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Author Topic: St Severus of Antioch  (Read 3944 times) Average Rating: 0
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Father Peter
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« on: August 28, 2003, 07:49:51 AM »

Hi there,

I just discovered this forum yesterday and have really enjoyed reading through the threads.

I am Peter Farrington, a subdeacon of the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate. I recognise a few names from other places.

I am presently researching material for a book about the Christology of St Severus of Antioch. He is such a dear saint to me, together with St Cyril. I am also working to put publish a website concerned with the life and teaching of St Severus.

I have a lot of material but I haven't found more than a couple of damaged and poorly photographed icons. Does anyone know where there are icons of St Severus? I have just had a Coptic icon painted for my church of St Alban, the first British martyr, and at some time, when I have saved some more money, I will certainly get one painted of St Severus. But what historic icons are there?

Also, some of the material I am using is translated into French - I can handle that better than the original Syriac which is a closed language to me. Does anyone have contacts with Oriental Orthodox in Francophone countries? I am going to write to Anba Athanasius of the French Coptic Orthodox Church (similar to the BOC but in France). I really need some folk to help translate the Homilies and some other works by St Severus.

I find it such a delight to read his works. He is so dependent on St Cyril and as someone who has converted to Orthodoxy and been aware of the historic anathemas against the Oriental Orthodox I must say that I have found not the slightest trace of any heresy in his wonderful and inspiring words.

I hope someone might have some pointers, especially towards iconographic representations of St Severus.

Seeking your prayers

Peter Theodore Farrington
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2003, 07:58:43 AM »

Sdn. Peter,

Welcome!

We are happy to have you on the forum!  Perhaps you can even do a write up in another thread about the day to day life of the BOC?  I am aware of the official website and history, but wondered how the real parish life is since you became "canonical" members of the Coptic Patriarchate.

As far as St. Severus goes, I know not much about him.  What are the best translations of his works in English?  I am sure we have some in the seminary here (I attend St. Vladimir's Seminary in Crestwood, NY, USA).

Have a blessed day!

anastasios
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2003, 08:01:53 AM »

Forgive the off topic - but welcome to a fellow Brit Cheesy

How come you manage to get the correct flag whilst I am still waiting for a certain  character [hint, hint, much dropping of heavy bricks here] to give me my Saltire ?
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2003, 08:03:08 AM »

Hi Anastasios

Thanks for the welcome. I'll start a thread describing the BOC and our activities a little later on today.

There's a collection of St Severus' letters available on line at:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/fathers/severus_coll_2_letters.htm

I know that reading theology isn't everyone's idea of fun but I find myself growing close to St Severus as I read his letters, and I know this is the same for other people and other saints.

Best wishes

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2003, 08:04:45 AM »

Forgive the off topic - but welcome to a fellow Brit Cheesy

How come you manage to get the correct flag whilst I am still waiting for a certain  character [hint, hint, much dropping of heavy bricks here] to give me my Saltire ?

Hi there.

I'm not sure about the flag. It started off as a Finnish one, I guess because my internet connection at work is routing out through our Finnish parent company. But I'm glad it's now showing the right one.

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2003, 08:12:39 AM »

Here is an example of St Severus' letters:

