Author Topic: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia  (Read 4672 times)

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Offline Matthew777

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The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« on: December 10, 2006, 03:55:44 AM »
In relation to Christology, what is the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of enhypostasia? And what are the subsantial differences between enhypostasia and anhypostasia?                                                                                                                                           
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 04:05:45 AM by Matthew777 »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2006, 10:07:01 AM »
In relation to Christology, what is the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of enhypostasia?
It relates to the Human Nature of Christ as being En="in", "Hypostasis= "person"
There are several ways to understand it. The Human Nature of Christ being "enhypostatic" means that It is in-personal rather than impersonal. In other words, the Logos became a Man rather than simply "assumed Manhood", i.e. the Pre-eternal Logos enhypostasised a complete Human Nature. "Anhypostatic" means "without hypostasis"; and another way of looking at this and contrasting enhypostasia with anhypostasia  is that the Pre-existing Hypostasis of the Logos assumed for Himself a perfect and complete Human Nature which has no independent hypostasis of it's own (i.e is anhypostatic), but rather, the self-conscious "I" of Christ's human Nature exists only within the Divine Hypostasis (i.e. is enhypostatic). The self-conscious "I" of Christ's Human Nature is the One Hypostasis of the Theanthropos. Christ is One Hypostasis, not two, and the natural self-consciousness of Christ's Human Nature also experienced Christ's Self as One Hypostasis, not two.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 10:57:21 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2006, 04:27:17 PM »
In the end, both enhypostasia and anhypostasia seem to be legitimately Orthodox.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2006, 04:28:58 PM by Matthew777 »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2006, 05:12:05 PM »
In the end, both enhypostasia and anhypostasia seem to be legitimately Orthodox.
???
"Legitimately Orthodox" in what sense? You speak of them as though they are doctrines in themselves rather than terms used to describe a doctrine. What you have just said makes about as much sense as saying that "Both the cardinal numbers one and three are Orthodox" on the "basis" that these numbers are used to describe the Trinity. But to say "God is three Natures in one hypostasis" is certainly not Orthodox.
It's not the words themselves which are "Orthodox" but rather, how they are used.
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Offline Matthew777

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2006, 01:22:15 AM »
Apparently, Oriental Orthodoxy would lean toward anhypostasia while Eastern Orthodox would lean toward enhypostasia. Since I do not make judgment calls against either church's Christology, I'd consider both to be equally Orthodox in their respective understandings.
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2006, 09:21:10 AM »
Apparently, Oriental Orthodoxy would lean toward anhypostasia while Eastern Orthodox would lean toward enhypostasia.
As I explained, "enhypostasia" and "anhypostasis" are not "doctrines" in themselves. You cannot "lean towards" one or the other. The issue is how you use these words.

Since I do not make judgment calls against either church's Christology, I'd consider both to be equally Orthodox in their respective understandings.
You seem to have missed an entire point. They cannot be "Orthodox" any more than the colour blue can be "Orthodox". "Enhypostasic" and "anhypostasic" are simply adjectives. They are not doctrines in themselves. To make any sense (look who I'm talking to about "making sense"!) you have to tell us what it is that you consider enhypostatic or anhypostatic.
And why should anyone care that you "consider both to be equally Orthodox in their respective understandings" when you don't even know what the terms mean or how they are used? What possible weight could your opinion carry when you don't even know what you're talking about? That would be like listening to a blind man's comparison of the shape of two clouds!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2006, 09:32:49 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2006, 11:29:19 PM »
Apparently, Oriental Orthodoxy would lean toward anhypostasia while Eastern Orthodox would lean toward enhypostasia.

Ummm...I believe it's the other way around.  St. Severus expounded what people may call "enhypostasia" while EO's tend to lean towards "anhypostasia," although research shows that Leontius of Byzantium really described "enhypostasia."

Either way, like George said, they only describe doctrines, and when one gets to the meat of the matter, I've always seen them as quite the same.

Fr. V.C. Samuel goes into some depth about it when comparing between St. John of Damascus and St. Severus of Antioch (notice how both seem to originate from Syria  :) ).

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Offline Matthew777

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2006, 04:15:52 AM »
Ummm...I believe it's the other way around.  St. Severus expounded what people may call "enhypostasia" while EO's tend to lean towards "anhypostasia," although research shows that Leontius of Byzantium really described "enhypostasia."

Either way, it's all the same to me.  8)

Fr. V.C. Samuel goes into some depth about it when comparing between St. John of Damascus and St. Severus of Antioch (notice how both seem to originate from Syria  :) ).

I finished reading that book, but perhaps I need to still work on my technical terms. I'm also going to read Christology After Chalcedon.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2006, 11:44:53 AM »
Either way, it's all the same to me.  8)

It's all Greek to me  ;)
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Offline Greg Logan

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 02:27:14 PM »
I find it NUTS to say they are different or that they are not a doctrine.

HOWEVER, I would be open to two different uses of anhypostasis since that is what is implied in the above "how they are used" concept.

The fact is that the doctrine that the human nature of Christ is IMPERSONAL - meaning Jesus is NOT a human person (thus NOT a man - since fundamentally a man IS a human person).  There was simply no other way to get around the desire to have one person - and maintain a divine person.  Gotta dice the human guy...  Cool....

The Enhypostasis is simply a smokescreen and meaningless.  Sticking an impersonal human nature carcass on a divine stick does not ego make the carcass any different.

