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Author Topic: Saint Eustathius of Antioch's Christology, Semi-Nestorian?  (Read 945 times) Average Rating: 0
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Severian
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« on: July 04, 2011, 01:40:33 PM »

What are your thoughts on Saint Eustathius of Antioch's christology? I know he is from the Antiochene school and thus he will emphasize the distinct fullness of Christ's humanity and divinity rather than their unity, but, his christology seems very Theodorean in nature. Had he lived in St Cyril's time he could very well have been condemned as a Nestorian heretic. I cannot find any of his complete works, only fragments. Here is a passage of one of his writings:

"The sentence, 'I have not yet ascended to my Father',was not uttered by the Logos, the God Who comes down from heaven and abides in the Father's bosom, nor by the Wisdom which embraces all created things. It was spoken by the man made up of diverse limbs, Who had risen from the dead but had not yet ascended after His death to the Father."

However, I also read somewhere that his writings were used to oppose radical Antiochene dyophysitism, though I find this hard to believe. In the above passage he clearly advocates a "logos-anthropos" christology. Please no polemical debates.
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2011, 01:56:43 AM »

I cannot believe no one is answering this!  Angry
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2011, 09:23:56 AM »

What are your thoughts on Saint Eustathius of Antioch's christology? I know he is from the Antiochene school and thus he will emphasize the distinct fullness of Christ's humanity and divinity rather than their unity, but, his christology seems very Theodorean in nature. Had he lived in St Cyril's time he could very well have been condemned as a Nestorian heretic. I cannot find any of his complete works, only fragments. Here is a passage of one of his writings:

"The sentence, 'I have not yet ascended to my Father',was not uttered by the Logos, the God Who comes down from heaven and abides in the Father's bosom, nor by the Wisdom which embraces all created things. It was spoken by the man made up of diverse limbs, Who had risen from the dead but had not yet ascended after His death to the Father."

However, I also read somewhere that his writings were used to oppose radical Antiochene dyophysitism, though I find this hard to believe. In the above passage he clearly advocates a "logos-anthropos" christology. Please no polemical debates.

In the Eastern Orthodox Christology, it is acceptable to use the natures as subjects in a sentence as well as the hypostasis.
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2011, 09:35:47 AM »

In the Eastern Orthodox Christology, it is acceptable to use the natures as subjects in a sentence as well as the hypostasis.

Is it? Do you have somewhat authoritative EO source which uses natures as subjects instead of hypostasis?
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« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 09:52:32 AM »

In the Eastern Orthodox Christology, it is acceptable to use the natures as subjects in a sentence as well as the hypostasis.

Is it? Do you have somewhat authoritative EO source which uses natures as subjects instead of hypostasis?
The Tome of Leo:

"The activity of each form is what is proper to it in communion with the other: that is, the Word performs what belongs to the Word, and the flesh accomplishes what belongs to the flesh. One of these performs brilliant miracles; the other sustains acts of violence. As the Word does not lose its glory which is equal to that of the Father, so neither does the flesh leave the nature of its kind behind."
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« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 06:06:59 PM »

LOL
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 06:22:01 PM »

@Iconodule No your Church does not teach natures can act, only hypostases.
Quote
Both families agree that He Who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis of the Logos incarnate.
~Statement five of the second agreed statement

If you say that two natures can act independently you are legitimately Nestorian. He who acts is always the hypostasis of God the Word. Natures are abstract elements, they do not act.

Professor Bittle, in his book The Domain of Being: Ontology says:

Quote
"Actions belong to the person or hypoastasis. The ‘nature’ of a being is the principle of all that being's actions. But the nature of an individual, concrete being, as it actually exists...is always a hypostasis and, if it is rational, a person. This fact is clearly expressed in our judgments and statements about certain things. We seldom refer our actions to the faculties or parts from which they proceed immediately, but rather to the ultimate possessor of the nature. We thus say ‘I see, I digest, I think, or I drive the car,’ even though
it's the eyes that see, and the stomach that digest, and the intellect that thinks, and the hands that steer the wheel. Actions are thus ascribed to the hypostasis or person. The hypostasis or person is the very principle which (principium quod) performs the actual action, whilst the nature is simply the ultimate principle by means of which (principium quo) the hypostasis or person performs that very action" (1939, page 271)

Furthermore, no one would say that the Word united himself to a man, and this idea is what St. Eustathius seems to be espousing.
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« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2011, 06:25:32 PM »

@Iconodule No your Church does not teach natures can act, only hypostases.

See the above quote from St. Leo's Tome, which is reproduced and elaborated upon in the definition of the Sixth Ecumenical Council, in the writings of St. Maximus, and in St. John Damascene's Exact Definition.

