really addressed the question of in what sense Christ's universal humanity was real or how it was related to individuals. p. pp. pp. In Stăniloae’s case.865 As such. Hendry. loving solidarity” with humankind. the personal 860 J. Thus Stăniloae may write that “the whole economy that God has devised for us through His Son has as its purpose this eschatological perfection of the union of God with the whole of mankind. 348-349. where His humanity is universal humanity. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. p. p.497. 83f. basically Cyril of Alexandria. Stăniloae. it is Christ in solidarity with humankind that redeems. 47.862 For Stăniloae. 60. The Gospel of the Incarnation. and mankind shares in not just the negative but also the positive results of the redemption.

p. 1994). 1993). vol. it is implied that Christ is consubstantial with us. Cf. Cf.S. Zizioulas derives his idea of “corporate personality” from Judaism. 170. functional and eschatological aspects need to be recognised and held in balance. On his side. Mackintosh and J. Stăniloae does not adhere strictly to this methodology because of his more ontological concept of “dynamic” revelation. the Adam/Christ parallels show two realms of existence. however. that one is tempted to go beyond the statement of this relation and to speculate a comprehensive theory of how this is so. A Study of Metaphor.R. 245 relationship with Christ is “activated” particularly by the ontological relation. Rationality and the Christian Tradition (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. who stressed Irenaeus' recapitulation doctrine. 170-186. Stewart (Edinburgh: T&T Clark.870 It must be stated that soteriology must be drawn inductively from the data of Scripture rather than philosophically derived. Zizioulas. 1975). and a transfer in relational rather than ontological terms is conceived of. must become ontic. The first observation is that the history of the use of ontological theories linking Christ with mankind shows that there is little biblical support for them. The Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. Edited by H. Being as Communion. ontology and function. which stays as a precondition for it. 161): “So the servile is truly liberated in Christ by ascending into mystical unity with Him who bore the form of the servant. 15.” C. 869 The solidarity view has been traced back to Schleiermacher. three observations are required.D.I. The Actuality of Atonement. Gunton. pp. Schleiermacher postulates that “in the corporate life founded by Christ there is a communication of His sinless perfection.” Cf. grounded in the Word and recorded in the enhypostatic humanity of Jesus. In the case of Stăniloae. 1960). 27-65. for instance.E. p. see P. in our view. The Christian Faith. The second observation refers to Stăniloae's extrapolations as based on the implications of the doctrine of hypostatic union. p. J. the concept of solidarity is conceptual rather than literal. pp. and in us by imitating Him who is one by fleshly affinity. 364. For a detailed study on Zizioulas. However. McPartlan.B. The Eucharist Makes the Church. C. Thus the ontological. 278.E.868 It is at this point. especially when discussing the relationship between incarnation and redemption. where revelation as the substantive person of Christ is often more important. 870 See Romans 5 and 1 Cor. However. Although the ontological aspects are present. Because Christ assumes perfect humanity and divinity and humanity are joined.” Similarly.869 In the Pauline letters. . Cranfield. This explains why Stăniloae puts a such emphasis on man's real participation in the life of the Trinity. Thus a fine balance must be held between the person and the work of Christ. F. this weakens the fact that the relation between Christ and the Father is not 868 Cyril of Alexandria writes in Commentarius in Johannem 1:14 (PG 73. Henri de Lubac and John Zizioulas in Dialogue (Edinburgh: T&T Clark. they are secondary. Schleiermacher. Gunton acknowledges that “the ontological relationship of creator and created.

246 identical to His relation as man to humanity. (2) Christ becomes guilty in solidarity with mankind. The Gospel of the Incarnation. had salvific effects” (p. p. R. for example.” Interpretation 26 (1972). pp.A. Bauckhman. Cf. no matter how apparently insignificant. Beginning to Read the Fathers (New York: Paulist Press. Ramsey argues that the logical conclusion to the Irenaean and Athanasian “theology of solidarity” was that “all that Jesus accomplished. While Stăniloae's view of salvation reminds us of the need to make sure that faith remains Christ's work in us and never becomes our work. Hendry. First. pp.873 This strong ontologism led Stăniloae to posit every action of Christ as sacramental.” SJTh 30 (1977). (4) and the concept of deification is present in different forms. 873 D. Stăniloae. by R. 872 See Stăniloae’s notes on Cyril of Alexandria.” Ortodoxia 1 (1953). 1985). “Dumnezeiasca Euharistie în cele Trei Confesiuni. Stăniloae wants to reinforce the idea that all of Christ's life (from the virgin birth to the resurrection and ascension) is involved in His salvific work. Stăniloae. p. Bowden (London: SCM Press. Moltmann. “Moltmann's Eschatology of the Cross. pp. tr. thus identification with mankind is favoured to forensic elements. the idea of redemption as internal atonement. G. there are a number of parallels at this point: (1) the event of the cross is an event within God.871 Possibly this confusion traces back to Cyril of Alexandria.S. 54. his view of solidarity makes it difficult to give a meaningful place to the existential elements of human response. is required. 3. He affirms that Christ's powerful work in the life of the believer is in virtue of his sharing of all the experiences of His victorious humanity. .874 Faith. II.” Cf.1 Redemption as internal atonement It is believed that such difficulties in Stăniloae’s view on redemption as ontological relations derive in principle from two subordinate ideas. 78). The Crucified God: The Cross as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology. 875 While Stăniloae does not refer to Moltmann. Ramsey. 1974). 88-101.872 The third observation deals with the operative aspect of Stăniloae’s ontology. 83. Închinarea şi Slujirea în Duh şi Adevăr [Adoratio in Spiritu et Veritate] (PG 68). 277.1. vol. pp. suffering and death are taken up into God.875 Hence some idea of inclusivity is implicit in Stăniloae's view of redemption. 161-162. but it is seen as Christ believing and having faith in God on our behalf. 874 The ground for the Eucharist as sacrifice is found in the act of salvation as ontological identity. B. 278-299. More 871 “The unity of mankind in Christ (however it is conceived) cannot be the same as the unity of God. being one of the most important implications of mankind's solidarity with Christ. See J. Schleiermacher also has an idea of redemption through being taken up into the fellowship of Christ's life. Wilson and J. or how the benefits of Christ are appropriated by people. Cf. 97. D. p. So when we speak about our conversion or regeneration we understand that we are referring to our share in the conversion or regeneration of our humanity brought about by Jesus. 311. “The ‘Crucified God’: A Trinitarian Theology of the Cross. It becomes obvious that the bringing together of mankind and God in Himself means for Stăniloae that mankind is taken up into God. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.2. (3) pain.

. 878 D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.876 Stăniloae's concept of salvation then sees in Christ's humanity a place of contact between Himself and nature. Our own logoi and the logoi of our existences are attracted to union with the divine Logos. p. In Christ a creative centre of salvation and integration has been set up within the structure of human being. although Stăniloae constantly tries to avoid using the conventional term. 99. Human Image: World Image. what Christ is towards man. The Christian Faith. When our wills have returned to their conformity with their own being and their own inner rational purposes and structures (logoi). 876 As Florovsky stresses: “The one redeeming work of Christ cannot be separated into parts. Stăniloae sums up: Once drawn into union with God by the sacrificed and risen body of the Lord we. “jertfă ispăşitoare” (atoning sacrifice) and “jertfă mântuitoare” (salvific sacrifice). II. Stăniloae. Schleiermacher.” pp. so that mankind is preserved in His humanity.877 This “placement” of Christ is then worked out in relational terms in which use is made of the idea of hypostatic union. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. throughout this section the term “atonement” will be used to emphasise all Stăniloae’s references to the sacrificial work of Christ. p.” F. p. 431. in other words. 879 See D. Hence the hypostatic union and “atonement” are interwoven. the works of His hands. Since Christ is God in hypostatic union with man. and His redeeming action cannot be exclusively connected with any one particular moment in that life. Theology and the Church. 202-203. God is in Himself antecedently. a centre in space and time which organises existence around itself. Stăniloae describes this as a re-humanisation rather than a divinisation. 625-627. Our Lord's earthly life is one organic whole. vol. 247 precisely. Sherrard. Florovsky. 147-181. Basically all these expressions deal with the traditional theme of atonement. Creation and Redemption. “Aspectele Esenţiale ale Operei de Răscumpărare în Concepţia Ortodoxă. but the result of Christ “substituting” for mankind through all of His earthly life. the Word in whom we find our eternal archetypes and for whom our natures yearn as for the fathomless depths of life and the secret source of that knowledge we crave of the essence of all things. pp. even into intimate. For the idea of atonement Stăniloae uses different Romanian expressions: simple “jertfă” (sacrifice).879 “The Redeemer takes believers up into the fellowship of His unclouded blessedness. and have rejected the arbitrary dispositions of their irrational and unnatural selfishness.878 It is because of this internalising of the atonement as taking place within the life of God that the concept of theosis can be used by Stăniloae when describing Christ's sacrifice. are also drawn into union among ourselves.” G. To avoid the idea of a mere absorption of man into God. then they are called to be united to the human will of Christ and through it to His divine will which is one with His human will. Christ is able to bring God's work to mankind because He is God and man in union. the reconciliation Christ brought was not just the result of His death. or. and this is His reconciling activity. This in turn affects the whole created order. 877 D. Similar ideas are found in P. ontological connection with it. However. pp. 132. Stăniloae in this way transfers the idea of Christ as a Platonic ideal outside of the earthly realm into the world itself.

is worked out firstly on the Christ-man side. The Gospel of the Incarnation (London: SCM Press. 127. . Hendry. 3. At the surface this concept seems to cross the border between Chalcedonian orthodoxy and some form of theopaschitism. By this much more is meant than a restoration of relationship between God and man: it is a real sharing in the inner life of God in this earthly life. On 880 A similar idea is found in Hegel who introduced the concept of Christ's universality. p. His body no longer represents in any way an obstacle separating Him from those who believe in Him. Theology and the Church. the unobstructed irradiation of the Spirit from within Him. Stăniloae asserts that atonement takes place within humanity. This implies that Christ is related to all people. because Stăniloae places emphasis on the atonement/incarnation originating in the love of God. exactly as heat radiated from an incandescent body.882 This interpenetration of Christ and man. 248 Once more. 882 See. For from the risen and exalted Christ the Holy Spirit shines forth immediately and superabundantly. 100. pp. Jesus . Tobias (eds. Christ took upon Himself man's sin and guilt by assuming flesh and thereby sanctifying human nature from within. and man and Christ. John Breck declares that “theopaschism remains the irreducible foundation of any Orthodox theology of redemption.1.” in J. Florovsky says that Christ's death “was not the necessity of this world.S. Meyendorff and R. from an understanding of the hypostatic union. Pannenberg. but the symbol of Love Divine.” or its cognate “interpenetration. and consequently. Florovsky. 75-78.881 Therefore. See also W. it means that the love of God is the cause of the atonement. However. rather than the atonement being a necessary precondition to forgiveness.” J. In reaction to Hegel came Schleiermacher's formulation. pp. D. Stăniloae uses the term “penetration. 263-264.” “The Cross is not a symbol of Justice. The risen and exalted state of Christ is His humanity perfectly filled and penetrated by the Holy Spirit. for example.2.). on the man-Christ side. 881 Cf. mankind is taken up in and through Christ to share God's life and love.” Cf. 1959). Breck. Similarly. This concept of penetration stands objectively behind all of Stăniloae's views on the atonement. “Divine Initiative: Salvation in Orthodox Theology. This was the necessity of Divine Love. 202. Stăniloae. D. p.880 being motivated by love. deriving again from an extension of the hypostatic union.God and Man. Cf. Teologia Dogmatică şi Simbolică. Thus the atonement is the effect of the love of God. Secondly. The hypostatic union brings God and man together in Christ in an ontological connection of love. G. 80.2 The idea of penetration The second idea on which Stăniloae builds up his ontological structure in defining redemption is the idea of penetration. because atonement takes place within the personal being of Christ. forgiveness precedes atonement. 103. Stăniloae. G. pp. Creation and Redemption. p. 647. 115. Salvation in Christ.” to describe the action of Christ in humanity.

wholeness spreads to all. Based on the mystery of the hypostatic union as the humanisation of God. forensic way. D. in the redemption. In concluding this short analysis of the idea of redemption as internal and as penetration. the death and the resurrection of Christ have concentrated in themselves a new life. p.”884 Christ then heals the split between what man is now and what he ought to be by penetrating into depraved and dehumanised humanity. Stăniloae. that is. is an empty transaction. allowing Christ to be a substitute who is detached from man and who simply acts in our place in an external. Stăniloae. into that very split. For Stăniloae. 884 D. so that Christ “irradiates His state of spiritual renewal in believers. enhypostatic and not only anhypostatic. p. 504. then in enhypostasia we see that only through the individual human being.885 Stăniloae does not want to accuse those who hold forensic concepts of losing the humanity of Jesus. Christ creates a new humanity and incorporates us into this new humanity. it is not difficult to see that such ways of describing Christ's work are expressions of a fundamentally different view of substitution than the classic Western understanding. 885 Cf. In other words. By this is meant not only that atonement is internal to Christ. the manhood of Christ is integral and essential and not merely instrumental. Jesus. For Stăniloae. bringing the ends of that split together in His own person. We can explain Stăniloae’s view based on the implications of the twin Christological realities of the anhypostasia and enhypostasia in the person of Christ. Stăniloae.883 By Christ being in such an intimate relationship at the centre of humanity. p. . Actually. Theology and the Church. between man and God in Christ. is salvation a reality (incorporation). but that mankind is included in Christ's atonement. “Transparenţa Bisericii în Viaţa Sacramentală. enhypostasia saves redemption from being merely forensic since it locates redemption in Christ's humanity. 883 D. without any ontological relationship with those whom He is representing.” Ortodoxia 4 (1970). 114. “Dumnezeiasca Euharistie în cele Trei Confesiuni. the assumption of the humanity into the personhood of the Logos (enhypostasia) is not a depersonalisation but an impersonalisation. but the emphasis for him is on substitution/representation which involves incorporation. then. 249 the contrary it has received the power to impart most perfectly the Godhead with which it is united. formal. 199.” Ortodoxia 1 (1953). where Christ as man gathers humanity into Himself and so acts on our behalf. If we understand in anhypostasia that it is only in God's act that the saving person of the human Jesus could have existed (substitution/representation).

” Christ.3 The progressive nature of redemption A third issue in understanding Stăniloae’s Christological aspect of theosis deals with the progressive nature of redemption. “Dumnezeiasca Euharistie în cele Trei Confesiuni. for example. tr. but that He attained the deepest part of humanity. by J. p. . We have seen that Stăniloae does not limit Christ's work to some particular act or acts such as the work on the cross. “He lives to the highest degree humanity’s exclusive dependence upon God. This principle encourages Stăniloae to affirm in a very ambiguous and risky way that Christ became our sacrifice only because He was the Son of God and the “bearer of humanity. 353.C. matter receives the capacity to be a transparent medium of the Trinity in general and of Christ in particular. D.889 There are different “moments” in this progression of salvific life. pp. death and resurrection. The Mediation of Christ (Exeter: Paternoster Press. p. that Christ came out from His humanity. asserts Stăniloae. 250 However. 1983). The Person of Christ. each part of Christ's life is an assumption of depraved humanity in order to heal it from within. 889 See for example. Vriend (Grand Rapids. Stăniloae.1. Stăniloae suggests that the sanctification of our human nature was brought about not only through Christ's active and passive obedience. That does not mean. The real work of Christ as man started at the virgin birth and was carried through to its completion in the resurrection and ascension. and G. since the transcendent not only becomes immanent but identifies itself with the human creature.”887 In this way. however. Gethsemane and especially the cross. 888 D.”888 3.886 In the incarnation of Christ we observe an overlapping process of the transcendent structures of communication with human structures. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. Stăniloae's conception might be suspected of depreciating somehow the reality of Christ's humanity in itself by making it into some kind of universal with mystical implications for mankind. 1954). 358.” Ortodoxia 1 (1953). 887 D. and consequently. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. Mich. has accomplished the climax of humanity because He made it “part of the divine personal Absolute.F. so that incarnation is a 886 See the parallel views between T. p. Since atonement is internal to mankind. Torrance. passion and resurrection are continuous and indivisible in the salvation action. 89. Man's redemption starts from Christ's very birth. 81. p. life.: Eerdmans. 313. Berkouwer. His baptism. temptations. life. but also through the union He established between our fallen nature and His divine nature through His birth. 325. Birth.

