Hypostatic Characteristics of Notions of Thought, Knowledge and Cognition in the Greek Patristic Thought
СодержаниеAbstract The Qualitative Distinction Between the Notions of ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Cognition’ in Neo-Platonism and Christianity On the Mutual Knowledge of the Persons of the Trinity and That of their Own Essence Logos as the Inner Thought of the Father and the Foundation of any other Thought and Knowledge On the Knowledge of one person through another, a hypostasis through hypostasis Uncreated Energies and Knowledge Structural Properties of the Concept of ‘Knowledge’ and Hypostatic Principle of Being Hypostatic Union, προαίρεσις and Knowledge On Man’s Knowledge of His Own Nature and That of the Outside World as Leading to the Knowledge of God On the Knowledge of Difference between Species through Sets of Idioms and Potential Unlimitedness of a Hypostatic Idiom Series Conclusion: Theological Underpinnings of the Concepts of Thought, Knowledge and Cognition
Christian theology assigns to the concept of ‘hypostasis’ new qualities, which have not been attributed to the relevant ancient Greek term neither in philosophy nor in theology. In the philosophical discourse of the Greeks the meaning of the term ‘hypostasis’ does not transcend the notion of the individualized essence or existence. Christian theology for a quite a while identified ‘hypostasis’ with nature possessing particular individual characteristics. However, in Trinitarian, Christologic and anthropological thought ‘hypostasis’ had been shifted into a new series of concepts, both bound and unmingled with the series of notions having to do with essence. Integral Christian ontology should be viewed as a two-fold one – hypostatic and natural. There is neither nature that is non-enhypostatic nor hypostasis that is not in essence.1 The properties of natural and hypostatic origins intertwine in complementing each other due to the unity of ontology.
The concepts of ‘thought’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘cognition’ which seemingly refer to the intellectual nature as such, are interpreted in Christian theology much more deeply than one can at first think being inextricably linked with the theological concept of hypostasis.
Ἐκ δὲ τῆς ἑκατέρου συμπλοκῆς, τοῦ τε κοινονομα λέγοντες, έ––ςςῦ καὶ τονομα λέγοντες, έ––ῦ ἰδίονομα λέγοντες, έ––νομα λέγοντες, ές––ςυ,
ἡ κατάληψις ἡμῖν τῆς ἀληθείας ἐγγίνεται.2
The Qualitative Distinction Between the Notions of ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Cognition’ in Neo-Platonism and Christianity
It is well known that Neo-Platonic approach brings the concept of Mind and therefore of thought and cognition beyond the supreme Being – The One. In fact, with Plotinus, cognition and knowledge as well as consciousness are not allowed into the blissful peace of the One. Thus, knowledge, cognition and consciousness belong only to the lower levels of existence. Cognitive process, firstly, must inevitably diminish in intensity as one approaches the supreme Good, and secondly, the knowledge of The One, if at all possible, can not rely on cognitive experience of lower existential levels, since the multiplicity inherent in these levels has no place in The One. As for the Christian point of view, knowledge, in the first place, resides in God as God thinks of Himself and knows Himself. This is due to the trinity of the Hypostases in the Holy Trinity, which are characterized by a certain relationship of knowledge with regard to one another and to their common essence. Secondly, the self-knowledge of the created hypostases, as well as cognition of one another and of the world is grounded in the conformity of the created beings to the Creator and the triplicity of knowledge immanent to the Hypostases of the Trinity. This renders potential ever-lasting value and significance to the earthly cognition and knowledge, including one achieved in the process of cognition of the supreme Being, and provides a steady growth of the intensity of the cognitive process in approaching God.
