Talk:Metousiosis

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Changes[edit]

Hopefully, these changes elucidate.

Nrgdocadams 09:54, 1 January 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams

I have made further changes to clarify, but apparently someone still thinks it is confuysing. i don't quite know how to make it even clearer.-- Nrgdocadams 07:16, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
Yes, the article is much less confusing. There are still some phrases that are likely to be opaque to a reader with little background in Christian theology, and there are some minor issues with writing style (articles need to have a neutral, encyclopedic tone that does not promote any point of view), but overall it seems pretty good.--Srleffler 08:55, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

What exactly is the etymology of "atonement". I have a problem with the "at-one-ment" link in the text, unless that is actually the etymological origin of the word (which I doubt).--Srleffler 05:38, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The changes, playing with the etymology of the term metousisosius to try to draw an analogy to transubstantiation, is a violation of the NPOV of the article and is clearly intended to pervert the decription of the meaning of this theological term. I have removed this vandalism. The assertion that meta always means "across" and that ousia always means "substance" is not only inaccurate, but purposely misleading. This is article vandalism, Lima, of the worst sort.
Nrgdocadams 23:17, 5 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
Careful, Nrgdocadams. This is clearly a disagreement over content. An edit disagreement like this is, by definition, not considered "vandalism", and it is inappropriate of you to use that term, no matter how much you disagree with Lima's edit. Argue about the facts. Don't accuse other editors falsely of "vandalism". --Srleffler 05:37, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Au contraire, Srleffler. Lima's edits were indeed vandalism, as described in the vandalism policy this way:
"Sneaky vandalism: Vandalism which is harder to spot. Adding misinformation, changing dates or making other sensible-appearing substitutions and typos."
Lima specifically wrote misinformation and disinformation in an effort to draw parallels with transubstantiation and to make them equivalent as the theoretical basis for the doctrine of the Real Presence. In fact, the concept of metousiosis presupposes a distinction between a substance and its essence, but does not enter into the philosophical realms of determining substacne and accidents. It further presupposes relationality. The term has historically been used to mean a great change of essence relationally, it has never been used to mean a change across substances, which is what Lima tried to make it appear as doing. The concept of metousiosis has never suggested that, in the change, one substance is substituted for another. What Lima did was vandalism.
Nrgdocadams 08:27, 6 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams

Nrgdocadams falsely says I "asserted" that the Greek prefix meta- (I use Latin characters for Greek words in this comment) means "across". I didn't. It doesn't. In words like metousiosis (this is the correct spelling, not "metousisosius") it acts exactly like the Latin prefix trans-, indicating a change of something. The words metamorphosis and transformation (in Latin, "transformatio") both mean a change of form ("morphe" in Greek, "forma" in Latin). The Greek word metousiosis means a change of ousia, the Latin word transsubstantiatio means a change of substantia. Several Latin words have been used to translate the Greek word ousia. One is "substantia". Surely Nrgdocadams knows of the most famous instance: in the Nicene Creed, the key word homoousion ("of the same ousia") in the Greek text appears in the Latin text as consubstantialem ("sharing the same substantia"). So "metousiosis" and "transsubstantiatio" correspond exactly with each other as words, but their meaning, as I stated in the article, differs. Ngrdocadams has apparently wished to conceal this to him disagreeable fact. But perhaps he may now agree to revert his - whatever you wish to call it, censorship? vandalism? Lima 10:21, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I forgot to express my surprise that NgrDocAdams attributes miaphysitism to the Eastern Orthodox Church, that he thinks the transubstantiation explanation existed only in the past ("was a medieval Roman Catholic doctrine that, at one time, sought ...". He speaks of a change of "hypostasis", a word which he says is here equivalent to "ousia", essence, and says the "physis", nature, remains; I am puzzled therefore why, immediately afterwards, he objects to a reference to a mystical distinction between a nature and its essence and insists that it is instead a mystical distinction between a "substance" (a word whose meaning, for him, in this context he has not explained) and its essence. Lima 11:09, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

I intended to make no more adjustments to the Metousiosis article than the rather superficial ones I made in what I thought would be a single once-for-all general revision. The reaction of NrgDocAdams is inspiring me to study the question more deeply - and to revise the article more deeply. It is now on my watchlist.

Would NrgDocAdams kindly indicate where any of the External Links he gives at the foot of the article mention metousiosis. I would like at least to learn where the second of them provides "an exposition on Eucharistic mysticism that connects metousiosis to the Eternal Sacrifice", since the word "metousiosis" does not appear in the site's index. I am convinced that the other three external links have absolutely no mention of metousiosis. I may have to remove them all, even the second, and replace them with links that do mention metousiosis.

I must surely also at some stage remove from the article the heterodox (for Christians who accept more than three ecumenical councils) notion ("miaphysitism") that Christ has one "physis" or nature, not two. But that will have to wait.

For the moment, I want just to concentrate on the word metousiosis itself. Its similarity with transsubstantiatio is striking for any student of Greek and Latin. In spite of that, I at first presumed that the author of this article knew what he was talking about when he gave the two words different meanings. But a brief check of Internet sites (omitting Wikipedia and its mirrors) has now shown clearly that the Greek word metousiosis was in fact coined as a translation of the Latin word transsubstantiatio. Unless NrgDocAdams can bring forward some contrary evidence, the historical fact of the original meaning of the word metousiosis will have to be inserted at the beginning of the article. Indeed, that original meaning may well still be current, as some of the following quotations seem also to show. (The added emphases are mine.)

