Author Topic: Hypostase/is  (Read 678 times)

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Offline Svetlana

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Hypostase/is
« on: October 28, 2018, 12:26:42 AM »
Can anyone respond to the following question :  "What is Hypostase/is, for the Armenian Church, and specifically how does this differ from the EO belief ?
                                                                        And what is its significance or importance ?


Sv.

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2018, 04:15:38 AM »
You want an answer specifically from an Armenian perspective, or an Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian one?

http://orthokairos.weebly.com/uploads/5/7/3/1/57311059/hypostasis_in_st_severus_of_antioch.pdf
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Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 05:13:35 PM »
11/8//18

Thank you very much, Fr. Peter Farrington, for your response.

This is the first time I have encountered such a detailed and thorough description on this subject.
I am trying to make sense of the 'Human Nature" aspect, which would have the identity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.  Not much is known to us of how the boy Jesus grew up.  Simply that he helped his earthly father Joseph in carpentry, and lived, probably, a humanly everyday life with his parents.

Then comes the maturity age, and even pre-maturity, as is briefly indicated in the wedding of Cana, when his mother directs Him to help with the wine. . .   These are interesting mysteries to think about. 

Is there a concept of "perfect God/perfect Man" for the Copts ? (your oriental anchor)

Is there a difference between your concept, which you describe in your article-attachment, and the concept of the Armenians on the Two Natures and Miaphysitism ?

I will appreciate clarity in this.  Thank you for spending all your time on this subject.

-- Svetlana

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2018, 05:32:08 AM »
I don't believe there is any difference since all OO confess as a foundational belief that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, and that the Lord Jesus is the Word of God incarnate without mixture or confusion, division or separation. There was a large Armenian community in Egypt which was fully in communion with the wider Coptic community, and of course we are still in full communion.
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Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2018, 04:20:17 PM »
You want an answer specifically from an Armenian perspective, or an Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian one?

http://orthokairos.weebly.com/uploads/5/7/3/1/57311059/hypostasis_in_st_severus_of_antioch.pdf

11/9/18

Dear Fr. Peter,

Can you please explain to me the Armenian perspective on Hypostasis, the Two Natures of Christ ?

--Svetlana

Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2018, 02:24:10 AM »
I don't believe there is any difference since all OO confess as a foundational belief that Christ is perfect God and perfect man, and that the Lord Jesus is the Word of God incarnate without mixture or confusion, division or separation. There was a large Armenian community in Egypt which was fully in communion with the wider Coptic community, and of course we are still in full communion.

--
Okay, thanks, this assures me very well.  As I understand, the Copts and Armenians have been in collaboration to go through and compare ancient backlogs of texts for 'collaborative accuracy'?  =  to make sure these are all in agreement ?  {My Armenian family have told me that there are about 600 years of catching up to do, on the Armenian side, because history was so difficult.  Now, more or less in peaceful times, it is more feasible to spend time on this.}  Do you know anything about this Copt-Armenian project?

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2018, 10:56:40 AM »
I don't know anything about such a project. Nor does it seem necessary since it is clear to me that the Armenians and Copts have the same Christology.

I don't mean that research and study and not useful of course.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 10:57:18 AM by Father Peter »
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Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2018, 07:10:35 PM »
I don't know anything about such a project. Nor does it seem necessary since it is clear to me that the Armenians and Copts have the same Christology.

I don't mean that research and study and not useful of course.

--
It could be that the Armenians feel it may be time for "general housekeeping" of 600 years!

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2018, 04:22:42 PM »
I don't think that the Faith of any community depends on reviewing historic documents after 600 years. All of my contacts with Armenians, and my knowledge of Church History, and the shared communion, shows that the Armenians certainly have the same Faith as the Coptic Orthodox.
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Offline Gorazd

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2018, 04:36:28 PM »
Haven't lots of Armenian theologians studied in Russia? Does that have an influence in their theology?

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2018, 04:56:13 PM »
I would not imagine so, if they are Armenian Orthodox. And there is no real difference between EO and OO theology in any case.
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Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2018, 02:35:09 PM »
Response to Goradze:

No, there is no effect on theology.  Each one practices in their own way.  I know this by being from a Russian-Armenian family, from the old immigrations to the United States, who knew the practices both in the 'old country' and in the new world.

I myself don't feel any significant difference.  However, history placed unfortunate barriers between the two.  My own family lived in harmony and we never felt any division.  But for today's EO, especially the Russian Church, their vision, which began with broader ecumenical views, became isolationist and reactionary, as time went on.  As a result, their way became to put blinders on their parishioner's eyes, and try to scare them from looking anywhere outside their own milieu.   As a result, I have had well-educated EO theologians, who have taught in seminary, try to make the excuse to me that Armenians are Monophysite, and I always insisted that what they say is not true.

The only difference, if you like, is in the simplicity of the early Christian services, in comparison to the Byzantines.  It is, for me, easier to take, in many ways.  Confession is general in the Armenian Church, which is much easier than to go to a priest each time, with risks.
More flexibility, also, in accepting other Liturgical Christians for Communion.   But EO's took care of that by placing risk on you, if you do it.

