A unified soteriology for the whole church.
It is commonly claimed that Western Christianity teaches salvation as deliverance from sin through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, while Eastern Christianity teaches salvation as deliverance from death—and as deification—through Christ’s incarnation. But is it really true that no normative, unified doctrine of salvation is to be found in Scripture and tradition?
Theologian Khaled Anatolios, deeply grounded in both East and West, here advances a soteriology that speaks deeply to all Christians. He argues that both Eastern and Western perspectives are needed, and especially that Eastern theology and liturgy—contrary to Western misperceptions—hold cross, resurrection, and glorification together in an exemplary way. Anatolios uses the phrase “doxological contrition” to suggest that the truth of salvation is found both in Jesus’s perfect glorification of God and in his representative repentance for humanity’s sinful rejection of its original calling to participate in the life of the Holy Trinity.
Deification through the Cross is a salutary rebuttal of the postmodern fragmentation that assumes no single, normative soteriology can apply globally. Anatolios systematically expounds an integrated soteriology, which he then puts into dialogue with various perspectives, including liberation theology, Girardian theory, and penal substitution. All who seek to understand and teach “the joy of our salvation” will find indispensable help in this magisterial retrieval of an often-misunderstood doctrine.
Table of Contents
Part I: Foundational Sources for a Soteriology of Doxological Contrition
1. Doxological Contrition in Byzantine Liturgy
2. Doxological Contrition in Scripture
3. Doxological Contrition in Conciliar Doctrine
Part II: A Systematic Theology of Doxological Contrition
4. The Mutual Glorification of the Divine Trinity
5. Human Existence as Participation in Intra-trinitarian Glorification
6. The Doxological Weight of Human Sin
7. Salvation as Reintegration into Trinitarian Glorification
8. Soteriology of Doxological Contrition in Dialogue
“This book is a masterpiece of careful, wide-ranging engagement in the Christian tradition.”
“Readers will find this book to be a brilliant critique of the strengths and weaknesses of modern approaches to the atonement and a reliable guide to the meaning of salvation.”
“A welcome contribution that avoids merely cataloguing previously renowned and obscure authors’ thoughts and ideas in the name of theology, and instead advances theological reflection and encourages Christians to embrace a salvific praxis of the Way, as originally founded by Jesus.”
— Theological Studies
“This profound and beautiful book is the finest yet from the hand of its remarkable author. Khaled Anatolios sees the suffering of the cross not as a problem to be solved (or explained away), but as the full and free enactment of Jesus’s perfect sorrow over the sins of the world—at once the eternal Son’s glorification of the Father in our flesh and the opening up of divine life itself to sinners. This is a deeply learned theological work at home with the whole Christian tradition, but it is also much more than that. By finding anew the cross at the heart of the mystery of salvation, this theologian makes the joy of the gospel leap off the page.”
— Bruce D. Marshall
Perkins School of Theology
“In this book, Khaled Anatolios rises magnificently to the late Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s challenge to engage in liturgical theology, that is, a theology that emerges from and is nourished by the liturgy. His subject is of major importance, with enormous ecumenical repercussions: the doctrine of the atonement. From his immersion in the Byzantine liturgy, he offers the central theme of doxological contrition, and pursues this in dialogue with the Scriptures and with an impressive array of theologians—Athanasius, Cyril, Maximus, Anselm, Aquinas, Nicholas Cabasilas, Scheeben, Staniloae, Balthasar. Deification through the Cross is a triumph of sympathetic dialogue, transcending the easy dichotomies of much twentieth-century theology.”
— Andrew Louth
“The modern discussion of salvation can seem a bewildering collection of competing images, models, and perspectives. Khaled Anatolios not only brings the biblical and traditional material into focus but also points toward a more faithful way of understanding and experiencing what salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ can mean for the church and the Christian.”
— Michael Root
The Catholic University of America
“This lucid, scholarly work is an invaluable reference for anyone interested in salvation and deification.“
The Living Church
“[W]hat Anatolios is really after is a consistent view of Christ’s person and work understood as vicarious doxological contrition. Any repentance we undertake, any sorrow or compunction we may experience, are made possible only because Christ himself has done what we could not: truthfully confess our sin before God, and offer up the glory due the Lord’s Name.”
“How is the Almighty in need of our paltry assistance? The answer is anticipated in this book.”