Andrew Louth on St. John of Damascus

“For John Damascene and the Greek tradition he follows, the creation is not simply a backdrop for the drama of Fall and Redemption, set in place and then more or less ignored; the whole created order — the invisible creation, the visible heavens, the earth, the human person in whom the extremities of creation meet (as Maximos had put it), and the whole mystery of human nature — is explored in careful detail. Only at the end of this section [of On the Orthodox Faith] does John recount the Fall, seen as already within God’s providential plan for humanity. It is not that John plays down the Fall (the demons are, of course, fallen), or that he devotes his energies to an account of an ideal creation. His account of creation is of creation as it is, open to distortion by human (and demonic) wickedness. None the less, creation is fundamentally good, and everything created has a proper function, given to it by God.”

-Andrew Louth, St. John Damascene: Tradition and Originality in Byzantine Theology, p. 117


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