Quotation 1.[1]

Pages 283-284 from Ware's book The Orthodox Church:

"As the words of the Epiclesis make abundantly plain, the Orthodox Church believes that after consecration the bread and wine become in very truth the Body and Blood of Christ; they are not mere symbols, but the reality. But while Orthodoxy has always insisted on the reality of the change, it has never attempted to explain the manner of the change: the Eucharistic Prayer in the Liturgy simply uses the neutral term metaballo, to 'turn around', 'change', or 'alter.' It is true that in the 17th century not only Orthodox writers but Orthodox councils such as that of Jerusalem in 1672 made use of the Latin term 'transubstantiation' (in Greek, metousiosis) together with the Scholastic distinction between substance and accidents. But at the same time, the Fathers of Jerusalem were careful to add that the use of these terms does not constitute an explanation of the manner of the change, since this is a mystery and must always remain incomprehensible."

Quotation 2.[2]

Orthodox theologian John Meyendorff writes in Byzantine Theology:

"....in the Eucharist, man participates in the glorified humanity of Christ, which is not the 'essence of God,' but a humanity still consubstantial to man and available to him as food and drink....for later Byzantine theologians, the Eucharist is Christ's transfigured, life-giving, but still human, body, en-hypostasized in the Logos and penetrated with divine 'energies.' Characteristically, one never finds the category of 'essence' (ousia) used by Byzantine theologians in a Eucharistic context. They would consider a term like 'transubstantiation' (metousiosis) improper to designate the Eucharistic mystery, and generally use the concept of metabole, found in the canon of John Chrysostom, or such dynamic terms as 'trans-elementation' (metastoicheiosis) or 're-ordination' (metarrhythmisis).

"Transubstantiation (metousiosis) appears only in the writings of the Latinophrones of the thirteenth century, and is nothing but a straight translation from the Latin. The first Orthodox author to use it is Gennadios Scholarios; but, in his case as well, direct Latin influence is obvious."

Quotation 3.[3]

GENNADIUS (c. 1453 AD) At the time of the Council of Florence (1439), a layman named George Scholarius (later known as Gennadius and appointed Patriarch of Constantinople in 1453) wrote a treatise "Homily on the Sacramental Body of our Lord Jesus Christ" and introduces language and phraseology that had become current in the West. He is the first individual to use the word "TRANSUBSTANTIATION" (Greek metousiosis) in reference to the Eucharist in the East (see Stone, page 172ff for the original Greek). The term had become standard in the West by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Gennadius speaks of the change (Greek metabole) of the SUBSTANCE (Greek ousia) of the elements into the SUBSTANCE of the body and blood of Christ; of the "ACCIDENTS" (Greek sumbebekota) of the bread and wine remaining unchanged; of the body of Christ being with its appropriate ACCIDENTS, while the bread retains its ACCIDENTS without its own SUBSTANCE; and of the outward state of the elements being preserved in view of the repugnance which communicants might otherwise feel. He maintains that the body of Christ is not in the Sacrament naturally but after the manner of a Sacrament, and therefore is not in it as in a place, and is not under the dimensions of a real body but under the dimensions of the bread only. He says that each fragment is the whole body of Christ, and that the body of Christ in heaven and on every altar on earth is one and the same, being that body which was born of the Virgin, was once on the cross, and is now in heaven (the full text of the Sermon of Gennadius is found in Migne PG 160:351-374).

Quotation 4.[4]

Following the Western resolution of the dogma of the real presence in the Eucharist, Orthodox writers adopted the literal translation of "transubstantiation" into Greek (metousiosis).

Quotation 5.[5] An excerpt from one of these letters will be of present interest. 'I have had a curious correspondence with Father Popoff about Transubstantiation. ... I confess it seems to me nonsense to say, "We believe in metousiosis, but we say nothing of the mode, and we use the word in a sense of our own, distinct from the Latin meaning." And the Slavonic word presuchchestvlenie, is almost stronger, means - were there such a word - transapparentiation. Again, in another letter: 'If metousiosis be not transubstantiation, how is homoousios consubstantial?'

(end of the quotations)

I am in fact wondering how much, or rather how little, of NrgDocAdam's work on this article really fits the rule "Content must not violate any copyright and must be verifiable." Unfortunately, for the rest of this week I have little time to pursue my studies in this field.

