Tag Archives: hypostasis

Perichoretic Trinity in Transcendence

Just how personal are the divine persons? We know that when the Eastern Church sought an appropriate vocabulary by which to distinguish the Father, Son, and Spirit from the divine substance, it finally settled on the impersonal word hypostasis, which … Continue reading

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St John of Damascus on the Holy Trinity

Perhaps the greatest theological challenge of the early Church was the articulation of the trinitarian identity of the one God. How do we express both the unity and distinctiveness of the divine persons, or as Charles Twombly puts it, their … Continue reading

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St Gregory of Nyssa: The Grammatical Rules of the Trinity

“Transpose then to the divine dogmas the same principle of differentiation which you acknowledge with regard to substance and hypostasis in our affairs, and you will not go wrong” (EpPet. 3e). Well, I’ve been pretty good at basic grammar ever … Continue reading

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St Gregory of Nyssa: Differentiating Ousia and Hypostasis

In the early fourth century the terms ousia and hypostasis were synonyms and virtually interchangeable in philosophical usage, yet by the end of the fourth century orthodox theologians were using them differently to speak of the one God who is … Continue reading

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St Gregory of Nyssa: On the Divine Ousia and Hypostasis

The epistle To Peter on the Divine Ousia and Hypostasis has long been attributed to St Basil of Caesarea; but during the past century patristic scholars have come to believe that it probably was composed by St Gregory of Nyssa, … Continue reading

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Father, Son, Spirit as Divine Selves

“Three selves, one being”—does it work as a trinitarian formula? Well, why not? It all depends on what we mean by the word “self.” Dale Tuggy defines self as a center of individual consciousness, volition, and agency—i.e., someone who is … Continue reading

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St Basil the Great and the Search for Hypostasis

“As I see it,” St Basil the Great writes, “while there is much that distinguishes Christianity from Greek error and Jewish ignorance, I think there is no doctrine in the gospel of our salvation more important than faith in the … Continue reading

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