Below is a meta-heuristic outline of my theological anthropology. Systematically, this is where I provisionally closed last year (2020). This is to say that it feels like I have already said all that I really wanted to say, theologically. My next life task may be to express it all differently, somehow, e.g. accessibly, concretely, spiritually, etc. So far, I’ve neither felt such an urge nor heard from my Muse.
In a nutshell, I have come to believe that, in the end,
1) that we’ll exist is wholly determined. “We’ll” refers cosmotheandrically;
2) that our original beatitude will be restored; that our primary nature, including our experience of an essential aesthetic intensity, will be wholly determined; and
3) that our theotic nature and secondary beatitudes, including our degrees of intimacy and scopes of aesthetic experience, will remain wholly indetermined.
1) vestigial Dei
a) indicative apocata
b) original being restored
c) existentially determined
d) ecclesiologically, unitive dynamics restore our essential belongingness
2) imaginal Dei
a) indicative apocatastenai
b) original beatitude restored
c) primary nature determined
d) soteriologically, sacramental dynamics restore our aesthetic intensity
3) similitudinal Dei
a) subjunctive apocatastasis
b) secondary beatitudes realized
c) theotic nature indetermined
d) sophiologically, intimacization dynamics expand our aesthetic scopes
And that’s the basic thrust of my Cosmotheandric Pan-semio-entheism.
Addendum regarding Types of Participation
I. Ontological or enstatic participations (vestigial) of primary natures
acts of existence – essential potencies (formal intelligibilities of whatness) reduced by existential acts (facticities or relationalities of thatness)
II. Perichoretic or hypostatic participations (imaginal) of personal natures
acts of will – material potencies (haecceities of howness incl when & where) reduced by efficient acts (volitions of whoness)
III. Teleological or ecstatic participations (similitudinal) of secondary natures
acts of becoming – final potencies (communion as ultimate whyness) reduced by formal acts (communicative & habitual – as in virtuous &/or vicious)
How Not to Be Scandalized by Perichoretic Christo-Logics
We could perhaps consider persons in terms of their hypostatic natures, which present as brute realities or haecceities, whose individuating properties we inventory as idiomata or distinct hownesses, both divine & human.
Those particularizing hownesses allow us to successfully refer to persons by name (even though unable to define them ontologically).
Christ has a nondeterminate, divine primary hypostatic nature & realized, self-determinedly, a human secondary hypostatic nature.
We are gifted a determined, human primary hypostatic nature & realize, self-determinedly, a divine secondary hypostatic nature.
The logics, identities & symmetries of this divine-human (composite) hypostatic nature refer to personal properties in terms of coinhering hownesses …
— hownesses which present in a manner otherwise indifferent to the essential natures that ontologically differentiate nondeterminate from determinate personal beings, ie in terms of participatory whatnesses, which remain analogical & asymmetric.
It’s just not sufficient, because —
Anemic Christologies lead to impoverished anthropologies, ecclesiologies, soteriologies, sacramentalogies, sophiologies & eschatologies.
practical upshot – We are co-creators. We can love. We can self-empty. We can realize divine synergies. We have been gifted the highest hownesses of divinity, hypostatically, as persons.
Those who consider evil a parasitic existence cannot also maintain that it’s, ultimately ontologically no-thing, if, in the end, it’s perversely sustained in existence for all eternity.
As mere habitus, a telic hindrance situated between cosmic (beautiful) acts & potencies, this parasitic existence will realize it’s absolute nothingness only via this annihilation: All divine-human synergic acts will reduce without remainder all soteriological potencies.
Using a criminal culpability analogy, what gets God out of the dock for me relies – neither on case theories (logical defenses) nor factual arguments (evidential theodicies), but – on the reasonable doubts instilled by His character witnesses (the great cloud).
Often it seems like Gunton, Zizioulas et al began w/a caricature of Augustine, then “fixed” him w/the Capps? Dynamical, relational & personalist insights (ok) that jettison substantialist intuitions (less ok) can flirt w/nominalism & conflate One w/Many.
Still, if I don’t affirm a semantical univocity of certain aspects of personhood, incl any logics of coinherence as well as certain identities & symmetries of howness, all indifferent to ontological whatnesses, I’ll deny the hypostatic union.
An anthropological question left begging from my above eschatology might be “Why are we, in the first place, epistemically (hence, axiologically) distanced?”. It’s to help us realize our own co-creativity, our spirituality, our unique authenticity, etc
I take Scotus’ infinite (like Anselm’s ‘greater than which’) qualitatively, & recognize a thin passibility in terms of change in the aesthetic scope of the divine esse intentionale, which in no way threatens the intrinsic perfection of the esse naturale.