Lima 19:47, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Is the whole article original research? Nrgdocadams created this article, and has been essentially the only editor. --Srleffler 00:08, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

No, it is not original research, and does not violate copyright, and I take Lima's threatening statement:
"I intended to make no more adjustments to the Metousiosis article than the rather superficial ones I made in what I thought would be a single once-for-all general revision. The reaction of NrgDocAdams is inspiring me to study the question more deeply - and to revise the article more deeply. It is now on my watchlist."
to be an indication that he intends to vandalize this article further, and I'll be sure to report him if he does. Because, what he is essentially saying is: "You caught me vandalizing once, and now I have a bone to pick with you, so I am going to try to vandalize this article as much as possible." And it seems that Srleffer is only too ready to help that silly, petty, childish vendetta (shame on ya, Srleffer!). And this, despite the fact that some of Lima's quotations above make quite clear that the Orthodox reject the terminology and dogma of transubstantiation, and the fact that Lima is using Latin translations to nuance Greek words that are understood differently by the East — a problem that Western theologians, misinterpreting the nuanced Greek terms "hypostasis, physis, and ousia," should have learned not to repeat after the great debacle early-on over their accusations that the Orthodox presentation of Trinitarian theology somehow was Tritheism (which, in fact, it was not).
I would also like to correct Lima's assertion in his largely impertinent and irrelevant rant, that I attributed miaphysitism to the Eastern Orthodox. Actually, reading the article, one will find no such thing. The only connection at all to miaphysitism is a link to the article that hopefully helps the reader comprehend the various ideas of what constitutes the true essence of the Risen Christ (which adherents of metousiosis believe is really present under the forms of bread and wine) — as that article goes some way to trying to explain those views.
And as you'll note from discussions with any of the Orthodox editors, their idea is that metousiosis does not mean the same thing as transubstantiation, despite what a couple of authors may have written. Commonly and generally, the Orthodox (both Oriental and Eastern) are very quick to state that they reject "transubstantiation" as being a Western philosophical construct that offends against the nature of the mystery. Archbishop Paul's book quite clearly states (page 68):
The mystery is also the Communion itself, which is called the "Holy Mystery." Orthodox tradition has not attempted to explain in a scholastic fashion how the bread and wine change to the elements of communion. As the Liturgy itself describes it, the Holy Gifts, the bread and the wine, simply become the true body and blood of Christ through the operation of the Holy Spirit, without being changed in their appearance. They are Holy Communion regardless of the sense in which we receive them. A person who partakes of Communion in faith receives it "For the remission of sins and unto life everlasting." The following words apply to anyone who receives Communion without faith: "He who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's Body: (I Cor 11:29)
Transubstantiation certainly offends against the standard Orthodox positioning of Negative Theology. In Theodore Theorides exposition in Payaitis's presentation of the Divine Liturgy, he quite unequivocally states, on page 22:
"This sacred action is done in a rising climax...and proceeds to the Offering of them, the Consecration, the Metousiosis (called Transubstantiation by other Churches, though the meaning differs)...,"
quite clearly delineating what he then goes on to explain as a relational process, in the book that is commonly used as the standard ritual book in Greek Orthodox parishes all over North America.
Indeed, in Archbishop Paul's landmark work, Feast of Faith, which not only has approbation from the Orthodox Church in Finland, but also from the non-related OCA (and, in fact, is also sold in Roman Catholic bookstores, particularly the Paulists), he quite clearly explains the connection of the metousiosis to the Eternal Sacrifice (beginning on page 62:
All this commemoration is the proclamation again and again of the Death and Resurrection of Christ (I Cor 11:26), the experience of all that happened in the past as real and present at this moment.
The priest raises the Holy Gifts, the bread and wine, crossing his hands, and says:
Thine own of Thine own
we offer unto Thee,
on behalf of all and for all.
As a result of all that has happened, the bread and wine, symbolizing Christ's body and blood — God's own gifts chosen from His own gifts — are now offered or sacrificed for all. This is what God grants through the sacrifice at Golgotha...
After these words, the whole congregation joins in the verbal offering and sings:
We praise Thee, we bless Thee,
we give thanks to Thee, O Lord,
and we pray to Thee, O our God...
The epiclesis prayer is a direct continuation of the song. In this prayer the priest, acting as the mouthpiece of the whole people of God, raises his hands (I Tim 2:8) and prays that the Holy spirit be sent down upon the congregation and the Holy Gifts...
The mystery is also in the fact that, although the priest, "Clothed in the priesthood of Christ," offers the eucharistic sacrifice to God in the manner described above, he is acting not only for the congregation present but also with them, thus forming the fulness of the church. The people of God, the "fruit of whose lips" the priest sets forth as a sacrifice of praise, are just as essential for the Eucharist as the priest.
A reading of Saepius Officio, the Windsor Statement, and the Elucidation, will show obviously that this exact same theology is being expounded. Leadbeater's book is perhaps the most detailed of all in connecting the dots, as it were, between the sacrifice of the Church, the sacrifice of the cross, and the whole loving sacrifical action of God's pouring out God's own Self into the creation. Just one instance is in the prayer in Leadbeater's book (pp. 195-196):
Uniting in this joyful sacrifice with Thy holy Church throughout all the ages,
we lift our hearts in adoration to Thee, O God the Son,
consubstantial, coeternal with the Father,
who, abiding unchangeable within Thyself,
didst nevertheless in the mystery
of Thy boundless love and Thine eternal Sacrifice,
breathe forth Thine own Divine life into Thy universe,
and thus didst offer Thyself
as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world
Dying, in very truth, that we might live....
Thou, O most dear and holy Lord,
hast, in Thine ineffable wisdom deigned
to ordain for us this Blessed Sacrament of Thy love,
that in it we may not only commemorate in symbol
that Thine eternal Oblation,
but verily take part in it, and perpetuate thereby,
within the limits of time and space which veil ourt eyes from the excess of Thy glory,
the enduring Sacrifice by which the world is nourished and sustained.
In espousing the Eastern view, as opposed to the Western transubstantiation (which he overturns by describing it in Neo-Platonic terms), Leadbeater writes (page 207):
...that phenomenon takes place around which so much embittered and unnecessary controversy has centered — the prodigy called transubstantiation. We cannot pretend fully to understand a process which involves worlds higher than any which we can reach; but there is no possibility of mistake as to what happens in such part of it as is within the sphere of clairvoyant observation...
Every physical object is seen to have its counterpart on higher planes...
Each of these elements has a line of connection back to the Deity who created it; and though that line may pass through a group of what may be called astral elements and a still larger group of those on the mental plane, it remains always the same line, no matter in what combinations that element may enter the world.
The astral counterpart of what we call bread is a certain grouping of astral elements...and the same is true of finer planes, as far up as we can see; so that bread is represented by a definite and unchanging set of lines — a bundle of wires, as it were — running up into the soul of things.
What happens at the "moment" of the Consecration of the Host is the instant deflection of this "bundle of wires." It is switched aside with the speed of a lightning flash, and its place is taken by what looks like a line of fire — a single thread of communication, reaching up, wihtout division or alteration, to the Lord Christ himself...
It was divine life before, for all life is divine; but now it is a fuller and closer epiphany of God, and that is why the church has always so strongly insisted upon the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament, and has spoken of it as just as truly His Vehicle as though it were actually His living Flesh and Blood.
I hope that clarifies.
Nrgdocadams 09:49, 8 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams

