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New Submissions for Chapter 13: “Hagia Sophia” & “Byzantine Spirituality”

Hi all,

New updates and submissions about the reign of Justinian I (aka Justinian the Great), the Byzantine Empire, Hagia Sophia, and the Orthodox theology of theosis.  You can find them here.

Tonight, there were interesting talks about what constitutes theosis and how it perhaps relates to the more Reformed understanding of sanctification.

Also, to clarify some points on terminologies that often confused us tonight:

    • Dyophysitism –  the Chalcedonian position that full deity and full humanity exist in the person of Jesus Christ as two natures without confusion or change.
    • Monophysitism – states that in the person of Jesus Christ, his human nature was absorbed into the divine nature like a cube of sugar dissolves in a cup of water. Therefore, Christ was left with only one nature, the Divine (Greek mono- one, physis – nature). (i.e. Christ had only a Divine nature.)
    • Miaphysitism –  holds that in the one person of Jesus Christ, his Divinity and Humanity are united in one “nature” (physis), the two being united without separation, without confusion, and without alteration.  This is the position of the Orthodox and Coptic Churches.

It was also interesting to see tonight how hard it is for most Christians to articulate very basic terminologies we use all the time like:

  • What is a spirit?  How is it different from the soul?  What is a soul anyway?  After death, how exactly does the soul or the spirit separate from the body?
  • How is a soul saved by God?  Saved from what ?  It’s saved from Hell?  What is hell exactly and where exactly is it located within the known universe?  If it’s outside the universe, how do know that?  (Same questions apply to the notion/concept of heaven.)
  • What is the nature of a “resurrected” or “spiritual” body?  What type of matter will it consist of?

Christians use these terms all the time, but when asked point blank, you’ll usually get an A) “deer-in-the-headlights” look or B) very, very different answers from differing viewpoints or C) absolutely no clue what they’re talking about.

Try asking some of these questions to yourself and see what answers, if any, come out.

Something to think about.

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