From: George Murphy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Mar 15 2003 - 13:54:08 EST
> I'm fairly ignorant of Teilhard's work but I was wondering how well it (and
> your ideas) fit in with the Orthodox concept of 'theosis'? Finnish Lutheran
> theologians have been stressing the concept in Luther (perhaps too much) and
> others are finding similar results in Wesley, Aquinas, Calvin, etc. From my
> limited reading it would seem that the Patristic writers have much to teach
> us. Something like Maximus the Confessors concept of "cosmic redemption" (at
> least as seen through David Yeago's work!) would seem to be open to
> considerable application to science/faith issues especially as related to
> ecclesiology. Any thoughts on the matter?
I need to study Maximus more. There are 2 different ideas involved in what you
speak of. 1st, there's the idea of the cosmic character of redemption. Even
though Teilhard often refers to the "all things" of Ephesians & Colossians, he really
seems to be concerned just with planet earth & particularly humanity. In the final
chapter of _The Travail of Nature_ entitled "The Triumph of Personalism" Paul Santmire
criticizes both Teilhard & Barth for a narrow focus on humanity as the object of God's
ultimate saving work. We need to be more cosmic than that.
Then there's the idea of theosis. Teilhard's vision of the convergence of all
things on Omega ecrtainly has some of that character. The doctrine of "mystical union"
in Lutheran Orthodoxy which David Yeago wrote about in his Piepkorn Prize essay
(published in Lutheran Forum, Advent 1984) has a good deal in common with theosis. But
westerners - & especially Americans - have to avoid the temptation to read that in too
individualistic a manner. ("Me and the Trinity" instead of just "Me and Jesus"!)
That's one reason why the model of the church as the Body of Christ is an important part
of the mix.
George L. Murphy
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