• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

On the Topic of Participation in the Divine Essence according to St Symeon the New Theologian in the Patristic Context

Firstly, inasmuch as St Symeon’s doctrine does not include the concept of the ultimate impossibility of participating in God by substance, his theological language pertains to the pre-Maximian epoch in Byzantine theology (in a typological sense). Secondly, the usage of the opposition by substance – by participation by St Symeon corresponds to a normative line in Byzantine Patristic thought: a human being is united to God by participation, not becoming God by his own, human substance. In accordance with the pre-Maximian trend towards a participation paradigm, St Symeon depicts deification as that which take place by participation understood as participation in the divine substance. By virtue of this, the statement regarding the inconsistency of St Symeon’s doctrine is incorrect, since in the framework of pre-Maximian theological language, which St Symeon follows, there was no contradiction between the topic of participation in the divine substance and the opposition of by participation – by substance, but these two concepts were closely related. Thirdly, despite St Symeon following pre-Maximian theological language when he depicts deification through participation in the divine substance, we can suppose that St Maximus nevertheless influenced the specifics of St Symeon’s depiction of deification as it relates to the category of participation.