I conclude from the above:

1. NgrDocAdams does not (and cannot) deny that the word metousiosis was coined as a translation of transsubstantiatio.

2. Leadbeater does not mention at all the word metousiosis and, to judge by the quotation given here, describes what happens in the Eucharist in a way fully in harmony with the doctrine of transubstantiation

3. NgrDocAdams finds no real contradiction between metousiosis and transubstantiation. He sees the ARCIC documents, which are in accord with the doctrine of transubstantiation - though, for historical reasons, the Anglican theologians involved wanted to avoid the word, they did not deny the doctrine, otherwise there would have been no agreement with the Catholic participants - as in perfect accord also with metousiosis.

4. Metousiosis, as described by NgrDocAdams, "certainly offends against the standard Orthodox positioning of Negative Theology" much more than transubstantiation does. Transubstantiation says only that the inner reality of the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Christ and that the appearances remain. NgrDocAdams's metousiosis says not only that the "hypostasis" - a word explained as equivalent to "ousia", i.e. inner reality (cf. Liddell and Scott) - of the bread and the wine are changed into the "full reality" of the Risen Christ, but also that the "hypostases" of the partakers in the mystery are changed too, and moreover that they are commissioned to live-forth the mystery into the world. Quite a lot of positive theology. The faith of the Eastern Orthodox Church is that what was bread becomes a clearly different reality, the body of Christ, and NgrDocAdams's metousiosis posits a somewhat similar change in the partakers, involving their "hypostases" or inner reality too. Indeed quite a lot of positive theology to add to what transubstantiation involves.

Note 1. Transubstantiation is about what change occurs in the Eucharist, not about how the change is brought about. The Roman Catholic Church, like the Eastern Orthodox Church, teaches that the "how" of the change cannot be explained in human terms, but only as a miraculous and mysterious intervention of God.

Note 2. The Roman Catholic Church too teaches that the Eucharist produces effects in the participants and sends them out to affect their surroundings (see, for instance, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1391-1397).

Note 3. The quoted expressions from the Byzantine liturgy contradict, of course, in absolutely no way the doctrine of transubstantiation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church also quotes the Byzantine liturgy.

Lima 18:57, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

NrgDocAdams claims that the ARCIC document on the Eucharist teaches metousiosis. The claims he has inserted in various articles about Anglican, Lutheran and other theologians adopting the concept of metousiosis rather than transubstantiation may be equally unfounded. It may be necessary to ask him to give evidence of these claims. Lima 20:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I cannot help that Lima is too ignorant to glean the meaning of, prima facie, the written word.
1. Metousiosis as a theological concept predated the Scholastic formula of transubstantiation, as it was being written about as early as Basil the great (and likely earlier).
2. Lima asked about Leadbeater's connection of the mystical change with the unity of the sacrifice; which is the quotation I provided and, sicne he caouldn't refute that, he has changed the subject. Leadbeater only accepts transubstantiation when it is completely reconfigured according to Neo-Platonic terms.
3. I find great contradiction between the Scholastic dogma of transubstantiation, as it was taught by the mediaeval Schools (which can be evidenced by the rather greusome oath that Berengarius was forced to sign before the Pope had him murdered anyway), and the primitive Church's dogma of metousiosis. The former states that one substance is exchanged for another. The latter states that the essence or nature of the substance changes by the action of the Holy Spirit in relation to the whole mystery. The difficulty is over how one interprets the word substance. In the ARCIC Statements, the Roman Catholic members specifically stated (it was not a mere matter of the Anglicans trying to "cover" for historical reasons) -- over and against what had been recently (at the time) written by Paul VI in his encyclical, Mysterium Fidei -- that transubstantiation was not meant to explain the "how" or the "mode" of presence. Paul VI and the Lambeth Conference then officially accepted these statements. Nevertheless, in short order (only about 20 years), the Roman Catholic bishops in the U.K. were again asserting that transubstantiation does describe the "how" and the "mode" of presence. If, as the ARCIC statements tried to say, the Roman Catholic understanding of the dogma of transubstantiation is officially that it simply explains that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, there is no disagreement. If, as subsequent Roman Catholic official documents assert, transubstantiation officially describes how that change occurs and the mode of the presence, then there is disagreement. The Anglican, Lutheran, and Orthodox position is that the bread and wine remain the natural substances of bread and wine (because that is the outward, visible sign), but the essential reality (the inward, spiritual grace) of those substances changes -- that is, that which gives "bread and wine" meaning becomes the very essence of that which gives meaning to the Risen Christ. In contradistinction, the infamous oath that Berengarius was forced to sign insisted that when the priest breaks the consecrated Host, "He fractures Christ's very flesh itself."
4. Lima's statement clearly shows a lack of reading of Negative Theology and how it is postulated.
Notes one and two of Lima's have been refuted. With regard to his third note, notice that he only refers to the expressions from the actual Liturgy, yet does not address what the theologians have said about what these words mean. Lima is using petty cavils and sloppy, intellectually dishonest maneuvers to try to advance his POV, which is not about clarifying the article but, rather, about making it conform to his Roman Catholic views.
Nrgdocadams 22:50, 8 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams

