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Cyril on Divinization

From Oxford University Press I received a gem: The Appropriation of Divine Life in Cyril of Alexandria, by Daniel A. Keating. The author, an American theologian at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, examines the classic texts on divinization in Cyril of Alexandria (fifth century). One of history’s greatest biblical theologians, Cyril presented salvation in terms of sanctification and divinization, the appropriation of divine life. Keating develops these ideas, for the most part, as they appear in Cyril’s volumes of biblical interpretation. Keating pays close attention to Cyril’s exegeses of the accounts of Jesus’ baptism and resurrection as well as the institution of the Eucharist. Among the key scriptures considered is 2 Peter 1:4: “that you may become partakers of the divine nature.” Cyril’s biblical approach can be especially helpful for Protestants who wish to understand Orthodox and Catholic doctrines of salvation. Keating also applies Cyril’s thought effectively to “perceived east-west differences.” This is an important book for ecumenically minded Christians. The writing is extraordinarily lucid, making difficult ideas accessible even to us non-professionals.

8 thoughts on “Cyril on Divinization

  1. Hello Mike,

    It sounds like a very interesting read. Although, I wish someone could explain to me why a publisher would charge $115 for a book. It certainly knocks me out of the running.


  2. […] A book mentioned, Cyril on theosis at The Way of the Fathers. […]

  3. I’ve been think of getting this one by Keating.

    Have you read it?


  4. Sounds like a good one Mike. Thanks for pointing this out. I may try to get hold of that. The concept of Salvation = Transformation is something that is of central importance I think. I like to talk about it as much as I can. I find it not well understood in either Protestant or Catholic circles, unfortunately. There is far too much, as I’ve observed it, concentration on a legal exchange and/or “being good” in order to “get into Heaven when you die.” We need to get back to the central point, that being, God’s Mission to fully “divinize” us, transform us into the Image of His Beloved Son. Anyway, thanks again and Peace to you.

  5. Steve,
    I haven’t read the book from Sapientia Press. My friends who have read it rave about it. Dr. Keating will be speaking at the St. Paul Center’s Letter & Spirit Conference in Pittsburgh in October. I hope you can make it!

  6. John,
    The problem with books like this is that the market is limited — that is, until patristic nerdiness catches on much more than it has via this blog. I suspect they’re publishing this as “print on demand,” assuming that almost all their customers will be university libraries. Thus, even with that high price tag, I can’t imagine they’re making much per sale.

  7. Alan,
    You can talk about it here.

    I’ll be stuck in Utah, but definetly reading his book (the cheaper one).

  8. Thanks Mike,

    I always wondered what accounted for prices like that. At any rate, all things work together for the good, because Steve has kindly directed me to Keating’s other book. Which may actually be more to my liking.


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