” M. as fulfilling the ideal of manhood or the covenant obligations. This fits well with the biblical literature where there is a general lack of concentration or even omission of details of Christ's life. One must see Christ's work more functionally. what is of value in Stăniloae's work is the realisation of the importance of Christ's life and of the need to have an integrated view of Christ's work. To conclude. doing what mankind could not do. 251 redeeming event. 890 G. At this point Stăniloae is in agreement with other Orthodox theologians who maintain that “the whole life of the Incarnate One was one continuous sacrifice. triumphing where mankind fell. Creation and Redemption. that leads towards positing an entirely independent role for Christ's humanity. Litsas (New York: Department of Communication Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. p. for Stăniloae. together with such insights as the biblical theology of Irenaeus' recapitulation. “everything that Christ did throughout His earthly life was based on the presupposition that humanity was already saved and deified. it is maintained that.1. the implication emerges that Christ's life.”890 While it is important to see Christ's life as a totality and as involved in redemption. evil is seen as something fixed in the ontological elements of created existence. This is a significant pointer to the fact that the incarnation itself is not the redemption or atonement. 101. intimately bound to Stăniloae's conception of redemption. This is particularly important for his conception on deification because. If we do not see the life of Christ in the context of biblical theology or in the framework of promise and fulfilment. . It is not separate from it but intimately part of the work. K. Florovsky. the impression given by Stăniloae’s understanding is that the idea of ontology has almost swallowed the functional aspects of his Christology. In this way. from the very moment of His conception in the womb of Mary. is both a preparation and a necessary qualification for and part of Christ's work on the cross or redemption. On the other hand. is his view of the nature of sin. Edited by F. Rather the life is the life of Christ lived for mankind. all the obligations of man before God. the life in itself is not the redemption. but not in a progressive way (in terms of moments) or as inner healing throughout His life. that is. 163. Christ’s life is redemption or atonement.4 The question of the nature of sin A fourth observation. far from being a mere instrument. That is. 3. but only an aspect of it. p. so that He could make the one perfect sacrifice. Aghiorgoussis. “The Dogmatic Tradition of the Orthodox Church. Rather it is the fulfilment of humanity then offered in death as the atonement. 1984).” in A Companion to the Greek Orthodox Church. through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Moreover. Scripture attests the fact that the various aspects of His life are primarily to be seen in the context of His role as Messiah.

hence the emphasis on bondage to death. at the same time. But this is not true. Similarly. tr. S. to conceive of original sin as the result of the first sin. Thus Stăniloae understands sin organically. mortality is not the cause of sin. normalised our nature and exalted our humanity in Him because He accepted solidarity with us.. Stăniloae's repeated insistence on these aspects stems from the need for Christ to delete the effects of sin. It is for this reason that redemption is seen as an order-restoring event. as has been said empirically one is not separated from the other. to enter into inner and complete communion with God. A prior question is whether his discussion of sin does justice to the sharp distinctions within Scripture between the man in sin and the man in Christ. while Scripturally the wages of sin is death. to be one with Him” Cf. Questions do arise as to whether or not Stăniloae's view of sin jeopardises the reality and seriousness of the consequences of the guilt about which Scripture speaks. yet. in order to break down the wall of partition between God and men. Sin here is the personal act of man's free will which deprives him of the means of fulfilling his destiny by overcoming the mortality of human nature. By concentrating on the ontological aspects of evil.” D. and death as the reward of sins. Theology and the Church. 252 having its effects ontologically. . However. 198. the coming of Christ exposed the man of sin. It has been shown that in Stăniloae’s perspective. Zankov. To the Orthodox the question 'Why salvation?' is very clear: in order to be free from sin and death. However. and vice versa. Stăniloae. p. and to be in solidarity with mankind in order to heal it from within. This is impossible if Christ has a neutral nature. reveals our true unfallen nature. the nature of man biblically is that he is defined by his act of rebellion (not neutral). The Orthodox Eastern Church. and in this sense his theology remains far from any moralistic view of salvation. Orthodoxy is rather inclined.A. there is death also. for Stăniloae. 49- 50. where sin is.891 Stăniloae's concrete ontological view of solidarity necessitates that Christ took upon Himself the flesh of the post-fall nature of man and. it is true. Thus it is an infection that causes disorder. in Stăniloae's view sin has its consequences in the being of mankind as a type of sickness. Scripture clearly emphasises the idea of transference in relational terms from one Kingdom to another. This 891 “Christ does not become incarnate and die simply for the sake of an external reconciliation with us and in order to make us righteous before Him. by D. thereby making it possible for man to return to the state of Adam and renew his progress towards deification. and claim that the Orthodox put death in the foreground instead of sin. the need for redemption is not so much to subdue man's rebellion but to counteract the consequences of evil. Thus the purpose of the cross was not to vanquish sin but death. Zankov writes: “From sin or from death? Western theologians like to put this contrast.. corruption and mortality. 1929). redemption is redemption from corruption. The purpose of the incarnation was our deliverence from eternal death. our complete and eternal union with Him. and that. for what He did not assume He did not heal. Lowrie (London. Hence. pp.

5 The role of Christ's death and resurrection The final observation on Stăniloae’s Christological aspect of theosis deals with the role of Christ’s death and resurrection. and thus is in danger of giving less significance to His death. and these cannot be separated. the cross. first. Cf. Stăniloae's idea shows similarities to “incarnation even without sin” theories. obedient self-sacrifice. 1974). . Rather. Stăniloae's view of the death of Christ rests on three common grounds: (1) the actual nature of man is assumed. Theology and the Church. we being able to appear before God as those accepted by being inseparably united with Christ. 253 also explains why Stăniloae's stress on the idea of solidarity led him to see the forensic aspects as secondary. 28.893 This is the reason why it is hard to justify Stăniloae’s rationalisation of the essential acts of divine revelation. which cause a certain determinism and a lack of freedom on God's part.D.). so in the end His life was an offering of perfect obedience to the Father that we might be reconciled with Him. Reconciliation and Hope (Grand Rapids. Stăniloae's theology implies that the putting on of humanity resulted in an automatic taking of man's guilt upon Himself. for Stăniloae. along with the resurrection. 894 Cf. Jesus Christ is our human response to God. J. At this point Stăniloae seems to follow Maximus for whom the 892 James Dunn sees this as a consequence of stressing solidarity. But Stăniloae concentrates so much on the life of Christ that he gives the impression that he tries to fit Christ's death into the system. 893 By contrast. Second.: Eerdmans. Dunn. a concentration on the death of Christ would allow the inclusion of the life of Christ in it and enable His death to be seen as a final act in a life of total. Banks (ed. is seen to be the culmination of the work of Christ. and the cross is one of a number of distinct moments in God's salvation. As has been demonstrated. 139. This idea is. Indeed. p. Stăniloae. Mich.892 3.” in R. Christ's death is not the sole aspect of redemption. Thus His life from birth to grave was a redeeming human response. The last point shows that. D. a direct consequence of the view which maintains that the purpose of the incarnation is communion with God and man's deification. where he does not include among them the act of crucifixion. “Paul's Understanding of the Death of Jesus. being at the same time opposed to an exclusive soteriological motive for the incarnation.G.894 Moreover. (3) incarnation is redemption. as Christ's whole life was a struggle with human weaknesses and vulnerabilities. p. (2) the unassumed is not healed.1.

p. Cf. 72. however. Florovsky states: “It seems to be more coherent to regard the Incarnation as an organic consummation of the primordial creative purpose of God than to make it essentially dependent on the Fall. see K. the resurrection is the climax of the economy of salvation and of man's deification. Following Cyril of Alexandria. Byzantine Theology. it is the resurrection that is important in terms of fulfilling all Christ's work. . the cross effects the destruction of evil. where he writes: “By descending.. 898 D. Just as on the cross human nature was purified from sin by the blood of the Lord.896 For Stăniloae and other Orthodox theologians. P. Cyril of Alexandria. 179.e. 21. upon the disruption of that purpose. Hence. 160-161. pain and agony of the universe which He took into Himself. 25. D.” G. 254 incarnation “was foreseen and foreordained independently of man's tragic misuse of his own freedom. for Stăniloae. to death the Logos renewed humanity in general and made it incorrupt along with the human nature which He had assumed and by means of it. 724BC).. Mich. and thus those who believe are elevated into the fellowship of the Holy Trinity. 1965). 897 D.”898 895 J. 163. When this is considered with respect to the ontological explanation of the atonement. Berkouwer. Quaestiones ad Thalassium 60 (PG 90. 621AC).” “the alpha and the omega of our salvation. Isaac the Syrian and Duns Scotus on this view. Ware. The Experience of God. [Jn. the death of Christ becomes not so much a propitiation or expiation.”897 This includes both the bestowing of the incorruptible divine life upon humanity and the taking of the human nature personified in the Logos into the communion of the Holy Trinity. p. 20:24-25] (PG 74. The Experience of God. The Work of Christ (Grand Rapids. i. Deification in Christ. “Salvation and Theosis in Orthodox Theology. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae. Commentarius in Johannem 12. pp. Stăniloae believes that the Trinity and the resurrection are “the fundamental dogmas. Meyendorff. p. 896 See for example.C.: Baker Book House. The impression is given that the cross is an ending rather than a decisive event. Cf. so in the tomb it was purified in an organic manner from the state of death by laying aside the earthly 'garments of skin.” it can only be considered part of a process. this is a real process where all of Christ's life was a sanctification of every stage of humanity. and G. 72. Maximus. Although the cross is seen as a culmination of the ontological penetration of God into humanity. as another aspect of the wrestling with humanity’s plight. Creation and Redemption. The cost involved was not the bearing of penalty but the sorrow. 112-113). Florovsky. Stăniloae. Similarly. p.” p..”895 While Stăniloae stresses that the cross is the culmination of this “incarnational penetration. In other words. by laying aside mortality” (pp. For the influence of St. Christ's penetration into the perverted structure of human existence somehow reversed the process of corruption. p. Nellas. because “it is through the resurrection that the eternal divine life common to the three persons is communicated. Thus the cross is part of the incarnation.' that is to say. more than dealing with the penalty of it. Stăniloae.

tends to neglect its biblical sense of a vindication and expression of God's satisfaction with Christ's work on the cross. Stăniloae's place for the resurrection is in terms of its substantial effects on mankind. Resurrection assumes this importance.” D.” Christ's wounds “become the means of healing for humanity” (Deification in Christ.899 However. One significant consequence of Stăniloae’s concentration on 899 Stăniloae states that “between the resurrection of Christ and our own resurrection stretches the interval in which Christ works to unite us all completely in Himself. II. as will be emphasised in the next chapter. Stăniloae himself recognizes that this approach could be explained also as a kind of overreaction from the Eastern side against the Western view on soteriology. Thus the redemption becomes an inward healing and is to some extent anthropocentric in terms of salvation as humanisation.2 Assessment Stăniloae has been trying to bring together the patristic and the modern Orthodox understanding of the redemption by taking as his prime theological principle the ontological implications of the hypostatic union in Christ and of His life. who put immense stress on the bodily resurrection. because the purpose of the incarnation is to heal and restore mankind (and the universe) ontologically. A second reason is that Stăniloae's problem here results from the inadequacy of taking the hypostatic union as the epistemological centre from which to unify Christology and soteriology. p. Stăniloae’s view on resurrection as the final ontological side of redemption. pp. 901 A similar idea is found in Nellas who says that. Rather. through His sacrifice on the cross “of the blessed flesh of the Lord. Stăniloae's overemphasis on the resurrection is also the result of his reliance on the Greek Fathers. The second major result. is that Stăniloae's ontology also leads to an . Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. being joined to Christ's exalted flesh. p. Stăniloae. One of the main reasons is that Stăniloae's theological approach is inclined to be more reflective and contemplative than biblical. Theology and the Church. where everything tends to be seen in substantialistic terms. 200. 900 In fact.900 One major result is seen in Stăniloae's system which tends to neglect other purposes of the incarnation and other dimensions of the work of Christ. 112). like the idea of satisfaction and substitution. vol. 255 While this is a biblical perspective (1Cor 15:12-19).901 In order to confirm the above observations. 3. stimulated and sustained by His activity. the strong ontological aspect of his theology in the end causes his system to be partially reductionist. the resurrection gains prominence at the expense of the rest of Christ's work because the nature of man receives such a high place. again. 129-130. D. and in which we strive towards the same end. some details on Stăniloae’s place in the modern theological field are required. However.

How then could satisfaction be made which could at the same time defeat Satan? It is just here that Anselm argues for the necessity of the incarnation.”904 Stăniloae himself remarks that in the last four centuries Orthodox theology has indeed been influenced by Western soteriological ideas. John Stott writes: “So substitution is not 'a theory of the atonement.” p. the God-man. being the foundation of the Old Testament system of sacrifice and . Lossky. 113). through accursedness. 903 O. 112. p. victory. 904 K. but “beginning.” Quoted by M. The Roots of Christian Mysticism. “through dereliction. who was concerned with articulating a rational explanation of the necessity of the atonement. but as the death of the Incarnate Lord. His honour (not justice). p. 110-114. not as a death of an Innocent One. and reconciliation). in “Orthodox Soteriology. 256 Christ's incarnation is that the cross becomes more a revelation of mercy than a vicarious substitution. this is a biblical principle.”. More hostile still. Ware.' an expression of human psychology which refuses to give up the individualistic version of existence and seeks to defeat death by its own meritorious accomplishments. however.”903 “separating Christ too sharply from the Father. ransom. Aghiorgoussis. pp.902 Orthodox theology regularly rejects this theory because it would be “a regression to a non- biblical idea of sacrifice. 44. for the death of Christ. See V. since the devil has authority concerning death). with the Russian theology of the last century. Florovsky's argument is that “the death on the Cross was effective. because unmerited. in “Salvation and Theosis in Orthodox Theology. propitiation. It is rather the essence of each image and the heart of the atonement itself. namely. 199. The idea of corporate solidarity is treated by Stăniloae in Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. “changed the truth of God by subordinating the freedom of his love to the relentless necessity of an egocentric and savage justice which demanded sadistic satisfaction. p. Theology and the Church. Yannaras continues: “The schema 'guilt-redemption-justification' is a typical symptom of every 'natural religion.' Nor is it even an additional image to take its place as an option alongside the others. Clément.”905 The second major consequence is with regards to the idea of penal substitution. 905 D. 1986). p. 'substitutes' Himself for those who are justly condemned and suffers death for them. 203. The Cross of Christ (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. the concept of substitution is essential to all of the biblical analogies (passover sacrifice. This also explains the rejection of the satisfaction theory taught by Anselm. was of infinite value. only punishment or satisfaction could vindicate divine honour. Christ's death. 172. went beyond what was required of Him and hence could serve as a genuine satisfaction of God's honour. 902 Anselm argues that the cross was necessary because of the perfection of God's nature.” and making “too emphatic a contrast between Incarnation and Crucifixion. 46. Orthodox Theology.essential in this debate . .” C. and that to obscurity in the distinction between justification and sanctification.” p. Elements of Faith. Because in disobeying God man dishonoured Him and contracted a debt.906 To object that guilt is related to the notion of corporate solidarity. Stott. Lossky concludes that the atonement was both a debt to God (which emphasizes the judicial aspect) and a debt to the devil (which emphasizes the atonement as a victory over death. Stăniloae. even strengthened by the exchange value of some transcendent 'ransom'“ (p. Orthodox theology has returned almost completely to the broader understanding of salvation proper to the Greek Fathers.” and in recent years has been elaborating “those pan-human and cosmic dimensions of salvation. Even Lossky accepts the judicial aspects of the atonement by writing that. Yannaras. Yannaras states that the satisfaction theory of the atonement. an innocent person assumes all sin. p. Moreover. redemption. 906 In a broader sense. 276-305.” J. It is surprising to see Stăniloae as resistent to this idea. by stressing the ontological change at the expense of the work of the cross.

