1. bookVolume 11 (2019): Issue 3 (December 2019)
Journal Details
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Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
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3 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

A Novel Use of the Body-Soul Comparison Emerges in Neochalcedonian Christology

Published Online: 21 Jan 2020
Page range: 363 - 390
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English

Comparing the union of Christ’s two natures to the body-soul union in a human being was a typical way among patristic authors to conceive the Incarnation. I argue that a novel use of the comparison emerged among Neochalcedonian theologians, esp. Leontius of Byzantium and Maximus Confessor. Their novelty lay in the concurrent refinement of the nature-hypostasis distinction required by Chalcedon. That refinement – particularly the shift from conceiving natures as self-subsistent to subsistent only in hypostases – opened unprecedented ways to make the anthropological comparison. Now there was a new, univocal tertium comparationis between Christ and the human being: in each case it’s a hypostasis alone that makes two distinct natures really one. Neochalcedonian novelty supports the broader thesis that post-Chalcedonian Christology had profound impact on philosophy (cf. Johannes Zachhuber). In this case, Neochalcedonian Christology granted far greater insight into the fundamental mystery of the human person.

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