"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." ~Flannery O'Connor

Monday, February 12, 2007

Triadological diagram, anyone?

One reader of this blog has proposed, by e-mail, the above diagram for the "hypostatic" as distinct from "energetic" side of the triadology I've been trying to develop in aid of harmonizing Western dogma with the faith held in common during the first millennium. (The sketcher remains unnamed unless and until he seeks otherwise.) I have read in a few places—though how true it is I do not know—that back in the ninth century the great opponent of the filioque, Patriarch Photios of Constantinople, produced his own diagram, which consists of simply the top two lines above without the bottom two.

Even before I knew the history of the filioque issue or even what was meant by the phrase, I had always assumed that, within God, generation and spiration must have something to do with each other. It just couldn't be that the breathing forth of the Spirit had nothing to do with the generation of the Son. God is not compartmental like that. And indeed, I learned in college that such has been the Latin belief since the issue came up. But I've also and always assumed the converse: the generation of the Son must also have something to do with the breathing forth of the Spirit. Only a few years ago did I start coming upon theologians, Catholic of course, who had the same idea. Amazingly, none of the writings in question seem to predate the mid-20th century. Such is development of doctrine, I suppose.

Development of diagrams, at least for blackboard purposes, sometimes goes with development of doctrine. The above diagram one will do, even though adding the perichoresis would require color-coding and 3D. Thanks, dear reader.
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