Variegated Unity: On the Discrepancy and Overlapping of the Semantic Fields of the terms ‘atom’ and ‘hypostasis’ in Patristic Thought
The author argues that patristic thought has gradually developed an innovative approach to resolving the dilemma of the continuity and discontinuity of existence and the whether there is a basic unit, or ‘atom’, of existence and, if so, what it might be. Having studied various patristic texts from the standpoint of what the terms ‘atom’ and ‘hypostasis’ denote, we have come to the conclusion that their semantic fields do overlap, especially in the sense of ‘wholeness’, while they can in no way be considered synonyms. The notion of hypostasis in patristic theology and anthropology has acquired many new connotations including integrity and synthesis, life and dispensation, free personal will and self-moved activity. An overview of patristic thought leads us to the stunning revelation that the ‘atoms’ of created reality are not the indivisibles of Democritus but in fact the synthesis of human hypostases bearing the image of the Three-Hypostatic Creator. In the author’s view, the patristic understanding of these terms enables us to resolve the antinomy of continuity and discontinuity of being by notionally separating these concepts into two spheres of a single ontology. Discontinuity is to be attributed to the hypostatic sphere whereas continuity to the natural one. This approach allows us to maintain the unity of ontology and to consider the complementarity of the principles of continuity and discontinuity in a more valid and generally applicable fashion than has been done by Leibniz or by some of the scientists of our day.
Keywords: hypostasis, atom, continuity and discontinuity, Holy Trinity, human person, unity of ontology.
We should start by noting that in certain contexts the terms ‘atom’ and ‘hypostasis’ are used in patristic texts synonymously. But this does not mean that their semantic fields fully overlap, in fact in their contents they are more discontiguous than they are contiguous. New meanings attributed to the term hypostasis allow us not only to speak about a revolutionary understanding of what it is to be a person, but also to analyse the implications of this semantic development with respect to the dilemma of continuity and discontinuity linked directly to the antinomy of unity and plurality of existence.
A number of ancient thinkers, perhaps the most notable among them being Aristotle,1 abandoned the principle of discontinuity (atomicity) in favour of the integrity/continuity of the foundations of being. Each of the two concepts though has its supporters to this day. Although there have been attempts, incomplete from our point of view, to synthesize both theses, such as, for example, in so called ‘finitism’,2 patristic thought permits resolving the opposition of atomicity and continuity by relating them to different poles of a single ontology and arrive at a conception of their mutual complementarity.3 As we shall argue below, Christian theology prompts us to attribute atomicity to the hypostatic aspect of ontology and continuity to the natural one. The continuity of nature is also innovative in the light of modern scientific assumptions on the discontinuity of all types of matter, conceived as Fractal Cosmology. We personally consider that the hierarchic structure of matter does not imply its discontinuity but reflects its multilevel unity. But this, strictly speaking, is a topic for another article.
We would also like to stress a qualitative advantage of the patristic approach to the antinomy of discontinuity and continuity over Leibniz’s later philosophical proposal to separate ‘continuity and discontinuity into different ontological spheres’ of real and a possible being.4
Now, how may one describe the manner in which the difference between the natural and hypostatic can be understood with respect to the indivisibility or integrity of the alleged ‘a-tom’ or ‘in-dividual’? Within created nature indivisibility/integrity would mean that, if we theoretically allow some kind of ‘separation’ of an atom/individual, it should cease to possess its atomic existence, cease to be as such, come to its end. Thus there is a tension, observed already in ancient philosophy and mathematics, between separate qualities inherent in an entity and its indivisibility and simplicity.5 Even from a purely linguistic viewpoint, the term hypostasis may designate a composite object, while ‘atom’ does not bear such semantic meaning.
