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The Meaning of Perichoresis

Slobodan Stamatović
Published Online: 2016-05-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0026


Perichoresis is an old theological concept that is eliciting great interest today, but nevertheless it is felt there is still not enough clarity about the very meaning of the word, especially about the semantic connection between the verb περιχωρέω and the noun περιχώρησις. The main goal of this paper is to shed light precisely on this semantic ground of the notion, and for this purpose we have investigated the meaning of the verb περιχωρέω showing that there is a good reason for lexicographic division of περιχωρέω into two separate verbs. Applying the findings of our philological research, we have also expounded the original patristic conception of perichoresis which, in some important aspects, has appeared to differ from the approaches dominant in Western theology from the Middle Ages to our own day.

Keywords: perichoresis; inexistence; permeation; penetration; John of Damascus; Gregory of Nazianzus


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About the article

Received: 2015-12-12

Accepted: 2016-02-24

Published Online: 2016-05-09

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 2, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2016-0026.

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©2016 Slobodan Stamatović. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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