Wednesday, September 27, 2006

P.S. The "Person" ...

Following on the previous post, a word about the mystery alluded to there.

The person is a synonym for neither the self, nor the body, nor the soul; rather it is the synthesis of them that occurs in relationship to an other. The mystery of the person is the mystery of consubstantiality. A person in the full Christian sense of the term is someone who is mysteriously consubstantial with another, whose identity cannot be reckoned except by reference to this other. This is where Trinitarian theology and Christological anthropology meet. One's identity can never find bedrock in oneself, and the whole business of the "identity crisis," about which so much ink was spilled in the latter decades of the 20th century, is testimony to this fact. One's identity is commensurate with the "ontological density" (Henri de Lubac's marvelous phrase) of the other with whom one's life is con-substantial. This is a subject on which it will be necessary to spill a good deal more ink in due course.

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