According to St John of Damascus, contrary to ideas of the indivisibility of atomic existence, the integrity of a human hypostasis is not eliminated even after the real separation of the soul and the body at death. In mysterious fashion, the hypostasis of each person, having a two-natured (fractal) structure, does not shed or lose its unity because the soul and the body, which make up a person’s synthetic hypostasis, forever retain a single connecting hypostatic principle in each of them.6
Moreover, the concept of hypostasis, in contrast to the indivisible atoms, is intended to reflect the synthetic integrity of an individualized human nature with the incoming, uncreated life-giving force. In this connection, St Gregory of Nyssa asserts, in particular, that human nature has a hypostasis composed of the rational soul and body that is enlivened by divine power.7
The concept of hypostasis, aside from its possible meaning of integrity and unity (a meaning absent from the concept of atom), also conveys an existential connotation, since we see that the holistic, hypostatic being of an object is something more than the sum of all its conceivable characteristics. The being of an object as a hypostasis is gathered together from the plan that God has ordained for it and the realization of this plan by His own hypostatic power in a creative act which brings together all the individual conceivable properties of the created hypostasis.8
Reflecting, for instance, on the futility of a multitude of human aspirations, St Gregory proclaims earthly fame, wealth, origin, etc., as destitute of hypostases.9 Obviously, these are the concepts which refer to quite concrete earthly phenomena, yet they are recognized as non-hypostatic because they are unstable and do not correspond to the eternal purpose of God with respect to genuine human glory, wealth, etc. A little earlier St Gregory says that being which is not immersed in God is essentially non-being.10 Indeed, the concept of created hypostases, in particular, is intended to reflect the genesis and degree of rootedness of created beings in the Divine plan.11 In this way, for example, the essence of sin, which does not come from God Who truly exists, has a hypostasis which is rooted not in goodness and is not co-hypostatic to creation.12 The hypostasis of evil means instability and the separation from good.13 And at creation each of the created things in its own particular fashion received a hypostasis through the Logos.14
In addition, St Gregory of Nyssa in the Great Catechism intertwines the hypostasis of the Word with the concepts of life and free will:
A) The Word of God – ‘has the power of the free will (προαιρετικὴν δύναμιν ἔχει πάντως), because any creature without free will is not counted among the living’.15
B) ‘If it is separated from life, then, no doubt, it is no longer a hypostasis’ verbatim ‘Not in a hypostasis’.16
Here St Gregory uses the expression ‘ἐν ὑποστάσει’ with regard to the Logos not in the context of inter-Trinitarian relationship but in terms of its personal existence in the Holy Trinity: if (the Word) is separated from life, then it certainly does not exist (not in a hypostasis).17
We witness here a direct connection between the concepts of hypostasis and life, which is in turn inextricably linked with the concept of free will. The Word is not just a participated Life, ‘but Life Itself and of course has Its selective power’.18 And of course ‘it is unrighteous to identify God’s Word as non-hypostatic’!19
And the Spirit ‘like the Word of God, possesses hypostatic existence, which is free, self-moved, efficient, always selecting good’.20
Thus, the Nyssen theologian draws our attention to the fact that the Word and the Spirit have a selective, willing power (προαιρετικὴν δύναμιν)21 corresponding to each. However, this willing power of the Word and the Spirit’s hypostases do not dissect the simplicity and unity of the Divine nature and action, since this free willing power is consistent with the properties of the single divine nature22 and is expressed through it’.23 Therefore we may assert that ‘προαίρεσις’ in St Gregory of Nyssa can be described as a hypostatic concept which expresses at the same time a hypostatically determined direction of action and development, and a qualitative state of nature through which the personal free will of the hypostases is harmoniously expressed.
Similar to St Gregory of Nyssa, St John Damascene endows each hypostasis with selective (προαιρετικὴν) and self-moved (αὐτοκίνητον) abilities, coordinated with those of the others. At this, the object of free will and the realization of this personal will are the same for the three Hypostases of the Trinity due to their absolute consubstantiality.24
St John Damascene also states that the relations between hypostases25 are irreducible to the natural principle (οὐ φυσικὴ) and depend on their free will. He argues that προαίρεσις does not occur in individuals who do not have autonomous (αὐθέδραστον) existence26 or, in modern language, do not possess the energy that governs them. And although God, more than any of His creations, is an autonomous Being acting in the world, St Damascene in the second book of De fide orthodoxa, in fact, denies ‘προαίρεσις’ in the Absolute and in Christ, indicating that God is not limited in the expression of His will since he has the fullness of knowledge27 inherent in any result. That is to say, God’s will is not merely restricted to making choices as if they were presented before Him by some other being or circumstance. However, we would note that St Gregory of Nyssa held it possible to consider selective potency a faculty of the Word and the Spirit (προαιρετικὴν δύναμιν).28 And St Maximus in his early writings speaks of the inherence of προαίρεσις in Christ. Actually, St Damascene elsewhere, emphasizing the Hypostases of the Son and the Spirit, characterizes Them as possessing selective action.29 And St Gregory of Nyssa speaks of God's creation of the world according to His preordination.30 And when St John Damascene reflects on the hypostatic reality of the Persons of the Trinity, he cannot, following the Nyssen hierarch, deprive Them of ‘προαιρετικὴν δύναμιν’ as a reflection of their mutual internal freedom which is inexplicable via our logic.31
The subjectivity of the hypostatic action enables St Maximus to reflect the word ‘αὐτουργὸς’ (autonomous) which is almost unused by St Damascene in the theological context. Thus, he considers, for example, the autonomous kenosis of the Son performed by Him via human flesh.32 We certainly should remember here that St Maximus constantly insists on the fact that energy and will belong to nature and distinguishes them from the hypostatic subject (αὐτὸς) acting through them.33
He nevertheless elsewhere states that the incarnation of the Logos cannot be considered involuntary, and in his earlier works he recognizes free will (προαίρεσις) in Christ34 and identifies ‘προαίρεσις’ in Christ as unyielding to sin35 precisely because it is associated with His divine hypostasis.
