Christosis: Pauline Soteriology in Light of Deification in Irenaeus and Cyril of Alexandria
With increasing interaction between Eastern and Western theologians, several recent biblical interpreters have characterised Paul's soteriology as theosis, or deification. In response to these affirmations, Ben C. Blackwell explores the anthropological dimension of Paul's soteriology to determine how helpful this characterisation is. Utilising the Wirkungsgeschichte of the Pauline letters, he first examines two Greek patristic interpreters of Paul - Irenaeus and Cyril of Alexandria - to clarify what deification entails and to determine which Pauline texts they used to support their soteriological constructions. The monograph then focuses on Paul's soteriology expressed in Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 3-5 (with excursus on other passages) and explores how believers embody Christ's death and life, his suffering and glory, through the Spirit. Blackwell concludes with a comparison of deification as presented by these two Greek patristic interpreters and Paul's soteriology, noting the substantial overlap as well as key differences.
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