Friday, 3 April 2015

Paul M. Pasquesi: Qnoma in the Christology of Narsai: Anticipating Energeia

The term qnoma is tied to the term kyana, or nature, when talking about the two natures in Christ in East Syriac (Dyophysite) discourse. This term has been variously translated from the Syriac as "person" (resulting in an accusation of "two persons") or as "hypostatis" (resulting in an accusation of "two hypostases" suggesting a quaternity rather than a Trinity). In the course of this paper, it will be shown that Narsai's (fl. c.440s- c.503) use of qnoma is more complicated than some translators imply and is important to teasing out his concept of renewal and recreation in the Incarnation. Narsai is the first Syriac writer we have preserved who uses qnoma (previously used at the Trinitarian level) to render Christological ideas. Narsai's use shows a unique blending of ideas from both Ephrem and Theodore of Mopsuestia into a new synthesis that was to have a major impact on later East Syriac creeds and writers, especially on Babai the Great (fl. c. 590s-c.628).

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