Volume 22, Issue 1, Spring 2017
A Reconstruction of John the Grammarian’s Account of Substance in Terms of Enhypostaton
The concept of enhypostaton was introduced into theological discourse during the sixth-century Christological debates, and aimed to elucidate the orthodox doctrine of the unity of two natures in the singular hypostasis of Christ. In spite of the fact that the conceptual content of the term is recognized by contemporary scholarship as pertaining to the core of Christology, the notion of enhypostaton is often described as obscure and not clearly defined. The coining of the term is often ascribed to Leontius of Byzantium, whereas in fact he only followed and developed solutions already introduced into Christological discourse by John the Grammarian. The article aims to clarify the notion by offering a philosophical account of the meaning and theoretical origins of “enhypostaton,” as introduced by John the Grammarian in the context of his discussion of substance as en-hypostatical being. Enhypostaton emerges as the proper way of describing the ontological complements of a particular entity. This seems to be a significant development in the philosophical explanation of substance.