Despite a number of peculiarities of terminological use, the term προαίρεσις in St Maximus and St John, as well as in St Gregory of Nyssa, can be interpreted as a hypostatical or personal, self-moved (αὐτοκινήτοις) or autonomous (αὐτουργός) mode of using natural faculties, natural will and energy’.36 Indeed προαίρεσις in each human individual is considered as a synthetic concept being compared by St Maximus with the hypostatic synthesis of soul and body in man.37 As Giorgy Kapriev argues: ‘The difference between the ‘individual’ and ‘hypostasis’ is not determined by the categories of ‘closedness’/‘openness’ and even less by ‘egoism’/‘love’ [...] It is even less possible that the individual should be regarded as a hypostasis which did not succeed in expressing himself personally’, and that ‘individuality should be regarded as the ‘decay of hypostasis’.38
Thus, for example, the famous Greek theologian Christos Yannaras contrasts the person with the individual, terming the latter a mode of natural being and linking this latter with death, ‘immobilizing of life’, and ‘negation of relationships’.39 Nevertheless, patristic thought did not divide the existence of intelligent beings into natural and hypostatic but it professed the unity of ontology. The human nature, not limited to the individual essence, is capable of maintaining and preserving the free and god-like aspiration that leads man to God. The created hypostases gradually attain freedom as they follow the logoi of their nature. Thus we may arrive at the following points:
1. Relativity is fundamental to the existence of the human person-hypostasis. But, ‘by definition, it does not receive its being from relation or relationships. In both being and existence, it is primarily ‘πρᾶγμα αὐθύπαρκτον’.40
2. In the full sense, only the ‘hypostases of rational nature: man, Angel, God’41 may be termed as ‘persons’.
3. This is why, according to St John Damascene, in the created world the indivisible accidental properties enable one to distinguish an individual from another individual – one hypostasis from another hypostasis.42 Though the personal hypostasis as a concept is built upon the same logical principle as the hypostasis in the Trinity, the uncreated hypostasis in Christ cannot be identified with the concept of individual nature.43
4. While the hypostasis and the individual ‘are understood in a numerically singular aspect, suggesting common features’, they actually ‘designate the same thing. However, this does not mean that they are synonyms (and not only in relation to the Trinity)’. The concepts of the hypostasis and the individual are also ‘heterogeneous in the natural and hypostatic conceptual sense’.44
There is an area of intersection of the semantic meanings of the terms ‘hypostasis’ and ‘atom’ as both concepts denote a real and, to a certain extent, integral existence. Accordingly as St Gregory of Nyssa discusses the difference between essence and hypostasis, he uses the term ‘atom’ synonymously with ‘hypostasis’.45 Finally, indeed it was ‘hypostasis’ and ‘prosopon’ that Nicene tradition brought together in their semantics, but not ‘atom’ and ‘prosopon’.
We should affirm that, for the fathers, the concept of hypostasis is not meant so much to account for an entity’s atomic or individual nature, especially in our modern understanding of it with its attendant emphasis on the autonomy of being. Hypostasis indeed does imply the idea of indivisibility and internal integrity, and not just on account of uniqueness, but it also implies that this uniqueness is unified in both the internal and external planes. If we turn to the internal hypostatic plane, this unity of the components in a particular hypostasis of the human race (the natural body and soul, and their components) can by no means be reduced to their indivisibility (atomicity). Moreover, it does not imply their indistinguishability and primitiveness (we may recall here the ancient idea of simplicity – the atom as an elementary, basic unit of matter is qualitatively homogeneous and does not have an internal structure). This aspect of the concept of hypostasis implies a much deeper idea of indivisibility as a fundamental perichoresis of its components, which do not discontinue completely even in the case of temporary bodily dissolution in death (St John of Damascus).
