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Title: Sharing in the life of God : a study in participation in Christian thought
Author: Harrison, Michael Robert
ISNI:       0000 0001 3539 5215
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1997
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Participation is a notion found frequently in contemporary (especially ecumenical) theology and while some attention has been given to the notion in terms of its scriptural grounding in terms such as koinonia, little work has been done recently on the theological and historical development of the concept in the Christian tradition. Because the term predates Christian theology in a philosophically significant way, discussion has often turned on the issue of how far the term has been applied appropriately to the Christian context, what degree of originality the term carries within the context of Christian doctrine and what dangers there are in reverting to its usages in Classical philosophy. This thesis seeks to move this discussion on, tracing the development of the notion of 'participation' from Plato to the present-day, not by way of an exhaustive historical survey, but by way of particular theologians whose (not always fully conscious) use of the term participation develops and clarifies an understanding of that term and which flags up some of the theological strengths and weaknesses of using such a notion. Consideration of participation demands that a whole host of inter-related theological issues are addressed and this leads in the course of this study to reflection on a number of key issues in Christian theology such as otherness, relationship, freedom, causality and 'sharing in the life of God'. While a definitive, problem-free account of participation remains to be realised, the thesis explores an understanding of participation in terms of an entering into the relations of the Trinitarian persons in a manner appropriate to human creatureliness. Some of the main challenges which confront those theologians seeking to formulate a doctrine of participation in the late twentieth century in this way are illustrated and tentative proposals for ways forward are offered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available