I have no idea who is right here, but I would like to point out that it ought to be possible to incorporate an explanation of the etymological relation of the greek word "metousiosis" to the latin word "transsubstantiatio", without implying that the two doctrines are the same.--Srleffler 03:23, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Unfortunately, it does not seem possible, since the word met-ousi-osis was invented to render in Greek the idea of trans-substanti-atio, and was used in that sense for several centuries. Nowadays, however, some treat it as having a different sense, which they seem to find it hard to define. Lima 14:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

One could put it in only the most highly theoretical terms, I suppose. But to compare metousiosis to transsubstantiatio implies a correlation between the doctrines (which is precisely what Lima is after), and there is no such correlation. It is sort of like arguing this: that since there is a Greek term, Theophany (Theou + phania), which corresponds with rough equivalence (as much equivalence as meta corresponds to trans and ousia to substantia) to the Latin words, Deus and carnatus, that Theophany must mean "God-flesh" or "God-meat." Unfortunately, Theophany actually means "the manifestation of God," and God-meat would be, at best, a gross mischaracterization of the term. Similarly, "transubstantiatio" (hence, "transubstantiation") is a gross mischaracterization of what metousiosis actually means. Nrgdocadams 07:17, 9 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams

NrgDocAdams seems to have confused -phania (from the Greek root φαν, appear) with -phagia (from the Greek root φαγ, eat). I think nobody has coined a Latin word corresponding to the Greek word that appears in English as Theophany; in Latin you would have to say "Dei manifestatio", "Dei apparitio", as in English. Lima 14:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

1. Can NrgDocAdams quote any use of the term metousiosis earlier than 1079? Can he quote anything from Saint Basil compatible only with his notion of metousiosis and not with, for instance, the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

2. If the quotation he gave from Leadbeater is an exposition of metousiosis, so is, for instance, Pope John Paul II's encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, which among other things says: "Through our communion in his body and blood, Christ also grants us his Spirit. Saint Ephrem writes: 'He called the bread his living body and he filled it with himself and his Spirit ... He who eats it with faith, eats Fire and Spirit ... Take and eat this, all of you, and eat with it the Holy Spirit. For it is truly my body and whoever eats it will have eternal life. The Church implores this divine Gift, the source of every other gift, in the Eucharistic epiclesis. In the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, for example, we find the prayer: 'We beseech, implore and beg you: send your Holy Spirit upon us all and upon these gifts ... that those who partake of them may be purified in soul, received the forgiveness of their sins, and share in the Holy Spirit.' And in the Roman Missal the celebrant prays: "grant that we who are nourished by his body and blood may be filled with his Holy Spirit, and become one body, one spirit in Christ.' Thus by the gift of his body and blood Christ increases within us the gift of his Spirit, already poured out in Baptism and bestowed as a 'seal' in the sacrament of Confirmation" (section 17).

3. NrgDocAdams uses the phrase "natural substance" of what can be seen and touched, what in the doctrine of transubstantiation is called the accidents or appearances and whose permanence as a reality is part of the doctrine; what NrgDocAdams calls "essence" seems to be exactly what in the doctrine of transubstantiation is called "substance". NrgDocAdams rightly rejects his interpretation of transubstantiation. I do too. I accept the doctrine of transubstantiation. He should too. By a "dogma" is usually meant a teaching defined by a Council. Would NrgDocAdams kindly quote "the primitive Church's dogma of metousiosis". I think he does not, at least now, say that transubstantiation claims to explain how the change is brought about (if he does, would he please indicate the source of his conviction), but that it indicates only the manner or mode of the presence of Christ. He probably agrees with the teaching of the Catholic Church, and of the Eastern Orthodox Church, that the manner or mode of Christ's presence is sacramental or mystical, and not, at least in the ordinary sense, physical or corporal. His difficulty may therefore again be due to a misunderstanding.

4. Would NrgDocAdams be kind enough to explain to one who is too ignorant to glean the meaning of the written word, but who imagines he knows the difference between "positive" and "negative", in what way an increase in the number of positive statements can be considered to be in greater accord with a "Negative Theology" (the traditional technical term is "apophatic theology"), of which this same ignorant person is judged to show a lack of reading.

