as Christ becomes incarnate in him.160 Insofar as this is indeed so, 'the whole man participates in the whole God',161 as he realises in act his participated unity with Christ kata logon.

IV The rejection of pagan philosophical ontology All this entails the comprehensive Christian rejection of pagan philosophical ontology. First, the Iamblichean tradition's tripartite understanding of participation is repudiated. For, on the one hand, the logos of each being is a direct participation in the Logos; it is not the case that the Logos is remote from the logoi of mundane beings. On the other hand, all created being is taken up directly in the incarnation of the hypostasis of the Logos, in which it has its participated fulfilment. Thus Divinity is immediately present to all beings, and does not stand at the high-point of an ontological hierarchy, touching the lower levels of being only indirectly through causal intermediaries. (It is not that there is no hierarchical ontological gradiation; it is just that this hierarchy has no role to play in determining the union of divinity with humanity in the incarnate Logos.)

Consequently, it follows, second, that for Christians the one triadic divinity exercises direct providence over the material world.162 Providence is not the work of a subordinate entity. Nor is providence merely the work of the Logos - for the unity of ousia in the Trinity means that the providential act of the Trinity is common to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Moreover, third, there is a rejection of the pagan understanding of theurgical ascent up a metaphysical hierarchy. Certainly, for Christians, one's unification to Christ takes place over time and gradually, but this is a gradiation of the level of participation in Christ, not an ascent of levels of gradiation which lead to Christ.

Fourth, the pagan deprecation of the body and identification of true per-sonhood with the disembodied soul is rejected. For body too is incorporated directly into divinity in Jesus Christ. And if the fulfilment of human being consists in functioning as a syndesmos linking all aspects of creation to the divinity, then human being is intrinsically bodily. Therefore, human person-hood cannot be identified with a disembodied soul, which can only be seen as an unnatural - and hence deficient - state.163

160 Maximus the Confessor, Ep. 2 (PG 91: 401B); Amb. 10 (PG 91:1113B-C).

161 Maximus the Confessor, Amb. 7 (PG 91:1088C).

162 Cf.Gregory of Nazianzus, De prov. (PG 37); Theodoret of Cyrrhus, De prov. (PG 83:

163 Maximus the Confessor, Amb. 7 (PG 91:1100A-1101C).

0 0

Post a comment