I thus believe all persons will fully realize the potencies of their essential natures & beatitudes via universal apokatastenai, so will realize optimal aesthetic intensity, but also will eternally enjoy expansions of their aesthetic scopes, secondary natures & beatitudes.
The riddle of no unrealized essential potencies, eschatologically, for me, resolves in seeing Christ’s formlessness as never derived from a lack of form. Rather, in both His nondeterminacy & self-determinacy, He, as Logos, remains the very Source of essential forms.
Eschatologically, we, too, will lack no essential form as, for our part, we’ll have been eternally thus determined (apokatastenai). What persons freely self-determine are their secondary natures – for Christ via humanization & us via divinization. (theosis, apokatastasis).
More on Hypostatic Logic
re Christ’s hypostatic nature, any particularizing bundle of idiomata, which might name His Person, will eternally include both necessary (in this case, nondeterminately so) as well as fitting (self-determinately so) peculiarities of identity?
re your hypostatic nature, any particularizing bundle of idiomata, which might name you, could very well also eternally include both necessary (in this case, determinedly so) as well as fitting (to be self-determined) peculiarities of identity?
these hypostatic modes of identity are in meaningful ways symmetric, e.g. they can share some idiomata; personal agents can express, i.e. reveal, many of the same meanings & realize many of the same values, co-creatively, and thru synergy or cooperation with uncreated operations experience theosis, ie both a union with & likeness to God; w/o sharing ousia, we may journey from image to likeness, growing in intimacy, unitively
protologically & eschatologically, these perichoretic logics, hypostatic principles & personal dynamics present independent of, even indifferent to, any primary or secondary essential natures in which they variously participate (ontologically, as hypostases include one’s idiomata & ousia)
we can’t exhaustively inventory the entire bundle of particularizing idiomata of persons, which present as rather brute, mysterious realities (haecceities) & may also remain unable, even in principle, to determine or define their ousia
He may increase as I decrease
In answer to my prayer
Til it almost becomes
A problem, here
To know Who is standing, there
divinization & humanization thus entail unitive realizations, operationally, discerned epistemically in terms of divine-human idiomata, even as there’s no unitary being in play; hypostatic coinherence or interpenetration is thus operational
insofar as hypostases incl idiomata & ousia & participable, analogical, ontological essences present asymmetrically any hypostatic symmetries & identities refer to certain idiomata & would implicate a bundle theory incl some in-principle shareable & unshareable idiomata
shareable theotic idiomata, then, refer to manifestations or revelations of all manner of co/creative operations, ie coinhering synergies, which, when uniquely bundled into particularizing peculiarities, serve to epistemically individuate (reveal) persons
What Divinization Does & Does Not Entail
divinization has essential, accidental, idiomatic & operational elements
it does not involve what remain eternally in-principle unshareable properties, whether of hypostatic idiomata or essence or of energeia
Christ eternally instantiates all human forms, both essential (intensity) & accidental (scope), even all cosmotheandric forms, so, all primary & secondary natures, both human & divine
our divinization entails our own ongoing self-determinate instantiation of all the human forms, not just essential & primary but accidental & secondary, as are eternally embodied by Christ
our ongoing divinization entails wholly becoming the human Christ became in His secondary nature & not becoming the God of His essential primary nature; it also entails partaking of His in-principle shareable idiomata, while cooperating in synergy with His in-principle shareable coinhering operations
A Kenotic Thought Experiment
Does the Monarchy of the Father entail subordination of other divine persons?
Aetiologically & economically, yes. Ontologically & axiologically, no.
Does the Incarnation of the Son entail elevation of other human persons?
Aetiologically & economically, no. Ontologically & axiologically, yes.
While I’ve recognized divine-human personal distinctions in terms of certain asymmetries & symmetries, still, by juxtaposing the Trinitological ur-kenotic & Christological kenotic dynamics, above, I mean to affirm – regarding certain equalities with God, which we lack – that they are nothing to be grasped at and others we have been given through grace that are nothing to be scorned.
We have been given the better (truly, beautiful good) part of divinity, pressed down, shaken together & running over.
I otherwise take pains to parse a/symmetries of in-principle un/shareable hypostatic idiomata, operational energeia & primary/secondary essential natures to avoid nominalism, pantheism & absolute determinism.
That’s all to say that I would not want to be (mis)interpreted as not fully onboard with, for example, this:
And it’s also to say that, in trying to remain consistent w/reconciliations of Scotus, Palamas & Aquinas (vis a vis DDS, for example), I tweak my interpretations of Hartshorne & Bulgakov to avoid the same -isms.
this is to say that i am onboard with some determinism, especially apokatastenai of original beatitude