Y. 1943). Justification is a separate act following upon atonement whereby God transfers the merits of Christ to sinners. and the devil.908 Although Stăniloae started his theological career taking an inclusive position (see Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. 1978) he favours the “classic” type of approach. where God is the object of Christ's atoning work. Florovsky. in which the work of the redemption is the triumph of God over death. complains Stăniloae. there is no direct relation between Christ and men in this view. on the surface. vol. the essential features being found in Irenaeus' theology of recapitulation. in the apostle Paul and Luther). Creation and Redemption. . is dualistic and the action is dramatic. modern Orthodox theology emphasises more the classic view on redemption as a reaction to an excessively judicial notion. pp. The view against which they argue is one which so strongly emphasizes God's wrath towards sin that it omits His love for those whom He is justifying by means of the cross. pp. The background of this view. linked as it is with that penitential system of the Medieval period which is essentially a moralism. 107-109. G. for it tends to regard salvation as something negative (the remission of punishment). which draws upon images taken from the law court. Besides Stăniloae. Florovsky. in fact. and it reminds us that our salvation is a costly one. Thus. is too preoccupied with the forensic idea of sin as a transgression of the law.: SVS Press. Stăniloae claims that the idea of victory over demonic forces deals not only with individuals but with the whole world. Stăniloae goes so far as to claim that Protestantism was involved in a fundamental inconsistency in seeking to unite the theme of sola gratia with a juridical doctrine of the atonement. 908 Though the Latin type intends to emphasize the gravity of sin. means to neglect the fact of corporate solidarity found in Scripture in which Christ involves us in His sin-bearing as the second Adam just as the first Adam involved us in his sin-committing. 257 substitute an innocent person for a guilty one is itself immoral. pp. In spite of this possible common ground between Orthodox and Protestant theology. penal substitution was seen as grounded in this ontological solidarity (for example. Bulgakov. S. Moreover. the view of the atonement as Christ's dying in our place because of our sins. Orthodox Theology. it does not succeed in doing so. salvation then being regarded positively as liberation and deliverance. Lossky. sin. N. modern Orthodox theologians like Lossky. Stăniloae’s view might be associated with the idea of a “subjective” theory of redemption because he explains the redemption as consisting in a change which takes place in man rather than in God. Nevertheless. This is why Stăniloae considers that the Latin interpretation of the atonement. II. in the second part of his life (see Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Thus 907 Cf. 110-114.907 correctly insist that Christ's death also achieved victory over death and mortality. 102-104. in the history of dogma. V. says Stăniloae. So. Bulgakov. is clearly an indispensable element in understanding Christian soteriology because it confirms the biblical emphasis on the sinfulness of man. although not absolute or metaphysical. This is in opposition to the “objective” form of the redemption. The Orthodox Church (Crestwood. 1988). it shows that there is no contradiction between God's love and His justice.

Despite of the fact that Stăniloae's works provide a valuable insistence on the primacy of God in all things. tr. The Divine-Human Encounter. by A. 62.can be the Redeemer. It is essentially historical. 1944)..” D.” However. but with the recapitulation of all things in Christ: the extension of the benefits of the divine victory to all parts of the created order. Our view is that the incarnation cannot be made the dividing line of Christian theology without disrupting the biblical centrality of the cross. Hendry accurately sums up this approach when he writes that: “By their interpretation of the incarnation as the assumption of an ontological relation with mankind. Authority. 258 incarnation and redemption are both necessary and mutually defining. 55. life. 911 In this sense.” C. Essentials of Evangelical Theology.. A classical Reformed position says that “the danger of this theory is that it sometimes overlooks the truth that the devil. The Actuality of Atonement. as a protest against any legalistic rationalisation that oversimplifies the human problem.W. why could not the almighty God have done it some other way than to send His Son to die on the cross? The second dogmatic question is on the “cosmic-dualistic battle” which easily lends itself to a kind of triumphalism that says nothing to the despairing. To be sure only the Incarnate Lord .910 Although the act of the incarnation is not specifically identified with redemption. but the contemplation of the nature of Christ misleads to a certain Naturalism. But the Bible leads us to ponder less the secret of the Person of Jesus than the mystery of His work. very Man . finiteness. p. The process of redemption “is not concerned simply with the reformation of the moral person. p. this does not counteract the essential motive of the incarnation as being Christ's coming to die for our deliverance from sin and death. The cross apart from the resurrection would be a catastrophe. vol. The persistent criticism is that the victory motif found in Stăniloae tends to overlook sin and guilt and to shift the emphasis to mortality.” G. this view “owes more to Origen than to the New Testament. the losers in the world. Stăniloae's approach implies that the incarnation is “the sacrificial act” which incorporates all that Christ has done for man's salvation. Hendry. Loos (London: SCM Press. The Gospel of the Incarnation. If defeat of demonic powers is all that is necessary. The Bible is never substantialist. death and resurrection taken as a narrative whole.. the first dogmatic question for the victory motif deals with the necessity of Christ's death and resurrection. but the verb is the chief word in Biblical language. Brunner. and Salvation (San Francisco: Harper).911 This position shows the reality and 909 The most important advance in accepting Stăniloae’s view is the manner in which the resurrection regains its proper place in the redemption doctrine. but rather the work of the Redeemer. and death. but always actualist. . Gunton. Stăniloae’s view has the advantage of conceiving of the idea of victory as the effect of the incarnation. I. pp. However. 102. Bloesch.909 A strict examination reveals that Stăniloae’s view oversimplifies the biblical materials on the atonement.” E. God. p. and sin are simply agents of the wrath of God and that no final redemption can come until the wrath and holiness of God have been satisfied. the fathers were able to take the position that the work of Christ for man was done in man prior to its appropriation by man and thus to establish an objective ground for the work of Christ in its vicarious character. death. Let me reiterate once more that apparent common place: not the substantive. for it would mean that death had the final word. and the double- sidedness of the view is seen in the fact that God is both reconciler and reconciled. 79. Jesus Christ. 910 Hence it is hard to avoid Brunner's statement that: “The incarnation as such is not the pivotal point of the Biblical revelation. came to redeem.very God. 159.. Stăniloae is closely following the Greek Fathers.

As such. Stăniloae’s too optimistic view regarding the role of the cross and resurrection does not allow one to give proper attention to the reality of the crucified humanity of Jesus and to the necessity of fulfilling the process of the sanctification of our bodies. This is a distinctive element in the incarnational view of the redemption due to the fact that the incarnation is to be regarded primarily in the light of the divine purpose of creation: the attainment of the deification by humanity. Forsyth says that “the principle from which we must set out to understand the person of Christ is the soteriological principle. This also explains why some theologians have objected to the shift from Calvary to Bethlehem. Forsyth. The immediate premise of the incarnation is not sin and redemption. because it matters whether the Church thinks of itself primarily as a continuation of the incarnation or as an extension of the redemptive work of Christ. 912 P. 1911).” P. If this is seen as the centre of theology. 332. Stăniloae’s concept of deification deriving from this understanding endangers the authenticity of Christ's humanity.T. 259 the possibilities of the deification of manhood through suffering which Christ has wrought for us. the incarnation has to be seen in terms of God's purpose for man rather than primarily in terms of what was necessary in order to save man from his sin. in Stăniloae's view. to see the cross as the centre of theology does not mean central in importance but central to God's self-revelation to man. The advantage of Stăniloae’s view on redemption as implying an ontological change is that the redemption is understood as an act of reversion. claiming that this shift exchanged the biblical accent on the moral problem for an accent on metaphysical ones. For these theologians the real point at which God is revealed to man is upon the cross. And the difference would be seen in the way in which the Church regarded the facts. and Hodder & Stoughton. principles and ideas drawn from the Hebrew and Hellenistic contexts to express this. Any metaphysic must follow that and not preceed it. but death and deification. The Person and Place of Jesus Christ (London: Congregational Union of England and Wales. where God in Christ is shown to be a reconciling God. p.T. a restoration of relations. then it throws its own light back showing what God did at the incarnation. In other words. .912 The person of Christ can hardly be described apart from what He accomplished as Saviour. The New Testament overflows with a rich abundance of metaphors. and pointing forward to its consummation. It can scarcely be doubted that the death and resurrection of Jesus are seen by the New Testament writers as the focal point of God's saving action. However.

becomes the primary premise of the personal union of God with humanity in the Church through the Holy Spirit. with the mystery of the Trinity. and the place where this communion is taking place is His body. closely connected with the mystery of the relationship between the Creator and His creatures. The joyful sensitivity of communion with the absolute person of Christ spreads in the joy of communion and of works done in communion with 913 D. Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului. . and share in the uncreated energies of God Himself. Stăniloae engaged in communitarian categories. with Jesus Christ. In a concise passage. Even from the beginning of his theological career. Stăniloae sums up and announces his communitarian and personalist agenda: Through the Spirit. Thus we can participate in the body of Christ through communion (general and eucharistic). vol. the Church is defined as an entirety formed by all those who believe in Christ. a temporal and supertemporal entirety. 914 Hence Stăniloae prefers to name the Church as “the mystical body of Christ in the Holy Spirit” that reproduces on the human level the trinitarian communion. the Church. in his book on Christology entitled Iisus Hristos sau Restaurarea Omului (1943).913 The ontological and personal dimensions unveiled by Christology and soteriology are thus prolonged and developed within the ecclesiological community. Scrieri. THE PNEUMATO-ECCLESIOLOGICAL ASPECT OF DEIFICATION: DEIFICATION IN THE CHURCH Introduction According to Stăniloae. Stăniloae. but together among themselves. The interpersonal sensitivity of faith in which the Holy Spirit is manifested links those who believe within the community of faith. in the Church. Whoever attains to faith in Christ attains it through the faith or the sensitivity of someone else. II (PSB 16). p. Therefore the Church constitutes the locus of our deification. and through Jesus Christ filled with the Spirit. 85. notes to Athanasius.914 The theandric mystery. deification means man’s personal communion with God in Jesus Christ. and with the mystery of incarnation. and then continuing with his Dogmatics (1978). and “the reciprocal interiority of all those who share in the reciprocal interiority of the Holy Trinity Persons. Here. 398. the personal union of God with man in Christ. The Church is a spiritual reality. Stăniloae. the faithful are linked with Christ not in isolation. interiority that was brought about in us through Christ made man. p. both a communion and a community of human persons being bound up with Him.” D. 260 CHAPTER VII. that is.

114-115. This aspect is seen in the work of the Spirit through the uncreated grace in the process of sanctification. Stăniloae’s ecclesiology is an ecclesiology of communion. . Clément. that is. “Orthodox Ecclesiology as an Ecclesiology of Communion. a process that entails both the Spirit’s intervention by the operation of divine energies. It will be presented how in this “spiritual laboratory”. In other words. and their individual effort. 40. In the next chapter we shall explore the subjective aspect of deification in the Church. The Experience of God. deification by grace and its personal appropriation. Therefore the purpose of this chapter is to show that. 916 Cf. including the role of the sacraments and good works. in Stăniloae’s view. Methodologically. pp. Thus salvation is conceived as the culmination of synergy between divine and human. The last part of the second chapter will be dedicated to some general remarks on Stăniloae’s specific emphases in his theology. The communitarian character of the Church. that is. Stăniloae. to the level of communion with human beings. the Church prevails as a communion between human and divine persons. both as communication of divine life and as communion of those who participate in this divine life. and pneumatological character.915 Anticipating (but not identifying with) the ecclesiologies of Afanassieff and Zizioulas. the deification of human beings by divine grace. Christological.916 where koinonia is understood primarily as a communion with God through participation (metalepsis) in Christ. p. particularly seen in Stăniloae’s discernment of objective deification. The question for us is how to understand Stăniloae’s view on the centrality of the Holy Spirit and of the Church in man’s deification. 1.” One in Christ 6 (1970). the communitary character and the theandric constitution of the Church. that is. and in the participation of others in the Personal reality of a God come down. O. for Stăniloae. we shall study in this chapter the concept of deification in the Church. 261 others. the vertical communion is fundamental for the horizontal community. Christ is gradually extended into the believers that they may continue their process of deification. in Christ. Trinitarian basis 915 D. a communion that assumes a trinitarian. as Stăniloae likes to call the Church.

G. Zizioulas. pp. xx. During its history. “Studii Catolice despre Filioque. 211-271. in the post-Nicene period.D. Understanding Eastern Christianity (London: SCM Press. Stăniloae. 1993). 183-208. writes Bishop Kallistos Ware. As the Spirit of communion. most of them incorporating the data of the anti-Latin polemics. vol. 1908). The Great Church in Captivity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. I. Bratsiotis. and more specifically the model and paradigm of the Church. the third person of the Trinity was sent by Christ into 917 In contrast with Western ecclesiology. Mass. Kelly. “Trinitarian Relations and the Life of the Church. For Stăniloae on the doctrine of the Trinity.919 His ecclesiology is principally a consideration on and a synthesis of the ecclesiology of the Greek Fathers.” and “The Holy Trinity: Structure of Supreme Love. Benz. după Sf. not to say archaic. Bible.2 (1965-1960). 401. Fortescue. 471-505. pp. I. tr. p. pp. Church. The Orthodox Eastern Church. Early Christian Doctrines (London: A&C Black. that is. 1973). Stăniloae is one of these theologians who underline the prominence of the doctrine of the Trinity in understanding ecclesiology. As is true of other aspects of his theology (especially Christology and soteriology). I. A. See for example: E. Dinopoulos (Scranton: Christian Orthodox Edition. “Sfânta Treime: Creatoarea.” in Theology and the Church. Ware. Every. N. 1968). tr. Studii de Teologie Dogmatică Ortodoxă. “Unity of Scripture and Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox Contribution to the Prolegomena of Hermeneutics. by G. “The ‘divine intersubjectivity’ of the Trinity constitutes the model and paradigm of all human relationships. active in the enhypostazation of human nature in the divine Logos.: University of Notre Dame. 919 For Stăniloae. Winston (Garden City. 1980). N. Nissiotis. “Eastern teaching about the Church remained immature. 157-248. Stăniloae’s view on the Church is a reflection of his theology of the hypostatic union.918 One of the major tendencies today in Orthodox contemporary theology is its emphasis on trinitarian ecclesiology.: Nordland. in foreword to D. and Practice (New York: Seabury Press. The Orthodox Church. 53-75. by J. Winston and C. 262 The Church has consistently been concerned with issues of ecclesiology. 918 Although Orthodox writers have brought about nothing comparable to the writings of the Western theologians in the area of ecclesiology. The Greek Orthodox Church. Constantelos. D. The Experience of God. “Fiinţa şi Ipostasurile Sfintei Treimi.” ST 7-8 (1973). Being as Communion. Tradition. Studies in Personhood and the Church (London: Darton. T. pp. pp. A Synopsis of the Dogmatic Theology of the Orthodox Catholic Church. The Greek Orthodox Church: Faith. see Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. where the constitution of the Church by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is viewed as the outcome of the active co-operation of the Son and the Spirit.Y.” J. 1989). 1968). Blenkinsop (Notre Dame. P.I. 2nd edition (London: Catholic Truth Society.N. following the Christ event. the Church is that creation which is progressively joined to the Logos by the activity of the Holy Spirit. and is a manifestation of the mystery of the Trinity. Florovsky. in Collected Works (Belmont.” Ortodoxia 1 (1979). p.N. vol. 73-108. the Church is grounded in. by R. New edition (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. Chipul Nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu. 1985). 1972). nevertheless.917 However. History.” Greek Orthodox Theological Review 11. The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life. Runciman. Longman and Todd. J. 282-320.J. Ware. An Eastern Orthodox View. G. In this perspective. Vasile cel Mare. some recent works are relevant at this point. pp. the final act of the Trinity in the world. S. Karmiris. in recent years the interest in a more lively theology of the Church within Eastern Christendom has evidently increased. 1967). 1963). tr. the Eastern Church has only experienced insignificant modifications regarding ecclesiology. Mântuitoarea şi Ţinta Veşnică .: Doubleday.A. pp. Ind.D.” K.

vol. “Sfânta Treime şi Creaţia Lumii din Iubire în Timp. 38.”920 Thus Stăniloae is constantly emphasising the inseparability of the relationship between the Son and the Spirit in the immanent Trinity and in the economy of salvation.” Moreover. According to Stăniloae. Stăniloae asserts that. but as a rule of life after the image of the Trinity. Consequently. p. 14-42. being named also an “icon” of the Trinity. by binding them to Christ’s deified humanity. 28-47. making them the first members of the Church. “this dialogue. p. while Christ has achieved our salvation and deification in an objective way in our nature. 263 human persons. The Experience of God. and an a Tuturor Credincioşilor. the Holy Spirit is the one who applies them in a subjective way to our persons. The trinitarian principle of life is revealed by the Son and the Spirit to the Church not as something abstract. the Church presupposes an internal. conducted formerly by the Word from afar. and 3 (1987). pp. through the divine grace. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae defines the Church as “the dialogue of God with the faithful through Christ in the Holy Spirit. In virtue of its universality. 41-70. the Holy Trinity is a model for the Church. Thus the plan of salvation (divine economy) is fulfilled by the Holy Spirit (economy of the Spirit). Thus the Church. when the Holy Spirit descended over the apostles. Stăniloae. through the holy mysteries. the body of Christ became fully transparent as the medium of the Spirit’s interaction of the divine energies to humanity.” MO 2 (1987). takes actual existence through the irradiation of the Holy Spirit from His body into other human beings. the Son. II. existing potentially in the body of Christ. 921 D. pp. the first believers into whom was extended the power of the pneumatized body of Christ. Stăniloae.” Ortodoxia 2 (1986). .921 The outpouring of the Holy Spirit through the risen body of Christ is possible because it was freed of all obstacles that could overshadow the Spirit’s shining forth from it. the Church is the work of the Father. vertical dimension of its living relationship with God. First. becomes an intimate dialogue through the incarnation of the Son of God as man and begins to spread through the Church. Using a trinitarian idea. 196. because it reflects the perfect reciprocity within the Holy Trinity. 920 D. beginning at Pentecost. and through the Church. drawing them also into communion with God and one another. pp. 1. and the Holy Spirit.1 The Trinity as a model for the Church There are two practical and relevant aspects in Stăniloae’s view that the Church has a trinitarian basis.

