Thursday, June 29, 2006
The Dark Lord of the Sith chimes in...
"The subordination of the Persons to the essence, inherent in the structure of his theology, also provides Augustine with the means to attempt to distinguish the Persons from each other. Having assumed an absolute simplicity, the Persons can no longer be absolute hypostases, but are merely relative terms to each other, thus occuring on an even lower plane than the attribute proper. 'The terms (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are used reciprocally and in relation to each other' [Augustine De Trinitate, 1:8:15]. There is a subtle, but nevertheless, real play of the dialectic of oppositions here. One no longer begins with the Three Persons and then moves to consider their relations, but begins with their relative quality, the relation between the Persons, itself. In other words, there is an artificial opposition of one Person to the other two. It is at this point that the flexibility of Augustine's Neoplatonic commitment begins to surface in a more acute form."
--Joseph Farrell, Introduction to The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit of our Father among the Saints, Photius the Great, Patriarch of Constantiople (2001), p. xx-xxi.