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 02:35:25 PM »
en mian hypostasin means Christ exists in one state of being while being en duo physin, in two natures. It's not a hard thing to comprehend.
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 02:43:48 PM »
en mian hypostasin means Christ exists in one state of being while being en duo physin, in two natures. It's not a hard thing to comprehend.

lol
How can you be so incarnationally constipated?

Offline Iconodule

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 02:50:18 PM »
en mian hypostasin means Christ exists in one state of being while being en duo physin, in two natures. It's not a hard thing to comprehend.

Really? I would say it's pretty tricky. Can you have a complete human without a human hypostasis? Is hypostasis just an empty vessel that anything can go in? Does a deer hypostasis become a badger hypostasis if you just swap the natures? That doesn't seem to be the way the fathers thought about it. When Apollinarius put forth that Christ had a human body and soul, but a purely divine "spirit" (hypostasis) that was seen as a no-no. The divine hypostasis of the logos had to become humanized somehow, not simply a divine hypostasis that human nature got plugged into somehow. Leontius of Byzantium tried to account for this with his enhypostasis and later fathers seemed to follow him. I'm reading Bulgakov right now and his solution is the Divine/ Creaturely Sophia, the imprint of the Divine Sophia in the Creaturely Sophia of man, which allows the divine hypostasis of the Logos to also become a human hypostasis. I really don't know what I think about that. But this is not an easy problem! 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 02:51:03 PM by Iconodule »
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But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2017, 03:03:27 PM »
en mian hypostasin means Christ exists in one state of being while being en duo physin, in two natures. It's not a hard thing to comprehend.

Really? I would say it's pretty tricky. Can you have a complete human without a human hypostasis? Is hypostasis just an empty vessel that anything can go in? Does a deer hypostasis become a badger hypostasis if you just swap the natures? That doesn't seem to be the way the fathers thought about it. When Apollinarius put forth that Christ had a human body and soul, but a purely divine "spirit" (hypostasis) that was seen as a no-no. The divine hypostasis of the logos had to become humanized somehow, not simply a divine hypostasis that human nature got plugged into somehow. Leontius of Byzantium tried to account for this with his enhypostasis and later fathers seemed to follow him. I'm reading Bulgakov right now and his solution is the Divine/ Creaturely Sophia, the imprint of the Divine Sophia in the Creaturely Sophia of man, which allows the divine hypostasis of the Logos to also become a human hypostasis. I really don't know what I think about that. But this is not an easy problem!

Um, if you cannot understand it, then there's something wrong you. See a psychiatrist or something.
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2017, 03:05:45 PM »
What wonderful psychiatrists we must have nowadays, capable of solving the intractable Christological difficulties of the ages.
Quote
But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Offline wgw

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2017, 03:08:30 PM »
The views of Fr. Bulgakov and St. Pavel Florensky were declared heretical by ROCOR and rejected as false doctrine by the MP.

I don't think the EP emigre community ever suppressed them, but I think believing in Sophianism would be a huge slap in the face to the likes of St. John Maximovitch (who I believe was involved personally in the ROCOR rejection of Sophianism).

If you have ever read the heresies enumerated in St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a lot of them, particularly Valentinianism, come eerily to mind when reading Bulgakov's views on Sophia.

I do like Bulgakov and St. Pavel btw.  St. Pavel was a hieromartyr who was beaten to death.  I have been searching for months for a print of The Philosophers with which to decorate my study.  I just believe they made a major theological error that comes close to Gnosticism.
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Offline wgw

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2017, 03:09:22 PM »
What wonderful psychiatrists we must have nowadays, capable of solving the intractable Christological difficulties of the ages.

Indeed, imagine how thrilled Carl Jung would be to meet them, given his major obsession with Gnosticism.
Axios and many years to you, Fr. Trenham!

Offline Iconodule

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2017, 03:11:07 PM »
The views of Fr. Bulgakov and St. Pavel Florensky were declared heretical by ROCOR and rejected as false doctrine by the MP.

I don't really uphold the Tsarist rump church in exile or Stalin's MP as the gold standards of Orthodoxy.

Quote
If you have ever read the heresies enumerated in St. Irenaeus of Lyons, a lot of them, particularly Valentinianism, come eerily to mind when reading Bulgakov's views on Sophia.

That's because you've never actually read Bulgakov's writing on sophiology. Critique it as you wish, there is nothing Gnostic about it. The serious critics (e.g. Fr Georges Florovsky) did however point to its dependence on German philosophy.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 03:12:36 PM by Iconodule »
Quote
But it had not been in Tess's power - nor is it in anybody's power - to feel the whole truth of golden opinions while it is possible to profit by them. She - and how many more - might have ironically said to God with Saint Augustine, "Thou hast counselled a better course than thou hast permitted."
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Offline NicholasMyra

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Re: The Eastern Orthodox doctrine of Enhypostasia
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2017, 09:51:06 PM »
Before answering this question in the terms described, one must answer:

What is a nature?
What is an essence?
What is a kind?
What is a particular?
What is a hypostasis?
What is a substance?
What is a universal?
What is a body?

How do we understand the "x is F qua y" relation (for example, Christ bleeds qua his human nature"?

Or you can stop speaking this way and speak a different way,

but trying to speak this way without addressing these questions is bound to end up in sound and fury signifying nothing.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 09:53:25 PM by NicholasMyra »
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