“Duhul Sfânt şi Sobornicitatea Bisericii. and specifically the reciprocity between the Son and the Spirit. Stăniloae. being the depiction of trinitarian relationships.” Ortodoxia 4 (1964). the Church has a second role. Similarly. pp. Stăniloae. Moreover.” Ortodoxia 1 (1967).” p. as a Church exclusively of Christ or of the Spirit. . p. being led and assisted by Christ through the grace of the Spirit.” p. “Duhul Sfânt şi Sobornicitatea Bisericii. iconical presence of God in the world. 45. p. holding its dynamic form. As icon. 521. the hypostatic mode of God’s presence in the world and of the world in God. Stăniloae. Stăniloae regards as inaccurate Lossky’s idea that “Christ realises the Church only as unity. 925 D. Stăniloae.”924 For Stăniloae. or a life of grace. the trinitarian principle of self-giving is found in the spiritual life of the Church as a mystical participation to the eternal relationships existing among the persons of the Holy Trinity and. then. that one of the roles of the Spirit is to maintain the unity in diversity in the Church and unity between believers and the Trinity. continues Stăniloae. Stăniloae. that of reflecting this truth in its life. 46. Therefore. 923 D. in salvation. the Father. but not according to nature as the Son and the Spirit. performing the symbolic passing of the trinitarian mystery into the world and that of the world into mystery. “Relaţiile Treimice şi Viaţa Bisericii. 264 external. but. Christ not only actualises the Church as a unity. not dominant or inhibiting. the believer’s life become somehow trinitarian. “it is impossible to conceive of the Church outside the Trinity. first.922 That is. 179-180. the Church is outside nature. but according to grace. horizontal openness. 926 D.”923 Along with Florovsky. Stăniloae affirms that in the Church “we all share with the Son and the Holy Spirit the ultimate and absolute source of our existence. That is. but kenotical. The Church is a hypostatic. and the Spirit only as diversity. The third role of the Church. 924 D. “the two hands of the Father” work in the reciprocity and the complementarity of the same divine activity. Stăniloae applies the principle of trinitarian inter-relationships.925 Acquiring life from the life of the Holy Trinity. is to continue the salvific work of Christ. argues Stăniloae. in this sense.”926 If 922 D. In this context. “Sobornicitate Deschisă. that is. 44. the role of the Spirit in the Church is to empower the unity in diversity by entering into a personal relationship with everyone in the body of Christ. Stăniloae amplifies these basic thoughts saying. “Duhul Sfânt şi Sobornicitatea Bisericii.” Ortodoxia 2 (1971). He “represents a person as a distinctive principle” who enters into a personal relationship with the Church and affirms the personal fulfilment of its members. as a person both divine and human.

carried on by Son’s incarnation in the 927 Gregory of Nyssa. Salvation is in fact the result of two encounters coming from two directions. and as the common medium of salvation and deification of humankind after grace. And the basis for this has already been established through the incarnation of the Logos and through the descending of the Spirit. 930 D. from whose divinized body the Spirit flows. Theology and the Church. the Son imparts the love shared by the divine persons to believers. 244C). just as blood flows through all the cells holding them together. the source of this movement being the Father. with a fundamental. in which Christ meets the community of believers. in the divine structure in which all elements and meanings are contained without confusion. the weakened unity of the elements of the created structure. ontological relation operating between them. but [this is] a unity which does not confuse them. In Laudem Basilii Magni 43. . Stăniloae does not forget to reiterate that not only the Church. pp.929 The ultimate mission of the Holy Spirit is to bring all creation into union in Christ. Stăniloae. The life poured into the Church at Pentecost in which the Church participates by grace. 275-276. the Logos and the Church as follows: The Holy Spirit is the one in whom this communion is in fact actualised.930 What Stăniloae intends to say is that the work of salvation should not be considered solely as the work of Christ. but the entire creation is the work of the Trinity.” ST 5-6 (1955). The Holy Spirit of the One who re-establishes. 265 Christianity is “an imitation of divine nature. 69. 48 (PG 36. The fourth role of the Church as the “icon” of the Trinity is reflected in its cosmic dimension. The first direction comes from above. In this way the believers participate themselves through the grace of the Spirit in the divine-human life of Christ. 928 Gregory of Nazianzus. p. “Sinteză Eclesiologică. The Church therefore appears as the locus where the eternal plan of the Trinity is accomplished. 929 D.”928 And this power comes forth from the perfect altruistic model given by the trinitarian relationships. Stăniloae. as a Spirit of unifying life into all the members of the Church.”927 then the Church has been called to promote man’s spiritual growth in Christ because he “received the power to become god after grace. In virtue of the trinitarian perichoresis of the common energy and action. 560A). through which the trinitarian life is inserted in our life. precisely by the fact that he re-establishes it in the incarnate Logos. by means of His divine fluidity. is the life of Christ Himself. The Spirit flows forth from the Head of the Church. De Professione Christiana (PG 46. all creation has been called to universal transfiguration by grace. Accordingly. in Christ and through Christ. Stăniloae explains the close relation between the Spirit.

in order to elevate us to share in the life of the Trinity. In order to avoid. For him.3 Summary In summary. 932 Stăniloae is deliberately polemical in giving emphasis to the Orthodox position regarding the relationship between the Son and the Spirit in perfecting the work of salvation. However. . Stăniloae. Stăniloae insists that in the Church we experience Christ in the Spirit. that confounds the Spirit of God and the spirit of the Church by replacing Filioque with Ecclesiaque. not impersonal. Although there is a distinction between the two levels. both being inseparable in the economy of salvation. 523-524. goes through the Son.” pp. Stăniloae insists on the indissoluble relationship between the Spirit and the Son. and on the other hand.” p. the plane of economy does not represent an “escape” . the Son and the Spirit reveal and manifest the Father who is their unique hypostatic source.from the trinitarian plane. through the grace of the Spirit. “Relaţiile Treimice şi Viaţa Bisericii. See D.932 The idea of the community of the Church in the image of the trinitarian community means to experience the new divine life within the Trinity’s new creation of (that is. and it is in the Spirit that God goes out of His essence and manifests 931 D. that confounds the Spirit of God with the spirit of man by replacing Filioque with homineque. Structura Supremei Iubiri. the Catholic mistake. 933 D. the Protestant mistake. 517. 1.2 The Trinity as the principle of life of the Church The second practical aspect of the trinitarian basis in connection with the existence of the Church.933 A vital source of life springs from the Father.931 1. is found by Stăniloae in the very fact that the Holy Trinity is the principle of life of the Church. as the basic reality of divine existence and the primary datum of to speak . “Sfânta Treime. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. the principle of unity in the Trinity is personal. 266 community of the Church.” ST 5-6 (1979). 338f. through the Spirit. on the other hand. and carried on by Christ to the Father. for to live in communion is something specific to human persons. The second direction is generated by the community’s response. for Stăniloae. based on the relationships of reciprocity and of community in the Father. In this divine-human theandric reality we are called to pursue our deification by grace. the trinitarian level is seen as an extension into the heart of the Church. That is. The Spirit distinguishes the Father from the Son within the Trinity. the Church). “Relaţiile Treimice. and the Holy Spirit. and is poured out into our hearts by the Spirit. the triadic character of the divine remains at the foundation of the Church. through the divine uncreated energies. pp. The spiritual essence of the Church is to introduce us into the sphere of trinitarian life and to enter into a personal relationship with the Father. the Son.

51-69. Let no one conclude that I have said these three persons are separate origins or that the activity of the Son is incomplete. consider first the initiating cause of all that has been made. which is put into effect through the Son and perfected in the Spirit. In Orthodox tradition the three persons of the Trinity are seen as sharing in the activity of each of them. who is the Son. and finally the perfecting cause. 21 (PG 32. who is the Holy Spirit. 136B). in which the 934 For example. Basil the Great. or more appropriately a communion. yet he does will to create through the Son. 184-185). For a survey of Stăniloae’s study on Basil. ‘Contra lui Eunomie. that the hypostatic function of the Spirit is not identical with that of the Son. for he works as the Father does. 22. but always in connection with and reference to Trinity. It is a society that includes human persons and divine persons. Stăniloae suggests that. As such. essence. . the Son and the Spirit are inseparable. Moreover.935 It must be emphasised. and by the presence of the Spirit they are made perfect.” See also De Spiritu Sancto 26 (PG 32. except in the controversy around the Filioque debate. It is not that the Father has need of the Son.” and in the economy of salvation. For there is one origin of all things. by the operation of the Son they come into existence. Stăniloae is following here the basic ideas of Basil the Great. (PG 32. for he creates merely by doing so. who explains the activity of the Spirit by asserting that “the principle of all things is one. has an imperfect activity. nor that the Son has a work that is incomplete until it is perfected by the Spirit. 1980). (PG 27. 68. 935 Basil the Great. so the Father and the Son are included in every action of the Spirit. the Church’s existence indicates the antinomic character of its simultaneous identity and diversity. As a theandric medium. the Church is a society. that does not mean that at Pentecost there was a new hypostatic union between the Spirit and humanity. and energy. next. De Spiritu Sancto 26.934 Although a precise definition of the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit is impossible. who works all things in all things.’” in the Romanian monograph Sfântul Vasile cel Mare. 936 Cf. 64 (PG 32. Orthodox theologians agree that. and soteriology. Închinare la 1600 de ani de la Săvârşirea Sa (Bucureşti: EIBMBOR. 64. nature. 180). the effecting cause. 165)... and acts. there was little conceptual development of pneumatology in the Byzantine Middle Ages. 26.936 Thus Stăniloae’s view on the nature of the Church continues the tradition of the Greek Fathers where the Church is the common living or participation of human beings within the life of the Holy Trinity. What seems to be important in Stăniloae’s approach is that. who is the Father. yet he does will to bring things to perfection through the Spirit. pp. The life existing within the Trinity is poured out in humanity. however. see “Învăţătura despre Sfânta Treime în Scrierea Sfântului Vasile. Christology. 53 (PG 32. Nor have I said that the Father. As we shall see later in Stăniloae’s view. 63. in comparison with the divine existence where the distinction is on the persons. De Spiritu Sancto 16. 63. The complete passage is as follows: “In creation. Nor does the Son have need of any help. which creates through the Son and perfects in the Spirit. Therefore by the will of the Father the heavenly spirits exist. 267 His glory. in the Church the distinction is on the persons. 8. the Eastern pneumatology has not evolved as an independent and distinct doctrine. the Church gives to human life a profound religious sense. 184-185). living in the image of the Trinity. 193A-196).

7-8. I. continues Stăniloae.” ST 7-8 (1962).” Ortodoxia 3-4 (1993). 2. Chiţescu. p.” ST 1-2 (1950). which was created to gaze not on the uni-personal God. The faithful do not share in the Church simply common behaviour. Stăniloae’s explanation implies that the Holy Trinity works both from inside by implanting a new principle of life from above in stimulating our spiritual potencies. receives in this way the mark of an ontological plenitude. By extension. In conclusion. Thus the Church’s communion in the image of the Trinity. Jesus Christ. in the Church and in creation. 403f.1 The transparency of the Spirit in revelation and in the Church 937 Cf. and from outside in sacraments and liturgy. it is this conception of the Trinity that is the mission and bond of the structure of interrelationships between the local churches. see N. should lead naturally to involvement in social communities. and “Aspecte ale Eclesiologiei la Sfinţii Trei Ierarhi. all participants sharing the same unifying divine power. This sharing. Like the Holy Trinity. being imbued by the trinitarian communion. for the first time in the theological arena. 97. is extended into our soul.” or open communality. The communion of the Church. Therefore the whole Christian life is seen as a salvific work in communion. Deification and pneumatological Christology 2. Bria. “Spaţiul Îndumnezeirii. pp. but on the trinitarian God. the Church is at one and the same time a communion of persons. The Romanian orthodox Ion Bria made the observation that Stăniloae is introducing here. what is predominant in Stăniloae’s thought.937 The horizontal communion between the members of the Church is developed based on the structure of the vertical communion of the Trinity. the idea of “open sobornicity. 938 We shall see later that Stăniloae’s view is that we are saved in communion. “Condiţiile Însuşirii Mântuirii. 268 human and visible dimensions are intrinsically united with the divine and invisible dimensions in the same manner as Christ-man and Christ-God are the same Saviour. but the intense communion of the same principle of life. from which it receives the power of communion and deification. is that the communion of the Church could not be conceived and lived except in conjunction with the model of the trinitarian relationships. . This “open communality” is realised by the Church in space and time for all members in reciprocity and complementarity.938 In all these. pp. and the communion of love transforms the essence of our natural love by deifying it. This is why the communion of faith tends to substitute our subjectivity with God’s objectivity. For similar ideas.

St. D.Y. is apparent in this ecclesiological context. Cf. the Holy Spirit is regarded by Stăniloae as the one who introduces the divine energies into creation. Reflecting Orthodox pneumatology in general. Oratio 31. Stăniloae stipulates first that “the Holy Spirit makes the Son of God and His words transparent. and Gregory of Nazianzus. J.943 Accordingly. (Filocalia I. The Holy Spirit. Diadochus of Photike. Hardy (ed. being helped by the Holy Spirit. Cuvânt Ascetic 74. Stăniloae. the revelation is accomplished through divine power and then taken into the human creature. 1969). as a power of spiritual knowledge and love. He is the “bridge between God and creation to deify and to eternalise creation. 1964). Stăniloae. 75. vol. Meyendorff. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. the creature itself becomes transparent. and who brings about the soul’s sensitivity. 51. 224. L’Esprit Saint dans la Tradition Orthodoxe (Paris: Cerf. Evdokimov.” in E. Theological. 943 On the pneumatology of Palamas.941 Stăniloae’s unifying theme or leitmotif of essence-hypostases-energies. Cuvânt despre Rugăciune 3. Stăniloae considers the Holy Spirit as that person who brings forth divine energy not merely into creation. 61.” p. pp. 161). pp. but also into human souls. Gregory of Nyssa. 62 (Filocalia I. 75. 367-368). A Study of Gregory Palamas (London: Leighton Buzzard. N. is like a “special brightness from above. III (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press. 59. and Palamas’ position in particular. that is. open to the Spirit. Due to His special position within the Holy Trinity. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. because it has a transparency or a special openness to God. pp. 82). J. see: P. Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality (Crestwood. More specifically. 942 Cf.R. is the person of the Holy Spirit. 1954). “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. D. which passes (as a pervasive presence) from the Word into our human minds. by bringing 939 Cf. 26-37 (PG 36. L’Esprit Repandu: La Pneumatologie de Grégoire Palamas (Paris: Cerf. In Him. 941 Stăniloae mentions here the works of Evagrius of Pontus..this time applied to ecclesiology . and then are received “in a proper manner” by the Son. and by the Spirit together with the Son. in Palamism. 940 D.” p. Lison.”940 This is why the Fathers considered the mind (nous) as the peak of the soul.). 1994). “Not Three Gods. Stăniloae. due to the fact that He [the Spirit] reveals Himself as a transparency through His power. and Social . in union with the human mind. 218. so important in understanding theosis. 62.942 The trinitarian principle of co-operation and self-giving within the life of the Trinity .is essential for Stăniloae’s theological discourse. 217-218.”939 One result is that the Spirit produces in the believer a particular sensitivity to the divine character of the Word. just as the sun’s light passes into our natural eyes in order to make them see that light around them. 269 The epistemological basis of deification in Stăniloae’s theology established the fact that the divine person who makes God transparent through the power and light beyond nature. says Stăniloae. As such. 261-262. 1974). in which the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and shines forth from the Son.” pp.” These energies come forth from the Father. in Library of Christian Classics. Christology of the Later Fathers. Byzantine Hesychasm: Historical.

