OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 22, 2014, 12:32:50 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Essence and Nature  (Read 1184 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« on: June 15, 2012, 06:20:29 PM »

We have another thread on Theosis.  We are trying to get to the bottom on whether the same faith is shared by the Copts/Orientals and Chalcedonian Orthodox. 

A few things:

1.  Scripture, and particularly St. Peter, uses the term "nature" to refer to essence+energy. 
2. However, we know that nature has another more particular definition where essence=nature.   
3. Nature is a less definitive term overall, as it can apply to various things.   
4. It seems that sometimes nature applies in Alexandrian tradition to the particular hypostasis (i.e. the human nature particularly instantiated).  5. It is obvious that Chalcedon did not use the third definition/usage, but that other Fathers such as St. Maximos and even other councils allowed for it provided was not being used heretically.

This leads me to my question.  Do the Orientals believe that Christ is two essences enhypostasized?   This is key as to whether the matter can be resolved.   
Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 09:00:11 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This leads me to my question.  Do the Orientals believe that Christ is two essences enhypostasized?   This is key as to whether the matter can be resolved.   

I am going to be careful not to slip on the Eutychian banana peel here but..


I would say we agree with that in premise, but getting Oriental Orthodox to embrace the word "two" is tricky business.   I would say that the Oriental Christology is that Christ as One Essence and One Hypostasis, however this One Essence is the union of what is otherwise two distinct natures, human and divine.  However, through the Union, the distinction is abolished, and Christ is μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη.  We understand that in premise, human and divine nature are entirely separated, but since in Christ they are united as One then there is only One (mia) Nature underlying the hypostasis of Jesus Christ.

stay blessed,
habte selassie 
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 10:58:39 PM »

Is there any Church Father that has used the phrase "one essence," ever, with regard to Christ? 
Logged
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 11:05:01 PM »

It should be of note here that Constantinople II was quick to state that when speaking of Christ as two natures it was using nature with the definition that essence=nature, and the reason it did so was because it understood that there were many non-Chalcedonians who utilized nature with the understanding of hypostatic subsistance, not as meaning essence, otherwise falling into Eutychian heresy.  As I understand it, Oriental reject the Eutychian heresy, hence my question.   
Logged
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 11:22:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This leads me to my question.  Do the Orientals believe that Christ is two essences enhypostasized?   This is key as to whether the matter can be resolved.   

I am going to be careful not to slip on the Eutychian banana peel here but..


I would say we agree with that in premise, but getting Oriental Orthodox to embrace the word "two" is tricky business.   I would say that the Oriental Christology is that Christ as One Essence and One Hypostasis, however this One Essence is the union of what is otherwise two distinct natures, human and divine.  However, through the Union, the distinction is abolished, and Christ is μία φύσις τοῦ θεοῦ λόγου σεσαρκωμένη.  We understand that in premise, human and divine nature are entirely separated, but since in Christ they are united as One then there is only One (mia) Nature underlying the hypostasis of Jesus Christ.
stay blessed,
habte selassie 

Thank you Habte.

From our point of view, even in premise, the human and divine nature are not entirely seperated, but rather "distinct" (i.e. different but not seperated, as they are enhypostasized).  I think OO agree on this point.   Also, we CO's certainly agree with mia physis tou Theo logou sesarkomeni as utilized by St. Cyril and also upheld by such Saints as St. Maximos.  However, we understand it to refer to the "nature" of the hypostasis (i.e. the subsistance), not the essence, as He is still both God and man.
Logged
ialmisry
There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
Warned
Hypatos
*****************
Online Online

Faith: جامعي Arab confesssing the Orthodox Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: Antioch (for now), but my heart belongs to Alexandria
Posts: 37,659



« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2012, 12:19:32 AM »

We have another thread on Theosis.  We are trying to get to the bottom on whether the same faith is shared by the Copts/Orientals and Chalcedonian Orthodox. 

A few things:

1.  Scripture, and particularly St. Peter, uses the term "nature" to refer to essence+energy. 
2. However, we know that nature has another more particular definition where essence=nature.   
3. Nature is a less definitive term overall, as it can apply to various things.   
4. It seems that sometimes nature applies in Alexandrian tradition to the particular hypostasis (i.e. the human nature particularly instantiated).  5. It is obvious that Chalcedon did not use the third definition/usage, but that other Fathers such as St. Maximos and even other councils allowed for it provided was not being used heretically.

