Friday, 17 May 2019

Johannes Zachhuber: John of Damascus’ view of universals and particulars in light of the Christological debate

In my paper, I shall consider some key passages in John of Damascus’ On the Orthodox Faith that explain his views on universals and particulars. My attempt will be to contextualise these texts in the controversial, and complex, Christological debates which, since the sixth century, often turned on these philosophical issues. In these debates, defenders of the Chalcedonian confession faced a number of difficult objections from their miaphysite and Nestorian opponents. The Patristic philosophy inherited from the Cappadocians had to be considerably changed to facilitate this apologetic task. By examining John’s contribution in this context, my paper will serve to query the long-standing scholarly consensus that Damascus was largely summarising the views of earlier fathers in systematic form.

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