On the Mutual Knowledge of the Persons of the Trinity and That of their Own Essence
St. Athanasius discusses the Son’s knowledge of the Father and the Father’s knowledge of the Son in the context of their reciprocal dwelling in each other.3 In contrast to arains who depreciated the Godhead of the Son, he argues that just as the Father knows the Son completely, so the Son knows the Father and Himself, i. e. His own essence completely.4 The same idea is echoed by the Cappadocians as they expand the line of thought to the third Person of the Trinity. They refer to both mutual knowledge of the hypostases as well as to their knowledge of their common essence, which is obviously interrelated due to the integrity of the patristic ontological thought.5 St. Basil also distinguishes between the Father’s and the Holy Spirit’s knowledge of the Son.6
Logos as the Inner Thought of the Father and the Foundation of any other Thought and Knowledge
St. Basil compares the Logos to the internal mystical Thought (νόημα) and intellectual Movement (νοερί﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽ supreme Being ––и: я. Nὸς κίνησις) of God the Father, ineffable, the only-begotten and manifested as the One who co-operates with the Father in the creation of the world. At the same time St. Basil entitles Logos as the Person with Whom the Father ‘converses’ (προσώπου πρὸς ὂν οἰ λόγοι).7
Both St. Basil and St. Athanasius associate the understanding of difference of the Son dwelling in and related to the Father with the very appellation of the Begetter – the Father.8 The name ‘Father’ implies both the name ‘Son’ and the cognition of their difference.9
St. Basil emphasizes that both with God and with men, names can denote not only common essence, but also the difference between the properties that characterize each hypostasis, and thus can give certain knowledge about the complex of features (ἰδιωμάτων συνδρομὴν), distinguishing a specific hypostasis of a certain consubstantial species. Thus, since the Godhead is one, the difference between the knowledge of the Father and Son can not be obtained otherwise than by means of their distinctive hypostatic features.10
Similarly, patristic biblical exegesis suggests, that the Father ‘speaking’ implies the Son ‘listening’ and thus grounds a creative Divine conversation in the theological dogma of the plurality of the Divine Persons.11 Hypostatic existence is linked with the Divine Word and the name, thought and therefore the knowledge of the Son is ranked among ‘the oldest’.12 This means that any authentic thought of a reasonable creature about any real thing13 is substantiated in the Father’s thought about the Son. Logos is the Personified Thought of the Father.14 For as the light makes it possible for an eye to discern objects so the concept of the Only-Begotten for the human mind to make use of reason.15
On the Knowledge of one person through another, a hypostasis through hypostasis
Using the theology of the image theologians of Alexandria and Cappadocia distinguish the knowledge of the image (the Son) from the knowledge of the Prototype (the Father) while insisting on the integrity of such knowledge by virtue of one essence.16 It is important not only to emphasize the distinction in cognition of hypostases in their natural unity, but also the very principle of a hypostasis being cognized through a consubstantial one.17 Although St. Athanasius still does not use hypostatic terminology to describe the actual intra-Trinitarian differences and relations, yet, taking into account the following development of theological terminology, his approach allows to deduce a hypostatic principle of cognition. Accordingly, it is through the personal or hypostatic action of the Son, distinct from the action of the Father and of the Holy Spirit, that the hypostasis of the Father is cognized by creation.18 St. Athanasius remarks that the representatives of the human race, being rational (λογικοί) images-icons of the Logos, are capable of cognizing the Logos and through Him – His Father, Whose Image He is.19
By analogy with the Trinitarian mutual knowledge of hypostases and human cognition of one of the Trinitarian hypostasis through another, one human hypostasis is cognized and estimated by other ones20 and through them.21
Personal action, in particular the incarnation, of the Son of God also enables cognition of the common Divinity of the Son and Father, as well as the uncreated energies, common to the them, and God as the Trinity of hypostases and One in essence.22 Personal action of an individual hypostasis of the human race also can contribute to cognition of God by other human hypostases.23
Uncreated Energies and Knowledge
Knowledge of God is based on the ability of assimilation of the uncreated energies by creation. While the essence of God is incomprehensible and not subject to human knowledge, the Divine energy is offered, multiplied, indivisibly ‘separated’ and imparted24 to various created hypostases according to the hypostatic-structural principle ‘from the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit’.25 The principles of offering and assimilation are alike hypostatic, which once again confirms the essentiality of hypostatic reality for the human cognition of God.
St. Gregory Palamas notes that the diverse uncreated energies or ‘powers’, directed at various creatures of God, are united due to the unity of the tri-hypostatic by internal ‘structure’ Creator.26 Thus the unity of uncreated energies is grounded in the oneness of the Creator’s essence, and the multiplicity of energies – in the Divine inner ‘hypostatic structure’ as well as in the conformity of numerous created hypostases to the three uncreated Ones.
