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Document Details :
Title: Human Dignity and Deification
Subtitle: Visions of the Greek Church Fathers
Author(s): MIKHAYLOV, Petr B.
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 71 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2019
There are various testimonies of Patristic and later Orthodox theological tradition to clarify the main meaning of human dignity, although the very term usually does not appear in a form that would seem familiar to a contemporary audience. Generally speaking, if the term is being addressed at all, it is understood as a final goal of human existence — through the human person’s achievement of a narrow participation in God. In all these accounts, the category of relatedness between humans and the divine creator has a central significance. A comparative study of explications concerning different aspects of the one phenomenon of God’s manifestation, together with the genuine experience of human salvation reveals both a variety and certain continuity in the Christian doctrine of salvation. These various explications use a terminology of value and virtue, in application of a peculiar metaphor of the human soul as a mirror and in formation of general soteriological conception of deification [θέωσις]. The image of a mirror, reflecting the actual state of inner development of the human soul, appears to be of central importance in this context.