Review: The One Christ: St Augustine’s Theology of Deification

David Meconi of Saint Louis University has written what he claims is the ‘first book-length study of Augustine’s theology of deification’ (p. xvi). Since the publication of Gerald Bonner’s seminal article on this theme (‘Augustine’s Concept of Deification’, Journal of Theological Studies 37 [1986], pp. 369–86) deification has been a topic of discussion within Augustine studies. It is often assumed to distinguish ‘Eastern’ from ‘Western’ theology (the East has it, the West lacks it), but Bonner and a handful of other scholars (e.g. Gerhart Ladner and Henry Chadwick) have dispatched this rumor with aplomb. Among other things, Bonner’s 1986 article has provided the humble total of eighteen proof texts for the doctrine of deification, as well as the theological narrative that is necessary to excavate this theme in Augustine’s thought.