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Personhood as Particularity: John Zizioulas, Colin Gunton, and the Trinitarian Theology of Personhood

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One of the dimensions of this paper’s twofold purpose is to examine the validity of John Zizioulas’ definition of personhood as communion, and whether or not this produces a coherent understanding of the ontological relation of ‘being’ and ‘communion.’ The second dimension of this paper’s purpose points to Colin Gunton’s similar attempt at understanding personhood by emphasizing unity-in-particularity, rather than communion alone, in the Trinity. In Gunton’s contribution to this issue, I find both a correction to Zizioulas’ reduction of personhood into mere communion, as well as an invitation for understanding personhood from the angle of an understanding of the notion of ‘hypostasis’ that takes personhood beyond ‘in-communion’ into ‘freedom-in-trans-communion,’ making this last as constitutive of personhood as the first.

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