Roman Zaviyskyy. East and West: the formation of the Trinitarian vocabulary and the neo-Palamite synthesis Print

b_250_0_16777215_0___images_stories_vykladachi_zaviyskyy_2.jpgThis article spells out different terminological trends within the Eastern Christian tradition as well as the East-West use of terminology to express the mystery of inner-trinitarian life and God's activities ad extra. It also surveys the meaning of the Greek words ουσία and ενέργεια in their evolution from classical Greek philosophy, through the Cappadocians, John of Damascus, and Gregory Palamas, to neo-Palamites such as Sergii Bulgakov and Georgii Florovsky. My task here is to show how the fundamental terms ουσία, ενέργεια and δύναμις functioned in their correlations, whilst forming the subsequent theological traditions of East and West. It is argued that in refining classical philosophical terminology for Trinitarian theology, not only did Eastern and Western fathers have different positions, but also among the Easterners there were considerable differences: a) the phrase God's essence/ουσία του Θεου for Easterners does not have the same meaning as ουσία/substantia for Westerners in view of the Eastern notion of divine transcendence rendered through the υπερούσια language; b) the ουσία  - ενέργεια distinction that has now become axiomatic in Eastern Orthodox theology due to the revival of Palamite theology.