Concept of “Person” 6

“…because humanity is created in the image of God with the drive for “absolute freedom”, it ‘is able to carry with [it] the whole of creation to its transcendence’.”

The Incarnation of the Logos, the Son, the Christ, created the possibility for humankind to attain by adoption, what Christ is by nature.  Zizioulas tells us:

“Thanks to Christ man can henceforth “subsist”, can affirm his existence as personal not on the basis of immutable laws of his nature, but on the basis of a relationship with God which is identified with what Christ in freedom and love possesses as Son of God with the Father. This adoption of man by God, the identification of his hypostasis with the hypostasis of the Son of God, is the essence of baptism.”

“The ecclesial hypostasis exists historically in this manner as a confirmation of man’s capacity not to be reduced to his tendency to become a bearer of individuality, separation and death. The ecclesial hypostasis is the faith of man in his capacity to become a person and his hope that he will indeed become an authentic person. In other words it is faith and hope in the immortality of man as a person.”

Zizioulas concludes his thoughts on the concept of “person” with the vision of humanity in communion and in an intimate love relationship with humankind, all creation, and with God:

“It becomes a movement of free love with a universal character, that is, a love which, while it can concentrate on one person as the expression of the whole of nature, sees in this person the hypostasis through which all men and all things are loved and in relation to which they are hypostasized. The body for its part as the hypostatic expression of the human person, is liberated from individualism and egocentricity and becomes a supreme expression of community – the Body of Christ, the body of the Church, the body of the eucharist.”

Zizioulas tells us that the concept of person, “implies the ‘openness of being,’ and even more than that, the ek-stasis of being, i.e., a movement toward communion which leads to transcendence of the boundaries of the ‘self’ and thus to freedom.”  Moreover, because humanity is created in the image of God with the drive for “absolute freedom”, it “is able to carry with [it] the whole of creation to its transcendence.”

This is some pretty awesome spiritual thinking and imagery, isn’t it?

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