In Jared Ortiz (ed.), Deification in the Latin Patristic Tradition. Washington, DC, USA: pp. 231-252 (2019)

Michael Wiitala
Cleveland State University
Boethius is unique among Christian authors in late antiquity in that his account of deification makes no explicit reference to Christ. Instead, he develops a distinctly Neo-Platonic notion of deification, which he puts in the mouth of Lady Philosophy. According to Lady Philosophy, human beings are made divine through participation in God, who is understood as happiness itself, goodness itself, and unity itself. On the basis of this identification of happiness and God, Lady Philosophy concludes that the happiness human beings desire can only be attained through deification. Although the argument of the Consolation suggest that a virtuous life, contemplation, and prayer are all necessary for attaining happiness and deification, there is no indication that they are sufficient for happiness and deification; nor does she specify what would be sufficient. The reason for her silence in this regard is presumably Boethius’ orthodox Catholic belief that salvation, and therefore deification, is only attainable through Christ. While Lady Philosophy, as Boethius portrays her, can identify that happiness is only attainable through deification, she cannot on her own sufficiently identify how to achieve deification.
Keywords Boethius  Deification  Consolation of Philosophy  Faith and Reason  Neo-Platonism
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