What is perichoresis?
Question: "What is perichoresis?"
The word “perichoresis” comes from two Greek words, peri, which means “around” and chorea, which means “dance.” Perichoresis is a theological term referring to the mutual indwelling and intersecting of the three persons of the Godhead and, if anything, helps in some ways to better clarify the concept of the Trinity. It is a term that expresses intimacy between the persons of the Godhead.
Perichoresis has been called the “divine dance,” that profound union of Father, Son and Holy Spirit that has gone on since eternity past, goes on now, and will go on forever, except that the dance of eternity will have a select audience—those whom the Father has foreknown, the Son has redeemed, and the Spirit has enlivened and sanctified. Perichoresis is a fellowship of three co-equal beings perfectly embraced in love and harmony and expressing an intimacy that no one can humanly comprehend. The Father loves the Son by means of the Spirit’s procession and the Son loves the Father by the same means. The Spirit loves both the Father and the Son and eternally proceeds from the Father and Son.
John 16:13-15 best expresses perichoresis in terms of God’s glory. Jesus promises His disciples that the Spirit, when He comes, would reveal the truth of the Son to His followers, and this truth is from the Father. Through this process, all three will be glorified. There is nothing that separates the mystical dance of perichoresis, but it can be imagined as a Venn diagram showing three groups or circles intersecting in the center with each circle intersecting the others perfectly and multidimensionally, as they rotate or “dance” about a common center of divine love.
Making Sense of the Trinity: Three Crucial Questions by Millard Erickson and The Forgotten Trinity by James White and Logos Bible Software.
While he is not the author of every article on GotQuestions.org, for citation purposes, you may reference our CEO, S. Michael Houdmann.
What is theosis?
What is the Godhead?
Will we be able to see all three members of the Trinity in Heaven?
What is the filioque clause / filioque controversy?
What does the Bible teach about the Trinity?
Questions about Theology
What is perichoresis?