It must be further recognized that when the Fathers put the concepts of hypostasis and atom together, they do not identify them at all, but point to a completely different solution to the problem of the atomic foundations of being. Ancient as well as modern concepts of atoms view them as primitive components of existence, be they Democritic bricks46 of the universe, microparticles, energy clumps, and so forth. Yet the fathers, in frequently startling fashion, treat the complex, composite and active human hypostases created in the image of the Three-Hypostatic Creator as ‘atoms’ of creation.
The external aspect of the idea of unity, implied by the concept of ‘hypostasis’ involves two aspects: nominally external and ontologically external. The nominally external aspect of hypostatic unity or hypostatic indivisibility should designate a generic unity of any hypostasis with those of the same nature. While the idea of the atom implies the existence of a multitude of the same kind which make up the universe, the idea of hypostasis suggests not only the existence of those of the same nature, but their actual consubstantiality. Such hypostatic consubstantiality is qualitatively distinct from the atomic similarity as it implies hypostases’ natural and energetic perichoresis.
Thus, Christian philosophy may boast the unexpected resolution of the still relevant antinomy of the atomicity/discontinuity and integrity/continuity of existence. A number of ancient thinkers denied the principle of discontinuity (atomicity) in favour of continuity/integrity of the foundations of being. Each of the two concepts has its supporters up to our day. Although, from our viewpoint, there exist inadequate attempts to synthesize both theses, such as, for instance, in finitism that recognizes a certain continuum of atoms.47 Rather, patristic thought offers to resolve the opposition between atomicity and continuity by attributing them to distinct poles of a single ontology, and arriving at an understanding of their complementarity. Christian theology allows us to refer atomicity to the hypostatic aspect of ontology and continuity to the natural one. This latter, by the way, is also innovative in the light of modern scientific assumptions on the discontinuity of all kinds of matter.
We would like to stress the qualitative advantage of the patristic resolution of the antinomy of discontinuity/continuity over Leibniz’s later philosophical proposal to separate continuity and discontinuity into distinct ontological spheres – of the real and of a possible being.48 The patristic resolution provides for the unity of the ontological sphere owing to the simultaneous unity and difference of the concepts of hypostasis and nature, whereas Leibniz’s resolution ignores the unity of ontology since it does not refer continuity to real being. The ontologically external aspect of hypostatic unity lies in the synthetic inclusion of the Creator’s uncreated energies into the being of created hypostases.
Didymus Alexandrinus, De Trinitate. Liber I, J.-P. Migne (ed.). Patrologiae cursus completus (series Graeca, PG). In 161 t. Paris, 1857–1866. Vol. 39: 269–442.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, Adversus Apollinarem, PG 45: 1123–1278.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, De Ηominis Opificio, PG 44: 123–256.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, De Perfecta Christiani Forma, PG 46: 251–288.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, In Cantica canticorum, PG 44: 755–1119.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, In Ecclesiasten. Homilia I, PG 44: 615–636.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, In Psalmos, PG 44: 431–616.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, Oratio catechetica, PG 45: 9–106.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, Ad Graecos ex communibus notionibus / Ed. F. Mueller, Gregorii Nyssenus Opera. Vol. 3.1. Leiden, 1958.
S. Joannes Damascenus, De Fide Orthodoxa, PG 94: 781–1228.
S. Joannes Damascenus, De Haeresibus Liber, PG 94: 677–780.
S. Joannes Damascenus, Dialectica, PG 94: 517–676.
S. Joannes Damascenus, In Epistolam I ad Corinthios, PG 95: 569–706.
S. Joannes Damascenus, Sacra Parallela, PG 95: 1041–1588.
S. Maximus Confessor, Ambiguorum liber, PG 91: 1031–1418.
S. Maximus Confessor, Capitum Theologiae et Oeconomiae, PG 90: 1083–1462.
S. Maximus Confessor, Disputatio cum Pyrrho, PG 91: 287–354.
S. Maximus Confessor, Epistolae, PG 91: 361–650.
S. Maximus Confessor, Opuscula Theologica et Polemica, PG 91: 9–286.
S. Maximus Confessor, Orationis Dominicae expositio, PG 90: 871–910.
S. Maximus Confessor, Questiones ad Thalassium, PG 90: 243–786.
Harris R., The semantics of science (London 2007), 6–8.
