CASCADE_Template   Becoming Divine: An Introduction to Deification in Western Culture is the product of many years of academic research. It was originally accepted for publication by SUNY Press, but I offered it to Wipf & Stock because I felt that they could distribute it to a wider audience. This book, written in an easily accessible style, provides access to the general reader.  My hope is that this book will be used in the undergraduate classroom in courses in Western intellectual history/esotericism. I post the brief description below, then a table of contents, and after it the pdf version of the cover, which includes the endorsements.


“Some have called it the essence of sin, others the depth of salvation. Regardless of one’s evaluation of it, however, deification throughout Western history has been a part of human aspiration. From the ancient pharaohs to modern transhumanists, people have envisioned their own divinity. These visionaries include not only history’s greatest megalomaniacs, but also mystics, sages, apostles, prophets, magicians, bishops, philosophers, atheists and monks. Some aimed for independent deity, others realized their eternal union with God. Some anticipated godhood in heaven, others walked as gods on earth. Some accepted divinity by grace, others achieved it by their own will to power. There is no single form of deification (indeed, deification is as manifold as the human conception of God), but the many types are united by a set of interlocking themes: achieving immortality, wielding superhuman power, being filled with supernatural knowledge or love—and through these means transcending normal human (or at least “earthly”) nature.”


Chapter 1: Merging with the Sun: The Deification of Amenhotep III

Chapter 2: The New Dionysus: Divine Assimilation in the Greco-Roman Ruler Cult

Chapter 3: “You Have Been Born a God”: Deification in the Orphic Gold Tablets

Chapter 4: “We are Being Transformed”: Paul and the Gospel of Deification

Chapter 5: “Immortalized in This Very Hour”: Deification in the “Mithras Liturgy”

Chapter 6: “I Have Been Born in Mind!”: Deification in the Hermetic Literature

Chapter 7: “I Have Become Identical With the Divine”: Plotinus on Deification

Chapter 8: “The Flash of One Tremulous Glance”: Augustine and Deification

Chapter 9: “I Am the Truth”: The Deification of Husayn ibn Mansur al-Hallaj

Chapter 10: “God’s Being is My Life”: Meister Eckhart’s Birth in God

Chapter 11: “Uncreated by Grace”: Deification in Gregory Palamas

Chapter 12: “By Faith a Human Becomes God”: Martin Luther on Deification

Chapter 13: “Then They Shall be Gods …”: The Mormon Restoration of Deification

Chapter 14: “Rather be a God Oneself!” Nietzsche and the Joy of Earthly Godhood

Chapter 15:  The Posthuman God

Download the cover here: Cover.BecomingDivine Litwa