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Salvation as justification and deification

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2011

Roland Chia*
Trinity Theological College, 490 Upper Bukit Timah Road, Singapore


Many Christians in the Western tradition would find the idea of salvation as the deification of man alien because the concept of justification by faith has played such a central and influential role in Western soteriologies. There is, however, a renaissance of the concept of deification or theosis in contemporary theology even outside its traditional home in Eastern Orthodoxy. Many Roman Catholic and Protestant theologians have discovered that although the two metaphors, justification and deification, emphasise different aspects of salvation, they are not incompatible with each other. In addition, theologians in the Western tradition are arguing that although the forensic and declarative aspect of justification is important, justification also has a transformative aspect. An exploration of the transformative aspect of justification has resulted in the discovery of interesting ways in which this concept can be brought closer to that of theosis in the Eastern tradition.

Research Article
Copyright © Scottish Journal of Theology Ltd 2011

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