This article examines the main elements of the classic Eastern Christian doctrine of divinization as they are found in the Latin Fathers. These include the intimate union of the divinized man with the incarnate God, the divinization of the human nature of Christ, the adoption of man by God in Christ through the action of the Holy Spirit, the ascension of humanity to heaven, as well as the communion of the human person with the divine nature. It would seem that enthusiasm for the idea of divinization drew some western theologians to posit dangerous theories including the pantheistic dissolution of humanity in God as well as the dissolving of the human nature of Christ into his divine nature. Analyzing these theories we can see why Saint Augustine conceived his own juridical theory of divinization based on the concepts of justification and external adoption, which transformed the theory ofdivinization into one of equality with the angelic orders. Because of these developments, the original theory of divinization which at one time was taught by several of the Latin fathers, was unfairly consigned to oblivion.
CHRISTIANITY, THEOLOGY, SOTERIOLOGY, PATROLOGY, SAINT AUGUSTINE, DIVINIZATION, NATURE, INCARNATION