This leads me to my question.  Do the Orientals believe that Christ is two essences enhypostasized?   This is key as to whether the matter can be resolved.   
just a side issue that you bring up Father: since Scripture itself speaks of partaking of the divine nature, and we know that that cannot and does not mean the divine essence, it rules out a rigid identification of nature=essence. This voids both the basis of Scholasticism Natural Theology and Natural Law, and guarantees μίαν φύσιν Θεοῦ Λόγου σεσαρκωμένην being "One Incarnate Nature of the Word," and not 'One Nature of the Incarnate Word."
Logged

Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2012, 12:10:01 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


and guarantees μίαν φύσιν Θεοῦ Λόγου σεσαρκωμένην being "One Incarnate Nature of the Word," and not 'One Nature of the Incarnate Word."

Phrasing it this way clears up a lot of potential for the various confusions. 

Thank you Habte.

From our point of view, even in premise, the human and divine nature are not entirely seperated, but rather "distinct" (i.e. different but not seperated, as they are enhypostasized).  I think OO agree on this point.   Also, we CO's certainly agree with mia physis tou Theo logou sesarkomeni as utilized by St. Cyril and also upheld by such Saints as St. Maximos.  However, we understand it to refer to the "nature" of the hypostasis (i.e. the subsistance), not the essence, as He is still both God and man.

That Father is the crux of the debate between us.  The Orientals continue to follow the Cyrillian use of the word Hypostasis to mutually include both the concepts of nature and person simultaneously.  Oriental though suggests that there can never be a nature without a manifested form (hypostasis) and that no form exists without a defining nature, so they are mutually defined as one thing.  Hypostasis to Saint Cyril equally implied nature and person.  This is why we affirm only a single essence, that is to say a miaphysis. After Chalcedon, the Byzantine and Latin fathers evolved their glossary to separate hypostasis and physis/essence, however many Oriental fathers do not necessarily adhere to this distinction in terms.  So in premise, we can agree that human nature and divine nature are of course different, but in the Union of Jesus Christ, they are united as a single (mia) nature manifested in a single (mia) hypostatic form (body/person).

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 12:11:37 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2012, 07:17:32 PM »

^I must disagree.  Essence was defined previously.  It means that which is common to Father, Son, and Spirit.  Christ is "of one essence with the Father" in the creed.  We can only speak of Christ as being, as Isa said, one Incarnate nature, not one nature.   Even St. Cyril does not allow for the latter. 
Logged
Severian
God save Egypt, Syria, Lebanon & Iraq
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Coptic/Egyptian Orthodoxy
Posts: 5,039


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians

Partisangirl
WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 08:57:27 PM »

Is there any Church Father that has used the phrase "one essence," ever, with regard to Christ? 
I do not think so, and I do not think any of our own Orthodox Fathers would describe Christ as "one ousia (essence)" or as being "of one ousia". St. Severus argues that Christ is of a Divine nature and a human nature, united in one particular existence (I.e. the compound hypostasis of the Incarnate) unmingled and inseperable. These natures are particular manifestations of two general metaphysical essences.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 09:02:08 PM by Severian » Logged

"What on Earth was I smoking?"

-My personal reaction when re-reading half of the c**p I've written on this forum.
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2012, 11:16:08 PM »

Is there any Church Father that has used the phrase "one essence," ever, with regard to Christ? 
I do not think so, and I do not think any of our own Orthodox Fathers would describe Christ as "one ousia (essence)" or as being "of one ousia". St. Severus argues that Christ is of a Divine nature and a human nature, united in one particular existence (I.e. the compound hypostasis of the Incarnate) unmingled and inseperable. These natures are particular manifestations of two general metaphysical essences.

Severian, I must say that I anticipated your arrival on this one.  I was getting worried.  So this goes back to the possibility that we are indeed, using two different definitions of nature, both of which are acceptable to us (the CO's), provided we hold the same view of essence.  This seems to be the ultimate point in reunion.   We like to use the term "physis" differently, but we both agree that Christ after the incarnation is truly God in essence and also truly man in essence. 
Logged
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 12:20:08 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

^I must disagree.  Essence was defined previously.  It means that which is common to Father, Son, and Spirit.  Christ is "of one essence with the Father" in the creed.  We can only speak of Christ as being, as Isa said, one Incarnate nature, not one nature.   Even St. Cyril does not allow for the latter.  

