About this book the publisher tells us:
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought is an investigation into two basic concepts of ancient pagan and Christian thought. The study examines how activity in Christian thought is connected with the topic of participation: for the lower levels of being to participate in the higher means to receive the divine activity into their own ontological constitution. Torstein Theodor Tollefsen sets a detailed discussion of the work of church fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas in the context of earlier trends in Aristotelian and Neoplatonist philosophy. His concern is to highlight how the Church Fathers thought energeia (i.e. activity or energy) is manifested as divine activity in the eternal constitution of the Trinity, the creation of the cosmos, the Incarnation of Christ, and in salvation understood as deification.
- Focuses on the ancient background of an important topic in modern Orthodox spirituality, the concept of divine energies and how created beings may participate in these
- Provides a detailed survey of these theological concepts in the thought of Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas
- Clearly shows both the continuities and the discontinuities between pagan and Christian thought
- Explains the relevance of late antique and Byzantine thinking for modern Orthodox theology