In recent years, Eastern Orthodox thought has had an increasing influence on key aspects of contemporary Western Christian thought, particularly as regards the doctrine of the Trinity and mystical spirituality. However, the foundations and fundamental presuppositions of Eastern Christianity's theological system have remained largely unstudied -- and thus unknown -- in the West.
In this important study, Emil Bartos examines the doctrine of deification which provides the conceptual basis for the way Staniloae and other Orthodox theologians understand the major doctrines of the Christian faith. The idea that God became man that man might become God sounds almost heretical to many Western ears, yet this affirmation is repeated countless times in the writings of the Eastern Fathers.
Beginning with the apophaticism that lies at the heart of Eastern theology, Bartos examines each of the key doctrines of anthropology, christology, soteriology and ecclesiology as they relate to deification in Staniloae's thought. Bartos' study represents not merely a contribution to contemporary dialogue between Eastern and Western theologians, but also a much needed introduction to an aspect of Christian thought down the centuries that is largely neglected in the Christian West.