David Litwa

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This article cempares two models of early Christian deification. Both models posit the reality of a human God, but in different ways. One model, represented by the Apocryphon ofjohn, posits a transcendent God Human whose divine essence is protologically given to humans made in his/her image. The other model, represented by Irenaeus of Lyon, posits a historical God-human whose incarnation paves the way for humans to participate in the immortality of God. In the first model, human and divine nature exist on a continuum, permitting human-divine union and even identity In the second, an ontological divide separates humans from God, allowing at most a participation in divine attributes. The comparison takes account of other similarities and differences in these two early Christian visions of deification, allowing for a full appreciation of both their diverse aspects and common core.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Journal Article

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