Structural Properties of the Concept of ‘Knowledge’ and Hypostatic Principle of Being
St. Gregory Palamas considers the triplicity of human knowledge as a special feature of man’s conformity to the Trinity, which favorably distinguishes him from the angels.27 Obviously, this still does not imply the actual hypostatic nature of knowledge, for the Holy Fathers often approach the triplicity of human nature as a feature of likeness to the triplicity of hypostases in God. However, St. Gregory’s singling out the three components of knowledge – intellectual, logos-logical and sensual28 – indicates the complexity of the concept of ‘knowledge’ as well as a certain correspondence of the three components of human knowledge with the hypostases of the Trinity. Here the Father’s hypostasis corresponds to the concept of mind as such, the Son’s hypostasis stands for the logicality of knowledge, and the Spirit’s hypostasis reflects the sensory component of cognitive ability.29 Moreover, according to the course of thought of St. Palamas, the inner structure of the concept of knowledge, which includes the idea of unconfused distinction and interconnection between the components, is based on the likeness of man and God in the hypostatic principle of existence.
Hypostatic Union, προαίρεσις and Knowledge
The knowledge of God is revealed to humanity through the incarnation of the Son of God, which, according to the Chalcedonian oros, was accomplished through the hypostatic union of the two natures with their energies in Christ. Assimilation of the uncreated energies of God, allowing man to climb the ladder of knowledge, gradually mastering all of its components, is performed also due to the hypostatic unification of human created nature and the Creator’s uncreated energies within a human hypostasis. By reason of this hypostatic union, Christian saints are called the icons of Christ,30 which appear for other human hypostases to be fountains of the knowledge of God. The same applies to naming the angels ‘secondary lights’, since their ability to re-emit uncreated Light and the corresponding knowledge of God conferred by this Light are clearly apparent from angel’s hypostatic unification with the Light ‘emanations’.
It is important that partaking of the uncreated energies is parted by St. Gregory in two qualitatively different modes. He distinguishes the inherent and common for all creatures participation (as they all trace their origin and being to the creative power of God) from the potential one meant for rational creatures (τῶν λογικῶν) which are endowed with free will (προαίρεσις).31 Προαίρεσις, being inextricably linked with the hypostatic origin of rational creatures, is irreducible to the rational nature and appears to correspond to the vector defining direction and amplitude of development of God-like creatures and, in particular, determining the process of their cognition of God.32 It’s exactly προαίρεσις, conditioned by a hypostasis to which it belongs, makes possible cognition of God by His creation, all of which without exception is ‘alien’ to Him by nature.33
St. Athanasius, in referring to the freedom of rational (λογικοὶ) creatures, made by God in the image of the Logos and conferred with the ‘power of the Logos’ (τοῦ ἰδίου Λόγου δυνάμεως), applies the term ‘προαίρεσις’ to identify the personal (hypostatic) freedom of choice, which is responsible for the fall in the Paradise.34 At this point the unseasonable partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is seen as the result of a false choice, leading to a false type of knowledge and corruption. Although St. Athanasius’ statement of a rational creature receiving the ‘power of the Logos’ may be counted to be ambiguous, yet it seems that in this instance the Saint anticipates the theology of the hypostatic union35 and enables to ground knowledge, and above all – the knowledge of God, in the possibility of created hypostases to assimilate (or repulse) uncreated energies in a hypostatically free way. The false mode of knowledge chosen by the first hypostases of the human race – Adam and Eve – claims to link knowledge with a purely natural aspect of being, and therefore reaps the rewards of corruption by nature, excommunicating (‘κενωθέντας’ – literally ‘exhausting’) a person from knowing God and making him unreasonable (ἄλογον).36 Obviously, this does not imply a complete loss of rationality, but the direction of its dynamics, depending on the selected mode of existence and cognition.37 Patristic thought inseparably connects the origin and development of the created intelligent existence with the hypostatic unity and the vector of free personal will.38
St. Gregory Palama also notes that the lack of distinction between the multiple uncreated energies would lead, in particular, to the negation of the freedom of will as concerns both created beings and the Creator Himself.39 This idea maintains the relationship between the hypostatic freedom of volition and cognition and the internal structure of uncreated energies reflecting the ‘hypostatic structure’ of existence.