I myself believe that both are Orthodox, both are legitimate, authentic early Christianity.   And I asked directly of a certain high bishop, EO outside the Russian Church, what he thought.  His response to me was that both were authentic and legitimate.  The unfortunate factor is the reality of the division, and that the division is the issue, not so much the dogma.

But experience of nations -- especially of small nations under bigger nations . . . well accounts for many divisions in the history of mankind.

I hope this gives you a picture.  As you can imagine, in my own lifetime, I have had to sort this whole thing out.

Best wishes,

Svetlana

Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2018, 02:38:19 PM »
I don't think that the Faith of any community depends on reviewing historic documents after 600 years. All of my contacts with Armenians, and my knowledge of Church History, and the shared communion, shows that the Armenians certainly have the same Faith as the Coptic Orthodox.

Yes, this is my impression.   I have also heard from our dear family friend, a Yeretsgin (priest's wife), that Copts (or Ethiopians?) have the closest/most accurate understanding of this theology?

Sv.

Offline Gorazd

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2018, 07:39:12 PM »
Response to Goradze:

No, there is no effect on theology.  Each one practices in their own way.  I know this by being from a Russian-Armenian family, from the old immigrations to the United States, who knew the practices both in the 'old country' and in the new world.

I cannot say how it is in the United States, but the Armenian priests I have met (in Georgia and Armenia) seemed - while loyal to their miaphysite christology - really close to the EO. (Though that might be due to language, since I spoke with them in Russian).

I have spent half a year in Egypt though, and there seemed to be a big divide between a theological current much closer to Roman Catholicism and scholasticism, similar to the "Western capitivity" in Russian history, and a patristic current close to the EO. I heard the division has since cooled down with the new Coptic Pope.

Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2018, 03:21:44 PM »
Response to Goradze:

No, there is no effect on theology.  Each one practices in their own way.  I know this by being from a Russian-Armenian family, from the old immigrations to the United States, who knew the practices both in the 'old country' and in the new world.

I cannot say how it is in the United States, but the Armenian priests I have met (in Georgia and Armenia) seemed - while loyal to their miaphysite christology - really close to the EO. (Though that might be due to language, since I spoke with them in Russian).

I have spent half a year in Egypt though, and there seemed to be a big divide between a theological current much closer to Roman Catholicism and scholasticism, similar to the "Western capitivity" in Russian history, and a patristic current close to the EO. I heard the division has since cooled down with the new Coptic Pope.

Don't know these things.  Russians and Armenians who lived in Russia or Caucasus understand each other and are more open to each others' faith.

Offline Svetlana

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2018, 08:14:45 PM »
You want an answer specifically from an Armenian perspective, or an Oriental Orthodox non-Chalcedonian one?

http://orthokairos.weebly.com/uploads/5/7/3/1/57311059/hypostasis_in_st_severus_of_antioch.pdf
--
to Fr. Peter:    to sum up :

When one speaks of Hypostasis, is means Person, as in the Three Persons of the undivided Trinity.  When referring to Christ :  Person is intact (undivided), each Nature is inside it, distinct ?  is this correct?

-- Sv. 

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2018, 05:34:10 AM »
Hypostasis does mean identity, this can mean person. It depends on what each person using these terms means. A Nestorian view says that Christ is one person in two hypostases. So we need to know what person means.

What we do mean is that Christ is one "who". He is the Word of God who has become incarnate without change so that he, the Word of God, is human and divine, perfect in his humanity and perfect in his divinity, and the distinction between these remains, but without division. This is what we have always taught and believed.
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Offline Alpha60

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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2018, 06:53:49 AM »
Hypostasis does mean identity, this can mean person. It depends on what each person using these terms means. A Nestorian view says that Christ is one person in two hypostases. So we need to know what person means.

What we do mean is that Christ is one "who". He is the Word of God who has become incarnate without change so that he, the Word of God, is human and divine, perfect in his humanity and perfect in his divinity, and the distinction between these remains, but without division. This is what we have always taught and believed.

I am of the firm opinion that this creedal perspective is best expressed by the hymn “Only Begotten Son” also known as “O Monogenes”; in the Coptic Rite my understanding is it headlines your Good Friday service.

One thing I like about the West Syriac rite is that it actually opens with that hymn, and my understanding is that, unlike the Byzantine Rite, where I believe it can be bumped off of the end of the Second Antiphon on some feast days by the propers (I could be wrong on this), the use of the Syriac version of Ho Monogenes is never overridden by liturgical propers.

I am in general opposed to liturgical modifications, but if any were ever considered for the Coptic Rite in the diaspora, where people might for various reasons miss the Good Friday service, I would advocate adding O Monogenes to every liturgy.  (Severian once proposed dropping the verses of cymbals from the Psalmody but that idea rather grated my gears)
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Re: Hypostase/is
« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2018, 04:07:52 AM »
One thing I like about the West Syriac rite is that it actually opens with that hymn, and my understanding is that, unlike the Byzantine Rite, where I believe it can be bumped off of the end of the Second Antiphon on some feast days by the propers (I could be wrong on this), the use of the Syriac version of Ho Monogenes is never overridden by liturgical propers.

So, you're wrong on this. The unique exception is Vesperal Liturgy of st. Basil, but considering the occasions it's served on, it's not so bad.
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