From North Africa to Byzantium and to New England: Augustine, Maximus and Jonathan Edwards on the meaning and shape of Christian salvation
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 17:07 authored by Irene Petrou
Three theologians from different localities, traditions and centuries are surprisingly similar in their theological and spiritual emphases. Augustine and Maximus have much in common with the eighteenth-century Reformed Protestant theologian, Jonathan Edwards. The common thread that draws these theologians together is found in their theology of the will and the affections, and in the manner in which their soteriological anthropology engaged with the patristic doctrine of deification.Each developed a theology of the will and the affections, which communicated intentionality (in that Christians through grace were capable of reforming and transforming their life), and which was framed by and climaxed in their notions of deification. The doctrine can be seen to function in the soteriological anthropology of each theologian to allow eschatology to inform the issue of Christian ethics and morality in the Christian’s present life. One result is that Christian issues of ethics and morality become a theocentric concern, not an anthropocentric one, demarcating Christian moral theory from secular and philosophical moral theory. With regard to Edwards, this can be seen to be the reason why the doctrine appealed to him in his eighteenth-century Enlightenment context. He perceived as false the ever growing rationalism in Reformed Protestant thinking, which, by imposing a dichotomy between knowledge and reason on the one hand and experience and practice on the other, creates a tension which continues to impact theological thinking today.
Table of ContentsIntroduction: An elusive doctrine and three theologians -- Part 1. Preface : The problem of human self-determination and the Christian issue of sin and grace Chapter 1. Augustine and the problem of sin Chapter 2. Maximus and the problem of sin Chapter 3. Jonathan Edwards and the problem of sin -- Part 2. Preface : The theology of the will and the affections Chapter 4. Augustine on the will and the affections Chapter 5. Maximus on the will and the affections Chapter 6. Jonathan Edwards on the will and the affections -- Part 3. Preface : The patristic doctrine of deification Chapter 7. Augustine and the patristic doctrine of deification Chapter 8. Maximus and the patristic doctrine of deification Chapter 9. Jonathan Edwards and the patristic doctrine of deification -- Chapter 10. Conclusion: The importance of the patristic doctrine of deification for western theology.
NotesTheoretical thesis. "A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Macquarie University in July 2014, Department of Ancient History, Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience" -- title page. Bibliography: pages 325-344
Awarding InstitutionMacquarie University
Degree TypeThesis PhD
DegreePhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History
Department, Centre or SchoolDepartment of Ancient History
Year of Award2014
Principal SupervisorStuart Piggin
Additional Supervisor 1Kenneth Parry
RightsCopyright Irene Petrou 2014. Copyright disclaimer: http://www.copyright.mq.edu.au
Extent1 online resource (344 pages)
Former Identifiersmq:45330 http://hdl.handle.net/1959.14/1076854
Christian practiceChristian lifegraceAugustineMaximus, -- Confessor, Saint, -- approximately 580-662 -- PhilosophyMaximustheologyAugustine, -- Saint, Bishop of Hippo -- PhilosophyChristianityChristianity -- PhilosophysinEdwards, JonathanenlightenmentaffectionslibertariansOrigenistswillCambridge PlatonistsjustificationJonathan EdwardsdeificationsoteriologyphilosophyMaximus the ConfessorsalvationguiltEdwards, Jonathan, -- 1703-1758 -- Philosophy