On Man’s Knowledge of His Own Nature and That of the Outside World as Leading to the Knowledge of God
St. Athanasius considers the process of human cognition of his own nature throughout his life journey40 and cognition of God by man in himself as in a reflection.41 Human capability of cognizing God based on our conformity to Him is also discussed by St. Basil.42 Again, this fact compels us to relate the cognitive process not only to the intellectual nature of human race but also to the hypostatic element in order to avoid the tautological thesis of the mind coming to know itself as well as to draw an analogy between hypostatic-natural integrity of human ontology and that of their Creator. Of importance for our theme is also a theological idea of the original, starting from the moment of creation, human conformity to the Logos, the plan of Whose incarnation is the highest prototype of human duality, including not only created nature but also uncreated energies. The likeness of the first and of second Adam in complexity and synthetic character of hypostatic being, in fact, is the key to solution of the problem of the knowledge of God consisting in the incomparability of the created and uncreated nature.
Patristic thought also draws our attention to the fact that all creatures bear the imprint of their ‘Father Superior’ – the Logos, through Whom they were brought into being, hence even natural knowledge of the surrounding world can lead man to the cognition of the hypostasis of the Logos and through Him –– also of His Father.43 Similarly, the activity, the fruit of labor of an individual human hypostasis enables to know the wisdom thereof.44
On the Knowledge of Difference between Species through Sets of Idioms and Potential Unlimitedness of a Hypostatic Idiom Series
Every kind of created beings is recognized by certain characteristics, the set of which human mind generally identifies by a particular name.45 Obviously, these are natural features, enabling to distinguish in their entirety a particular kind of species. However, St. Basil emphasizes that intrageneric differences between hypostases of each kind should suggest a potential unlimitedness of a certain characteristics series, which allows to establish not only the membership in a certain species but also to isolate a particular hypostasis from an arbitrarily numerous species.46
Conclusion: Theological Underpinnings of the Concepts of Thought, Knowledge and Cognition
Bringing our analysis to a close, we may summarize that from the Christian perspective the concepts of thought, knowledge and cognition bear both hypostatic and natural characteristics. St. Athanasius describes the cognition of the Divine unity within the Trinity of persons.47 Thought, knowledge and cognition are grounded both in natural unity, hypostatic distinction and hypostatic synthesis. The internal unity of God and the internal unity of creation suggest that homogeneous hypostases mutually are able know one another. Every kind of hypostases is known through a complex of their distinctive features, while every particular hypostasis is known through unique intra-generic differences, which imply potential unlimitedness of the hypostatic characteristics series.
Hypostatic self-identity and intra-generic inherent distinction between hypostases with reference to one another and to their very nature are the basis of self-knowledge, hypostatic non-merging in the cognitive process, but also enable to ‘bridge’ a cognitive gap between created and uncreated hypostases of absolutely different natures.
Being characteristics of rational nature, thought, knowledge and cognition are at the same time en-hypostatic like nature itself. Within the biblical and patristic view knowledge is synonymous with the experience of getting into contact and even possessing an object of knowledge – be it a mental or sensory-physical realm of being. The fullness of mutual knowledge belongs to the hypostases of the Holy Trinity due to their absolute reciprocal ‘perichoresis’. In the process of cognition of God a human person also achieves a certain degree of conscious ‘perichoresis’ with Christ48 and, through Him, with other Persons of the Holy Trinity. Both principles of communication as well as of assimilation of uncreated energy are hypostatic.
The cognizing hypostasis is the one who freely defines the modes of usage of knowledge and cognitive energies, setting the vector of cognitive process. Internal structure of knowledge has the potential of synthetic integrity by virtue of its belonging to a hypostasis. The manifestation of this potential integrity of knowledge as well as the vector of cognition development depend on the free will of the cognizing person, on his readiness to perceive the cognitive ‘power of the Logos’ which is the origin of any authentic idea of any rational creature. The vector of cognitive dynamics can be erroneous if it’s not coherent with the Logos, which means that not all knowledge is creative, but it can be also destructive, which we all well know from human history.
