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Arator on the Acts of the ApostlesA Baptismal Commentary$
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Richard Hillier

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198147862

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198147862.001.0001

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Divinus Odor Co-Ascension and Baptismal Participation

Divinus Odor Co-Ascension and Baptismal Participation

(p.53) 3 Divinus Odor Co-Ascension and Baptismal Participation
Arator on the Acts of the Apostles

Richard Hillier

Oxford University Press

Jacques Fontaine correctly recognized the two interwoven strands of Arator's narrative; man participates in the divine both through his share in Christ's corporeal ascension and through his own spiritual ascension experienced at baptism. The latter is a pattern of the former: man's baptismal ascent is an image of the co-ascension with Christ which he will achieve at his death. Man's redemption came as a result of Christ's death and resurrection; consequently the ascension might seem otiose, at least in its application to men, since its significance is very much subsumed in that of the resurrection. This chapter explores the ideas which lie behind Arator's exegesis of the ascension. Three main features are discussed: the notion of participation through co-ascension; the rite of chrismation and its link with participation and ascension; and the image of the divine aroma, ‘divinus odor’, as used to illustrate both the participation of God in man through the incarnation, and of man in God through baptism and ascension.

Keywords:   Arator, Jacques Fontaine, co-ascension, baptism, ascension, Christ, chrismation, divine aroma, participation

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