Date of Award

Spring 1985

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lienhard, Joseph T.

Second Advisor

Cizewski, Wanda

Third Advisor

Misner, Paul


John of Damascus is the last Christian writer of the Greek patristic age. His most important work, The Fount of Knowledge, is a summary of the teachings of eastern Christianity. It includes quotations from many Greek Fathers; it also includes much original thought. John is therefore a most important source for our understanding of the theology of the age of the Greek Fathers. The doctrine of deification plays an important role in his theology, and the concept colors his treatment of many other issues. In general, Western theologians have not considered the importance of this doctrine in the Eastern presentation of the Christian religion. Our problem will be to define the doctrine of deification as it appears in the writings of John of Damascus. We shall situate the doctrine in its Biblical and historical context. We shall analyze the concept and show its relationships with other Christian doctrines. Our assessment of this teaching will be a positive one. Our hope is that the theology of all Western Christians will be enriched by a consideration of the issues which will be raised.



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