Penetrating to the heart of Eunomius’s misunderstanding of the initial formulation advanced by Basil, this article brings an analysis of the fact that the names of the “Father” and the “Son” refer to σχέσις.
If in Basil the revealed names “understood in and of themselves (καθ’ἑαυτὰ) only indicate reciprocal relation (πρὸς ἄλληλα σχέσιν)”, Eunomius doctrinal re-formulation does not allow him to include relation qua talis within the meaning of the relative names. Gregory of Nyssa’s correction of his interpretation is of particular interest not only for Trinitarian theology, but for the development of ontology that derives from it.
In the Pedagogus, Clement explains the reason for the goodness of God by placing it in the disposition (σχέσις) of the Father towards the Logos and the Logos towards the Father (Paed I, 8, 71, 3 and Paed I, 9, 88, 2). The expressions he uses (ἐκ τῆς πρὸς ἄλληλα σχέσεως ἀγάπης and ἡ τῆς ἀγάπης ἐκείνης σχέσις) invite a more precise investigation of the subject. Indeed, the coupling of σχέσις and ἀγάπη is unusual. An investigation of the occurrences of σχέσις in Clement’s work reveals semantic continuity with respect to the philosophical usage and practices of his contemporary Alexander of Aphrodisias, yet also a noteworthy discontinuity. This paper presents an analysis of those occurrences in Clement’s work, emphasizing how the adhesion of his thought to biblical texts facilitates radically new speculation about the being of God.