I am not trying to make the article conform to anything other than the facts of history (what the word metousiosis originally meant, whatever it means now), and to freedom from falsehoods about Roman Catholic teaching (if transubstantiation can be explained without talking about metousiosis, why on earth cannot metousiosis be explained without presenting an incorrect idea, or even a correct idea, of transubstantiation?).

Lima 14:03, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

You have again vandalized the Metousiosis page, while admitting yourself in the talk page that Basil the Great mentions metousiosis long before 1079 (and, of course it is in a context not akin to the Scholastic idea). Please stop. If you continue to vandalize pages, as you did to [[:{{{1}}}]], you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. . If you need answers to your questions above, you can Google any of the many online histories about the controversy surrounding Barengarius -- but stay away from the "Catholic Encyclopedia" if you want an objective history, as you claim. Further, here are the words of St. Cyril of Alexandria hismelf, writing at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus, against Nestorius:
"We perform in the churches the holy, lifegiving, and unbloody sacrifice; of the body, as also the precious blood — which is exhibited, we believe, not to be that of a common man and of anyone like unto us, but receiving it rather as his own body and as the blood of the Word which gives all things life, by way of a great metousiosis. For common flesh cannot give life. And this our Saviour himself testified when he said: “The flesh profits nothing, it is the Spirit that gives life.” For since the flesh became the very own of the Word, therefore we understand that it is lifegiving, as the Saviour himself said: “As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that feeds on me shall live by me.” Since therefore Nestorius and those who think with him rashly dissolve the power of this mystery; therefore it was convenient that this anathematism should be put forth.” (Adversus Nestorius, in Concilium)
Nrgdocadams 01:25, 10 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
Disagreement with another editor's good faith edits is not grounds for accusation of vandalism. Please be civil and refrain from personal attacks such as gratuitous accusations of ignorance. TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:25, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Quotation sources[edit]

I would like to see the exact sources for the quotations used in the article. I cannot confirm them against any reference I can find. Compare the quote from St. Cyril as given to the version found here [6] and it's evident that they are nearly word-for-word identical. They differ only by small details of punctuation, typography, source translation for the quotations from John 6:57 and 63 -- and the addition of the words "by way of a great metousiosis" in the Wiki article's version. I cannot locate a complete version of St. Basil's The Morals online, but the same passage is quoted here [7] which again is word-for-word identical -- again aside from source translation for the scripture quote, this time from 1 Cor 11:29 -- but for the addition of the words "this metousiosis" in the Wiki article.

Since, at least, the NPNF series is a standard, reliable reference and contradicts what we are given here -- indeed, it lacks the very word necessary to make it applicable -- I think it's not at all out of line to ask for specific sources here. Whose translations are these, and from what editions? TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:20, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

NgrDocAdams has said he will "report" me for vandalism. My response is: Please do. That may put an end to his presumably unverifiable insertions. TCC's comment makes it appear that NrgDocAdams has actually descended into forgery. I would like to think this is not so, but the evidence seems strong. Lima 05:35, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I am seeking input from the many Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox editors on Wikipedia to help with your obviously POV vandalism, attempting to equate metousiosis with transubstantiation. In the meantime, Lima, ;{{subst:test4}} ~~~~ :
Stop hand.svg
This is your last warning. The next time you vandalize a page, you will be blocked from editing Wikipedia. .
Nrgdocadams 08:08, 10 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
This guy is unbelievable, and his quest to impose Roman Catholic Triumphalism on many articles around Wikipedia seems to know no bounds. I have tried to follow process and give him the benefit of the doubt, and I have even been appealing for input from Orthodox editors. Meanwhile, Lima keeps vandalizing the page and making personal attacks on me. With his latest vandalism, he dared me to report him. He has been given a final warning, so he is now being reported. Nrgdocadams 10:45, 10 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams

Orthodox input has been requested, but I don't believe any Orthodox editor would have anything to add to the references already contributed by Lima, particularly those from Ware and Myendorff, both of whom are standard, widely regarded as reliable, and representative of the Orthodox consensus patrum on this subject. I for one certainly don't. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:40, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

