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This book has 1 recommendation

Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Flaneur)

I initially bought this book as I was curious about the differences between Eastern & Western traditions, particularly with the notion of theosis --the deification of man. This book goes far deeper, and covers pre-Christian practices (like Stoic thoughts, the deifications of Kings, Roman Emperors, that of private citizens who committed symbolic acts --such as Antinous, Hadrian's obsession, who drowned to "save" mankind and other sotirologies).

The book was initially Russell's doctoral thesis, which, as far as I can guess from the dates, had to have been completed when he was in late middle age. But he made it very readable, free of the theophilosophical jargon of similar texts. He still has quotes in the original language and it is a true piece of scholarship.

Amazon description

Deification in the Greek patristic tradition was the fulfillment of the destiny for which humanity was created - not merely salvation from sin but entry into the fullness of the divine life of the Trinity. This book, the first on the subject for over sixty years, traces the history of deification from its birth as a second-century metaphor with biblical roots to its maturity as a doctrine central to the spiritual life of the Byzantine Church. Drawing attention to the richness and diversity of the patristic approaches from Irenaeus to Maximus the Confessor, Norman Russell offers a full discussion of the background and context of the doctrine, at the same time highlighting its distinctively Christian character.

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