Florovsky Plenary Paper Abstract - The Patristic Doctrine of Deification in the West

Feast of the Martyr Leontius & Companions

THE CHURCH fathers laid the foundations of the doctrine of salvation in the western church that reverberates down through ages and endures even to today. An apparent simplicity hides the many questions and complexities implicit in the controversies over salvation. This paper surveys five prominent theologians (three patristic, one medieval, one modern) who explicated salvation in terms of deification or theosis. Cyril... Continue Reading

Florovsky Paper Abstract 18 - Cornelius à Lapide on Scripture & Tradition: An Early Modern Catholic Biblical Perspective

Feast of the Holy Prophet Elisha

ARGUABLY the most popular and influential Catholic biblical commentator of the Early Modern Period was the Flemish Jesuit Cornelius à Lapide (1567-1637). À Lapide wrote massive commentaries on nearly every book of the Bible and his work was so popular that it continued to be read and republished for approximately three hundred years, even into the 20th century. This presentation will discuss À... Continue Reading

Florovsky Paper Abstract 17 - Protestant Reformation: The Triumph of Subjectivism

Feast of the Martyr Aquilina

THIS PAPER will examine the thesis that the Protestant Reformation is necessarily and integrally constitutive of the modern identity and ideas of human self and human agency. Strongly stated, regardless of, and along with, the ecclesial, theological, cultural, philosophical, political, historical, ethical or any other identity–constituted and identity–constituting ontological existential horizons of an individual, a group, or a society as a whole, the Protestant... Continue Reading

Florovsky Plenary Paper Abstract - Re-enchantment & the Reformation: Getting Back Together

Feast of St Onuphrius of Egypt

CAN WE re-evaluate—perhaps even put behind us—the disunity that the Reformation caused? This lecture takes a look ‘behind the scenes’. Rather than focus on the doctrinal issues that divided Protestants from Catholics, we will look at some of the underlying metaphysical developments in the Late Middle Ages. This leads to the conclusion that the main issue leading to the Reformation—one that affects both Catholics... Continue Reading

Florovsky Plenary Paper Abstract - Justification within Recapitulation: Irenaeus in Ecumenical Dialogue

Feast of St Peter the Athonite

JUSTIFICATION has a relatively minor place in Irenaeus’s thought. He discusses it particularly in his polemics against Gnostic approaches to the Scriptures and to the law. And justification typically serves for Irenaeus within a broader, participatory framework of salvation. When we keep these aspects into account, perhaps unexpected ecumenical possibilities open up between Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants. One of the most important lessons from Irenaeus’s discussion... Continue Reading

Florovsky Paper Abstract - The Tempest's Disenchantment: A Path to Re-Enchantment

Feast of the Holy Apostles Bartholomew & Barnabas

JOHN DRYDEN adapted and modified Shakespeare’s The Tempest nearly six decades after it was first performed displaying an important cultural and literary shift. Cultural shifts, most notably in religion, paved a literary path whereby the mystical medieval mindset was replaced with the cool logic of new science. This shift showed the surgical separation of the spiritual and physical realms within western civilization. The... Continue Reading

Florovsky Week Abstract - Cur Deus Homo? Rescue Operation for Salvation Alone or Predestined Primordial Mystery Primarily for Divinization?

Feast of the Martyr Kalliope

IN A SHORT essay titled “Cur Deus Homo? The Motive of the Incarnation,” Fr. Georges Florovsky affirms that the Christian message has always been a message of salvation. But he also suggest “it would be unfair to claim that the Fathers regarded this redeeming purpose as the only reason for the Incarnation, so that the Incarnation would not have taken place at all, had... Continue Reading

Florovsky Paper Abstract - Christian Unity: An Old Testament Apologia

Feast of the Martyr Kalliope

IN THE SPIRIT of 'a return to the sources for Christian unity', this paper focuses on Old Testament references to the need and value of unity and ecumenism. Beginning with Psalm 133:1 and including the story of Ruth, examples of a call to unity by Old Testament authors are explored, along with current research supporting the intent of unity in the Old Testament message.... Continue Reading

Florovsky Paper Abstract - "We find often the nobleness of the great barbarians and nomads": The Logoi of Jesus Christ as Criterion for All Creation

Feast of the Holy Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra

THE LOGOI theology of Saint Maximus the Confessor (580 - 662) is startling in how comfortably it synthesizes, without confusion, the created and uncreated realms. This is one of the most puzzling aspects of the logoi, which seem to be at the same time both in God and in the world. It is Jesus Christ who is the solution to this... Continue Reading

Florovsky Paper Abstract - I Am Baptized, I Am Deified: Baptism as Theosis in Martin Luther's Theology

Feast of St Bessarion the Wonderworker of Egypt

IN THE EARLY 1970s, a group of scholars at the University of Helsinki made a startling claim: Martin Luther’s doctrine of justification is best understood as the real union of Christ and the believer in faith. Such a notion has tremendous ecumenical potential, they rightly argued, for this union with Christ closely parallels the Orthodox doctrine of theosis, or deification. In... Continue Reading