Publications and Presentations

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Here’s a list of my presentations and publications to date. I’m always willing to share my papers, so shoot me an email if you want to dialogue about my topics or read my papers: elflandletters@gmail.com

Presentations:

‘Fallen Culture: Logres vs. Britain’ Presented at St Nicholas’ Church, Nottingham 3 November 2013. http://stnics.org/Groups/226018/Genesis.aspx

Abstract:
A sermon given on Genesis 6.1-8 and Luke 17.20-37.

‘Avoiding Shortcuts: The Doctrine of Deification in Conversation with C. S. Lewis and the Church Fathers.’ Presented at the Centre for Philosophy and Theology’s Conference on The Soul, St Anne’s College, University of Oxford 29 June 2013.

Abstract:

This paper seeks to show that human attempts at auto-deification are fruitless when compared with Christian notion of deification. We begin by examining the human desire to be God. We will show how this desire is actually inherent to humans, but that it can be easily misapplied. Looking at the human desire to be God will also provide a brief opportunity for discussion concerning what a human is and why the desire to be God is inherent to humans. In order to understand both the Christian notion of deification and human attempts at auto-deification, we will look primarily, but not exclusively, at the Church Fathers and C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy. Lewis’s Space Trilogy provides excellent examples of humanity’s desire to be God, and will prove an interesting and helpful interlocutor for understanding auto-deification. We will thus first compare the temptations proffered by Weston to the Eve of Perelandra with the Genesis account of the Fall. Then we will assess the attempts at auto-deification attempted by the group known as the N.I.C.E. in That Hideous Strength with a brief reference to Weston’s attempt in Out of the Silent Planet.  The paper will then turn to study the Christian notion of deification, particularly as developed by the Church Fathers. Here the emphasis will be to understand what deification is in a Christian sense. Finally, the paper will show how the Christian notion of deification critiques the attempts made in Lewis’s Space Trilogy, noting especially the impacts this has for life now.

‘The Deifying Trinity: How Gregory Nazianzen and Augustine of Hippo Use Deification to Explain the Trinity.’ British Patristics Conference, University of Exeter, 6 September 2012.

Abstract:

Gregory Nazianzen is well-known for his defense of the Trinity in his Theological Orations. The same can be said for Augustine of Hippo and his De Trinitate. These two authors share more than defense of the Trinity in their most well-known documents on this subject. Each author, in an attempt to give evidence for, thereby providing a defense of, the doctrine of the Trinity uses the language of deification to explain how the Son and Spirit are fully God as the Father is God and how the believer relates to them. This paper concisely and closely studies two of Gregory’s Theological Orations (Ors. 30 and 31) and book 4 of Augustine’s De Trinitate to show that, and how, these authors use the language of deification in their defense and explanation of the Trinity. For Gregory and Augustine, salvation (and salvation through deification) and how the believer is to live in light of that salvation is essential when coming to discuss the doctrine of the Trinity. That each author refers to the language not only of salvation but deification and that contemporary theologians ought to keep this in mind today is argued in the body of this paper.

‘”See I made you like God,” (Exodus 7): in defence of the incarnation in Athanasius and John Cassian.’ A Celebration of Living Theology: Engaging with the Work of Andrew Louth, University of Durham, 10 July 2012.

Abstract:

In Athanasius’ Orationes contra Arianos, Athanasius uses Exodus 7:1 and Psalm 81:1 (LXX) to argue that the Son must have always been divine and the Son, in order to deify human beings. Nearly a century later, Cassian would use Exodus 7:1 and Psalm 81:6 (LXX) in his De incarnatione Christi contra Nestorium haereticum to show that the word “god” applies differently to human beings and Jesus. In both instances these Scriptures are used to defend the full divinity of the Christ.

This paper will: (i) explore the interrelation of Athanasius and Cassian; the arguments made by Athanasius and Cassian and how they compare; (ii) note how the new context of Pelagianism and Nestorianism leads Cassian to shift theological emphases; (iii) noting that while Cassian does not use Athanasius’ language of deification, from this and other passages it is clear that Cassian subtly assented to the notion of deification.

Publications:

Being Deified: Poetry and Fantasy on the Path to God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, Forthcoming.

On the Edge of Elfland. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, Forthcoming.

‘Roger White, Judith Wolfe, and Brendan Wolfe, eds., C. S. Lewis and his Circle: Essays and Memoirs from the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. 288 pp. Review.’ Sehnsucht: The CS Lewis Journal (Forthcoming).

‘Khaled Anatolios, ed., The Holy Trinity in the Life of the Church. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2014. 272 pp. Review.’ Stone-Campbell Journal. (Forthcoming).

‘The Deifying Trinity: How Gregory Nazianzen and Augustine of Hippo Use Deification to Explain the Trinity.’ Studia Patristica (2014) 72: 147-156.

‘Ruth A. Tucker. Parade of Faith: A Biographical History of the Christian Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011. 509 pp. $39.99. Review.’ Stone-Cambpell Journal  (Fall 2012) 15, 2:246-249. Web Address

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