Marius Victorinus insists against his imagined Arian opponent Candidus that the divine image could in no way be of a different substance (homoiousios) than his source. While other images are different from the substances they image—they have a borrowed, derived, and secondary character—divine simplicity entails that in God, image and source are one. Victorinus articulates this with Aristotle’s language of potency and act. To distinguish between potency and act in God is only to maintain a logical distinction; the revelation of God in act cannot be separated from who God remains in potency. The human person should not be considered the image of God, insists Victorinus, but is only created secundum imaginem. The imago dei refers to divine simplicity, and so to the consubstantial unity of image and source. This unity is, for Victorinus, predicated on a nascent doctrine of appropriation. The human person, by contrast, is created according to this eternal image and is made according to the likeness (similitudo) of God.
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