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John of Damascus and the Eucharist

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  • Rajan Mathew
    Dear Scholers / members I have been reading Constantine Tsirpanlis s Introduction to Eastern Patristic Thought and Orthodox Theology. He offers a very
    Message 1 of 1502 , Jun 11, 2003
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      Dear Scholers / members

      I have been reading Constantine Tsirpanlis's Introduction to Eastern
      Patristic Thought and Orthodox Theology. He offers a very interesting
      interpretation of St. John Damascene's understanding of the Eucharistic
      transformation. He describes it as a kind of impanation. He writes:

      "Through the epiclesis, and the descent of the Holy Spirit, bread and wine
      (and water) are changed into the body and blood of Christ, in a supernatural
      manner, 'hyperfyos metapoiounte.' Not the body of Christ which ascended into
      heaven descends, but bread and wine itself are changed into the body and
      blood of Christ. And as the Holy Spirit once had formed Christ's body in the
      womb of the Virgin, so now, continuously, He forms Him by the changing of
      the Eucharistic elements....

      "Just as God unites His grace to the water and oil of Baptism, so, in the
      Eucharist, He has joined, "synezfksen," His divinity to the elements, making
      them His body and blood. Just as charcoal is wood joined to fire, 'in like
      manner also the bread of the Communion is not bread only, but (bread) united
      with the divinity, 'Henomenos theoteti.'

      "Accordingly, the Orthodox Church maintains the real presence (hypostatic
      and substantial) of Christ in the Holy Eucharist as consequence of the
      change of Eucharistic elements, bread and wine, into the body and blood of
      Christ....

      "This Body, created by the Holy Spirit through the change of bread and wine,
      is assumed hypostically by the Logos, just as He once had assumed
      hypostatically the body formed in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit. But
      since there is but one hypostasis of the Incarnated Logos, it follows that
      the Eucharistic body on earth and the glorified body in heaven are one,
      owing to the one hypostasis to which they belong.

      "The Eucharistic body of Christ is identified with the pre-resurrected one.
      So the question: Why had Christ instituted Holy Eucharist before and not
      after his resurrection takes its answer. Moreover, the resurrected body is
      incorruptible and cannot therefore be subject to breaking, eating and
      drinking." (pp. 134-138)

      This is the first time I have encountered this interpretation of St. John.
      Is this accurate?

      Tsirpanlis relies heavily it appears on a work, presumably by John, titled
      "On the holy body of communion." I have never seen this cited anywhere else.
      Is this an authentic work of John of Damascus? Is an English translation
      available anywhere?

      Thanks for your help

      In Christ

      Rajan Mathew
    • SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com
      Dear members We have created a database section in our forum. We would like to update our list of parishes. We request our members to go to the data section
      Message 1502 of 1502 , Oct 1, 2004
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        Dear members
        We have created a database section in our forum. We would like to update our list of parishes. We request our members to go to the data
        section and update your parish informations or send details to SOCM-
        FORUM-owner@yahoogroups.com. From the existing data base if you find
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        In our Lords Love
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