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George Dion Dragas
University of Durham

The Church in St. Maximus' Mystagogy
The Problem and the Orthodox Perspective

From "Theology", no 1, 1985

Chapter 9 : The World, Man, and the Church (12)

The world as visible and invisible, or sensible and intelligible is also an eikon of man as body and soul. This eikonic relationship between the world and man does not only pertain to their constitutive parts, but also to their unity. In other words, the soul is in the body as the intelligible world is in the sensible; and as the first pair is one man, so the second pair is one world. In both cases the natural distinction (η φυσική ετερότης) does not embarrass the hypostatic union (η καθ' υπόστασιν επί τη ενώσει ταυτότης). Their particularity (or peculiarity, ιδιότης) does not prevail against the mystical union, which results in their inherent and friendly congeniality. Here the catholic and unique manner of operation of the invisible and incomprehensible presence of the cause which hold together all in all, keeps everything at once distinct and united by means of a different form in each case, and thus demonstrates that they all belong more to each other than to themselves according to the bond which unifies them. This pattern of the unified existence will prevail till the final moment, when He who tied them up will loosen them on account of a hidden economy. Then the world phenomena will die a death like man's and a new world will arise adapted to the resurrection which man awaits for. Man, as we know him, will be resurrected as part of the whole world, or as a small world bound up with a greater one. and thus he will receive the power to escape corruption. The body will approach the soul, the sensible realities will approach the intelligible ones, both in beauty and brightness, and one Divine power will shine upon each in an appropriate way like an active and sleepless presence, which will preserve by itself the bond of unity indissolubly in the unending ages of ages.


12. cf. Mystagogy ch. 7.

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