True, but Father, isn't that essence in the sense of ousia, where as we were discussing the Cyrillian interpretations of the term hypostasis and physis?  What Father, is the difference exactly between One (Mia) Incarnate Nature and One (Mia) Nature?

Where this good article I linked above falls short is that that it forgets that Cyrillian thought is not ambiguous as to explain the Union, we understand the term miaphysis to fully embrace exactly as the EO/Latins agree, as Dioscoros said, "from two natures" but one after, the one in the sense of mia.  We both mutually agree that the characteristics of both humanity and divinity continue to coexist, but we disagree in the language of two or one, because Oriental thought embracing miaphysis essentially agrees with the premise of two while deeply theologically affirming the oneness. It is important to Oriental theology and even common piety to believe in the oneness  of Christ's existence, hence the Union.  Mia is a term which implies composition, mutual characteristics, and yet continues to express the depth of the Alexandrian schools though of the oneness of the Incarnation.   

(again, I am trying hard not to slip on the Eutychian banana peel Wink )

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 12:35:26 AM by HabteSelassie » Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 12:40:44 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

^I must disagree.  Essence was defined previously.  It means that which is common to Father, Son, and Spirit.  Christ is "of one essence with the Father" in the creed.  We can only speak of Christ as being, as Isa said, one Incarnate nature, not one nature.   Even St. Cyril does not allow for the latter.  

True, but Father, isn't that essence in the sense of ousia, where as we were discussing the Cyrillian interpretations of the term hypostasis and physis?  What Father, is the difference exactly between One (Mia) Incarnate Nature and One (Mia) Nature?

Where this good article I linked above falls short is that that it forgets that Cyrillian thought is not ambiguous as to explain the Union, we understand the term miaphysis to fully embrace exactly as the EO/Latins agree, as Dioscoros said, "from two natures" but one after, the one in the sense of mia.  We both mutually agree that the characteristics of both humanity and divinity continue to coexist, but we disagree in the language of two or one, because Oriental thought embracing miaphysis essentially agrees with the premise of two while deeply theologically affirming the oneness. It is important to Oriental theology and even common piety to believe in the oneness  of Christ's existence, hence the Union.  Mia is a term which implies composition, mutual characteristics, and yet continues to express the depth of the Alexandrian schools though of the oneness of the Incarnation.   

(again, I am trying hard not to slip on the Eutychian banana peel Wink )

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Habte, I love your posts.  However, in this case, Severian is doing much better job at avoiding banana peel.
Logged
Severian
God save Egypt, Syria, Lebanon & Iraq
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Coptic/Egyptian Orthodoxy
Posts: 5,039


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians

Partisangirl
WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 10:53:51 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

^I must disagree.  Essence was defined previously.  It means that which is common to Father, Son, and Spirit.  Christ is "of one essence with the Father" in the creed.  We can only speak of Christ as being, as Isa said, one Incarnate nature, not one nature.   Even St. Cyril does not allow for the latter.  

True, but Father, isn't that essence in the sense of ousia, where as we were discussing the Cyrillian interpretations of the term hypostasis and physis?  What Father, is the difference exactly between One (Mia) Incarnate Nature and One (Mia) Nature?

Where this good article I linked above falls short is that that it forgets that Cyrillian thought is not ambiguous as to explain the Union, we understand the term miaphysis to fully embrace exactly as the EO/Latins agree, as Dioscoros said, "from two natures" but one after, the one in the sense of mia.  We both mutually agree that the characteristics of both humanity and divinity continue to coexist, but we disagree in the language of two or one, because Oriental thought embracing miaphysis essentially agrees with the premise of two while deeply theologically affirming the oneness. It is important to Oriental theology and even common piety to believe in the oneness  of Christ's existence, hence the Union.  Mia is a term which implies composition, mutual characteristics, and yet continues to express the depth of the Alexandrian schools though of the oneness of the Incarnation.   

