We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Liturgy, Theurgy, and Active Participation: On Theurgic Participation in God

KRINGLEBOTTEN, KJETIL (2021) Liturgy, Theurgy, and Active Participation: On Theurgic Participation in God. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Acceptted version of the PhD thesis) - Accepted Version


This thesis, providing a metaphysical grounding for liturgical participation, argues that ‘active participation’ in the liturgy must be understood principally as our participation in God’s act and particularly in the act of Christ and only secondarily as our ritual involvement. Engaging Thomas Aquinas, Joseph Ratzinger, and Catherine Pickstock, as well as Neoplatonist philosophy, both Pagan and Christian, this thesis proposes that this should be understood in terms of theurgy, which is the human participation in divine action, which finds its consummation in the Incarnation.

This thesis argues that without the Incarnation, all acts will remain extrinsic and imposed but that acts can become real and intrinsic precisely because the Incarnation makes possible true union with the divine, a metaphysical union-in-distinction, without confusion, because this union is not extrinsic. It is rooted in one person or suppositum, the incarnate Logos. Through union with Christ, as the one common focus of the divine-human relation, we can have true union with God and may offer true worship. In order to make sense of active participation, then, we need to understand theology in theurgic terms, where theurgy is understood not as a mechanical ‘coercion’ of God but as a participation in His act, in creation and through Christ as the true theurgist, the ‘master theurgist,’ whose work transforms our act and the liturgy.

Doing so, we find a theological and philosophical basis of how we may participate in the liturgy as a divine work, without either ‘collapsing’ into God, and consequently denying their real and substantial, though derived, integrity, or divorcing our works from their divine source. This thesis, therefore, explores, liturgically, the relation between grace and nature, noting that in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the liturgical act, we also need a deeper understanding of its ground in God.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Theurgy; Participation; Liturgy; Christology; Thomas Aquinas; Joseph Ratzinger; Catherine Pickstock
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Sep 2021 10:04

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter