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This essay addresses the need for a fuller, more integral and embodied understanding of salvation in Protestant, especially Reformed theology. Specifically, it makes a case for retrieving the early Eastern Christian notion of theosis/deification for contemporary Reformed theology. After reviewing classical formulations of theosis and other notions of salvation in the broader Christian tradition, it considers conventional Reformed objections to theosis. Then it explores new directions in Calvin research indicated by Carl Mosser, J. Todd Billings, and Julie Canlis, as well as the constructive theology of incarnation presented by Wendy Farley, with a view to determining their potential to assist in this retrieval. In the end, the author formulates some ‘grammar rules’ for articulating theosis in a Reformed-ecumenical, gender-sensitive discourse.

In: Journal of Reformed Theology

The first scholar who introduced the Eastern doctrine of deification to a modern Western audience was Myrrha Lot-Borodine, in 1932/33. Born in Russia, she moved to France and became a specialist in medieval literature. The courteous poetry was a source of inspiration for her to discover the Christian mystical tradition and, subsequently, the treasures of patristic theology. This article presents the life and scholarly development of Lot-Borodine, reconstructs extensively her view of theosis, as becoming one with God in a contemplative movement of eros/agape, and discusses the deficient reception of her work. In the evaluation, Lot-Borodine’s theology is rehabilitated within the context of modern Orthodox theology and situated in relation to the different traditions of theosis. Finally, some insights into the gender-relevance of her work are formulated.

In: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies


Though it is generally acknowledged that Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1836) was the first to put mission studies in the curriculum of theology, the contents of his theology of mission are not very well known. This article offers a careful reconstruction of his mission theology based on a gender-critical and postcolonial reading of the main sources, in particular Christian Ethics. Schleiermacher made a case for a family-based type of mission, closely linking mission activity to religious education. He favored an organic and grassroots approach to mission. By highlighting his upbringing in the Moravian mission-oriented community and by analyzing his reluctance to morally justify modern foreign missions, the author replies to recently voiced criticisms that Schleiermacher’s theology takes a colonialist stance and contributes to the export of a “cult of female domesticity”. His views on the superiority of Christian religion can be counterbalanced and modified by his actual theology of the missional encounter. The article proposes to retrospectively regard Schleiermacher as one of the first theologians who convincingly expressed the notion of a missional church which is as inclusive as possible.

In: Mission Studies
Volume Editors: and
In many societies all over the world, an increasing polarization between contrasting groups can be observed. Polarization arises when a fear born of difference turns into ‘us-versus-them’ thinking and rules out any form of compromise. This volume addresses polarizations within societies as well as within churches, and asks the question: given these dynamics, what may be the calling of the church? The authors offer new approaches to polarizing debates on topics such as racism, social justice, sexuality and gender, euthanasia, and ecology and agriculture in various contexts. They engage in profound theological and ecclesiological reflection, in particular from the Reformed tradition.

Contributors to this volume are: Najib George Awad, Henk van den Belt, Nadine Bowers Du Toit, Jaeseung Cha, David Daniels, David Fergusson, Jan Jorrit Hasselaar, Jozef Hehanussa, Allan Janssen, Klaas-Willem de Jong, Viktória Kóczián, Philipp Pattberg, Louise Prideaux, Emanuel Gerrit Singgih, Peter-Ben Smit, Thandi Soko-de Jong, Wim van Vlastuin, Jan Dirk Wassenaar, Elizabeth Welch, Annemarieke van der Woude, and Heleen Zorgdrager.