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Fwd: Re: [SORForum] Severus of Antioch's Objection to Chalcedon - A Re-Assessment

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  • Brian Ingram
    ... Brian Ingram wrote: Composite hypostasis is for Severus the same as composite nature. Made up of body and soul, man may be said to be
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 17, 2003
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      --- In SOR-Forum@yahoogroups.com,
      "Brian Ingram" <Brian.Ingram@x>wrote:

      Composite hypostasis is for Severus the same as composite
      nature. Made up of body and soul, man may be said to be
      'from two natures' or 'from two hypostases', because it
      is not as ousiai that body and soul exist in man, but as
      hypostases. The ousiai become individuated together in union,
      so that man does not exist in two natures. The body and soul
      in man, understood as dynamic realities, converge into the
      formation of a composite hypostasis.

      Severus' view of prosopon may be brought out more fully by referring
      to the answer he offers to the question of why we cannot affirm
      that Christ is 'from two prosopa'. He writes:

      To me this definition of man leads to confusion. While it is apparent
      that we have both a spiritual and physical part to our human nature
      existing in as Severus says a hypostases or "underlying state",
      or underlying substance it is still one human nature not two. The
      Hypostases in Neoplatonist Metaphysics means "underlying state", or
      underlying substance. In other words, that fundamental realitry that
      supports all else. The reality in the Human Nature is that we have one
      human nature with two aspects or fundamental realitry to it, a physical
      and a spiritural. Each on their own cannot be considered as our human
      nature but only part of it.

      The phrase 'one incarnate nature of God the Word', therefore, emphasizes
      three ideas:

      (1) It was God the Word Himself who became incarnate, without undergoing
      anychange.
      (2) In becoming incarnate, He was not assuming a manhood which had
      already been formed in the womb of the Virgin. The manhood was formed
      only in the union.
      (3) The incarnate Word is one Person. He who is eternally 'simple'
      took unto Himself concrete manhood and thus became 'composite'. [20]
      ousia [ousia] Greek term for being or substance. In the trinity the
      Son is of the same substance.

      the outward appearance of inanimate things or person or persons Severus
      admits that it is possible to find evidence in the works of the
      earlier Fathers for the use of the 'two natures' formula adopted by the
      Council of Chalcedon, but he argues that those Fathers employed it before
      the outbreak of the Nestorian controversy. Since then the situation had
      changed, and the imprecise expressions of the past had been given up in
      favour of a theological tradition based on the Nicene Creed as confirmed
      by the Councils of Constantinople and Ephesus [22]. In this context, Leo
      of Rome, without paying attention to the tradition established in the
      Church, insisted on the 'in two natures' in his Tome, and on this basis
      the Council of Chalcedon adopted it. This was, for Severus, a violation
      of the established tradition of the Church. He points out that Church
      Fathers, from Ignatius of Antioch and Irenaeus of Lyons to Cyril of
      Alexandria, all teach Christ is a unity. He is one Person, God the Word
      incarnate. The idea behind the phrase 'two natures after the union' or
      the 'in two natures' of Chalcedon, argues Severus, is opposed to the
      teachings of these Fathers. The real question at issue concerning Christ's
      unity is for Severus the subject of the words and deeds recorded about Him
      in the Gospels. The Fathers, he insists, have ascribed them to one Person,
      and he writes:

      Is Severus correct in his assumptions? Serverus seems to me to be severely
      effected by the Nestorian heresy seeing in the Chalcedon Council and the
      Tome of Leo an acceptance of this heresey or a form of it. His understanding
      of the Greek hypostases had evolved in his mind to something different than
      one in substance. For he in saying the two nature in Christ were in the
      sense of the divine and the human natures converging into a unity, or of a
      hypostatic union. For the Chalcedon Fathers what he is saying is the two
      nature merged into one nature that isthey would see him as a monophysite'.
      In the definition on the Trinity the three Divine Persons exist in one dvine
      nature not three. As a comparson my Human nature is shared only by myself,
      whereas the one divine nature is shared by the Three Divine Persons.

      Leo Tome spelt out that the two nature were united not fused or confused
      into one in the 2nd person of the blessed trinity..

      Brian
      --- End forwarded message ---
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