(again, I am trying hard not to slip on the Eutychian banana peel Wink )

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Habte, I love your posts.  However, in this case, Severian is doing much better job at avoiding banana peel.
It is always better to speak of "one nature INCARNATED", as opposed to speaking of "one nature" unpreferenced, for when one says "incarnate" it indicates that the nature of the Word is not exclusively divine and not exclusively human, but rather a composition of the two without mingling and without separation. St Severus preserves a quote from St Cyril which states this very principle.
Logged

"What on Earth was I smoking?"

-My personal reaction when re-reading half of the c**p I've written on this forum.
Severian
God save Egypt, Syria, Lebanon & Iraq
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Coptic/Egyptian Orthodoxy
Posts: 5,039


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians

Partisangirl
WWW
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 04:47:40 PM »

"When therefore out of things that differ in kind [I.e. the natures from which beings subsist] and are not of one essence with one another, the suprasensual I mean and the perceptible, a combination or natural union takes place in order to make up one animal, as we see in the case of a man, the division into two ceases, for of this the notion of unity does not admit, but the difference and individuality as it were in the natural characteristics of the elements which have come together into one is preserved, since the body has not refused to be body, nor has the soul passed into the nature of the body. The same thing, and something higher, is understood with regard to Emmanuel also." -St. Severus of Antioch
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 04:49:20 PM by Severian » Logged

"What on Earth was I smoking?"

-My personal reaction when re-reading half of the c**p I've written on this forum.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,438


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2012, 07:20:29 PM »

To St. Severus, an "ousia" was a generality, or an idea, not something concrete that exists.  So to be made of two generalities to St. Severus makes it seem like neither nature had any real existence, only the thought of what that existence is made of.  What he does call them may surprise you.  Since the word "hypostasis" means existence, or concrete thing, St. Severus talked about a "self-subsistent" hypostasis and a "non-self-subsistent" hypostasis.  In other words, the divinity is a self-subsistent hypostasis, because it existed by itself before the incarnation.  The humanity's existence (hypostasis) depends on the divinity's self-subsistent existence (hypostasis), and therefore, while the humanity has a real existence (hypostasis) on its own by thought, both the humanity and divinity make one composite existence together (mia hypostasis).  The word "nature" or "physis" St. Severus mentioned can either mean ousia or hypostasis.  In this case, he would mention he used the term "physis" meaning "hypostasis," i.e. a concrete existence.

The problem with this, and I know this is something that people think, is that the word "hypostasis" seemed to have been defined by Chalcedon as synonymous to "prosopon."  Therefore, even in that word, we differ in meaning.  If St. Severus was to read St. John of Damascus's Christology on the "enhypostasis" theory, he would have thought St. John was a Eutychian, because the "enhypostasis" theory to St. Severus would mean that the existence of humanity is the divinity, rather than depends on the divinity.  To St. Severus, a "self-subsistent hypostasis" would be a prosopon with concrete existence, while a "non-self-subsistent hypostasis" is a concrete existence without a prosopon (or self).  If you read Fr. VC Samuel's evaluation and comparison of the theologies of St. Severus and St. John, Fr. VC Samuel asks the question "Does the Damascene acknowledge that the humanity exists or not?" using Severian thought.  Otherwise, in all other things, both St. Severus and St. John agree fully in essential Christological thought.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Severian
God save Egypt, Syria, Lebanon & Iraq
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Coptic/Egyptian Orthodoxy
Posts: 5,039


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians

Partisangirl
WWW
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2012, 07:39:12 PM »

To St. Severus, an "ousia" was a generality, or an idea, not something concrete that exists[...]
I am aware of this, I was just trying to cite a quote from St. Severus to indicate that describing Christ as "one ousia" isn't really consistent with our faith. Unless of course, your post wasn't directed at me, in which case, forgive my ignorance.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 07:39:41 PM by Severian » Logged

"What on Earth was I smoking?"

-My personal reaction when re-reading half of the c**p I've written on this forum.
HabteSelassie
Ises and I-ity
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
Posts: 3,332



« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2012, 08:38:15 PM »


Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


The problem with this, and I know this is something that people think, is that the word "hypostasis" seemed to have been defined by Chalcedon as synonymous to "prosopon."  Therefore, even in that word, we differ in meaning.

