Wednesday, 2 June 2010


It's Greek (ἐπέκτασις), and it means Constant Progress. I once had a web log called Disconnected Jottings, but I discovered after a while that everything was connected, and so this didn't seem like such a good idea. I also wanted to move my active web log to my new email address, so that I didn't need to keep logging into Google as I switched back and forth.
Disconnected Jottings documented the story of my gradual movement from atheism, through discontented Anglicanism, to Orthodoxy. Along the way I wrote some articles for the local Anglican parish newspaper, and they show a little of the process that seems to have started in me following my meeting with orthodoxy in the person of Fr John. What I want to do in this blog is to talk a little about where I go from here, I can only pray that it will be progress, and that it will be constant.
The term epektasis is used by Saint Gregory of Nyssa (+~394), one of the three great fathers of the church from Cappadocia, now in Turkey, but at the time a province of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Saint Gregory believes that it is possible for every human to continually get closer and closer to God, never actually becoming God, of course. The orthodox call this Deification or Theosis (Θέωσις), and it is the goal of an orthodox life. Theosis is why monks shut themselves in cells, and Stylites sit atop their pillars. Theosis is impossible for us, but with God nothing is impossible. When someone makes it to a certain stage of theosis, we start to see God in them, and we call this Saintliness. Saints are people who have achieved a certain degree of theosis.