You're one. And there are many on Wiki. I certainly hope they check into this. Nrgdocadams 00:30, 11 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
There are several at any rate, but I think most of them will find it difficult to contradict Myendorff. That anyone claiming to be knowledgeable about Orthodoxy in the English-speaking world should not accept him as a source on this subject is frankly incredible. (And that's among those who do not regard the word as a product of the "Western captivity" and reject it outright.) But who knows if any of them have even noticed this article?
In the meantime, if you could please supply the sources I requested at the head of this section it would be greatly appreciated. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:08, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Look at the sources listed in the article. Nrgdocadams 02:16, 11 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
I have. (By which I mean, I have taken note of them. I believe I have access to only one of them though, aside from the one online source, and I'll have to check it later. But see below.) This doesn't answer the question. To wit: In this version of the article you included purported quotes from Sts. Cyril of Alexandria and Basil the Great that include the term "metousiosis". The quote from St. Cyril again, above. When I looked it up here [8] I found that the clause containing the word "metousiosis" did not appear, despite the wording being otherwise identical aside from the translation used for Scripture quotations. Same for the quote from St. Basil [9]. Although I do not regard that source to be as authoritative as the NPNF series and I do not have a book containing his Moralia in my library and therefore cannot double-check it we are in exactly the same situation: identical wording aside from Scripture quotations, and the key missing word "metousiosis". I would therefore like to know where you got these translations from. Or do you retract your claim that Sts. Basil and Cyril expounded on the word?
Concerning one of the new sources you added, I must say I can't fathom this one. Why did you include it? It supports Lima's argument not yours. I quote:
The Greek term corresponding to transubstantiation is metousiosis, which, however, is not bound up with the scholastic theory of substance and accidents. The Synod of Bethlehem accepted it in 1672 during the reaction against the Calvinizing movement of the Patriarch Cyril Lucaris, but it was never accepted formally by the Russian Church and is not a dogma of the Orthodox Communion.
Are you sure you wanted this here? TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:46, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Since other Orthodox opinions were solicited, let me say that the comments that User:Csernica makes here seem spot-on correct to me. (For reference, I am an Antiochian Orthodox deacon and seminarian.) —Preost talk contribs 03:36, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

ASDamick, I am quite grateful for your input, but I think Csernica has misunderstood the point of including yet more references. Lima is attempting to assert that the doctrine of transubstantiation, complete with its accidents and substacne philosophical categories, is what is implied by the doctrine of metousiosis, which, clearly, it is not. Moreover, he is attempting to assert that the "how" and "mode" elements of the dogma of transubstantiation have evaporated from RC teaching — which would be lovely, from an ecumenical perspective and was, in fact, what was argued in ARCIC, Unfortunately, recent teachings issued by the Roman Catholic CDF, and the pastoral letter, One Bread, One Body, make clear that these issues remain. I think you'll agree that the majority of Eastern theology has insisted that the "how" and the "mode" is an ineffable part of the mystery.
Meanwhile, Lima vandalized the page again, not only removing references and links, and rewriting reference purposes in a malicious fashion, but also clearly stating his intent to insert his own POV and vandalize (by inserting irrelevancies and inaccuracies) in his editing notes, in which he wrote: "The two really unnecessary new paragraphs may be removed when NrgDocAdams ceases to reject the actual teaching of the Orthodox Church in favour of his own ideas." I am now reporting him, in addition to the previous report, to the "Vandalism in Progress" page.
Nrgdocadams 09:24, 11 February 2006 (UTC)Nrgdocadams
I'm not sure what you believe constitutes vandalism. If it's simply making edits with which you disagree, well, that definition is at odds with the Wikipedia definition. While I have not always agreed with all of Lima's edits, he is not, it is clear, editing in order to "attempt to reduce the quality of the encyclopedia" (the wording from the official policy page). His edits are clearly made in good faith. Do whatever you wish, of course, but you may be in for something of a surprise if you seek to report these edits as vandalism. —Preost talk contribs 13:51, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Protection[edit]

OK, due to the edit warring, I've protected the article. Please note, as the tag itself indicates, that this is not an endorsement of the current version.

What I'd like to see is for everybody to calm down a little bit. Discuss your viewpoint, rather than throw insults at each other, here, as to why you believe that the article should be edited the way that you believe to be correct. Make a genuine effort to listen to each other. I do plan to unprotect in a few days. --Nlu (talk) 14:23, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Content Discussion[edit]

Now that we have come to an official impasse, I would like to offer a summary of what this article should contain, as I see it.

I think it has been well established by the supplied quotations and other sources that "metousiosis"

  • Was not written of by any recognized Father from the era of the Ecumenical Councils.
  • Did not appear in the Christian East until Gennadius Scholarius, then a layman named George, wrote about it at the Council of Florence.
  • Was intended as a direct translation of "transubstantiation".
  • Had no conciliar recognition among the Orthodox until the 17th Century in the reaction to the Calvinism of Cyril Lucaris in an atmosphere of academic stagnation during the Turkocratia.
  • Was accepted after that, if at all, only in a qualified sense that was careful to distance this term from any implied acceptance of Aristotelean categories. (A distinct issue from whether the Roman Catholics intend any such acceptance by "transubstantiation", which need not be addressed in any depth.)
  • And finally, that any discussion of this term must be distinct from a discussion of Orthodox Eucharistic theology, which was already well developed before it was introduced, and upon which it shed no significant light.

Because of that last point, Orthodox quotations concerning the Eucharist are really beside the point. A detailed article on Orthodox Eucharistic theology would be welcome, but this really isn't the place for it considering the term's marginal status.

Now, it seems to me the article Nrgdocadams wants to write is from another angle entirely, how certain independent churches have developed this idea further. That this has little to do in the end with Orthodox theology is, I think, both self-evident from what was written and from the persistent inclusion of a link as to a source text of a treatise by C. W. Leadbeater who, as a bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church, was naturally also a prominent Theosophist. Now, such an article is perfectly proper if 1) It is not a presentation of a synthesis original to Nrgdocadams himself; 2) It really is believed and taught by some notable religious communion; and 3) "Metousiosis" really is the term used by that communion. References are, of course, necessary to establish all of these conditions -- I hasten to clarify that this is not me "laying down the law", but simply Wikipedia policy, and one that is particularly applicable, I think, to esoteric subjects where the vast majority of editors are unlikely to be familiar with it, as in this case. In the case of number 3, if that cannot be established it doesn't mean the article cannot exist as Nrgdocadams wants it, but simply that some other title would be more appropriate.

