The person both as a concept and as a living reality is purely the product of patristic thought.1

The first half of this claim is the main concern of my current book project, but the second half is more interesting, although it requires a little explaining. I take Zizioulas to mean that, although we are individual humans automatically, being a fully fledged person is something we must grow into as we come into deeper and deeper communion with God, so the “living reality” of being a person must come from Christianity. But can we really say that this living reality is “purely the product of patristic thought”? As much as I like the Fathers, this doesn’t seem quite right. Perhaps better to say, “purely the product of the Faith expressed in patristic thought”?


  1. John Zizioulas, Being as Communion (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1997), 27.