the necessity and the capacity of human subject for conscious relationship with the supreme person. Stăniloae assumes that Christ’s Spirit is the Spirit of power and His words are credentials of divine irradiation (Acts 10:38. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. to give the possibility to the humanum of participation in the hypostatic relationship of the Son with the Father. and consequently the possibility for the rehabilitation of the human subject to its natural state. 373). “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. in the Christological framework. according to the relational model of the Son with the Father -. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. If this original capacity of human nature to know the Spirit did not exist . 8:28. 270 forth divine energy into the intimacy of human consciousness. 1974). Stăniloae. the Holy Spirit causes as such a kind of sensitivity to God. For Stăniloae’s response see D. from man in himself to man in communion. where the Spirit was present from the beginning. Matt. Thus the Problems (London: Variorum Reprints. expands Stăniloae. it was mentioned that Stăniloae constructs the reality of Spirit’s work in human nature based on the doctrine of hypostatic union in Christ.944 Stăniloae develops this aspect by explaining that this sensitivity is first of all an exceptional capacity of the human soul to perceive God as distinct from the world. But this sensitivity is at the same time an “emphasis put upon human consciousness itself and upon the believer’s proper place as a human being in existence. 235. Therefore we should speak about the hypostasis of the Spirit not only as united with the hypostasis of the Son. 12:28. 225-228. Christ receives then the sensitiveness from the Spirit through whom His humanity becomes “the irradiant of divine energies. Christ. and so its hypostatic participation into this relationship. Based on the Scriptural data. being followed by a sense of responsibility towards God. Collected Studies 26.”946 Second.” p.” D. 944 See also Athanasius. Evdokimov had tried to explain the special link between the Spirit and divine energy. 229. Oratio Contra Arianos III (PG 26. Stăniloae. the possibility was suggested that the presence of the Spirit return to the centre of the human subject. 945 D.” p. and making in this way the hypostasis substantially transparent for Christ. and after incarnation.that is. Therefore. Stăniloae. John 20:22-23). has the Holy Spirit united with Himself: before. 946 Stăniloae explains the relationship between the Spirit and Christ as follows: “This full presence of the Spirit in Jesus is due to the union between Him [the Spirit] as hypostasis and the hypostasis of the Word. and to see in the procession of the Spirit as energy through the Son a possibile reconciliation concerning the Filioque issue. Stăniloae transfers similar suppositions into the ecclesiological sphere. Changing the setting. for even the Son would not have been able to be hypostatically united with the humanum. . the Spirit is hypostatically present in the Son of God.” pp. but as the hypostasis increasingly penetrating through His uncreated energies into the assumed human nature of Jesus Christ. and the sanctifying work of the Spirit in man as part of the spiritual growth process. the Holy Spirit would never have made His most proper centre of action and irradiation the centre of human subject. First. the Holy Spirit is working within the believer different steps of sensitivity: the first is faith. Stăniloae justifies the idea of sensitivity by appealing to the operation of the uncreated energies within a Christological and ecclesiological framework.”945 On the practical level.

Cf. and this could scarcely be the case were the Spirit to shine forth from them in the fullness of His Person. because there is an indissoluble union between the work and presence of Christ and that of the Holy Spirit. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. and the actual existence through the irradiation of the Holy Spirit from this body.”947 As a result. Stăniloae. is united with Christ the divine Head of the Body and Head of every believer who is a member of His Mystical Body.949 2. Stăniloae. The actual existence takes place when the descending of the Holy Spirit inaugurates not only the real existence of the Church. which is defined by Stăniloae as well as “the revelation which continues to be active through the Spirit and power. .948 According to the above suppositions.” Accordingly. vol.2 Christ and the Spirit According to Stăniloae. the Spirit who shines forth from Christ also shines forth from us. In other words the human persons of the faithful are penetrated only by the activity of the Spirit who. because unlike Christ the faithful are not divine hypostases. 948 D. 949 D. the Church is defined as “the divine life extended from Christ's body into believers” as a power for deification. has started and developed in the power of the Gospel. but also “the dwelling of Christ's deified body in other human beings. Stăniloae. the presence of the Holy Spirit in believers is directly linked with the presence of the Father and the Son in the act of 947 D. there occurs a clear distinction in Stăniloae's view between the virtual existence of the Church in the body of Christ.” p. Gregory of Nyssa. and this for two reasons: firstly. 271 Church. 196. Contra Eunomius I (Jaeger. Theology and the Church. II. 107). Stăniloae specifies: But inasmuch as we are united with Christ. because the shining forth of the Spirit from the faithful is in proportion to their respective stages of growth in virtue. pp. as Person. in its quality as the kingdom of God in expansion. p. or from the Church. 27-28. the Church becomes the medium of manifestation for the divine energies and the incarnate revelation of God in those who are united with Christ. Gregory of Nyssa also speaks of the Spirit shining eternally through the Son. the act of sending the Holy Spirit by the Father is not to be envisaged as taking the place of Christ's work.” The act of descending therefore is an “act of transition from the saving work of Christ in His personal humanity to the extension of this work into other human beings. He does not however shine forth as a complete hypostasis in the manner in which He shines forth from Christ.950 That is. 236. “Sfântul Duh în Revelaţie şi Biserică. Stăniloae sees the reason for such a union in the image of the Trinity and in the act of adoption. and secondly. The Spirit of God is manifested in the Church.

More exactly. A consequence of this is that the Church is loved by the Father with the same love with which He loves the Son. Stăniloae affirms that the principle of this unity within the body of Christ is the Holy Spirit. in the plenitude of hypostasis the Holy Spirit has established Himself in the ascended body of Christ.” Cf. Hence the Son “receives us in a similar intimacy with the Father and places us in a similarly intimate relationship with the infinite love of the Father into which He entered as man. in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Son “imprints” in believers both His person as an active model and “the filial sensitivity” to the Father. Dialogus 3 (PG 75.” D. 272 adoption. the Holy Spirit. since the body of Christ became transparent.”951 Once more. according to the holy Fathers. More precisely. He reasons that the Church is one because Christ is one.954 In particular. T. 951 D. believers realise that they are brothers and sisters and children of the same Father. Stăniloae. The Spirit as hypostasis was able to reveal Himself to us only in the body of Christ which had become fully transparent for the 950 “The Church is rather a monarchical. Stăniloae.” by explaining that the Holy Spirit will take not from an impersonal deposit but from a continous active Christ together with the Holy Spirit. vol. for example. as the outcome of the active co-operation of the Son and the Spirit in the world. 953 “And because the body of Christ is full of the Holy Spirit. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. United in the one Christ. the second foundation of the unity of the Church is. the Spirit works from Christ within us by irradiating God's power and love. “God and Gender: Articulating the Orthodox View. the Holy Spirit is like a person full of loving initiative in order to reveal to us the fact that Christ too is a loving person. vol. De Sancta Trinitate. 258. . and promoting the unity of the Church. II. patriarchal and hierarchical community in imitation of the Trinity.” SVTQ 2-3 (1993). Jesus’ words from John 16:14. 952 Stăniloae quotes from Cyril of Alexandria. Stăniloae’s perspective shows that the Church is that achievement which is being sequentially joined to the incarnate Son by the operation of the Holy Spirit.952 We have referred to the fact that Stăniloae seeks from the beginning to establish a trinitarian groundwork for the unity of the Church. This is grounded on his understanding of the Church as the extension of Christ's risen and deified humanity into the world. II. The Holy Spirit comes as hypostasis because He has been established in hypostatic fullness in the exalted body of the Lord. p. 954 Stăniloae interprets. 198. sustaining. Properly speaking they depict the body of Christ and the Holy Spirit as an undivided duality producing. Hopko. 173. a truth that creates unity between the members of the Church.953 In the fully pneumatized body of Christ. who irradiates from Him as a unifying energy and as giving of the life and holiness [which are] contrary to separatist egoism. and the members of the Church. p. love the Father with the same love with which the Son loves Him. 1116). 853D) and Dialogus 7 (PG 75. p. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Certainly the constitution of the Church is viewed by Stăniloae as the final act of the Trinity. “He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 1093.

more felt in the intensity of His energy. Stăniloae. 957 D. Contemporary Romanian Orthodox Ecclesiology. the Spirit is continuously invoked.G. This is why the full transparency of the Spirit is spiritual.”956 Moreover. II. 204. Stăniloae stresses that. for now Christ descends for the first time into human hearts. The divine persons “come and remain freely from the beginning and at the same time they come or remain in order to come in a higher degree. “we may say that the Church came into concrete existence through the descending of the Holy Spirit. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Only as hypostasis does He make the presence of His divine energy felt with full power. 202. 273 infinite and fully intensive depths of God in their work on our behalf. because the Holy Spirit was not fully revealed as God. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. along with the awareness of the intensity of His hypostatic presence. the Holy Spirit revealed Himself much more through the senses to prepare the apostles for the beginning of His irradiation as hypostasis from the humanity of Christ. during the earthly life of Christ.”957 Christ and the Holy Spirit are not static in the constitution of the Church because they are not impersonal powers but persons in communion. “From this point of view. II. 203. which makes Christ also more felt as hypostasis. and conveys a much increased intensity of Christ’s presence. 1988). Stăniloae. 955 D.” In this way. we may also affirm that the Holy Spirit remains eternally in this state of irradiation and in the Church. At Pentecost. . p. “This is the reason why. in the communion of the Church). Stăniloae is extending the work of the Spirit that comes also from outside the Church. although.955 In sum. II. 956 D. Stăniloae. In addition. Roberson. on the one hand. vol. Parts of the following quotations are taken from the English translation of R. the Church is fundamentally connected to both the initial and the continuous descending of the Holy Spirit as hypostasis in human beings. Christ’s revelation as divine hypostasis was partial. p. is due to the full pneumatization of the body of the Lord. Only after Christ’s ascension and the Spirit’s appearance.” explains Stăniloae. to maintain the communion alive and to grow up in this communion. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. p. vol. the Church has Him [the Holy Spirit] continuously. because Christ is dwelling in and among believers’ hearts (that is. on the other hand. The full transparency of the Spirit through the body of the Lord after the ascension. was Christ able to reveal Himself fully as divine hypostasis and so through Him the Holy Spirit revealed Himself as hypostasis. The imperfect transparency of the Spirit in the body of Christ before the resurrection was due to the fact that neither was the body of Christ fully transparent in the conditions of its earthly existence. The Contribution of Dumitru Stăniloae and Younger Colleagues. Doctorate dissertation (Roma: Pontificium Institutum Orientale. vol.

. 45-46.959 Hence having the role of sustaining union. fundamental hypostasis of all human beings.. “Sfântul Duh şi Sobornicitatea Bisericii. 960 D. not of separation. Stăniloae insists: Just as in the Trinity the Spirit subsists in a continuous procession from the loving Father towards the beloved Son.” ST 3-4 (1967). But by means of this coming to rest in Christ. pp. 959 D. 25. and “Criteriile Prezenţei Sfântului Duh. In such a context. [the Holy Spirit] also comes to rest upon the personal humanity of Christ after the incarnation and subsequently upon all those united with Christ by faith. II. pp. for they subsist in a “special reciprocity. and because He assimilates them in stages into His risen 958 Stăniloae writes that “. He does not unite them only with Christ and among themselves in Christ.” D. so within us the Spirit exists within a ceaseless flowing of the Son towards us and of ourselves towards the Son from whom we receive the Spirit. neither He nor the Son can belong to believers apart from the one Another. Stăniloae. it shows that Christ wills that the identity of every person should be maintained in the unity of love. Theology and the Church. and second.960 Another way of putting this is that the hypostatic descending of the Spirit shows two things: first. Christ is the central. but also with the Father.” Ortodoxia 31 (1979). and in a loving ‘irradiation’ from the Son towards the Father. 205-206. ca Temei al Îndumnezeirii şi Înfierii Noastre. p. Stăniloae. the incarnate One. 274 Stăniloae explains. This is why the Church cannot be conceived apart from the Trinity as a Church exclusively of Christ or exclusively of the Holy Spirit. it shows that Christ wills to extend the divine power and the holiness of His humanity to all human creation. how the activities of the Son and of the Spirit in the Church are inseparable. Not proceeding beyond the Son. Christ saves men because He extends Himself into them. the Church is viewed by Stăniloae as the place where people can experience a real communion with God and other persons. the Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of communion both between all members of the Church and between them and the Holy Trinity. as sons of the Father together with Christ. because He incorporates them into Himself. p. On the presence of Christ in the Church through the Holy Spirit. The human temperament of Christ became so much more capable of including all of creation after the resurrection and ascension since in this pneumatized state it opened itself to the divine infinity which wishes to pour out His love upon us all and in us all and to gather us together into unity with Himself and with each other.” Ortodoxia 19 (1967). pp. see also “Purcederea Duhului Sfânt de la Tatăl şi Relaţia Lui cu Fiul. that is in the Church. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the hypostasis of the Spirit united with Him and within His human temperament can also extend into all humanity. The Spirit is the principle of relation between believers and God.”958 Coming to rest eternally in the Son. As such. vol. Stăniloae. then. Stăniloae contends that salvation is obtained only among those who share the life of Christ.. Accordingly. 113f. 592.

the role of the Spirit in uniting the Logos to the humanity of Jesus is paralleled by the role of the Spirit in uniting Christ to humankind. Stăniloae.” This is based on the principle of Christ’s extension in each believer through the Holy Spirit. is equivalent to membership in the Church. Instead of a theology of the Spirit. 2. and with it a new creation. 962 D. and from this humanity He communicates Himself to us. But even Christ could not bring this redemption to creation and into the hearts of believers. The Spirit is understood as the sole possibility of entrance into the trinitarian mystery. which started in the human nature of Christ and is then accomplished in the constitution of the Church. of the Holy Spirit who dwells fully in the risen humanity of Christ. 21 (PL 3. 275 humanity. Epistola 73 ad Iubaianum. the Church is constituted by a trinitarian act in which the works of the Son and the Spirit are inseparable and human persons can obtain their salvation. Stăniloae develops a theology in the Spirit. As the unique source of relationship with God and salvation. “Sinteză Eclesiologică. It is the field of action of the energy of the grace which springs forth from Christ. Stăniloae. For Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. for Stăniloae. and through the image are led up to the indescribable beauty of its source (Father).” ST 5-6 (1955). for Stăniloae. 1123B). That only Christ could bring redemption. except through the Spirit. If believers are gathered together in the same Christ. through whom Christ binds humankind to Himself. Although we have seen that Stăniloae’s teaching on the Trinity is largely Christological. who formulated the formula: salus extra ecclesiam non est. n. Cf. the state of salvation. if the same Christ incorporates all those who are saved. 267. II. The Church is this extension of Christ into humanity. that is. it is because we have been inseparably joined to the Spirit of knowledge. and a gateway to the Christological and trinitarian mystery. lifting them up to the state of His humanity. In this sense.961 Hence. vol. in the body of those gathered together in Christ. He gives those who love the vision of . the Spirit is also the unique means of union. salvation cannot be obtained in isolation.3 Summary In summary. 207. “to the common participation in the body of Christ. pneumatology fulfils a mediating function. 963 Likewise Basil: “If we are illuminated by divine power. is a major preoccupation of Stăniloae. Salvation is obtained only in the Church. p. p. pneumatology is fundamental in understanding the world and the Church. and fix our eyes on the beauty of the image (Son) of the invisible God. Cyprian. In elaborating a theology in the Spirit. through the energy of the grace which He transmits from Himself.962 In a word. this laboratory in which the gradual assimilation of men into the risen Christ is realised. as an extension of the incarnation. 963 961 D. there is also a noticeable pneumatological character in a way that the doctrine of the Trinity is related to the theme of deification. Stăniloae intended to demonstrate that the knowledge of God is a knowledge from within.