Hasper P.S., ‘Aristotlés Diagnosis of Atomism’, Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 39. 2 (2006), 121–155.
Kapriev G., ‘Hypostasis and the Energies’, Proceedings of the Kiev Theological Academy 20 (2014), 113–136.
Katasonov V.N., ‘Continuity and Discontinuity’, New Philosophical Encyclopedia, http://iphras.ru/elib/2059.html (accessed 10. 10. 2019).
Losev A.F., Ancient Philosophy of History (Moscow, 1977), 141.
Tawfik I., ‘Muslim Atomism as Strict Finitism’, Questions of Philosophy 6 (2014), 142–153.
Yannaras Ch., Variations on the Song of Songs, Selected: Person and Eros. G.V. Vdovina, trans., (Moskow 2005), 401–464.
* * *
See R. Harris, The semantics of science (London 2007), 6–8.
Finitism asserts that there is no space between atoms and thus reality is made up of a continuum of atoms. See Ibrahim Tawfik, ‘Muslim Atomism as Strict Finitism’, Questions of Philosophy 6 (2014), 142–153.
See V.N. Katasonov, ‘Continuity and Discontinuity’, New Philosophical Encyclopedia, http://iphras.ru/elib/2059.html (accessed 10. 10. 2019).
Katasonov, ‘Continuity and Discontinuity’.
P.S. Hasper, ‘Aristotlés Diagnosis of Atomism’, Apeiron: A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 39. 2 (2006), 121–155.
‘Μένει οὖν τό τε σῶμα καὶ ἡ ψυχὴ, ἀεὶ μίαν τὴν ἀρχὴν τῆς ἑαυτῶν ἔχοντα ὑπάρξεώς τε καὶ ὑποστάσεως’, Dialectica, Migne (ed.). Patrologiae cursus completus (series Graeca, PG). In 161 t. Paris, 1857–1866. Vol. 94, 668A.
‘ὅτι ἡ ἀνθρωπίνη φύσις ἐκ νοερᾶς ψυχῆς, σώματι συνδραμούσης, τὴν ὑπόστασιν ἔχει’; ‘ὕλη ἐκείνη θείᾳ δυνάμει ζωοπλαστηθεῖσα, ἄνθρωπος γίνεται’, Adversus Apollinarem, PG 45, 1256A.
‘τῆς μὲν νοητῆς φύσεως τὰς νοητὰς ὑφιστώσης δυνάμεις, τῆς δὲ τούτων πρὸς ἄλληλα συνδρομῆς τὴν ὑλώδη φύσιν παραγούσης εἰς γένεσιν’, De Ηominis Opificio, PG 44, 213B.
‘οἴησίς ἐστι, καὶ οὐχ ὑπόστασις’, In Psalmos, PG 44, 464A.
‘Not to be in You means not to be at all’ (τὸ γὰρ ἐν σοὶ μὴ εἶναι, οὐδὲ ἔστιν ὅλως εἶναι), In Psalmos, PG 44, 461C.
‘ἡ πρώτη γένεσίς τε καὶ ὑπόστασις παρ’ αὐτοῦ τὴν ἀρχὴν ἔσχε’, Oratio catechetica, PG 45, 49C. St Gregory of Nyssa says that because of the distance from God, the hypostasis of our nature is insignificant, and it cannot withstand the well-deserved anger of the Lord, ‘οὐτιδανὴ δὲ τῆς φύσεως ἡ ὑπόστασις’, In Psalmos, PG 44, 464B. Later (PG 44, 564A), he speaks of mixed beings who, like mules, were not created by God but, like sin, arose as a result of misuse of nature. Therefore, having become what they are, they are sterile and not empowered to preserve their own hypostasis: ‘διαρκεῖ τῇ ὑποστάσει πρὸς τὸ ἴδιον’.
In Psalmos, PG 44, 585A: ‘οὔτε κατὰ τὸ πρῶτον συνυποστᾶσα τῇ κτίσει’; PG 44, 585B: ‘εἰ δέ τι ἔξω τοῦ ὄντος ἐστὶν, οὗ οὐσία οὐκ ἐν τῷ εἶναι, ἀλλ’ ἐν τῷ ἀγαθὸν μὴ εἶναι τὴν ὑπόστασιν ἔχει’; In Ecclesiasten. Homilia I, PG 44, 637C: ‘Τὸ γὰρ κακὸν ἀνυπόστατον, ὅτι ἐκ τοῦ μὴ ὄντος τὴν ὑπόστασιν ἔχει’, also: 740С; PG 45, 59A, 412C.
