Neglected word of the day: Theosis

Another word that has been so thoroughly neglected these past few centuries there isn’t even an exact equivalent for it. Theosis is “the process of being engodened.” There’s no such word as engodened, you say? Exactly the difficulty! Theosis is pretty easy to remember, though: Theo- being God, and -osis being a kind of process, like in osmosis. “Engodened” is the way Bishop Basil apparently translates it – being infused with the uncreated energy of God, just as to be enlivened is to be infused with new life. I suppose the closest English terms might be sanctification and glorification, but it’s up for debate to what extent either of those are an ongoing process, and to what extent they mean becoming like God. So for that there’s theosis, which is very clear on both counts. Hence, its usefulness – and its centrality in Greek theology.


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