Every human hypostasis is capable of knowing both its own nature and the nature of the created world, whereby it is exalted via assistance of the Holy Spirit to the cognition of the hypostasis of the Logos, and through Him – to the knowledge of the hypostasis of God the Father. This cognitive process is organically intertwined with our cognition of other human hypostases as well as of ourselves.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Apologia contra Arianos, J.-P. Migne (ed.). Patrologiae cursus completus (series Graeca) (PG). In 161 t. Paris, 1857–1866. Vol. 25: 239–410.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, De Amuletis, PG 26: 1319–1324.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Epistola ad Episcopos Aegypti Et Libyae, PG 25: 537–594.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, In illud: Omnia mihi tradita sunt, PG 25: 207–220.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio De Incarnatione Verbi, PG 25: 95–198.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio I, II Contra Arianos, PG 26: 11–322.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio contra Gentes, PG 25: 1–96.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Adversus Eunomium Lib I, II, PG 29: 497–652.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, De Hominis Structura Oratio I, PG 30: 9–38.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homiliae in Hexaemeron (I, III, ΙV, VI, VIII, IX), PG 29: 3–206.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homiliae in Psalmum XLIV, XLVIII, PG 29: 387–414; 431–460.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Epistolae, Eidem Amphilochio, PG 32: 875–886.
S. Gregorius Palamas, Capita Physica, Theologica Etc., PG 150: 1121–1226.
S. Joannes Damascenus, Contra Jacobitas, PG 94: 1433–1502.
S. Symeon Neotheologus Poeta et Theol., Orationes ethicae, Syméon le Nouveau Théologien. Traités théologiques et éthiques / ed. J. Darrouzès [Sources chrétiennes 122, 129] (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 1966, 1967): 1: 170–440; 2: 8–458.
Methody (Zinkovskiy), hieromonk, Term ‘προαίρεσις’ and the Theology of Person, ΣΧΟΛΗ. Philosophical Study of Antiquity and Classical Tradition. Vol. VIII (2) (2014). 312–327.
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Ἀλλ’ ἐνούσιον μὲν, τὴν ὑπόστασιν, ἐνυπόστατον δὲ, τὴν οὐσίαν (hypostasis is truly in essence, while essence is en-hypostatic), S. Joannes Damascenus, Contra Jacobitas 12, PG 94, 1441D.
It is due to the entwined features of the common and the individual that we grasp the idea of the truth, S. Basilius Caesariensis, Adversus Eunomium, Lib. II, PG 29, 637B.
μόνος οἶδε τίς ἐστιν ὁ Πατὴρ, ἐν τῷ Πατρὶ ὢν, καὶ ἔχων ἐν ἑαυτῷ τὸν Πατέρα, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, In illud: Omnia mihi tradita sunt. PG 25, 217B.
PG 25, 576BC.
Υἱῷ γὰρ μόνῳ γνωστὸς ὁ Πατὴρ, καὶ τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι; τὴν οὐσίαν ἀπερίοπτον εἶναι παντὶ, πλὴν εἰ τῷ Μονογνομα λέγοντες, έ––ενεῖ καὶ τῷ ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, S. Basilius Caesariensis, Adversus Eunomium, Lib. I, PG 29, 544AB.
Οὐδὲ γὰρ ἐκεῖ ἄγνοιαν τοῦ Πνεύματος κατηγορεῖ, ἀλλὰ πρώτῳ τῷ Πατρὶ ὐπάρχειν τὴν γνῶσιν τῆς ἑαυτοῦ φύσεως μαρτυ﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽υρεῖ, S. Basilius Caesariensis, Epistolae, Eidem Amphilochio, PG 32, 877A.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homilia III In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 56A–С.
τοῦ Πατρὸς δὲ νομα λέγοντες, έ––νομα λέγοντες, έ––ὄνομα λέγοντες, ἐπιγινώσκομεν ἐκ τοῦ ὀνόματος τούτου καὶ τὸν ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ Πατρὶ Λόγον, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio I Contra Arianos, PG 26, 84A. See also: PG 25, 473CD; PG 29, 517A, 621B.
τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐννοίᾳ ἡ το.﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽ογενούς ε––ῦ Yἱοῦ συνεισέρχεται, S. Basilius Caesariensis, Adversus Eunomium, Lib. II, PG 29, 593BC.
Ibid. 577C –580АC, 637B, 640AB.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homilia VI in Hexaemeron, PG 29, 120CD; De Hominis Structura, Oratio I, PG 30, 13A.
