Tuesday, May 01, 2018

more on.... Perichoresis

I recently posted on perichoresis as a concept the early church used to describe the complex unity of the Trinitarian being of God. (See here.)

Stephen Seamands has insight into perichoresis, writing about it in Ministry in the Image of God: The Trinitarian Shape of Christian Ministry. Here are some highlights.

"Perichoresis conveys a number of ideas: reciprocity, interchange, giving to and receiving from one another, other, being drawn to one another and contained in the other, interpenetrating penetrating one another by drawing life from and pouring life into one another as a fellowship of love." (Kindle Locations 1405-1406)

Theologian Jurgen Moltmann says, "The doctrine of perichoresis choresis links together in a brilliant way the threeness and the unity, without reducing the threeness to the unity, or dissolving the unity in the threeness." (K 1408)

"The earliest theological use of this term was in discussions concerning cerning the two natures of Christ. Theologians like Gregory Nazianzen zen and Maximus the Confessor used it to portray the mutual indwelling dwelling and interpenetration of the divine and human actions of the one person of Christ." (K 1408-1410)

"Perichoresis was first used in reference to the Trinity in the sixth century by a writer known to us as "pseudo-Cyril" and was popularized ized in the eighth century through the writings of John of Damascus." (K 1411-1412)

"In order to convey this more active sense of perichoresis, theologians in the Middle Ages used the image of a divine dance. The Greek noun perichoresis, they noted, is closely related to perichoreuo, the Greek verb that literally means "to dance around" or "to dance in a circle" (derived from the noun choreia, dance, from which we get our English word choreography)." (K 1423-1425)

"Perichoresis is both passive and active, both rest and motion, both indwelling and interpenetration. In a sublime way, Rublev's icon portrays the perichoresis of the Trinity. (K 1430-1431)

Image result for rublev trinity
Andrei Rublev, "Trinity", 15th century