LUCAS, HANNA,JOY (2022) THE SACRAMENT OF LEARNING:
RECOVERING A MYSTAGOGICAL VISION OF KNOWLEDGE AND SALVATION. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
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This thesis offers a sacramental account of learning through a thematic reading of the
mystagogical homilies of four fourth century bishops: Ambrose of Milan, Cyril of Jerusalem,
John Chrysostom, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. In the initiatory practices of the fourth century,
mystagogy was the portion of catechetical instruction given to explain and interpret the rites
and liturgy of initiation. My reading of the mystagogies will argue that these homilies reflect a
theology of learning in which the end of knowledge is to encounter and embrace God with all
of the faculties given to our nature; both the humbly material and the intellective and spiritual.
I will propose an analogical relation between mundane learning and the movement into the
intimate and divinizing knowledge of God one receives in the sacraments. I present the
mystagogues’ teachings in terms of the ‘capacitation’ of our nature for this knowledge of God;
a knowledge that becomes indistinguishable from union. The sacraments make humanity
capable of receiving God, chōrētikos theou. I will demonstrate how the mystagogues
understand the sacraments as a true participation in union with God here and now and how the
Holy Spirit makes humanity capable of union with the divine through conformation to Christ.
I will also show how mystagogy proposes a consonance and continuity between mundane
learning and the sacramental formation of humanity into a creature capable of heavenly
participation. These belong to one divinizing grace. And, thus, learning is primarily intelligible
through its relation to salvation and theōsis. This account of mystagogy’s ‘mystery of learning’
will be proposed as a remedial challenge to the impoverishments of modern conceptions of the
nature and end of knowledge. The beatific end of being divinely capacitated for heavenly
communion sits at the heart of the human capacity to learn.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Keywords:||mystagogy, patristics, catechesis, sacramental ontology, pedagogy, initiation, liturgy, metaphysics|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||13 Apr 2022 09:39|