I would therefore not object to an article that consisted of two distinct sections: the first being a brief discussion of the Orthodox use of the term as outlined above, and the second a discussion of how the idea was elaborated by more recent groups. TCC (talk) (contribs) 06:15, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree. If I may be permitted a slightly off-central-topic remark, I would suggest that someone, preferably Orthodox, should correct the various articles in which this personal interpretation of metousiosis has been attributed to the Orthodox Church and to Orthodox theologians. And the same should be done with regard to the attribution of the same ideas to Anglican and Lutheran theologians. Lima 09:44, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Ditto on all of this from both Csernica and Lima. My own position is the same. —Preost talk contribs 00:15, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

I have failed to find any source outside of Wikipedia that says the word metousiosis means anything other than transubstantiation. Those who do use the word echo the declaration of the Eastern Patriarchs, quoted also in the Catechism of Filaret, that metousiosis/transubstantiation does not say how the change takes place, but only what is changed. (The Roman Catholic understanding is, in fact, the same.) Unless someone can find a serious source for the ideas expounded by the imaginative contributor who has now withdrawn, blanking his user page and talk page, I think all but the first three paragraphs of this article will have to be deleted. However, even if everyone agrees, I do not wish to do that operation myself.

I think there must be a mistyping in the second paragraph , "thus" in place of "this", but I have not checked.

The Council of Jerusalem/Bethlehem did use Greek terms corresponding both to substantia and to accidentia (συμβεβηκότα, I think, but my memory may be false).

Lima 18:44, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Unprotecting[edit]

If we seem to have come to a consensus, I am planning to unprotect the article in a few hours, unless there are objections. --Nlu (talk) 04:11, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

My feeling is that there is generally a consensus of most of us excepting Nrgdocadams, who hasn't weighed in since the protection. (Of course, considering this edit, he may not.) —Preost talk contribs 12:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Hardly NPOV[edit]

This article seems to be mainly an argument for identity of Orthodox and Roman Catholic thought on the subject. I certainly got that impression reading it; the final sentence confirms it. There's not even a hint that many Orthodox thinkers distinguish the two.

If the two ideas really were identical, there would hardly be a need for two articles now, would there? A dissent from the official pro-Union line really ought to be represented here. 192.31.106.35 (talk) 23:37, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

A single glance at the one citation was enough to convince of the agenda here. The article happily quotes [10] to point up, "the Patriarchs were adamant on the question of Transubstantiation" -- but totally eliminates the context given in the second half of the very same sentence, "because the struggle in the East against Calvinistic teaching of the Holy Eucharist was very recent," also glossing over the fact that the correspondence under discussion took place in 1725! It furthermore ignores the statement further on:

It is of special interest that the Patriarchal delegation insisted upon the Anglicans recognizing the Holy Eucharist as being of a sacrificial character, and the introduction of the Epiclesis of the Holy Spirit as necessary for the change of the Holy Elements; also that the wafer bread should be changed for leavened bread, specially prepared, and that the wine should be mixed with water. Despite these, the term Transubstantiation was happily eliminated, as the delegation confined itself to the terms, Change (metapoihsiV) and Transformation (metadoch), by which the true meaning of the term is given and misunderstandings are avoided. (emphasis mine)

And that was much more recent, from 1920.

A wide, non-agendized reading of recent relevant sources will convince that "ousia" here is not intended in the technical Nicene sense, but that "metousiosis" was coined merely to re-emphasize the genuine "Real Presence" in Orthodox teaching in the face of Calvinist elements within the Church. To not even mention this is disingenuous at best, dishonest at worst, and clearly not NPOV. 192.31.106.35 (talk) 23:50, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

I Agree. If this article is truly on a term used in Eastern theology (metousiosis), why is it constantly drawing comparisons to Roman Catholic theology? Why is there a link to a Catholic apologetic site, in an article which is dedicated to explaining the term metousiosis? How, for example, is the last paragraph, trying to show accord between the Eastern understanding of the Eucharistic change and what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says on the same subject, relevant to the topic at hand? Furthermore, why does it ignore several Orthodox theologians like John Meyendorff, and Kalistos Ware, who show that Eastern Orthodoxy has distanced itself from the Aristotelian implications of the term? This article seems to have an underlying agenda to sell, that the concepts of metousiosis and transubstantiation are the same. If making comparisons is so important, then why not change this article so that it simply presents the Orthodox teaching of metousiosis, and then let the reader judge for himself how similar the two teachings are? That seems to me to be a most sensible suggestion. --98.198.227.241 (talk) 21:08, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
This article should be merged with Transubstantiation, giving the Eastern Orthodox view of the concept. Μετουσίωσις (μετουσίωση in demotic Greek, the present official form of modern Greek) is simply the Greek for "transubstantiation".[11][12][13][14]. Same result using ImTranslator.netTranslation Services USA. I know of no Eastern Orthodox document that rejects "transubstantiation" and accepts "μετουσίωσις/μετουσίωση". I cannot even imagine such a document. Esoglou (talk) 06:44, 16 May 2012 (UTC)