The Ontology of Theosis: Insights from Maximus the Confessor

Oskari Juurikkala

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This article describes the ontological problem of theosis or deification in terms of two dimensions: the relationship between the finite and the infinite, and the relationship between human nature and sin. Both problems are clarified through the thinking of Saint Maximus the Confessor and his distinction between logos and tropos, that is, the constitutive nature of a thing and its existential mode of being. Theosis is presented not as a transformation of the human nature, but a transformation of our mode of being by its healing and elevation by divine grace. Maximus’ theological anthropology explains how the effects of sin should not be situated at the level of human nature but its mode of being. His conceptual distinctions may help to clarify the thought of Luther, at least as it is presented in the Finnish interpretation of Luther.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-21
JournalTheological Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Maximus the Confessor
  • theosis
  • ecumenism
  • Christian anthropology


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