Tuesday, 28 June 2011

George Kalantzis - Creatio ex Terrae: Immortality and the Fall in Theodore, Chrysostom, and Theodoret.

This paper examines the Antiochene emphasis on the mortal creation of the protoplasts as the primary locus for understanding the relationship between divine foreknowledge and human προαίρεσις, the free choice between good and evil as an innate property of human nature. Paying particular attention to the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, John Chrysostom, and Theodoret of Cyrus, the paper argues that, for the Antiochenes, the Fall neither introduced mortality as an ontological change to the human γένος, nor removed freedom of choice from the post-lapsarian condition, but, on the contrary, mortality was at once the consequence of sin and an aspect of humanity’s original state. For the Antiochenes, then, mortality is not of one kind in two modes (a natural condition or a penalty) but there are two distinct genera of mortality: the natural mortality whose origin is in the “dust of the earth,” and a different type, a penal mortality, the punishment for actual sin.  This understanding of mortality, creation, and the post-lapsarian condition allowed the Antiochenes to maintain the delicate balance between divine sovereignty, justice, and foreknowledge and human free will.

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