Człowiek jako stworzenie Boże w teologicznej refleksji Christosa Yannarasa

Krzysztof Leśniewski


The mystery of human being as a creature of God has been explored by many generations of philosophers and theologians. This article is an attempt to analyze of the some aspects of anthropological thought of famous contemporary Greek thinker – Christos Yannaras.

The starting point is a depiction of the creation of human being as an act of God. His love constitutes man as an existential event of personal communion and relationship and a partaker in the freedom of love which is true life.

The second part of the article relates to the issue of God’s image in human being. The Greek Fathers interpreted the image of God in humanity trying to avoid dualistic and monistic conceptual definitions. The patristic interpretation sums up the truth of the words “in the image” in the triadic character of personal energies (mind, reason, spirit) or in the “sovereignty” and “self-‑determination” which sum up the ontological differentiation of the person with regard to nature.

The distinction between the sexes, namely the differentiation of man and woman, in relation to the image of God has been examined in the third part of the article. From the biblical narrative of man’s creation follows that man should realize life as communion with the other sex and it is the way for human life to be constituted in new personal hypostases and to have dominion over the earth (Gen 1:28). The distinction of sexes does not function in man as it functions in the animals where it is exclusively subordinate to the natural necessity of propagation. The distinction of the sexes has its foundation in human nature, but it is not identical with this nature, just as it is not to be identified even with the hypostasis of man.

How to understand the reality of soul from the Christian point of view? Some possible answers for this question are presented in the four part of the article. There are many meanings of the word soul in the Bible and in Christian literature. The soul it is often identified in the Old Testament with the manifestation of life on earth, while in the New Testament it appears also as a bearer of eternal life. Today what we call soul is a dynamically effected event, a complex of ceaselessly effected functions which reveal and express the living existence of man. For these functions we use various names: we speak of reason, imagination, judgment, creativity, ability to love, etc.

The final part of the article shows relations between soul and body. Yannaras underlines that soul and body do not determine the mode by which the human person is, but are determined and marked as differentiations of the result of natural energy, that is of the universal-ecstatic reference of the bicomposite essence or nature. Both the body and the soul are energies of human nature. What each specific man is, this inmost I which constitutes him as an existential event, is identified neither with the body nor the soul. The distinction between soul and body refers to the semantic differentiation of the result of natural energy and does not refer to the mode by which humanity is as nature and person.

Słowa kluczowe

Orthodox Anthropology; Christos Yannaras; Image of God; Human Being; the Distinction between the Sexes; the Soul; the Body; Human Nature

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