The idea of the created as overwhelmed (and not truth the power which enables them to see the image.. a dynamic co-operation with salvation in view. Clément. p. you and us. 94-95).” Cf. or in the direct dialogic relationship with Him.. 967 D. the Church exists as the result of this synergy between divine and human. but leads them to knowledge personally. In a word. p.the latter being destined to be overwhelmed by the uncreated. the non-spatial and the spatial. and He gives the true worshipers the knowledge of God in Himself.964 3. This view is developed by Stăniloae on the basis of the Greek patristic idea of synergy between divine grace and human freedom. The Church is a communal human ‘I’ in Christ as ‘You.. and this power is Himself. Stăniloae.the earnest of incorruption.the latter being destined to be overwhelmed by eternity. giving to pneumatology a hermeneutic character. 964 Irenaeus spoke also about this when said that the Church “is entrusted with the gift of God (Holy Spirit). The way to divine knowledge ascends from one Spirit through the one Son to the one Father.967 In order to set an ontologic and personalist framework for further debates. in a monophysite sense. 47 (The Book of Basil. II. the Holy Spirit .’ and at the same time the ’I’ of the Church is Christ.’ Notice that it does not say through the Spirit. a free human response is needed. 208. that is. the Church is secretly present. ’No one knows the Father except the Son.. 276 Thus the Spirit serves in addition a contact function. you and me. Stăniloae becomes very ambiguous in using new phrases. . it is destined to encompass the union of all existence.” Cf. 966 O. 472). but in the Spirit. Therefore pneumatology becomes in some sense epistemology. And in the same gift is dispensed the communion of Christ. 965 Stăniloae deliberately does not use the phrase “theandric nature” in order to avoid the impression that.He reveals the glory of the Only-Begotten in Himself. The Roots of Christian Mysticism. O. He does not reveal it to them from outside sources. Clément states that: “The Spirit abounds most plentifully in the sacramental body of Christ. ed. the divinity and the humanity were united in one nature.965 Stăniloae begins to develop this significant aspect of ecclesiology with the idea that the Church is the fulfilment of God’s eternal plan and has a cosmic scope.’ and ’No one can say ’Jesus is Lord’ except in the Holy Spirit. 24. Adversus Haereses 3. eternity and temporality . to be deified. 1 (SC 211. all things spiritual and matter . and Stăniloae applies emphatically this proportionality in ecclesiology. and the ladder whereby to ascend to God. the Spirit is not only a way of knowing Christ.” Irenaeus.966 In the Church we have: . heaven and earth penetrated by heaven. us and me. but wherever the Spirit is at work in history and in the universe. On the Holy Spirit 18. Basil the Great. As such.. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. which also serves as the ground of the “theandric constitution” of the Church. and confirmation of our faith.the latter being destined for spiritualization. 96. vol. The theandric constitution of the Church Although Stăniloae understands the Church as the result of divine activity. in the Church. Johnson.. God and creation. but also a point of entry into the Church. united in the divine ‘You’. the uncreated and the created .

its life. seen as recapitulation. therefore. 3. See for example. Christ and humanity. 969 Stăniloae writes: “These two factors. He is the head of humanity brought together in Him. 970 The idea of recapitulation of humanity. Stăniloae prefers the image of the body. 141AB. Stăniloae. Christ and humanity. with Christ’s major works: incarnation. . are inseparable and interchangeable in the Church.968 As the extension of Christ in humanity with His deified body. the Temple of the Holy Spirit. the Church. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. Commentarius in Johannem 16:6-7 (PG 74. and its future. This is why Stăniloae links the Church’s birth.1 The Church founded by Christ’s incarnation In Stăniloae. and about the Church that it is the body of Christ. This objective salvation. while the definition of the Church as “the communal human ’I’” is never clearly explained. Christ’s theandric union is passing on a similar theandric constitution to His Church.969 In Stăniloae’s view Christ has a special position in the life of the Church by virtue of the divine hypostasis’ decision to assume the human image and.970 As God. 296A). It is in this context that Stăniloae applies the Pauline metaphor of the Church as the body of Christ where all things are characterised by unity and diversity. are so united in the Church that in the Church the one cannot be seen without the other and the one cannot be spoken of without the other. 24 (PG 61. Homiliae in Epistulum Primam ad Corinthios 8. p. the inaugurated Kingdom of God. That means that the two key factors. while the Church is the only reality that stands in unbroken relation to Christ. through the Son. in Cyril of Alexandria. in the context of Christ as the head of the Church. Any statement about one implicates the other and vice versa. the Church became the object of Father’s love. as man. the Ark of salvation. 303. 325A. the people of God. and of course of infinite life.” Cf. D. Being “recapitulated” in Christ. 422). 209. the Church follows a movement of self-transcendence in which the immanent contains the transcendent and the trinitarian community of persons is filled with an infinite love towards the world. of foundation. the Body of Christ. has in view God’s dynamic communion with people. the Church is seen as a kenotic mystery that can save through the incarnate Christ. which is necessary for 968 Among the metaphors used by Eastern tradition regarding the nature of the Church we encounter the image of the Holy Trinity. that is. becoming the head of the Church. 4. 277 “taken up into”!) by the uncreated may imply the loss of the identity of the created. the great mystery of salvation. is taken and developed by Stăniloae from Cyril of Alexandria and John Chrysostom. and the communion of saints. for its inclusive and incorporating value and for its eucharistic implications. and in the Holy Spirit. 72). and resurrection. II. Christ has the same position of head of the Church. Christ is the head of all creation par excellence and. and in John Chrysostom. One says about Christ that He is head of the Church. Hence Christ is the source of divine life and grace. Glaphyrorum (PG 69. By taking a human body as the unifying bond between God and creation. sacrifice.

the incarnation of Christ is the beginning of union between God and humanity. and it can even transcend itself.971 Christ became the head. an action that functions through the theandric relation between the Church and Christ. and the hypostasis of the risen nature that is His body. vol. while in His death and resurrection. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. in order to draw all believers into Himself. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. 973 D. This Christological configuration determines from the beginning the necessary and permanent action of the Holy Spirit in the Church. “The Church as Mysterion: Diversity and Unity according to Maximus Confessor. 218. His glory overflows the whole body.” Christ set up the first foundation. as the extension at the human level of the perfect correlation between the divine and the human in Christ. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Berthold. 217. II. II. vol. G. Cf. p. following the union of natures in Christ’s hypostasis.” Patristic Byzantine Review 6 (1987). II. p. “humanity has the supreme transcendence in the intimate relation with itself.”973 and it implies the inevitable process of deification. the assumed body became the complete foundation of the Church. 76. 974 D.”974 In conclusion. but also in sharing in the glory of the Son. Therefore the Church is an existence of two natures. Thus in incarnation.” And because “He is organically linked with the body. simultaneously inseparable and distinct. Stăniloae affirms that the above possibility was conceivable because a certain conformity between God and humanity already existed before the act of incarnation. This state of adoption is obtained through “the way of transcendence. in the intimacy of filial relationship with Him. p. Similar ideas are found in Maximus. Hence due to the theandric 971 D. 218. two wills. which confer on it a Christological structure. 972 D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. two operations. Referring to the implications of Chalcedonian Christology. 20-29. Indeed. p. believers can partake of the most intimate communion with God. The Experience of God. pp. the Church’s life is based on divine life and glory that are seen in the quality of its believers as adopted sons.” being “assisted” by Christ’s hypostasis. human persons are considered “equal heads” by grace and under their head . in the light of God’s infinite life. In turn. . vol. by assuming “the ripeness of our nature.972 Having Christ as its head and being constituted in the Church. 278 acquiring the fruit of redemption. Stăniloae. The existing relationship between Christ and the Church creates a kind of living space for humanity to share the communion and experience of filial sensitivity. The Church’s “theandrism” emerges then as a fundamental phenomenon that is integrated in the relationship already existing between the two natures in Christ. the Church. the principle. Stăniloae. beyond natural and finite life.Jesus Christ. On the other hand. which consists “not only in seeing.

vol. by breaking out of egoism. and Adoratio in Spiritu et Veritate11 (PG 68. II. which is undoubtedly an axial thought in Stăniloae’s theology. “Liturghia Comunităţii şi Jertfa Interioară în Viziunea Filocalică. 3. we may conclude that the deification of believers was made possible. into a humanity recapitulated and renewed. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. in order to die both to ourselves and to the world as Christ died. and only in so doing can we also. 279 constitution of the Church. In virtue of the fact that Christ’s humanity actively co-operated with His divinity and thus provided the basis for human salvation. Cyril of Alexandria. 2 Cor. But we only arrive at this state of pure perfect gift (1) with the imprint of Christ's sacrifice in us. 220. vol. II.976 By gaining entry into this state of sacrifice in Christ. Christ’s sacrifice implies the Church’s sacrifice through the Spirit. Furthermore. the faithful enter into a complete and sanctifying openness to God the Father that takes place in the ambience and the community of the Church.975 The act of the incarnation definitely established Christ’s position as head of humanity for salvation. Cf. pp. Stăniloae. 2:15. and (2) from the power of the sacrifice of Christ. extending the life of its head. 976 D. similarly. Christ’s sacrifice offers both objective redemption and subjective participation to the consequences of redemption. 748). Stăniloae. from the power concentrated in it. 736. 219-220. be raised up in a real way towards participation in that which Christ the Head can procure for us: the infinity of divine life and freedom in it. Indeed. which the divine hypostasis in which it was assumed was able to offer it. but this does not exclude human nature’s effort in the process of salvation. Glaphyrorum (PG 545D. p. Stăniloae applies here the principle of sacrifice which all true believers are expected to share in as a preliminary basis for entering into the presence of God in heaven. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. of our surrendering [to Him]. . 553C). thanks also to its effort. Christ.2 The Church stamped by Christ’s sacrifice One consequence of this relationship between Christ and the Church is the spirit of sacrifice. the incarnation of the Logos became the foundation of salvation and the beginning of the Church. Stăniloae explains: We are only received [by the Father] in a state of sacrifice.” Ortodoxia 30 (1978). 397. human persons may become participators in the life of God. Stăniloae argues: Only in this way was the nature assumed by Him able to enjoy all the transcendence of its very self in God. 549-552.977 975 D. 977 D. p.

p. presents His own humanity as sacrifice and the Church as the mystical body. 280 In other words. Spiritualitatea Ortodoxă. because He is the source of the other two divine Persons and of the will to create and save the world. alternatively. Christ’s surrender is passive and active. p. . “offer this sacrifice from the power of Christ and together with Christ in the Church.. Accordingly.” an accurate sign of their unlimited openness towards God and their neighbours. Our sacrifice consists essentially in renunciation of ourselves in order to enter into loving relation with the infinite God. 221. 980 D. 44. vol.. while the believers’ response in purity and freedom secures its subjective side. Stăniloae. 3. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. vol. All members of the Church. the process of deification continues. 232-234. through love of Christ and in the Church. The believers’ responses are called by Stăniloae “the sacrifice of the virtues.980 That is. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. drawing us to our own sacrifice. p. 979 D. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. therefore the Church's sacrifice is accomplished in the power offered from Christ in the Holy Spirit. pp. II. says Stăniloae. II. [Love] irradiates like a magnetic power from the sacrifice of Christ.3 The Church pneumatized by the Spirit of the risen Christ 978 D. vol.” yet the sacrifice is offered to the Father “in a transcending movement towards this ultimate personal source of its existence. II. Stăniloae defines the Church as “a community of love immersed in the infinite relationships of trinitarian love.”979 For all those who are united with Christ in the Church.”978 In this way the whole Church shares the specific relationships of the infinite love that marks trinitarian life. Christ participates in our sacrifice in virtue of His grace. Thus our self-sacrifice is filled with the self-sacrifice of Christ. in His priesthood. For Stăniloae. of unending life and love. for the faithful earn the privilege of participation in the life of the Trinity as the result of Christ’s sacrifice extended into the Church. being in union with Christ’s state of sacrifice.” The Church has the Holy Spirit as an “animating soul. In this way.981 Stăniloae explains then that Christ. in the Church we participate in the sacrifice of Christ through our personal sacrifice and. the activity of the Holy Spirit is seen as leading them into Christ’s state of sacrifice. 221. Stăniloae. the Father opens the way to Himself in love as the objective side of this relationship. Stăniloae. Stăniloae. becoming as such a model for believers’ lifestyles. 981 D.

Scripture asserts that Christ indwells the Church. one with sincerity and openness. and so the Church is considered both holy and capable of granting holiness as the source of grace in the world. II. the resurrection became the source of spiritual life for the Church. 985 D. Christ’s holiness is then communicated by the Spirit to the faithful united to Christ’s deified humanity. This comes to them from the risen body of the Saviour. “the Church has the virtuality of resurrection permeating not only into the personal body of Christ resident in the Church. in the beginning of the realisation of a transparency through which they see the infinite life of Christ and partially share in it. or without the Spirit. In this eschatological context. one with fervent love for humanity in God. but is one with enthusiasm for brotherhood. but also in the being of those who constitute it as His mysterious body. 271-274. that is. 227-228. 281 Operating with the categories of the Eastern Fathers.”983 The soul of the believers are filled with the power of Christ’s Spirit.” the place where the believers “advance towards resurrection.986 This fact explains why the leitmotif of “laboratory” is present 982 Cf. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Stăniloae. Christ becomes the Church’s actual head. The resurrection is the starting point for the Church’s extension in the world. with sacrificial generosity and with . related to the Church as communion and being opposed to individualism.” and towards a certain level of pneumatization.984 In other words. Because Christ is the source of holiness.982 Hence the Holy Spirit continuously leads the Church’s members towards resurrection through their self-sacrifice. In this way. vol. vol. Stăniloae confidently states that the Church is the “laboratory of resurrection. which does not grow without the Cross. Stăniloae. II. Stăniloae. II. However. p. 225. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 984 D. the Church is dependent on union with Him. having deified the assumed humanity. vol. Maximus’ “ever-moving immobility. Moreover. pp. Stăniloae understands that the Church is always in movement. holiness is understood by Stăniloae as relational. with communication. thus pneumatized and subjectivized to the highest degree. Stăniloae insists that the Church still has a responsibility to pray for holiness. In practical terms. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. pp. 986 “It is not indifference towards men. Christ’s resurrection and ascension enabled Him to extend Himself through His Spirit and with His body in those who put their trust in Him.” 983 D. from being a virtual head. believers are destined for deification: The first fruits of this consists in the beginning of their pneumatization.985 Moreover. and from the relation with Christ which has reached great intensity thanks to this pneumatization and accentuated subjectivization of their body. in the power of the Spirit. and holiness is seen as the key attribute for salvation. Accordingly.

the Church is maintained and realised in the divine plan by being “nourished from Christ’s holiness. makes us images of Christ.” ST 3-4 (1967). because only in this way is one saved. 989 This is why Origen declares that “the Church is filled with Trinity. and including the practice of the virtues.V.990 Stăniloae admits that the Pentecost was truly anticipated in humanity on the cross. Selecta in Psalmos 23. II. 282 again in Stăniloae’s thought. death. pp. or the extension of His incarnation. Although the Church as an entirety is holy. “Sinteză Ecleziologică. Stăniloae. 1972). The Holy Spirit and the Christian Mission (London: SCM Press.989 The Church is the result of Christ’s salvific work. 275. That is. Stăniloae.” D. deification and resurrection.” ST 5-6 (1955). for Stăniloae. the Church is destined to be extended into the entire humanity encompassed by Him. 990 See also J. 276-281. p. resurrection and ascension. in whom is concentrated as in a person the holiness and love of the Holy Trinity. 127. Stăniloae. It is through the person of Christ that the divine life came to the Church.988. 3. Emphasising the link between the Holy Spirit and the cross. see D.” Furthermore. 988 D. this time being applied in an ecclesiological context. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. The Church extends and transmits in humanity the sacrifice of Christ in a mysterious but real way.4 Summary In summary. Therefore. and the life of the risen Christ was extended in the Church by the irradiation of divine energies.1 (PG 12. individual believers are called to progress and to assist one another in the process of deification. Stăniloae. the Church is the communitary life that is appropriate to the persons of the Holy Trinity and extended to humanity. claims Stăniloae. Further. as the dynamic prolongation of Christ’s incarnation.” Cf. pp. more fully. Christ accomplished the hypostatic formation of the Church by recapitulating in Himself creation and humanity. Origen. involving the believers’ activity on the basis of the principle of synergy. p. . as the head of purity of the intentions and acts directed towards every man. 270-273. 987 D. 1265). For a development of the intra-trinitarian basis of the Church. vol. Thus holiness is regarded as a calling that points towards eschatological perfection. The Holy Spirit does this. in His kenosis. to the communitarian life of the Church for man’s deification. holiness begins for the individual at baptism. II. The Go-Between God. Taylor. The Church is primarily occupied with the sanctification of its members. vol.987 As a process. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. maintaining in us at the same time an active concern for holiness. The Church is the laboratory in which Christ’s Spirit makes us holy or. “Criteriile prezenţei Sfântului Duh.