Exactly!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Logged

"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10
Cavaradossi
法網恢恢,疏而不漏
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Chalcedonian Automaton Serial No. 5Aj4bx9
Jurisdiction: Chalcedonian Automaton Factory 5
Posts: 1,580



« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2012, 10:10:51 PM »

To St. Severus, an "ousia" was a generality, or an idea, not something concrete that exists.  So to be made of two generalities to St. Severus makes it seem like neither nature had any real existence, only the thought of what that existence is made of.  What he does call them may surprise you.  Since the word "hypostasis" means existence, or concrete thing, St. Severus talked about a "self-subsistent" hypostasis and a "non-self-subsistent" hypostasis.  In other words, the divinity is a self-subsistent hypostasis, because it existed by itself before the incarnation.  The humanity's existence (hypostasis) depends on the divinity's self-subsistent existence (hypostasis), and therefore, while the humanity has a real existence (hypostasis) on its own by thought, both the humanity and divinity make one composite existence together (mia hypostasis).  The word "nature" or "physis" St. Severus mentioned can either mean ousia or hypostasis.  In this case, he would mention he used the term "physis" meaning "hypostasis," i.e. a concrete existence.

The problem with this, and I know this is something that people think, is that the word "hypostasis" seemed to have been defined by Chalcedon as synonymous to "prosopon."  Therefore, even in that word, we differ in meaning.  If St. Severus was to read St. John of Damascus's Christology on the "enhypostasis" theory, he would have thought St. John was a Eutychian, because the "enhypostasis" theory to St. Severus would mean that the existence of humanity is the divinity, rather than depends on the divinity.  To St. Severus, a "self-subsistent hypostasis" would be a prosopon with concrete existence, while a "non-self-subsistent hypostasis" is a concrete existence without a prosopon (or self).  If you read Fr. VC Samuel's evaluation and comparison of the theologies of St. Severus and St. John, Fr. VC Samuel asks the question "Does the Damascene acknowledge that the humanity exists or not?" using Severian thought.  Otherwise, in all other things, both St. Severus and St. John agree fully in essential Christological thought.

John of Damascus makes it  rather clear what anhypostaton and enhypostaton mean in his philosophical chapters. An anhypostaton is that which is without concrete existence. An enhypostaton is that which has its existence in an hypostasis. The human nature is anhypostatic in that it has no concrete existence of its own, but it is enhypostatized by the hypostasis of the Word, receiving concrete existence only by virtue of the one hypostasis of the Word.

Whether or not Severus would have agreed is hard to say. If I recall, John the Grammarian is the one from whom the enhypostaton/anhypostaton idea originates, and Severus was quite hostile to the "impious grammarian", as he called him.
Logged

Be comforted, and have faith, O Israel, for your God is infinitely simple and one, composed of no parts.
NicholasMyra
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian/Greek
Posts: 5,894


Avowed denominationalist


« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2012, 10:23:28 PM »

just a side issue that you bring up Father: since Scripture itself speaks of partaking of the divine nature, and we know that that cannot and does not mean the divine essence
It could mean the Divine Essence... partaken of *through* the Divine Energies. We don't partake of the Divine Energies instead of/rather than the Divine Essence, but we only access an Essence through Energies. That's the Aristotelian point here, as you know.

Father HLL was right on in saying:


1.  Scripture, and particularly St. Peter, uses the term "nature" to refer to essence+energy. 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:31:02 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.

"You are philosophical innovators. As for me, I follow the Fathers." -Every heresiarch ever
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2012, 12:17:35 AM »


Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


The problem with this, and I know this is something that people think, is that the word "hypostasis" seemed to have been defined by Chalcedon as synonymous to "prosopon."  Therefore, even in that word, we differ in meaning.

Exactly!

stay blessed,
habte selassie

But again, prosopon is a term that has several different meanings and usages.  The Holy Fathers were dealing with the reality that different areas of the Church had different but equally valid usages of the same term, which is why it was important to define.  Constantinople II clarified that it can only be used with regard to the Trinity if it is being used with the definition prosopon=hypostasis.  That is not to say that it denies the other legimitate definitions, but clarifies that these other definitions do not fit. 

In other words, Constantinople II clarified on a few points definitions to make clear:

1.  God the Father is prosopon, the Son is prosopon, and the Spirit is prosopon if and only if we are using the definition of prosopon where prosopon=hypostasis  (this is because even some modalists might say they agree that each is prosopon, but are using a different usage or definition of the term, making it a heresy)
2.  The definition of Chalcedon is correct if and only if we are using the definition of nature where nature=essence. 

