Goal of salvation

John Zizioulas succinctly sketches the concept of theosis as follows:

“The eternal survival of the person as a unique, unrepeatable and free ‘hypostasis,’ as loving and being loved, constitutes the quintessence of salvation, the bringing of the Gospel to man. In the language of the Fathers this is called ‘divinization’ (theosis), which means participation not in the nature or substance of God, but in His personal existence. The goal of salvation is that the personal life which is realised [sic] in God should also be realized on the level of human existence. Consequently salvation is identified with the realization of personhood in man.” (John D. Zizioulas, Being as Communion, pp. 49–50)

While this way of describing salvation sounds very strange to Western ears, it suggests a way of thinking about theosis that doesn’t compromise the essential distinction between God and man, between Creator and creatures.

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