Religion Past and Present

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(591 words)

[German Version]

In the context of natural sciences (Hippocrates, Aristotle), the Greek word ὑπόστασις/hypóstasis has the meaning “underlayer, support or sediment from a fluid.” The metaphorical philosophical meaning “enduring state,” “existence,” “reality” in contrast to the imaginary (Ocellos; Demetrius Laco) is probably related. In philosophy, the hypostasis concept very closely approximates the ousia concept (Substance). Apparently not in use in the terminology of the Hellenistic schools, hypostasis has meanwhile been distinguished as “percep…

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Erler, Michael, “Hypostasis”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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