While Alexandria was busy combatting modalism by rejecting a non-hypostatic prosopon, Antioch was busy combatting Arianism by affirming a hypostatic prosopon.  Same word, different usages, same goal. 
Logged
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,438


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2012, 12:41:11 AM »

To St. Severus, an "ousia" was a generality, or an idea, not something concrete that exists[...]
I am aware of this, I was just trying to cite a quote from St. Severus to indicate that describing Christ as "one ousia" isn't really consistent with our faith. Unless of course, your post wasn't directed at me, in which case, forgive my ignorance.
Oh no. Forgive me! My post was directed at the OP, in addition to your good posts Smiley
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Severian
God save Egypt, Syria, Lebanon & Iraq
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Coptic/Egyptian Orthodoxy
Posts: 5,039


In solidarity with Iraqi and Syrian Christians

Partisangirl
WWW
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2012, 01:38:17 AM »

To St. Severus, an "ousia" was a generality, or an idea, not something concrete that exists[...]
I am aware of this, I was just trying to cite a quote from St. Severus to indicate that describing Christ as "one ousia" isn't really consistent with our faith. Unless of course, your post wasn't directed at me, in which case, forgive my ignorance.
Oh no. Forgive me! My post was directed at the OP, in addition to your good posts Smiley
No problem, just a misunderstanding on my part. Smiley
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 01:43:57 AM by Severian » Logged

"What on Earth was I smoking?"

-My personal reaction when re-reading half of the c**p I've written on this forum.
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,315



WWW
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2014, 03:32:34 PM »

The problem with this, and I know this is something that people think, is that the word "hypostasis" seemed to have been defined by Chalcedon as synonymous to "prosopon."  Therefore, even in that word, we differ in meaning.
But again, prosopon is a term that has several different meanings and usages.  The Holy Fathers were dealing with the reality that different areas of the Church had different but equally valid usages of the same term, which is why it was important to define.  Constantinople II clarified that it can only be used with regard to the Trinity if it is being used with the definition prosopon=hypostasis.  That is not to say that it denies the other legimitate definitions, but clarifies that these other definitions do not fit. 

In other words, Constantinople II clarified on a few points definitions to make clear:

1.  God the Father is prosopon, the Son is prosopon, and the Spirit is prosopon if and only if we are using the definition of prosopon where prosopon=hypostasis  (this is because even some modalists might say they agree that each is prosopon, but are using a different usage or definition of the term, making it a heresy)
2.  The definition of Chalcedon is correct if and only if we are using the definition of nature where nature=essence. 

While Alexandria was busy combatting modalism by rejecting a non-hypostatic prosopon, Antioch was busy combatting Arianism by affirming a hypostatic prosopon.  Same word, different usages, same goal. 
Wow. I am glad that the battles over newly invented descriptions of Christ's natures have died down. Modalism, Docetism, Appolinarianism, hypostatic prosopon vs. non-hypostatic prosopon.  Shocked


Personally, I do not think the word "hypostasis" should be or remain a major cause of division between EOs and OOs over Chalcedon.

Chalcedon affirmed a mia ("united") hypostasis, and this was not a dividing issue. The only dividing issue in the Chalcedon Creed was two "physia" (natures).

In his Tome
, Leo never mentioned hypostasis, but did mention two "substances".

The Latin word "Substances" can be translated into Greek as either oumousion/essence (eg. in the Nicene Creed) or hypostasis (eg. in Hebrews 1:3).

And if the translator picks "hypostasis", then he has a choice of whether to understand hypostasis to mean essence (eg. in Heb. 1:3), or misunderstand it to mean person (eg. in the Cappadocian Fathers) in Latin.

By the way, is there a passage showing how the Cappadocians used it to mean person?

So I see how confusion could have arisen over this. However, once someone understands that substance means essence and not person, then the problem fades away.

I think that English speakers will have a much easier time with understanding Leo's use of "substantia" because it is practically the same in English (substance), whereas people in Eastern countries will not be as aware of the Western cognates and could risk confusing our Western "substance" with the Greek "hypostasis".