Quote
Quote
Both families agree that He Who wills and acts is always the one Hypostasis of the Logos incarnate.
~Statement five of the second agreed statement

That is true- the natures never act separately from the hypostasis, so it can always be said that the one hypostasis is acting. But it is also okay to say "the word performs miracles", "the flesh suffers," etc.

Quote
If you say that two natures can act independently...

Thankfully I didn't say that.

Energy and volition are properties of nature, not hypostasis. Of course it is impossible for speak of a nature that exists independent of a hypostasis.
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2011, 06:30:02 PM »

No your Church does not teach natures can act, only hypostases.

It would be folly to assume that they are absolutely consistent.
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2011, 06:35:41 PM »

Energy and volition are properties of nature, not hypostasis. Of course it is impossible for speak of a nature that exists independent of a hypostasis.
This is the main point I would like to focus on. The faculties of energy and volition are derived from the natures, but, the act of operating and willing are attributed to the hypostasis, or at least I would have thought that that is something we can all agree on. I could be wrong. What do you think of the quote from Pr. Bittle I gave you? Furthermore, St Cyril vehemently objected to the idea of anything/anyone except for the Word acting.

P.S. I would love to continue discussing this with you, but, on a PM, not in the public forum. I don't want to get told off by the moderators  Cheesy
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Severian
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 06:38:02 PM »

No your Church does not teach natures can act, only hypostases.

It would be folly to assume that they are absolutely consistent.
DVE, please stop while you're ahead. I have a feeling the moderators are going to involved quickly and I don't want to get warned. Let's continue this in a private PM. I don't want to discuss this subject, it has almost nothing to do with St. Eustathius's christology.

EDIT: I did not ask for another EO-OO debate. STOP THIS NOW!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 06:44:15 PM by Severian » Logged


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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2011, 06:43:30 PM »

"Christ, then, energises according to both His natures and either nature energises in Him in communion with the other, the Word performing through tile authority and power of its divinity all the actions proper to the Word, i.e. all acts of supremacy and sovereignty, and the body performing all the actions proper to the body, in obedience to the will of the Word that is united to it, and of whom it has become a distinct part. For He was not moved of Himself to the natural passions, nor again did He in that way recoil from the things of pain, and pray for release from them, or suffer what befel from without, but He was moved in conformity with His nature, the Word willing and allowing Him oeconomically to suffer that, and to do the things proper to Him, that the truth might be confirmed by the works of nature."

"Note, therefore, that in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, we speak sometimes of His two natures and sometimes of His one person: anti the one or the other is referred to one conception. For the two natures are one Christ, and the one Christ is two natures. Wherefore it is all the same whether we say "Christ energises according to either of His natures," or "either nature energises in Christ in communion with the other." The divine nature, then, has communion with the flesh in its energising, because it is by the good pleasure of the divine will that the flesh is permitted to suffer and do the things proper to itself, and because the energy of the flesh is altogether saving, and this is an attribute not of human but of divine energy. On the other hand the flesh has communion with the divinity of the Word in its energising, because the divine energies are performed, so to speak, through the organ of the body, and because He Who energises at once as God and man is one and the same."

- St. John Damascene
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2011, 07:17:05 PM »

"Christ, then, energises according to both His natures and either nature energises in Him in communion with the other, the Word performing through tile authority and power of its divinity all the actions proper to the Word, i.e. all acts of supremacy and sovereignty, and the body performing all the actions proper to the body, in obedience to the will of the Word that is united to it, and of whom it has become a distinct part. For He was not moved of Himself to the natural passions, nor again did He in that way recoil from the things of pain, and pray for release from them, or suffer what befel from without, but He was moved in conformity with His nature, the Word willing and allowing Him oeconomically to suffer that, and to do the things proper to Him, that the truth might be confirmed by the works of nature."

"Note, therefore, that in the case of our Lord Jesus Christ, we speak sometimes of His two natures and sometimes of His one person: anti the one or the other is referred to one conception. For the two natures are one Christ, and the one Christ is two natures. Wherefore it is all the same whether we say "Christ energises according to either of His natures," or "either nature energises in Christ in communion with the other." The divine nature, then, has communion with the flesh in its energising, because it is by the good pleasure of the divine will that the flesh is permitted to suffer and do the things proper to itself, and because the energy of the flesh is altogether saving, and this is an attribute not of human but of divine energy. On the other hand the flesh has communion with the divinity of the Word in its energising, because the divine energies are performed, so to speak, through the organ of the body, and because He Who energises at once as God and man is one and the same."

- St. John Damascene

Iconodule, I PM'd my response to you, as I said, I do not want to talk about this on the public forum.
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2011, 07:51:57 PM »

And since it seems we've gotten all the information we can out of this thread, I think I will lock it.   Smiley
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