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On the Fullness of Salvation

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Tracking theosis in Reformed Theology

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This essay addresses the need for a fuller, more integral and embodied understanding of salvation in Protestant, especially Reformed theology. Specifically, it makes a case for retrieving the early Eastern Christian notion of theosis/deification for contemporary Reformed theology. After reviewing classical formulations of theosis and other notions of salvation in the broader Christian tradition, it considers conventional Reformed objections to theosis. Then it explores new directions in Calvin research indicated by Carl Mosser, J. Todd Billings, and Julie Canlis, as well as the constructive theology of incarnation presented by Wendy Farley, with a view to determining their potential to assist in this retrieval. In the end, the author formulates some ‘grammar rules’ for articulating theosis in a Reformed-ecumenical, gender-sensitive discourse.

Affiliations: 1: Protestant Theological University, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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