offering sacrifice. II.993 Accordingly. catholic. Through the continuation of His threefold ministry in the Church. and being part of a gradual pneumatization that will reach its term in the state of final theosis. or participating in His ministry as Teacher. anthropological. being so intimate. and on the other responds to them in a free and positive way as to a call. where the Church is defined as one. 230. Stăniloae develops the point: In this threefold service He does not treat the Church as an object.991 The relationship between Christ and the Church. called to freedom and to loving relation with Him. In the Western theological tradition. the Orthodox tradition understands the Church as the coming of eternity into 991 D. 283 His Church. The epistemological. vol. and King. Although Stăniloae is convinced that only the Orthodox Church fully possesses these four marks. found in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. sharing Christ’s state of sacrifice that leads to resurrection. Stăniloae. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Christ continues to exercise His threefold office in the life of the Church. 4. For Stăniloae. these marks have generally been reflected upon in the context of apologetics. This is because the Church is made up of persons endowed with freedom and called to freedom and everlasting love. itself teaching. p. he reflects on each of the four properties as a means of further elucidating the role of the divine and human in the mystery of the Church. believers must strive to grow in grace. holy. but addresses it as a free partner. and guiding. Rather. the principle of the hypostatic union in Christ has become the basis of the theandric constitution of the Church in communion with the Trinity. we need to recall some general observations regarding the theological positions in East and West.992 On their side. and guidance. sacrifice. and apostolic. working in a mystical framework. As partner. 992 Another dimension of the theandric constitution of the Church is the Church's four traditional marks. demonstrating this is not his primary concern. creates a kind of perichoresis or reciprocal interiority analogous to the one existing between the two natures of Christ. and Christological aspects of deification reveal the fact that East and West represent two different theological systems that involve two different modes of understanding of Christian realities and the Church. the Church on the one hand receives His teaching. Christ maintains with the Church and with each of its members a deepening dialogue in which neither He nor the Church nor any of its members are passive. Priest. Theologians attempted to demonstrate the identity of the true Church by determining which Christian communion possessed these four properties. . or properties. General conclusions In order to understand the pneumato-ecclesiological aspect of deification.

as the mystical body of Christ. Although the Church is primarily a fellowship of faith and love. “The Holy Spirit in Revelation. “witness to the ever-continuing free action of the Holy Spirit in the Byzantine and recent history of the Orthodox Church. They did not attempt to delve into the question of the nature of the Church. Bulgakov. as Symeon the New Theologian or Seraphim of Sarov. Therefore in the East. marked by mutual love under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. and in the Holy Spirit. when we turn to detailed ecclesiology. like the Roman Church. p. The Orthodox Church.and hence running the risk of being exposed to institutionalism and weakening its mystical distinction . the mysteries. 995 Although. while in the West it is based more on authority. 998 Cf.” The Christian East 2 (1932).”997 Not that the Church is a purely spiritual.994 As a result. and the liturgy.” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 2 (1965).998 The heavenly essence of the Church is linked with earthly forms and with them forms a symbol. it is a new life with Christ and in Christ. 994 In many cases these various theological articulations can be considered as mutually complementary rather then conflicting. “The Main Ecclesiological Problem of The Second Vatican Council and the Position of the Non-Roman Churches Facing It.” C. under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 113). Tsirpanlis. 997 Cf. nevertheless its unity is visibly expressed in prayer. 88. are heretics. Minn.: A Michael Glazier Book.”995 In order to prevent secular influences . the Orthodox are hesitant to give form to a system of ecclesiology. in defining the nature of the Church. invisible reality. the Church is grasped as an organism. or His theophany. For a critical edition of the Catechetical Sermons. as in the West. N. in the East the principle of unity of the Church finds its deepest foundation in the idea of communion.the Eastern theologians declare firmly that the Church should be basically defined in a spiritual setting. p.). see B.996 On that account. Symeon the New Theologian. in the cultural divergences and different emphasis in philosophical and theological culture. because “the Church is her own life. Christ’s mysterium. G. Florovsky. Consequently. an icon or manifestation of the Trinity. Introduction to Eastern Patristic Thought and Orthodox Theology (Collegeville. the Orthodox Church possesses its episcopal hierarchy and traditions of canon law. 49-64. 1991). Krivocheine (ed. declares that the Church.N. Orthodox theologians. pp. 104. in all ages.999 The life of the Church cannot be reduced to a hierocratic institution or an event. 996 As Bulgakov writes: “The Church of Christ is not an institution. and that all those who refuse the possibility of deification for every man. Nissiotis. although the Church is considered a mystical reality of life with God. concepts considered “worldly. and was not completed until much later. but as already living eschatologically the new life of Christ in glory. the emphasis is put more on the historical and institutional aspects. Thus the Church is not regarded as still on its pilgrimage. 999 It is another reason why such saints of the Church. Catécheses et Actions de Graces I-III (SC 96. institutional or social order. In the West. The Liturgical Press. 1.” S. for the Church is the 993 The formal separation of East and West in 1054 had much earlier roots. 284 time. a living solidarity. consistently avoid any connection to the categories of the juridical. Nectarius of Aegina or Father John of Kronstadt. 38. by Christ. continues in every age to obtain the same spiritual charismata as in ancient times. p. for example. . the mystical body of Christ.

Between these two categories of persons. Bulgakov) already suggested that the history of the world is a history of the Church. Bulgakov. Also. Of old He breathed a breath of life. Theosis means. which will be fully realised in the eschatological fulfilment. on the ambient factors proper to the Church militant and terrestrial. In particular. communion in God and with God. because the Church is life in Christ under the guidance of the Spirit. acknowledged also as a great liturgist. the Western Church holds that Orthodox ecclesiology does not lay sufficient stress on the human side of ecclesiastical reality. accessible to each man. 1003 According to this teaching. in this context. 1001 However. but we cannot say that the Church experiences the full effect of the Spirit. nor. Deriving its meaning from the Russian word sobor (council. now He imparts to us His own Spirit. human and divine. the Church. p. authority is perceived inside the Church as a whole. to the conscious and personal experience of the Holy Spirit. This lack of realism somehow disregards the concrete earthly realization of the Church. and (partially) Florovsky. its conciliarity being superior in decisions over doctrinal statements. a real union by grace subsists. Divine trinitarian relationships are not just a model for human relationships in the Church.’ effected by the Spirit. as a theandric being. Nicholas Cabasilas writes about man’s re-creation in Christ in a similar pneumatological framework: “He restores life to us not by forming anew a vital principle which He formerly maintained in the natural order. The ecclesiology of sobornost is more a reaction to the influence of Western culture (the so-called “Western captivity” following after the fall of . It follows that.” J. insists Western tradition. It is true that the Holy Spirit has been given. the Mystery of mysteries. for it belongs to the whole Church. Berdyaev. indicating the Church’s superconscious in which it knows that it is full of the Spirit and truth. 1002 Some Orthodox theologians (Lossky. Stăniloae follows in some degree the so-called slavophile ecclesiology. that require specific actions. He overcomes division. He Himself is the ‘symphony’ of creation. more particularly. is on the special emphasis put on the reality that the mysterious or theandric being of the Church has an eternal intratrinitarian basis. a power in producing and penetrating such relationships. rather they constitute an interior principle. 617AB). the authority of the Church holds an inward character.1000 The Christian East. 174. The Church is both the mystical body of Christ and an institutional reality. growth. The Church’s function is to render this fulfilment accessible by anticipation through her role of ‘sanctification. for Stăniloae. or gathering of the Church). Therefore. 285 spiritual koinonia. consists in the encounter between the natural and the supernatural. does He exclude the truly personal experience of God. As result. conciliarity) gives a dynamic image of the Church. to emphasise spirituality as a call to perfection and holiness. the two elements of the immanence of Christ in the Church by the Spirit and the transcendence of Christ to His Church as Lord. Meyendorff. because the eternal foundation of the Church is reflected from God in human nature. which has been powerfully stated by Russian writers like Khomiakov. Byzantine Theology. but implies constant striving. De Vita in Christo IV (PG 150.1001 Stăniloae’s contribution to the above common characteristics of Orthodox tradition. contradiction and corruption. therefore sees the Church’s mission in direct and vital connection with the Holy Spirit. as its mystical foundation. the ecclesiology of sobornost (that is. the mysterious body of Christ.” Nicholas Cabasilas. we can also ascertain a natural-human basis of the Church. must be held simultaneously.1003 Stăniloae believes that the Church possesses the consciousness that 1000 Meyendorff writes: “The Spirit does not suppress the pluralism and variety of creation. and ascent. the holy eucharist.1002 In other words. but by shedding His blood in the hearts of communicants that He may cause life to spring up in Him.

sobornicity is a certain kind of unity. which “gives the Church the nature of a whole. Meyendorff (ed.”1005 Further.P. 1989). Theology and the Church. pp.” “the life-giving fluid or place. Stăniloae. and is conveyed by “conciliarity” (sobornost). Stăniloae.2 (1974). A.” and “the constitutive force of the whole body. which is in it. pp. Stăniloae finds support in the Greek Fathers and also in the writings of Martin Buber.).” in J. Echoing Basil the Great. D.” ER 26. “Sobornost: The Catholicity of the Church. 1934). Mascall (ed. A. Theology and the Church. or in which the institution is not conceived as something external to or superior to and repressive of the persons involved in it. and from all its parts forms one single unity. 54. 114-128. 1005 D.” It is this. A Study in the Ecclesiology of A.” in E. Florovsky. 286 authority comes from the Holy Spirit.” Ortodoxia 2 (1966). 172-173. Eucharist in Nikolai Afanas’ev (1893-1966) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. To explain the ontological structure of the Church. 17-24.L. Khomjakov (Dublin.S. Bria. The Triune Church. see the article. For different debates on the subject.S.). sobornost forms the ontological constitution of the Church.S. 1006 D. O’Leary.: SVS Press. “Orthodox Ecclesiology according to Alexis Khomiakov (1804-1860). 135-162. pp. “The Church which Presides in Love. G. Khomiakov. In the unity of communion persons are united in equality and the institution is the expression of their communion. Afanassieff. 91-143. Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church (Crestwood. p. 1004 For a developed tratement of sobornost in Stăniloae. pp. and Theology in The Russian Diaspora. 1992). see: N. Stăniloae defines the Spirit as the “spiritual milieu in which all are brought together. J. The Church of God (London: SPCK.1004 The Holy Spirit is “the power of cohesion in the community. 45-71. 57-73. I.” “He binds men to one another and creates in each an awareness of belonging to all the rest. P. and to clarify this.” GOTR 2 (1956-1957). 224-233. Authors and Themes in Orthodox Theology (London: Sheed & Ward. The Church is One (Seattle: St. an Constantinople in 1453) which had debased the Christian idea of brotherly love and the wholeness of life. Baillargeon. pp. L’oeuvre de Jean Zizioulas (Montreal and Paris: Éditions Paulines and Médiaspaul. p. Nectarios Press. Light from the East. “Living in the One Tradition. G. thereby giving it the character of ’sobornicity’ that translates the Greek word for this notion of wholeness: catholicity. “The Holy Spirit and the Sobornicity of the Church. 1979).Y. . “Biserica Universală şi Sobornicească. The Primacy of Peter. it tries to solve the tension between institution and the Spirit. Stăniloae. As such. pp. Stăniloae does not argue powerfully in favour of “eucharistic ecclesiology” (generally associated with Afanassieff and Zizioulas) because of its residual individualism and eschatological insufficiency. Nichols. 1982).” in Theology and the Church. Stăniloae develops the idea of sobornicity as communion in the following words: The unity of communion is the sole unity which conforms to the dignity of the persons involved in the union. Perspectives Orthodoxes sur L’Église Communion. It is the sole unity which does not subordinate one person to another. 57.1006 In fact. Fathers. As a conciliar model. writes Stăniloae. In the unity of communion structures are communities of persons with identical ministries. 1995). N. 1989). Church. pp. the above statement expresses again the mystery of the Church as organism. and to avoid both Catholic over-institutionalized and Protestant over-democratized ecclesiologies. Romanides.

in a very mysterious way. the Church is unfolded between these states. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. Therefore states Stăniloae.” for He is “the mid-point between us. the Church has a necessary role in sanctifying and deifying the life of its members. as the social extension of the risen Christ. . For Basil the Great. Christ Himself is repeating this route in. vol. 260-261). that is. In practice. 196. Stăniloae. for. pp. see De Spiritu Sancto 26 (PG 32.” These suppositions provide the ground for communion with God and with other humans. This is why Stăniloae asserts actual salvation as taking place when Christ dwells in the believers with His pneumatized body. Stăniloae concludes: Orthodoxy therefore does not explain the Church from an exclusively Christological point of view: the Church is the Body of Christ only because the same Spirit of the Son has united all her members in Christ as His brothers and as brothers among themselves. the action field of the Holy Spirit.” achieving the route of the personal Christ together with the personal Christ. p. 181C). 1008 D. p. the Church. this residence actually produces the Church. “the salvific work of Christ could not be accomplished outside the Church. by anticipation. Stăniloae defines the Church as “the social. In very controversial phrases.63-64. the Christological basis remains indispensable to understanding the communitary character of the Church. 1007 D.” or “the communitarian Christ. II. In one sense. and by so doing has brought them all together within one filial relation to the Father. and with human beings.”1007 On the other hand. The Church is the action field of divine energies shining forth from Christ. this means that man is saved in union with Christ by reiterating the way of Christ through the holy mysteries. and In Epistola I ad Corinthios Homilia 31. Theology and the Church. We are facing here another paradox: although Christ’s personal humanity is permanently in the state of resurrection. 1009 D. Stăniloae. that is. In principle.” Thus in the Spirit we find “a position between ourselves and the other. the Church recapitulates the route of Christ. Theology and the Church. is for the time being only mysteriously engaged in the process of resurrection. Stăniloae. the milieu in which we really transcend both the one and the other.” The Holy Spirit assures the living relation because “He is the person between the two. 287 atmosphere in and from which all who make up the Church live and move spiritually. the ontic element is found not in the two existents but between them. Further. 61. “In the dialogue between two there is a third which transcends both the individual and the social. for Buber. both the subjective and the objective.”1009 Both as a divine institution and as the organism of all those gathered together in Christ.1008 However. deduces Stăniloae.3 (PG 61.

All ordained ministers in the Church are bound by it. is a Church truly unitary and only the Church which keeps these three undiminished is the one . and no one outside this communion can function as a minister of the Church: A person who is not in communion with other persons who have been given the same ministry by God cannot fulfil any sanctifying action including therefore actions of pastoral illumination and leadership.1010 Consequently. as particular acts. there is both solidarity and continuity between the earthly and the heavenly Church. 288 However. the body of Christ. and preaches the same dogmatic faith. This is a natural corollary of Stăniloae's understanding of the Church as a reflection of the communion of the Trinity in the world. This is the reason why the principle of communion is central to Stăniloae's understanding of the function of ordained ministry in fostering the Church's unity. on the other hand. that is the Church. Stăniloae. the one Church possesses unity in these three areas: “But in dogmas. In this model. in hierarchical organization and communion. Just as the communion within the Trinity is the mode of its unity. In this way. truly teaching. so communion is the mode of the unity of the Church. this recapitulation is possible only within the ambience of the Church where the Spirit of Christ works by grace. every bishop must be integrated both into the life of his local church and into the communion of the episcopate. 1011 This unity is also manifested in the Church by unity in mysteries. and underlies his assertion that Christ left a communion of bishops. on the other hand. Stăniloae writes: “Because dogmas are the expression of the experience of the integral saving power of Christ present in the fullness of His activity in the Church. In spite of the fact that Orthodox tradition highlights the communitarian character of the Church. is nourished through the mysteries. aspect. Consequently. dogma. the Church actively and freely responds to and participates in Christ's saving activity in the power of the Holy Spirit. divine aspect. Consequently. p. and leading believers to salvation. the Church has both an objective. the Church is one. as it is for all Christians. Stăniloae firmly strives to defend also its institutional character. in the Church. No one in the Church can put himself outside the law of communion. offering sacrifice. being given from above. Stăniloae's theology of ministry is developed on the basis of his ecclesiology of communion and the patristic principle of synergy. the unity of the Church also consists of its unity in mysteries and in its being invested with a unitary hierarchy which celebrates all the mysteries without differences. for the guidance of the Church rather than a single apostle and his successors. in the Church. 169. Christ’s divine life is offered personally through the holy mysteries. Even the personal salvation of the bishop is dependent upon his link with the community of the Church. in mysteries. because Christ is the founder of institutions like family and the Church. However. that does not depend on people. yet He does not cease to remain a person.” Consequently. and hierarchy that are closely related. and a subjective. By virtue of the process of deification. “Temeiurile Teologice ale Ierarhiei.1011 The ordained ministry 1010 D. in mysteries. in the hierarchy which preaches the dogmas and celebrates the mysteries. human.” ST 22 (1970). Only a Church one in dogma. the inter-human relationships are essentially part of the Church’s composition.

