Theosis and the Coptic Church

I was recently listening to CYC where there was a segment with HE Metropolitan Bishoy. In speaking about the differences between us and the Eastern Orthodox he mentioned. One was Christologocial terms and the second was the deification of man (I think this is theosis).

So later on in the day I was browsing the internet and found that His Eminence wrote a book against the Davinci Code called "The Real Holy Grail", so I went to his site to see if it was posted there, and found this instead :

I always thought theosis was orthodox. Perhaps, I'm misunderstanding. The way its spoken of in the document seems to be speaking of it in a different concept than what the Eastern Orthodox (and what I thought we) believe. I know that Fr. Matthew the Poor (Matta el-Meskeen) said that in theosis we hypostatically unite with God which isn't taught by the Eastern Orthodox (they say the unification is with the energies of God).

Is it possible that this is directed towards the theosis taught by Fr. Matthew the Poor, and not that of Eastern Orthodoxy. I know there are patristics that seem to support the union with the energies of God. Is it possible that this is a misunderstanding on the side of His Eminence probably because of the heretical teaching on it of Fr. Matthew the Poor? Or am I misunderstanding all of this and the deification of man is different than theosis, and all His Eminence speaks against is the heretical teaching of being hypostatically united with God?

please pray for my weak self


  • I haven't read what either have said specifically on my own, however, saying we have a hypostatic union with God is not right. This would in someway make us "divine". What the EO believe is most likely what we believe as well, although I could be mistaken. I think HE is fighting against Abouna Matta el Maskeen. From my weak understanding of this subject, the deification of man is more related to this hypostatic union then theosis per se. Theosis from my understanding is that we unite "permanently"(or eternally) with the Energies or Grace of God. So in that sense we are united with God, so no defilement, no more death, no more sorrow sadness etc. This is what I am aware of although I could be mistaken, I will need to do more research before I speak more so that I do not answer incorrectly.
  • Thanks jydeacon,

    That was my train of thought too, because nothing HE writes in the document is directly against the Orthodox concept of theosis. The only thing that puts doubt in my mind is HE's comments about the deification of man being a difference between  us and the Eastern Orthodox.. If this is the definition of deification of man,then the Eastern Orthodox don't believe in it (ie if deification of man is a hypostatic union with God then the EO dont believe in it in that sense).

    I think His Eminence did say that these issues woul be sorted out in a meeting between the 2 sides (does anyone know when the next meeting is,I heard there was supposed to be ine this year?), so if there is any misunderstanding it will hopefuly  be sorted out  
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