"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, October 18, 2010


Among the many faddish fatuities from which we suffer today, a fetishization of "spirituality" must be high on the list. Much nonsense is talked by those invoking this label, especially when they make that tiresome claim about being "spiritual but not religious." Whenever I hear people utter that cliché, I find they invariably mean two things: they are too lazy to get out of bed on a Sunday morning, and they are too selfish to reign in their appetites, especially in sexual matters. Too often what passes for "spirituality" today is simply self-indulgent sentimentality and narcissistic treacle. For a Christian, by contrast, being "spiritual" means ultimately being filled with the Holy Spirit, and becoming like Him. In other words, being spiritual means being divinized, becoming like God: theosis.

There have been a half-dozen or so books on theosis published in the last 5 years alone. Several are collections by Protestant publishers of Protestant and Roman Catholic authors rediscovering this idea and practice. Now a further new book has just come out written by an Anglican and looking at theosis in Western and Eastern traditions:

Paul M. Collins, Partaking in Divine Nature: Theosis and Communion (London/New York: T&T Clark, 2010), 240pp.

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