"Enough has, I think, been said about essence and hypostasis. But the name 'nature' is sometimes taken in place of essence', sometimes in place of hypostasis. For even the whole of mankind we call comprehensively 'nature', as it is indeed written: -½For all natures of beasts and of birds, and of reptiles and of things that are in the water are subjected and are made subject to human nature-+: and again we speak of one nature in reference to a single man, Paul for example or Peter, or maybe James. Where therefore we name all mankind one nature, we use the name 'nature' generically in place of 'essence' 63; but, where we say that there is one nature of Paul, the name 'nature' is employed in place of 'individual hypostasis'. So also we call the Holy Trinity one nature, employing the term 'nature' in place of the general designation 'essence'; as Gregory the Theologian the bishop of Nazianzus also said in the sermon on the Holy Pentecost: -½Confess the Trinity to be of one Godhead, my friends; or, if you like, of one nature; and we will ask for you from the Spirit the expression 'God'-+. But, when we say 'one incarnate nature of God the Word', as Athanasius the prop of the truth and the apostolic faith said in the books on the Incarnation of the Word , we use 'nature' in place of 'individual designation', denoting the one hypostasis of the Word himself, like that of Peter also or of Paul, or of any other single man. Wherefore also, when we say 'one nature which became incarnate', we do not say it absolutely, but by adding 'one nature of the Word himself clearly denote the one hypostasis. But the very men who blasphemously call the one Christ two natures use the name 'nature' in place of 'individual designation', saying that the Word of God is one nature, and the man as they say from Mary another. For they do not reach such a height of fatuity as to say that they are using the name 'natures' in place of 'general designation', I mean in the same sense as essence: for, if the Holy Trinity is one nature, and all mankind one nature, in the same sense as anything which is shown to be so on this principle, the Holy Trinity will be found (to say a very absurd thing) to have become incarnate in all mankind, that is the human race."

It is clear from this that St Severus used nature, in the phrase 'one incarnate nature of the Word', to mean hypostasis and individual designation. He is well aware of the distinction between essence/generality and hypostasis/particularity. Indeed you can see here the criticism he levels against the Chalcedonians of his time -> if by two natures you mean 'two individual designations' then you are Nestorians, and if you mean 'two generalities' then you are saying that the whole Trinity has been incarnate. This at least shows that he considered that there was a justifiable criticism of Chalcedonianism to be made.

I will stop rambling. Christology, and the efforts for unity between Orthodox are my most consuming interest.

Have you seen my site www.orthodoxunity.org?

Peter Theodore
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2003, 11:51:01 AM »

The union jack is, in my opinion, an accurate symbol of the UK. Thus it stays Smiley

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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2003, 12:02:22 PM »

<sulking>

And pray where is the Old Glory that should be there for you ?

I want the St Andrew's Saltire

Grrrrrrrrrgh Aequum non est

This is DISCRIMINATION !!

Not sure though if it is on racial grounds  or ageism - either way it's still discrimination.
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2003, 04:00:37 PM »

I've been having computer problems, so I'm at the library, but I'd like to welcome Subdeacon Peter to the forum.  Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2003, 04:00:54 PM »

And enough about the flags already.  Tongue
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« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2003, 04:03:28 PM »

Angela,

Just keep bugging Bobby and he might change his mind. :-)

anastasios
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« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2003, 05:02:49 PM »

Anastasios - you bet your bottom dollar I will Cheesy

He can't say that it's becuase of where my ISP is - look at Peter's flag - and Mor's not to mention HIS OWN

I'm off to France next week - and when I get back I expect to see my Saltire in it's rightful place.

He can't say he hasn't got one - I e-mailed a nice wee one to him earlier this week.

I'm getting very very irritated - and before you tell me to stop being daft Mor - Not on your ...... I want my Saltire
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« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2003, 09:48:40 PM »

Peter,
So you did the Orthodox Unity site! My priest showed me that site before. Very nicely done. BTW, I'm not Coptic, I'm Antiochian. Go Chalcedon!   :cwm12: Just kiddin' with ya.  :smiley1:

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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2003, 07:17:28 AM »

Severus of Antioch's Objection to Chalcedon - A Re-
Assessment

A new document in the Christological Controversy
Study Area, 'Tenny Thomas' new study on Severus of
Antioch's objection to the Council of Chalcedon sheds
light on the nature of the debate between those
churches who did and did not accept the Definition of
that council immediately after its proclamation.

The study advances a careful examination of key terms
in the debate—ousia, hypostasis, hyparxis, physis
—and attempts to explore the manner in which
Severus' wording and use of these terms relates
theologically to their different employment by the
Council. How authentically does the
epithet 'monophysite', used now for centuries as a
description of Severus and his thought, encapsulate
his vision of the person of Christ?

http://www.monachos.net/patristics/christology/severus_chalcedon.shtml

Thomas Daniel (Reji)
St. George Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
Cheppaud, Alleppy, Kerala, India
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Tags: St. Severus saints Oriental Orthodox saints 
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