St John of Damascus and the Incarnation

Filed under: riflessioni — Paolo Porsia @ 8:42 AM

Eclectic Orthodoxy

“John Damascene’s presentation of the Incarnation,” writes Charles  Twombly, “is insistent at the outset on two claims: Christ’s human nature is real and complete; and the person of the united humanity and divinity is God and not a human or a combined God-human” (Perichoresis and Personhood, p. 60). These two claims raise a host of interesting questions, competently, albeit briefly, analyzed by Twombly. Two in particular deserve mention.

(1) How is the integrity of the divine and human natures of Christ preserved?

The Council of Chalcedon appealed to the notion of union, asserting that the incarnate Christ is to be “acknowledged in two natures which undergo no confusion, no change, no division, no separation”; but many found the decree ambiguous and vulnerable to a Nestorian reading. The Second Council of Constantinople sought to provide the necessary clarification by dogmatically declaring that the hypostasis of the incarnate Christ is identical to the…

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