Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican Since 1850

Philip Clayton and his Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Person
Twentieth-century theologians felt a particular attraction to ‘personal’ language. The recent defense of the continuing relevance of theism in the contemporary intellectual climate, or “in the light of modern science,” rarely attempts to explain the relationship between God and the world in terms, for example, of interacting substances, as might have been the case in the fourth century.

Within the context of the patristic writings, the concept of “person” took on a new meaning after initially emerging as a response to Christianity’s quest to understand itself in the light of ancient thought, discovering in Greek philosophy, with its terminology and patterns, an effective means of expressing its faith. One must also consider other terms that have contributed to the understanding of the concept of “person,” for in the course of theological disputes its older meaning (prosopon, “face”) lost value and became identified with the Greek term hypostasis, which was translated into Latin as substantia, the meaning of which is “foundation,” that is, that which is, and that which is directly opposed to appearances, that which is “beneath.”
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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