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A figurine of the Holy Trinity in the church of San Pablo Tepetzingo in Puebla City, Puebla, Mexico

Borrowed from Ecclesiastical Latin enhypostasia, from Ancient Greek ἐν (en, in) + ὑπόστασις (hupóstasis, existence; essence; substance) + -ία (-ía, suffix forming nouns). ὑπόστασις is in turn derived from ῠ̔πο- (hupo-, below, under) + στάσις (stásis, standing). Compare Ancient Greek ἐνυπόστατος (enupóstatos, substantial).[1]

The word is analysable as en- +‎ hypostasis +‎ -ia.



enhypostasia (plural not attested)

  1. (Christianity (Christology)) The state of the human nature of Jesus Christ being entirely dependent on, and not existing independently of, the divine nature of God as a whole (which is the hypostasis of the Holy Trinity comprising God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit), or individual persons of the Trinity such as the Father and the Holy Spirit.
    • 1867, Philip Schaff, “Theology. Development of the Ecumenical Orthodoxy.”, in History of the Christian Church, volume III (From Constantine the Great to Gregory the Great, A.D. 311–600), New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner and Company, OCLC 1003982926, part III (The Christological Controversies), § 142 (The Orthodox Chrisology. Analysis and Criticism.), paragraph 7, pages 757–758:
      The anhypostasia, impersonality, or, to speak more accurately, the enhypostasia, of the human nature of Christ. This is a difficult point, but a necessary link in the orthodox doctrine of the one God-Man; for otherwise we must have two persons in Christ, and, after the incarnation, a fourth person, and that a human, in the divine Trinity. The impersonality of Christ's human nature, however, is not to be taken as absolute, but relative, as the following considerations will show. [] The divine nature is therefore the root and basis of the personality of Christ. [] And the human nature of Christ had no independent personality of its own, besides the divine; it had no existence at all before the incarnation, but began with this act, and was so incorporated with the pre-existent Logos-personality as to find in this alone its own full self-consciousness, and to be permeated and controlled by it in every stage of its development.
    • 1872, John M'Clintock [i.e., John McClintock]; James Strong, “John of Damascus”, in Cyclopædia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, volume IV (H, I, J), New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, publishers, Franklin Square, OCLC 22985522, pages 964–965:
      The doctrine of the person of Christ is argued with greatest fullness, and he [John of Damascus] evinces no little ingenuity and dialectic skill in treating of the personal unity in Christ's twofold nature (which he conceived as enhypostasis, not anhypostasis, of the human nature in the Logos), []
    • 1954 September, T[homas] F[orsyth] Torrance, “The Atonement and the Oneness of the Church”, in Scottish Journal of Theology, volume 7, number 3, Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, DOI:10.1017/S0036930600001502, ISSN 0036-9306, OCLC 1004668329, page 249; quoted in Thomas F. Torrance, “The Place of Christology in Biblical and Dogmatic Theology”, in Theology in Reconstruction, Eugene, Or.: Wipf and Stock, 19 December 1996, →ISBN, footnote 1, page 131:
      By anhypostasia classical Christology asserted that in the assumptio carnis the human nature of Christ had no independent per se subsistence apart from the event of the incarnation, apart from the hypostatic union. By enhypostasia, however, it asserted that in the assumptio carnis the human nature of Christ was given a real and concrete subsistence within the hypostatic union—it was enhypostatic in the Word. Anhypostasia and enhypostasia are inseparable. In the incarnation the eternal Son assumed human nature into oneness with Himself, but in that assumption Jesus Christ is not only real man but a man.
    • 1992, Wiel Logister, “In the Name of Jesus Christ: Christology and the Interreligious Dialogue”, in Catherine Cornille and Valeer Neckebrouck, editors, A Universal Faith?: Peoples, Cultures, Religions, and the Christ [...] Essays in Honor of Prof. Dr. Frank De Graeve (Louvain Theological & Pastoral Monographs; 9), Louvain: Peeters Press; [Grand Rapids, Mich.]: W[illiam] B. Eerdmans, →ISBN, pages 172–173:
      When, for instance, theology speaks of Jesus' anhypostasis and his enhypostasis, these ontological terms must be understood in the light of the concrete ways in which Jesus acted and spoke in the name of God, the ways in which he maintained the distinctions between himself and God through his self-abnegation, and how he left others with no impression of pedantry or dogmatism.
    • 1998, John Macquarrie, “Two Traditional Ideas Evaluated”, in Christology Revisited, London: SCM Press, published 2003, →ISBN, page 45:
      Enhypostasia, a doctrine which arose later as a modification of anhypostasia, concedes that Jesus Christ did indeed have a human hypostasis, but it was taken up and included in the hypostasis of the Logos.
    • 2006, Simon Chan, “Encountering the Triune God: Spirituality since the Azusa Street Revival”, in Harold D. Hunter and Cecil M. Robeck Jr., editors, The Azusa Street Revival and Its Legacy, Cleveland, Tenn.: Pathway Press, →ISBN; republished Eugene, Or.: Wipf and Stock, 23 October 2009, →ISBN, page 218:
      Del Colle [Ralph del Colle] introduces the concept of the enhypostasia of the Spirit. This is analogous to the two enhypostases of the Son [Jesus Christ]. First, the Son is generated by the Father immanently, and in the economy of God the Son as a human person comes through generation (from the Virgin's womb). But there is a second enhypostasis of the Son: "The eternal Son now incarnate … in his human nature undergoes an in-personing in the Spirit."

Usage notesEdit

Merriam-Webster Online[2] indicates the existence of the plural form enhypostasias, but it is currently unattested. However, enhypostases, the plural of enhypostasis, is attestable.

Alternative formsEdit

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  1. ^ Benjamin Gleede (2012) The Development of the Term ἐνυπόστατος from Origen to John of Damascus (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae; 113), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN.
  2. ^ enhypostasia” in Merriam–Webster Online Dictionary.