Author Topic: Hypostasis  (Read 946 times)

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Offline dantxny

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Hypostasis
« on: April 03, 2006, 11:23:53 PM »
Okay, here is a term that is really throwing me for a loop.  In much of my study of the Patristic fathers, I have been exposed to this word.  Now, I do understand its usage by the Cappadocian Fathers in relation to the Trinity and Christ.  However, when it is developed by later theologians, that's when I get confused.  In addition, when reading (and in lectures) of the Icon contraversty it has been suggested that humans themselves have a hypostasis and this is part of the reason that humans and saints can be depicted in icons.  Thus, for all philosphers (psedo or genuine), how exactly would you explain the Orthodox understanding of hypostasis?  Where does this line of thought extend to?  
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I think the French may be on to something here.

Offline EkhristosAnesti

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Re: Hypostasis
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 09:12:22 AM »
 In addition, when reading (and in lectures) of the Icon contraversty it has been suggested that humans themselves have a hypostasis and this is part of the reason that humans and saints can be depicted in icons.

Ofcourse humans have a hypostasis. In fact, any existing thing has a hypostasis. A hypostasis is simply a subsisting actualisation or realisation of abstract realities. For example, the human nature is simply an abstract reality which is peculiar by virtue of certain theoretical properties and attributes that we can assign to it in order to distinguish it from other natures, e.g. the divine. That abstract reality however can be realised in a specific being; the human natural reality is realised in the human being, and that realisation is the hypostasis of that human being.

I believe that it is the possession of personhood (rather than a hypostasis) which is peculiar to humans. A person is a "rational hypostasis"; a hypostasis with consciousness, will, intellect etc. I think this was a thing realised well before any Icon controversey however.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2006, 09:13:13 AM by EkhristosAnesti »
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Offline dantxny

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Re: Hypostasis
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2006, 09:48:38 AM »
Quote
I think this was a thing realised well before any Icon controversey however.
True, however, this is only when it came up for persons in my studies.   8)

Anyways, let me chew on this for a sec and then respond.
"If you give the average Frenchman a choice between a reforming president who would plug the country's huge deficit and a good cheese, he would probably opt for the cheese." - Stephen Clarke
I think the French may be on to something here.