Talk:Miaphysitism

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Exclusively Non-Chalcedonian?

Wouldn't it be more correct to say that Miaphysitism is also a secondary Christology of the Chalcedonian churches on the basis of the definitions of the First Council of Ephesus and the Second Council of Constantinople? Deusveritasest 02:08, March 9, 2009 (UTC)

It depends, this article represents the Oriental Orthodox point of view on what miaphysitism means and not the Eastern orthodox definition. That is why the article has a disclaimer at the top to indicate that the definition is from their point of view and not from the Eastern church ... i hope this provides some insight. Vasiliki 03:19, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
This makes me think of the ecumenical discussions that have been had in the past 30 years between the OO and EO. If I remember correctly, the agreement that we hold the same faith was based primarily off of mutual analysis of Cyril of Alexandria and his formula "one incarnate nature of God the Word". If this is the case, then wouldn't it be logical to conclude that the Oriental Orthodox by and large have accepted us as (hypostatic) Miaphysites? Deusveritasest 04:57, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
Not really. The terms Miaphysite and Dyophysite refer not only to the inner content of theology but also to the language of the theology itself. Thus, while some argue that they are really the same faith, it would be nonsensical to say that they use the same language. They don't. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 19:03, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
Father, I am not suggesting that Miaphysitism and Dyophysitism are, linguistically, the same system of thought. Rather I am suggesting that the EOC (Chalcedonian) has officially accepted both a form of Miaphysitism and a form of Dyophysitism as both acceptable points of our Christology. Deusveritasest 19:32, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
Officially? Not by a long shot. Yes, there have been talks, but as yet, there has been nothing official to come out of those talks that has been ratified by the leadership of either communion. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 20:11, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me. It seems I haven't made myself clear yet. I wasn't speaking of unity with the Oriental Orthodox. That is an entirely different subject. I'm speaking simply of the Cyrilline Christology of Miaphysitism. This system of thought was defined at the First Council of Ephesus, and even again at the Second Council of Constantinople after the establishment of Dyophysitism at the Council of Chalcedon. Given this, I don't see how there is any way to avoid accepting a certain form of Miaphysitism as a complimentary system of Christology in the EOC. Deusveritasest 20:17, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
While Cyril does use the phrase mia physis, I think it would be anachronistic to attach an -ism to his Christology. Miaphysitism as a term refers to the Christology of the Non-Chalcedonian churches. While it would be correct to say that the Chalcedonian churches regard Cyril as fully Orthodox in his Christology, I don't think it would thus be correct to say that we have officially accepted Miaphysitism. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 20:22, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
Well, I think our difference here has to do with the definition of Miaphysitism then. I don't agree that it is accurate to boil down Miaphysitism to "the Christology of the Non-Chalcedonian Churches". I see Miaphysitism as more so simply the Christology built by Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria in their of the phrase "mia physis tou theou logou sesarkomene" and officially defined at the Council of Ephesus. "Chalcedonian" and "Non-Chalcedonian" are fine enough terms to differentiate our two churches, as acceptance or rejection of Chalcedon is the most basic principle that divides us. Why should we hand over the term "Miaphysitism" to the Non-Chalcedonians as if they have some sort of monopoly on the Cyrilline/Ephesine Christology? Finally, I hope it is clear that I am not seeking to suggest that we in the EOC have officially accepted the faith of the OOC. This is not my concern in this article. Deusveritasest 20:37, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
My point is that Miaphysitism as a system of theological thought only has any sort of existence among the Orientals. For Chalcedonian Orthodoxy, mia physis language has been interpreted in terms of Dyophysitism. Before Chalcedon, Miaphysitism would be an anachronism.
As such, "claiming" Miaphysitism for Chalcedonian Orthodoxy would seem to remove the useful distinction that the term along with Dyophysitism yields—namely, that there are two different theological streams. I'm not sure that it's terribly useful to try to include one in the other by definition. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 22:07, March 9, 2009 (UTC)
Well, in terms of what is most "theologically helpful", I don't really think using the word "physis" in the first place is ideal. This is because it was used to mean two different entirely distinct words by different groups in the early Church. The Antiochene theologians tended to use it to mean ousia whereas the Alexandrian theologians tended to use it to mean hypostasis. This caused a fair amount of the confusion involved in the latter Christological controversies. And given that "dyo physis" is true in terms of ousia and "mia physis" is true in terms of hypostasis, I don't see why we don't just drop "physis" altogether and just start using ousia or hypostasis instead.
However, I don't agree that "dyo physis" elaborates on Orthodox theology better than "mia physis". If anything, the former contains one bit of information while the latter contains two. "Dyo physis" simply means "two natures". Hopefully it is a reference to ousia. But even if it is, it still leaves us not knowing anything about hypostasis. For all we know, someone claiming the "dyo physis" language could very well be a Nestorian speaking of one prosopon of Christ composed of two ousia and existing in two hypostases. "Mia physis", on the other hand, establishes two pieces of information. It's meaning is more complex, that being "one composite nature". "One" is a reference to the united hypostasis that Christ subsists in. "Composite" is a reference to Christ being made up of various ousia (corporeal, noetic, divine, etc.), rather than made up of one simple ousia. The "composite" part of "mia" that distinguishes it from "mono" thus actually does establish Christ being composed of two ousia before any explicit mention is even made of "in two natures". Thus, I think it clear that "mia physis" on it's own is a better defense even for the Chalcedonian Christology.
Finally, from my experience, I must say that I do not think it correct to say "Miaphysitism as a system of theological thought only has any sort of existence among the Orientals". I have found quite a number of bright (amateur) theologians within the EOC who claim what they called "post-Chalcedonianism". This means interpreting the Council of Chalcedon in light of all Byzantine Tradition, both before and after Chalcedon. These fellows recognize the legitimacy of Cyrilline Miaphysitism as a legitimate stream of thought in the EO Tradition that started at 1st Ephesus, was defined further at 2nd Constantinople, and has received even further definition in the recent ecumenical talks with the Orientals. Deusveritasest 23:12, March 9, 2009 (UTC)

I don't fundamentally disagree with your comments about what these terms can be understood to mean.

However, since we're working on an encyclopedia, we're not in the business of making recommendations to theologians or adding nuance, but rather of trying to describe in brief form the over-arching "big picture" as it actually exists. In this case, that would mean leaving these terms in their generally accepted discrete theological "camps."

No matter how we ourselves might prefer these terms to be used, the truth is that they are generally and most often used to refer discretely to the Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian Christologies. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 02:16, March 10, 2009 (UTC)

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