Archive Authors E.J. Hutchinson Early Church Fathers Nota Bene

Salvation Is Cosmic

So Athanasius, anyway, from the end of the first section of On the Incarnation of the Word:

And it is fitting that we who speak about this [i.e., salvation] first speak about the creation of all things, and about God, its [i.e., creation’s] demiurge, in order that someone may contemplate that its [i.e., creation’s] renewal has come about worthily at the hands of the Logos who made it in the beginning. For it will be apparent that it is in now way contrary, if the Father has also worked its [i.e., creation’s] salvation in him through whom he made it.1

That is to say, in order to talk about redemption, Athanasius finds it first necessary to talk about creation, because it is impossible to understand the former without understanding the latter; both come about at the hands of the Logos and are coordinate categories. Just as the Logos, the Son of God, was the one through whom creation came into existence, so he is the one through whom creation is healed, renewed, restored. σωτηρία here (salvation, deliverance) has the κτίσις (creation) as its object.

  1. The translation is my own.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.