‘οὐδὲ γάρ ἐστιν ἄλλη τις κακοῦ ὑπόστασις, εἰ μὴ ὁ χωρισμὸς τοῦ βελτίονος’, In Cantica canticorum. Homilia II, PG 44, 797A, also: PG 46, 371Α.
‘μίαν αἰτίαν ἔχει τῆς ὑποστάσεως’, S. Gregorius Nyssenus, De Perfecta Christiani Forma, PG 46, 265C; ‘τὴν ὑπόστασιν ἔσχεν’, In Ecclesiasten. Homilia I, PG 44, 632B; see also: PG 45, 984D-985A, 988BD, 1004C, 1005A.
PG 45, 13D.
S. Gregorius Nyssenus, Oratio catechetica, PG 45, 17C. ‘Chapter 1. The Son of God’s Being’.
‘εἰ δὲ τοῦ ζῇν κεχώρισται, οὐδὲ ἐν ὑποστάσει πάντως ἐστίν’, ibid., 13С.
‘αὐτοζωὴν εἶναι τὸν Λόγον [...] προαιρετικὴν δύναμιν ἔχει πάντως’, ibid., 13D.
‘ἀλλὰ μὴν ἀσεβὲς ἀπεδείχθη τὸν τοῦ θεοῦ Λόγον ἀνυπόστατον εἶναι’, ibid., 13C.
‘ἀλλὰ καθ᾽ ὁμοιότητα τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγου καθ᾽ ὑπόστασιν οὖσαν προαιρετικὴν, αὐτοκίνητον, ἐνεργὸν, πάντοτε τὸ ἀγαθὸν αἱρουμένην’, ibid., 17C.
‘αὐτοζωὴν εἶναι τὸν Λόγον… προαιρετικὴν δύναμιν ἔχει πάντως’, ibid., 13D; see also: 16B, 21A; 17C: ‘The Spirit always chooses the good and has the power associated with the free will’ (‘πάντοτε τὸ ἀγαθὸν αἰρουμένην, καὶ πρὸς πᾶσαν πρόθεσιν σύνδρομον ἔχουσαν τῇ βουλήσει τὴν δύναμιν’).
PG 45, 16A.
Didymus of Alexandria expresses the same idea when he speaks of the symphony and synergy of the Triune hypostases in speech and creation: ‘τρεῖς ὑποστάσεις, καὶ ἑκάστη Θεὸν ὀνομάζει, καὶ τὴν συμφωνίαν καὶ τὴν συνεργίαν δείκνυσι τοῦ εἰπόντος καὶ τοῦ ποιήσαντος’, Didymus Alexandrinus, De Trinitate. Liber I, PG 39, 344A, also: 441A, 440C, 689D.
De Haeresibus Liber, PG 94, 792D-793A; ‘προαιρετικὴν, αὐτοκίνητον, ἐνεργὸν’, De Fide Orthodoxa. Lib. I, PG 94, 805B; see also 828C: ‘τῆς γνώμης σύμπνοιαν’; Lib. II. 860C, 948B: ‘μία κίνησις τῶν τριῶν ὑποστάσεων’; see also: PG 95, 153C, 156A.
That is, the relations determined by a non-natural principle, in contrast, for example, to the coexistence of the hypostases of one kind.
‘ἡ σχέσις [...] οὐ φυσικὴ [...] ἢ προαιρετικὴ, ὡς φίλος καὶ φίλος, ἐχθρὸς καὶ ἐχθρός’, ‘προαίρεσις ἐν τοῖς οὐκ αὐθεδράστοις χώραν οὐκ ἔχουσιν’, Dialectica. PG 94, 632B.
PG 94, 945C, 948A, 1044C.
Oratio catechetica, PG 45, 13D, 16B, 21A, 17C.
‘προαιρετικόν’, De Fide Orthodoxa. Lib. I, PG 94, 805A, B.
‘τοῦ Λόγου ἔργον τὸν κόσμον εἶναι, τοῦ τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ αἰρουμένου, καὶ δυναμένου’, Oratio catechetica, PG 45, 16B.
