The Term Perichoresis from Cappadocian Fathers to Maximus Confessor [1]
International Journal of European Studies
Volume 1, Issue 1, February 2017, Pages: 21-29
Received: Mar. 21, 2017; Accepted: Apr. 1, 2017; Published: May 18, 2017
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Eirini Artemi, Post Graduate Program, Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece
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Abstract
In this paper we are going to expose the meaning of the word perichoresis and the role that it had in trinitarian and christological theology of Cappadocian fathers, pseudo- Cyril of Alexandria, Leontius Byzantius and Maximus the Confessor. Perichoresis is a Greek term used to describe the triune relationship between each person of the Godhead. It can be defined as co-indwelling, co-inhering, and mutual interpenetration. The relationship of the Triune God is intensified by the relationship of perichoresis. This indwelling expresses and realizes fellowship between the Father and the Son. Lossky asserts that Origen was the first to formulate the doctrine which was later to be called perichoretic, or the doctrine of the ‘communication of idioms’. The first father who used the noun perichoresis was Gregory Nazianzus, one of the Cappadocian fathers. He used the term when he was speaking about the relation between the natures of Christ, divine and human. Another Cappadocian father, Gregory of Nyssa does not use the noun but only the verb perichoreo in order to show the Son’s eternal existence. Cyril of Alexandria (pseudo- Cyril) applied περιχώρησις in a trinitarian sense to the idea of co-inherence. He saw two causes of divine unity: the identity of essence and the mutual perichoresis presupposing their threenes. He applied περιχώρησις in a trinitarian sense to the idea of co-inherence. The special contribution of Leontius Byzantius consisted in the clarification of the concept of enhypostasia, according to which the human nature of Christ is fully personal (enhypostatic) by being manifested within the hypostasis of the incarnated Christ, without this hypostasis being an expression of a single nature. Another father, Maximus used the same word perichoresis maintained that the human nature of Christ reciprocates with the divine nature of Christ. The confessor maintained that the human nature of Christ reciprocates with the divine nature of Christ. So in fathers’ teaching had to analyze that the fundamental basis of the Trinitarian perichoresis is the one essence of the three persons in God and on the other had the term is also applied to the close union of the two natures in Christ. Although the power that unites the two natures proceeds exclusively from Christ's divinity, the result is a most intimate coalescence. The Godhead, which itself is impenetrable, penetrates the humanity, which is thereby deified without ceasing to be perfectly human.
Keywords
Perichoresis, Godhead, Two Natures of Christ, Cappadocian Fathers, Cyril of Alexandria, Leontius Byzantius, Maximus the Confessor
To cite this article
Eirini Artemi, The Term Perichoresis from Cappadocian Fathers to Maximus Confessor [1], International Journal of European Studies. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2017, pp. 21-29. doi: 10.11648/j.ijes.20170101.14
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Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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