This book gathers fourteen Catholic scholars to present, examine, and explain the often misunderstood process of "deification". The fifteen chapters show what "becoming God" meant for the early Church, for St. Thomas Aquinas and the greatest Dominicans, and for St. Francis and the early Franciscans. This book explains how this understanding of salvation played out during the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent. It explores the thought of the French School of Spirituality, various Thomists, John Henry Newman, John Paul II, and the Vatican Councils, and it shows where such thinking can be found today in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. No other book has gathered such an array of scholars or provided such a deep study into how humanity's divinized life in Christ has received many rich and various perspectives over the past two thousand years. This book seeks to bring readers into the central mystery of Christianity by allowing the Church's greatest thinkers and texts to speak for themselves, demonstrating how becoming Christ-like and the Body of Christ on earth, is the only ultimate purpose of the Christian faith.
"Rescue from sin and death is indeed a wonderful thingbut the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ is incomparably greater. And that is the subject of this book. In all its parts, this book, like Christianity in all its parts, is about salvation. But that means it's about everything that fills our lives, on earth and in heaven." Dr. Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home
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About the Author
Carl E. Olson, MTS, is the editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of two best-selling books, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"? and The Da Vinci Hoax, and the author of hundreds of articles on theology, Scripture, current events, and apologetics.
Fr. David Vincent Meconi, S.J., a professor of theology at Saint Louis University, is the editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review. He has published widely in early Church theology and broader Catholic issues, most recently the Annotated Confessions of Saint Augustine, and The One Christ: St. Augustine's Theology of Deification.
Table of Contents
Foreword Scott Hahrt 7
Introduction David Vincent Meconi, S.J. Carl E. Olson 11
Chapter 1 The Scriptural Roots of Christian Deification David Vincent Meconi, S.J. Carl E. Olson 17
Chapter 2 Deification in the Greek Fathers Daniel A. Keating 40
Chapter 3 Deification in the Latin Fathers Jared Ortiz 59
Chapter 4 No Longer a Christian but Christ: Saint Augustine on Becoming Divine David Vincent Meconi, S.J. 82
Chapter 5 Deification in the Dominican Tradition: Albert, Thomas, and Catherine Andrew Hofer, O.P. 101
Chapter 6 Like Another Christ: The Franciscan Theology of Deification Sister M. Regina van den Berg 118
Chapter 7 Deification at Trent and in the Counter-Reformation Chris Burgwald 135
Chapter 8 Divine Excess and Hidden Grandeur: Divinization in the French School of Spirituality Michon M. Matthiesen 148
Chapter 9 "Strange Immoderation of the Things of God": Deification and Mystical Union in Neo-Thomism John Saward 168
Chapter 10 John Henry Newman on Deification Daniel J. Lattier 181
Chapter 11 "An Activity of Special, Supernatural, and Extraordinary Beneficence and Love": Matthias Scheeben's Theology of Deification Timothy Kelly 198
Chapter 12 Between the Vatican Councils: From Vatican I to Vatican II Adam G. Cooper 220
Chapter 13 Vatican II, John Paul II, and Postconciliar Theology Tracey Rowland 245
Chapter 14 Deification in the Catechism of the Catholic Church Carl E. Olson 263
Chapter 15 Liturgy and Divinization David W. Fagerberg 274