It has become something of a commonplace to say that the Latin Fathers did not really hold a doctrine of deification. While the many excellent studies of this doctrine in the Greek Fathers attest to its permanent place in Eastern thought, the relative scarcity of literature on the Latin tradition would suggest that there is not much to learn from the West. Indeed, it is often asserted that the Latin Fathers have neglected the doctrine of deification, that their occasional references to it are borrowed from the Greeks, and that the Latins have generally reduced the rich biblical and Greek Patristic understanding of salvation to a narrow view of redemption as the mere cleansing of sin.
This workshop aims to challenge this common interpretation of the Latin tradition by exploring, often for the first time, the role this doctrine plays in the theology of various Latin figures. Two papers will offer synthetic accounts: the opening paper by Jared Ortiz will range across times and places to explore how the doctrine of deification manifests itself in the liturgies and liturgical understanding of the Latin West, while the closing paper by Norman Russell will compare the collective witness of the Latin tradition with the Greek understanding of deification. The ten papers in between will treat deification in the thought and lives of individual Latin Fathers and Mothers.