ο.﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽ογενούς ε––ὔτε μὴ γένηται ἔννοια πρεσβυτέρα τῆς τοῦ Μονογενοῦς ὑποστάσεως, S. Basilius Caesariensis, Adversus Eunomium, Lib. II, PG 29, 596BC, 608B.
Not only in the imagination.
For instance: ἡ βασιλεία σου ἐπέκεινα τῶν αἰώνων, καὶ ἐννοίας πάσης ἐστὶ πρεσβυτέρα, S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homilia In Psalmum XLIV, PG 29, 404BC.
οὔτε ψυχὴ, τῆς τοῦ Μονογενοῦς ἐννοίας παρενεχθεῖσα, τῇ νοήσει κεχρῆσθαι; ἀφώτιστος ψυχὴ ἀδύνατος ἐστι πρὸς νόησιν, Adversus Eunomium, Lib. II, PG 29, 604AC.
τῷ οἰκείῳ πέφυκε τὸ οἰκεῖον ἐπιγινώσκεσθαι; δι᾽ εἰκόνος δὲ υ﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽﷽είνατος έςςἡ γνῶσις τοῦ ἀρχετύπου γίνεται, Adversus Eunomium, Lib I, PG 29, 552B.
δι᾽αὐτοῦ ἐπιγινώσκεσθαι τὸν Πατέρα, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio I Contra Arianos, PG 26, 100C; ὁ Λόγος, ὁ τοῖς πᾶσι τὴν γνῶσιν τὴν περὶ τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ ἑαυτοῦ χαρίζόμενος, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Epistola ad episcopos Aegypti et Libyae, PG 25, 576C; See also: PG 26, 181B, 332A; PG 25, 117B, 121C, 188B, 193CD, 444CD.
It’s through the personal Logos named Self-Sanctification and Self-Life (αὐτοαγιασμὸς καὶ αὐτοζωὴ) and in Him and through His personal action in the world that the Father reveals Himself: Ἐν αὐτῷ δὲ καὶ δι αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἑαυτὸν ἐμφαίνει, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio Contra Gentes, PG 25, 93CD.
PG 25, 16D, 116AD.
On the knowledge and estimation of one hypostasis of the human race by other ones see, for example: PG 25, 533C.
Ἄνθρωποι γὰρ παρὰ ἀνθρώπων ἐγγυτέρω δύνανται μαθεῖν, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio De Incarnatione Verbi, PG 25, 117A.
Ibid. 97B, 155С, 191A, 193CD.
On the knowledge of God through personal pursuit of Christian message see, for example: S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Apologia contra Arianos, PG 25, 403BC.
Ἡ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἄκτιστος ἐνέργεια, μεριζομένη ἀμερίστως, S. Gregorius Palamas, Capita Physica, Theologica Etc., PG 150, 1169B, 1185С.
Internal ‘hypostatic structure’ is outlined in a single action of creation: The Father is glorified in the Son, and the Son in the Holy Spirit, See, for example: S. Basilius Caesariensis, De Hominis Structura, Oratio I, PG 30, 13B; Πρόοδοι γὰρ τὰ τοιαῦτα, καὶ ἐκφάνσεις, καὶ ἐνέργειαι φυσικαὶ τοῦ ἐνὸς Πνεύματός εἰσι· καὶ δι᾽ ἐκάστης ἕν ἐστι τὸ ἐνεργοῦν, Capita Physica, Theologica Etc. PG 150, 1172A; ‘τῶν τριῶν ἡ ἐνέργεια’, PG 150, 1172D, 1185A; PG 150, 1172B.
ὁ Πατὴρ καὶ ὁ Υὑὸς καὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιόν ἐστιν, ἡ οSapita Physica, м не относит к в––ὐσιοποιὸς καὶ ζωοποιὸς καὶ σοφοποιὸς ἐνέργειά τε καὶ δύναμις, Capita Physica, Theologica Etc., PG 150. 1185D; See also: 1185AB.
καὶ τὸ τριαδικὸν τῆς ἡμετέρας γνώσεως, μᾶλλον ἡμᾶς τῶν ἀγγέλων δεικνύειν κατ᾽ εἰκόνα τοῦ Θεοῦ, ibid. 1165C.