Stăniloae tries to maintain the unity between the “economic ecclesiology. not so much because he is its local head and pastor.” Cf. p. Similar remarks are found in “Autoritatea Bisericii.” pp. G. 203-204. II.1012 In conclusion. and represents the community before God and God before the community. Florovsky writes: “Every local church therefore finds its center and its unity in the bishop. and the “ontological ecclesiology. The Church coincides with the plane of salvation in Christ and with the period destined for deification.” in Creation and Redemption. Florovsky. 281. “The Sacrament of Pentecost.” This ontological-functional inclusion of the Church in the economy of salvation shows the relations existent between the Church and the plane of deification. Church. thus revealing the nature and the function of the Church.” p. . D. vol. 265-266. and in “Sinteză Ecleziologică. The episcopate is both the highest expression of the Church as communion. but because through him it is included in the mysterious sobornost (catholicity) of the Church-body for all times. and the most perfect image to the Church of the Trinity as communion of divine persons. Stăniloae. 1012 This finds its highest expression in the communion.” in which the Church reveals itself in its relationships with the economy of salvation as the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit.” Cf. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. of the episcopal college. or synodality. In the Church. 191. pp. 289 gives cohesion and unity to the ministry of the faithful. therefore. we have the ontological and existential consequences of this economy.

speaks of “participation. Accordingly. but both the resurrection and the ascension pertain to the completion of our salvation. 1014 Some call this the appropriation of salvation. in Stăniloae’s view. Christ’s incarnation. Ricoeur. We shall see how. viewing your life in the light of new possibilities. and if we make a transition via the resurrection and ascension of Christ. For Stăniloae. consequently. In other words. sacrifice. is then accomplished in the soul of man. In transforming and glorifying Christ’s person. the age of the already and the not yet.1013 The work of salvation realised on the objective plane by Christ’s person and work. Tillich. 290 CHAPTER VIII. as the product of divine grace and human freedom.1014 If the incarnation was the basis of salvation and the cross its accomplishment. the age of the Spirit. resurrection and ascension may have made salvation and deification possible. or is applied on the subjective plane. others the application of salvation. for example. the whole mystery of salvation resides in this connection between the historical departure of Jesus and the subsequent arrival of the Spirit. through the sanctification worked out by the Spirit. the Holy Spirit is the power of the possibility of new life. but the Spirit is the power of this possibility. Stăniloae’s emphasis on the objective value of Christ’s resurrection. But what are the conditions for new life? Is representing it in story or symbol form enough? Is it enough simply to imagine the possibility of new life? This seems to be the idea of Bultmann. 1013 Some modern theologians speak of the cross and the resurrection as representing new possibilities for human existence. THE PNEUMATO-ECCLESIOLOGICAL ASPECT OF DEIFICATION: DEIFICATION BY GRACE Introduction Stăniloae affirms that the resurrection is not a simple addendum to Christ’s work on the cross. while Calvin.” which is a fundamentally patristic concept! . stress its cosmic scope and. according to whom faith means changing your self-understanding. Stăniloae speaks of the subjective work of salvation in response to the question of how we have access to Christ’s work. then the cornerstone with regard to the application of salvation is Pentecost. in book III of the Institutes. It is thanks to Pentecost that we can participate in Christ’s salvific work and its benefits: the birth of the Church and the transition to the new covenant. the resurrection constitutes Christ as “life- giving spirit” and inaugurates the new age. the biblical idea of a new creation. This is the context in which Stăniloae elaborates his understanding of personal appropriation of salvation and deification.

so that “the general salvific work of Christ’s Spirit in the Church is accomplished through divine grace. 125- 136. vol. this chapter will study in its first part the work of grace and its personal appropriation.1 The work of grace and the state of grace In Stăniloae’s view. the work of the Holy Spirit of God in the Church is particularly identified with divine grace. based on the relations between Christ and the Spirit in the economy of salvation. nature and grace. 303. 45-63. 291 Methodologically. Deification by grace and its personal appropriation 1. Stăniloae.” pp. with the emphasis put on the role of the Holy Spirit and His uncreated energies and gifts. Afterwards. . Stăniloae establishes that the role of the Spirit in the economy of salvation was made manifest at Pentecost. As the one who irradiates from Christ. and the energy which is impressed into the being of that person in whom the Spirit works.1 The work of grace and uncreated energies Pivotal for Stăniloae is that the purpose of sending the Spirit into the world as uncreated energy was man’s virtual deification. p. See also the analysis of distinction energeia-energema given by Kallistos Ware in “God Hidden and Revealed: The Apophatic Way and the Essence-Energies Distinction. 1016 We remember that Stăniloae gives two senses to the Greek term energeia: that of operation and energy. Again.1. Due to the principle that there is no operation without operator. The last part will prospect the strategic themes of the pneumato-ecclesiological aspect of deification. 1. and “The Debate about Palamism. when no incarnation of the hypostasis of the Spirit or communication of the essence of God took place. when although the Spirit was sent 1015 D.”1015 The nature of grace then is not disjoined from God but in direct communion with Christ in the Spirit. the Holy Spirit is the sanctifying and unifying power in the Church. having in view that special “state of grace” in which a genuine dialogue with Christ becomes possible. the work of the Spirit or the operation of grace was achieved through divine uncreated energies and through divine gifts. revealing the process of sanctification in the faithful. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.1016 The actual presence of the Spirit’s uncreated energies was recorded right from the beginning of the Church. The second part of the chapter is dedicated to the exploration of the doctrine of deification and justification. II. we need to understand energeia as both actualized energy of the Spirit (that is. Stăniloae’s basic triad of essence-hypostases-energies is re-encountered as the unifying theme of his theological approach.” pp. operation). 1. and justification and sanctification.

so that simultaneously the Son shines forth in the light of the Spirit -. but a deifying gift which is an energy that is not only uncreated. p. Ecumenical Reflections on the Filioque Controversy.” Sobornost 7.” and because they are not divine hypostases. we witness the Christological cycle which in the ninth century gives place to the pneumatological cycle. but also inseparable from the Holy Spirit. see our chapter on the epistemological basis of deification. p. 1982). To exemplify the personalist framework of deification by grace. 292 within time by the Son. 103 (London: SPCK and Geneva: WCC. by way of hesychasm.’ postulates the ‘deification’ of the human being as the goal of the economy of salvation. 1019 D. Palamas writes: “The grace is therefore uncreated and it is what the Son gives.1021 The phrase “who brings into souls divine energy” is fundamental in underlining the twofold role of the Holy Spirit: to illuminate the Son and permeate our consciousness for knowing 1017 D.” Gregory Palamas.1019 The shining forth of the Spirit through the Son is the expression of a personal relation. 70. This idea is explained by Paul Evdokimov as follows: “During the first eight centuries. not as hypostasis.1018 Stăniloae also appeals to Gregory of Cyprus. The saying of the Fathers: ‘God became man so that man might become god. On this subject. “The Holy Spirit in the Theology and Life of the Orthodox Church. This latter. Spirit of Christ.1 (1975). His manifestation was considered as eternal. Triads 3. Crisis in Byzantium: The Filioque Controversy in the Patriarchate of Gregory II of Cyprus (1283-1289) (New York: Fordham Press. 5. “The Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and His Relation to the Son.” p. Stăniloae. 16-29. “we do not possess the Spirit in his hypostatic fullness. Stăniloae. 239D-240C. pp. 1981). Faith and Order Paper. The reason is that Gregory offers a much more dynamic meaning to the shining forth of the Spirit through the Son. p. or “a direct bipersonal relation. 1970). Orphanos. see Expositio Fidei Contra Veccum 3 (PG 142. grace is primarily the deifying energy of the Holy Spirit. Again. p. 178. pp. and M. Consequently. which becomes in them the capacity for knowing God and loving Him.and the doctrine of the Spirit who proceeds from the Father and shines forth through the Son. Gregory Palamas and the definitions of the Synods of Constantinople. 15). “The Procession of the Holy Spirit according to certain Greek Fathers. No. besides the specific Palamite ideas. the Fathers regarded the Holy Spirit as the person who brings into souls divine energy. Papadakis. the believers share only partially in the energy of the Spirit. P. For Gregory of Cyprus. “The Procession of the Holy Spirit.1017 Although it it is a common work of the Trinity. but only as much as we can obtain and as corresponds to the person of each of us. 1018 For a more detailed presentation on Palamas. reaches its highest point in the fourteenth century and finds its dogmatic support in the doctrine of St. Le Saint-Esprit dans la Tradition Orthodoxe (Paris. This idea gains decisively in depth in the light of the theology of the Holy Spirit and of the doctrine of the divine energies.” Cf. and Theology and the Church. 242BC). Stăniloae. 1021 D.”1020 In associating the doctrine of grace with the doctrine of uncreated energy. “the Spirit brings into the very depths of man the divine energy which makes us one in the Son and makes us sharers in the relationship of the Son to the Father” (p. it is not the Spirit Himself.” in Spirit of God. 27. Theology and the Church. Other relevant works on Gregory of Cyprus are: A. Evdokimov. but as the one who enhypostatizes the energies. 763-778. Stăniloae writes: Taking these sayings as a foundation .” Receiving the Spirit “in Christ.” Theologia 50 (1979). . 1020 D. 184. as the Basis of our Deification and Adoption. says Stăniloae. sends and grants to His disciples.A. Stăniloae.8.

Stăniloae asserts that human nature is maintained in its normal state through the life-giving Spirit that works closely in a constitutive relationship with man’s life-giving spirit for deification. The indwelling of the Spirit restores and strengthens the soul in its capacity for relationship with God and with its neighbour. becoming “filial dwellings” for the Spirit. 1023 D. That is why “only the Spirit can awaken in us the response to the love and calling of the Father. by the attraction that it naturally feels towards a personal God and towards human persons. 242B and 250C. which the Spirit Himself brings us. He proceeds from the Father with a view to His ‘repose’ in the Son. 181. it has had the Spirit of God within it from the beginning. spiritual ‘place’ of the ‘repose’ of the Spirit. “The Holy Spirit in the Theology and Life of the Orthodox Church. the Spirit was made accessible to us by the Son. for Eastern theologians. Stăniloae. with a soul inclined to seek God. Basil the Great says. The one cannot be thought of without the other. Stăniloae calls it the “consciousness of sonship. .” p.pros to ek phuseos kallos . We recall that. p. “Natură şi Har. despite its state of contradiction in relationship with God 1022 D.” 1024 In the act of creation. the divine breathing encompasses the creative act. man’s history is viewed by Stăniloae too optimistically. sin has put the soul in a state contrary to its St. in the Son as Treasurer. the Holy Spirit introduced divine energy into the deep recesses of the creature. as man’s spirit is the bearer of the soul’s love for his body. Stăniloae develops: “The ‘repose’ of the Spirit as Treasure. Stăniloae. For instance. Stăniloae. see PG 142. Stăniloae appeals again to the principle of creation. Stăniloae. which completes the multidimensional interpretation of theosis.” For Gregory of Cyprus. “The Holy Spirit in the Theology and Life of the Orthodox Church. He thereby restores it to the state which conforms to its own nature . personal. and. 1024 D.” Consequently.1025 Described in a classic Orthodox way. the Spirit “makes the Son accessible 1023 in His divine interiority. says Stăniloae. together with a sensitiveness to God. The Son is the living. of the Spirit. 8. likewise the love of the Holy Spirit works in the spirit of man “by irradiating through man. the faithful are also raised up in the Son.” p. being united with Christ. 1025 D. “The Procession of the Holy Spirit”. 424.” p.” which appears to us as the “awareness” of our own individual selves.1022 Moreover.” Then Stăniloae explains: Indwelling and operation in the human soul are the marks of the Holy Spirit because the soul is by nature made ready for this action of the Spirit in it. shows the special relation between the Spirit and the Son more than the inseparability between the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the begetting of the Son from the same Father. and of the Son. He is the place where the Spirit dwells as if at home. 5. so man’s life-giving spirit is seen as created and uncreated at the same time. towards the whole man. in turn. the soul is an image of the divine Logos and. By weakening this tendency towards a relationship with the supreme Being and with other human beings. that of deification as adoption. As an expression of human hypostasis. 293 God. This new language and conception in Stăniloae’s pneumatological approach reveals a key perspective.

or beyond itself to experience God. Moreover.” to fulfil our desire for “personal. which presence is also identified with the operation of the Spirit.2 The work of grace and the gifts The process of deification continues at the ecclesiological level. or beyond itself. the mind can “contemplate the human subject in its essence as subject. God is experienced by the whole man that enjoys pure relationships with other persons or things. IX (PG 3.1.” This is a particularly Eastern Orthodox doctrine about grace. towards itself or towards the heart. 304. the soul’s transparency to God. Once the second person of the Trinity came to assume human nature and to restore it.” D. the Holy Spirit is active in the life of the Church through His gifts. the presence of grace in man has two levels:”a power impressed on man. but also follows linear movement.” and “through this total and concrete man. towards external things. The human mind has to forget all things in order to be able to see itself and in itself. 429. that lead to the sanctification of the man holding 1026 Echoing Palamas. In this way. a divine uncreated energy poured over us by the Spirit through the deified humanity of Christ. implicitly. vol. because “it has the quality to establish man in an unmediated bond with God who works in him. the whole issue of grace receives a Christological and. 1. p. In this view. God has decided to reveal Himself and to manifest His grace towards humanity. given the combining principles of creation and personalism. and the affections of the body. 294 and other humans. in order to help human persons in the process of theosis. and an interior power to continue the process of theosis. divine grace is understood as an effective means. according to Stăniloae. it can contemplate God. Stăniloae sees divine grace as having the quality to be that “inexhaustible power coming to us from the infinite divinity placed in the humanity of Christ. “Natură şi Har. Palamas is following here Dionysius. but is the mind in which is concentrated the whole man. The vision of God through the mind looking on itself. As the centre in which are concentrated the powers and thoughts of the soul. the heart is seen as the meeting place and the mysterious natural synthesis between body and soul. Stăniloae.” p.” In conclusion. between the whole man and grace. is an act of love for God. II. The so-called circular movement of mind. Here. Stăniloae. that is. the human mind receives transparency from God. infinite transcendence. Stăniloae concludes that because all the essential activities of man are placed in his heart. whose purpose is encounter. Stăniloae employs the mystical idea of introducing mind to the heart. declares Stăniloae. 705AB). the mind that encountered God is not abstract or disassociated from the whole being. IV. 1027 D. . and a presence fully assimilated and perceived by man as the operation through his [man’s] own operation.”1027 In a word. a pesonalist flavour. The results are seen in man’s consciousness of sonship.1026 Thus Stăniloae asserts that. is not only different.On the Divine Names. the main role of the Spirit in creation was for the soul to become transparent to God and God for the soul. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă.

powers (dynameis). but He is entirely present in each of them as energizer and mediator. vol.” However. This implies also that something proper to human nature is to be included in the gift.” The Holy Spirit uses these graces to unite man and Christ. the condition of their collaboration with the operation of the Spirit is assured by the influence received in a Christian family ambience. Stăniloae. this may explain the impossibility of man’s returning to the state of original sin.3 The state of grace 1028 The Greek Fathers use as almost synonymous the words gifts (doreai). 1Cor. Stăniloae suggests that “something” from the resultant effect remains “from time to time” even after the collaboration of man and the operation of the Spirit will cease. Stăniloae. and charisms (charismata) . different gifts “according to the natural capacities of man” emerge. 1030 D. the Church’s members are united by the common feeling that their gifts are part of the all cases. 305. In Stăniloae’s words.1030 “In the gift” there is implied not only the operation of the Spirit but also an act of acceptance from man. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. 12-4-9). the grace that remains at the beginning of all gifts is the one given through the mystery of baptism.” As the result of man’s collaboration with grace.”1031 1. and (2) the human/social influence of the family. operations that are imprinted in them as powers. Consequently. “uncreated. II. Here Stăniloae seems to be juxtaposing two things that exist on a very different level: (1) the divine grace of the baptismal sacrament. sacrament]. a predilection for that gift.” 1029 For Stăniloae. gifts that do not exclude man’s preparation or openness as a basis for a future collaboration between man and grace.1. The Spirit is present as the unifying hypostasis in the Church as a whole and in each individual member. pp.1029 Not only does the Holy Spirit impart different gifts in the Church. vol. and an effort to develop this predilection with the help of the Spirit. In this way. “there remains something as imprinted in human nature. 323-324. In the gift itself (as an effect) there is a dynamism.” His thought and language is obscure. “or after ceasing the operation of the Holy Spirit and the collaboration. . after the fall. the effect is the product of “the divine operating hypostasis and of the human jointly-operating hypostasis. or something as surpassing a state to which you will never come back. p. For Stăniloae this means that the gift is not merely the energeia of the Spirit. Teologia Dogmatică Ortodoxă. the effect of the energeia) in human nature (Cf. In this case. states Stăniloae. In the end. D. but also the energema (that is. energies (energeiai). Thus the divine u