(Greek: hypo, under; histemi, stand)

Literally, that which lies beneath as basis or foundation. During the early Christian centuries the term was frequently used as synonymous with ousia (nature). The distinction between hypostasis and ousia was brought about gradually by the controversies concerning Christ and was definitely established by the Council of Chalcedon (451), which declared that in Christ the two natures are united in one person (hypostasis).

New Catholic Dictionary

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