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Document Details :

Title: Hypostasis
Subtitle: The Principle of Individual Existence in John of Damascus
Author(s): ZHYRKOVA, Anna
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 61    Issue: 1-2   Date: 2009   
Pages: 101-130
DOI: 10.2143/JECS.61.1.2045831

Abstract :
John of Damascus’ teaching is usually regarded by modern scholars as a compilation of Neoplatonic commentaries and patristic texts. Nevertheless, significant figures in Eastern and Western Christianity referred to him as one of the greatest authorities on various philosophical and theological problems. This is the case especially of his interpretation of hypostasis and individuation of substance. John, actually, absorbed many ideas from earlier philosophy. Yet, I argue that his doctrine contains many significant philosophical developments, all stemming from theological requirements. For instance, in order to explain the theological problems of the human individual and the hypostatic union of Christ, John formulated the conception of hypostasis as the principle of being and existence of its composites. I offer a detailed analysis of John’s conceptions of hypostasis and individuality in relation to their use in theological discourse. This may help to evaluate properly the originality of John’s legacy, which I reckon an important contribution to Christian philosophical and theological thought.

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