‘Ἀρετὴ δὲ ἐκ προαιρέσεως, καὶ οὐκ ἀνάγκης γίνεται’, Sacra Parallela, PG 95, 1096B.
‘διὰ σαρκὸς γέγονεν αὐτουργὸς κενωθεὶς ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγος’, Orationis Dominicae expositio, PG 90, 876A; ‘διὰ σαρκὸς αὐτουργήσας μυστηρίου’, Opuscula Theologica et Polemica, PG 91, 68D; see also: PG 90, 876D; PG 91, 1049D, 1385D.
‘ἐνέργεια πρὸς τὸν ἐνεργοῦντα, καὶ πρὸς τὸν ὑφεστῶτα πάλιν ἡ φύσις ἀνάγεται’, Opuscula Theologica et Polemica, PG 91. 200 D; ‘διὰ τὸ διπλοῦν τῆς φύσεις ὁ αὐτὸς ἐνήργει, ἢ ἐνικῶς διὰ τὸ μοναδικὸν τῆς ὑποστάσεως’, Disputatio cum Pyrrho, PG 91, 340B; ‘ὁ αὐτὸς ὑπόστασις ἦν’, Ambiguorum liber, PG 91, 1037A; see also: 560D, 565B, 581B, 585C, 592C, 1044D, 1049D, 1052C, 1289С.
‘ἀπροαίρετον’, Epistolae, PG 91, 517Α; ‘κατὰ προαίρεσιν ἐν αὐτῷ’, Capitum Theologiae et Oeconomiae. Centuria II, PG 90, 1164C.
‘ἡ ἀτρεψία τῆς προαιρέσεως’, Questiones ad Thalassium PG 90, 405D, 408B, C.
‘πρὸς ἂ βουλήσει [...] κατὰ προαίρεσιν κινεῖται ὁ ἄνθρωπος’, S. Maximus Confessor, Epistolae, PG 91, 445C; ‘προαιρούμεθα… καὶ κεχρήμεθα’, Disputatio cum Pyrrho, PG 91, 293C; ‘κατὰ προαίρεσιν αὐτοῖς ὡς αὐτοκινήτοις’, Ambiguorum liber, PG 91, 1392A; ‘ἡ τοῦ λαβόντος προαίρεσις [...] αὐτουργὸς’, S. Maximus Confessor, Orationis Dominicae expositio, PG 90, 901A; ‘προαίρεσιν τῶν ἐργαζομένων’, S. Joannes Damascenus, In Epistolam I ad Corinthios, PG 95, 593C; see also: PG 90, 1052A; PG 91, 676A, 1084A, 1160A, 1209Β, 1237С, 1249С, 1301A, 1389A.
PG 91, 16C.
G. Kapriev, ‘Hypostasis and the Energies’, Proceedings of the Kiev Theological Academy 20 (2014), 113–136. Here 120.
Ch. Yannaras, Variations on the Song of Songs, Selected: Person and Eros. G.V. Vdovina, trans., (Moskow 2005), 40–464. Here 447.
Kapriev, ‘Hypostasis and Energies’ (2014), 125.
‘Κατὰ ταῦτα οὖν τὰ ἀχώριστα συμβεβηκότα, ἄτομον ἀτόμου, τουτέστιν ὑπόστασις ὑποστάσεως διαφέρει’, S. Joannes Damascenus, Dialectica, PG 94, 576C.
The concept of human ‘hypostasis’ is not identified with the concept of ‘individual nature’ either in St Gregory of Nyssa or in St John Damascene, or in St Maximus the Confessor.
Kapriev, ‘Hypostasis and Energies’ (2014), 119.
See ‘Ad Graecos ex communibus notionibus’, Gregorii Nyssenus Opera. F. Mueller, ed. (Leiden, 1958), Vol. 3.1.
‘Concerning Democritus, it is a demonstrated fact that Democritus’ leading idea lies in the individualization principle, since, in his view, atoms are indivisible, invariable and eternal principles of individual being, and any material plurality and variety are only possible within this or other, but always specific combination of them’, A. F. Losev, Ancient Philosophy of History (Moscow, 1977), 141. See also Hasper, ‘Aristotle’s Diagnosis of Atomism’ (2006), 122–23.
See, for example, I. Tawfik, ‘Muslim Atomism’ (2014).
V.N. Katasonov, ‘Continuity and Discontinuity’.