Karavidopoulos D. Ioannis, Façade and Face according to the Three Hierarchs: Speech on the Feast day of the Three Hierarchs, 30 January 1979, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 1979, pages 26.
This text by I. Karavidopoulos, as attested in the title, was a panegyric speech delivered on the Feast day of the Three Hierarchs. The speech is preceded by a two-page Introduction by the then Chancellor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Nikolaos Konomis.
I. Karavidopoulos examines the personal hypostasis of man, his interpersonal relations and his reference to a transcendental reality. So, it is mainly an anthropological issue and, in this context, the author debates only one aspect of the anthropological thought of the Three Hierarchs: the mechanisms invented by man, consciously or unconsciously, to hide from his own self or from the annoying coexistence of the person next door.
The problematic is developed in two parts. In the first part, the author attempts to construct a “phenomenology” of hypocrisy, always from a theological point of view, by describing man’s façade. In essence, he describes the role man usually plays in life by impersonating very often his own self, not a genuine, but a forged self, estranged from his original authenticity. In this context, the author presents some of the views of the Three Hierarchs regarding hypocrisy and the façades that result from it, in order to show that this is a deeper symptom of the alienation in human life and the forgery of the human face.
The second part presents the theological contribution of the Three Hierarchs to the transcendence of the façade of hypocrisy and the conquest of the real person, which coincides with man’s consummation. The Three Hierarchs, and particularly Vasilios the Great, offered, through the development of their Holy Trinity teaching, a new dimension to the concept of face, since they identified “hypostasis” with “face” and not with the “essence” and particularly emphasized the freedom of face and its meaning. The second part of the book consists of this patristic approach to face and façade through the comparison of the two.