Regards.
Logged
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,315



WWW
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2014, 03:09:38 AM »

Yes, I know that this is an old thread. But I would like to ask where the Fifth Council said this:
In other words, Constantinople II clarified on a few points definitions to make clear:

2.  The definition of Chalcedon is correct if and only if we are using the definition of nature where nature=essence. 

All I found was in the Anathemas against the 3 Chapters it says that "from two natures" is not to mean "one nature or essence":
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,55889.0.html

Does that mean one can neither take it to mean one nature nor one essence?

Or does it mean it like this: One nature- or essence- is not allowed.
Logged
Father H
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian--God's One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
Jurisdiction: UOCofUSA-Ecumenical Patriarchate
Posts: 2,611



« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2014, 07:29:29 PM »

Yes, I know that this is an old thread. But I would like to ask where the Fifth Council said this:
In other words, Constantinople II clarified on a few points definitions to make clear:

2.  The definition of Chalcedon is correct if and only if we are using the definition of nature where nature=essence. 

All I found was in the Anathemas against the 3 Chapters it says that "from two natures" is not to mean "one nature or essence":
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,55889.0.html

Does that mean one can neither take it to mean one nature nor one essence?

Or does it mean it like this: One nature- or essence- is not allowed.

Dogmatic Chapters of the Council of Constantinople II:
"If anyone shall not confess that the nature (physis) or essence (ousia) of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is one, as also the energy and the power; a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three Subsistences (Hypostases) or Persons (Prosopa): let him be anathema. For there is but one God the Father from whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things."

This first chapter gives us that nature and essence are synonyms, that hypostasis and prosopon are synonyms, and that energy and power are synonyms. 

Now, we know from St. Maximos in his dialogue with Pyrros that not all of dogmatic theology is found in the conciliar decrees, and St. Maximos cites that "theanthropic nature" as an example, that does not contradict the usage of nature as defined in the council, since it is simply a different usage of the term.  Indeed, St. Maximos seems to say in this document that it is necessary to accept both usages in order to understand the whole of our salvation. 
Logged
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,315



WWW
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2014, 10:43:15 PM »

Now, we know from St. Maximos in his dialogue with Pyrros that not all of dogmatic theology is found in the conciliar decrees, and St. Maximos cites that "theanthropic nature" as an example, that does not contradict the usage of nature as defined in the council, since it is simply a different usage of the term.  Indeed, St. Maximos seems to say in this document that it is necessary to accept both usages in order to understand the whole of our salvation. 

Fr. H,

This is remarkable, however I was not able to find any references to the theanthropic nature outside an article mentioning the theanthropic nature of the church. I also could not find anything on Maximos'/Maximos' dialogue with Pyrros. Perhaps there is an alternate spelling?
Logged
rakovsky
Protokentarchos
*********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 4,315



WWW
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2014, 10:59:13 PM »

Dogmatic Chapters of the Council of Constantinople II:
"If anyone shall not confess that the nature (physis) or essence (ousia) of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is one, as also the energy and the power; a consubstantial Trinity, one Godhead to be worshipped in three Subsistences (Hypostases) or Persons (Prosopa): let him be anathema. For there is but one God the Father from whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things, and one Holy Spirit in whom are all things."

This first chapter gives us that nature and essence are synonyms, that hypostasis and prosopon are synonyms, and that energy and power are synonyms.  
I think these words are similar, but they are not the same, as they have different connotations, nor does the sentence structure equate them. Hypostasis means an inner person, while the prosopon is an outer person, if I understand it correctly from Prof. MacDonald's lecture, which I think CoptoGeek linked me to.

With a similar sentence structure one can say that the clothes and jacket of a boy are red, as he is a person wearing one uniform or set of clothes. In this case, clothes, jacket, and uniform , set of clothes are similar terms, but they have different meanings too.

Likewise, in the Tome, Leo says Christ has "2 natures and 2 substances". I think this word construction means they are related, but it does not equate them. In the text you cited, it bans anyone who does not confess God in three hypostases or prosopons. So someone who just denies God is in three prosopons still falls under the ban, even if he affirms three hypostases, or vice verse. Nestorius, for example, saw Christ in one prosopon, but did not assert Christ had one hypostasis, IIRC.

In any case, I am very interested in the quote about St Maximus you mentioned.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 11:03:00 PM by rakovsky » Logged
Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.121 seconds with 53 queries.