τῷ νοερῷ τε καὶ λογικῷ, καὶ τὸ αἰσθητικὸν, ibid.
It is noteworthy that, in contradiction to the initial similarity, the Neo-Platonic ladder of hypostases essentially differs by decrease in being. Secondly, Neo-Platonism does not attribute any cognitive ability to the One.
St. Gregory Palamas, in citing St. Maximus (PG 91, 297, 1253), refers to the saints as the living icons of Christ, ζῶσαί τινες εἰκόνες Χριστοῦ, Capita Physica, Theologica Etc., PG 150, 1173C.
προαίρεσις δὲ μόνον τῶν λογικῶν ἐστι, ibid., 1176D.
See, for example: Methody (Zinkovskiy), hieromonk, Term ‘προαίρεσις’ and the Theology of Person, ΣΧΟΛΗ. Philosophical Study of Antiquity and Classical Tradition. Vol. VIII (2) (2014), 312–327.
ξένα ἐστὶ Θεοῦ, ibid., 1177Α.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio De Incarnatione Verbi, PG 25, 101BD–104AD; See also: PG 25, 16D.
At this point St. Athanasius clarifies that the parallel between the incarnation of the Word and the genesis of human being may appear to be peculiar, yet it is allied to the false choice of man and the false kind of knowledge. Also see: PG 25, 116AB.
κενωθέντας τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τ'даруемое этим Светом Бзлучать Н–м.:НАῆς περὶ Θεοῦ ἐννοίας, Oratio De Incarnatione Verbi, PG 25, 104 B; ἄλογον γενέσθαι, PG 25, 177C; 172BC.
Thus, St. Athanasius considers the ‘descending’ dynamics of the human idea of God, καταβαίνοντες ταῖς ἐννοίαις (Oratio Contra Gentes, PG 25, 17С), while St. Basil reflects on the dynamics wherewith the Scripture leads us to the idea of the Only-begotten Son of God (Homilia III In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 55B); On the vector of cognition see also: PG 29, 284C–285A, 292D–293A, 428D–429A, 457AC.
Human knowledge of God may be worthy or unworthy of Him, depending on the choice and effort of the bearer of knowledge: PG 29. 4 A. On the relationship between the freedom of God in creation and the concept of ‘προαίρεσις’ also see: PG 29, 17C, 544CD; PG 30, 193C.
PG 150, 1189D–1192AB.
τήν τε φύσιν ἐπιγινώσκων τὴν ἑαυτοῦ, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio II Contra Arianos, PG 26, 192B.
S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, Oratio De Incarnatione Verbi, PG 25, 117A; Oratio Contra Gentes, PG 25, 16D, 68B.
S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homilia In Psalmum XLVIII, PG 29, 449.
PG 25, 117 AB. In the same place St. Athanasius puts forward a striking idea that the Word of the Father brings all things in motion so that all creatures should know God. Movement like knowledge proves to be hypostatic by its origin and purpose: διὰ τοῦτο τὰ ὅλα κινοῦντα, ἵνα δι᾽ αὐτοῦ πάντες γινώσκωσι τὸν Θεόν. On the knowledge of the Logos and Father via creation see also: Oratio De Incarnatione Verbi, PG 25, 129AC, 89Α; on conceptualizing the Artist of all things and His Wisdom by means of creation see: S. Basilius Caesariensis, Homilia VI In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 117C, 145C. Also see: PG 29, 544AB.
Homilia I In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 17B.
Homilia VIII In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 169C. Features distinguish species and elements from each other: Homilia ΙV In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 89B.
Thus, mother sheep singles out her off-spring from millions of lambs. See: Homilia IX In Hexaemeron, PG 29, 197A. Also see: PG 29, 116B.
ἐν Τριάδι μία θεότης ἐπιγινώσκεται, S. Athanasius Alexandrinus, De Amuletis, PG 26, 1324B.
In the words of St. Symeon the New Theologian, Christ dwells ‘in us bodily… if we dwell in Him consciously’, ἡμῶν κατοικησάντων γνωστῶς ἐν αὐτῷ, S. Symeon Neotheologus Poeta et Theol., Orationes ethicae 10. 1. 462.