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In Defense of Conciliar Christology

Timothy Pawl

Published in print March 2016 | ISBN: 9780198765929
Published online April 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191820618 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198765929.001.0001

Series: Oxford Studies In Analytic Theology

In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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Is there a good philosophical argument for the conclusion that the Christology taught in the first seven Ecumenical Councils—the traditional doctrine of the incarnation of the Christian Church—is false, or inconsistent, or incoherent? Is it impossible for one person to be both immutable and mutable, or impassible and passible, as the conciliar documents claim of Jesus Christ? Is it impossible for one person to be both God and man? Is it impossible for one person to have two natures, or two wills, or two minds? This book, a work of Analytic Theology, considers arguments from both philosophers and theologians who take the answers to these questions to be “yes.” The conclusion drawn in this book is that none of those philosophers’ or theologians’ arguments succeed. The book begins by presenting the Christology of those first seven Ecumenical Councils, Conciliar Christology. It then, in Chapters 2 and 3, presents the definitions of important terms in the debate (e.g., Person; Nature) and a helpful metaphysics for understanding the incarnation. In the remaining six chapters, the book presents objections and replies to Conciliar Christology. Chapters 4–7 consider the fundamental philosophical problem facing Christology—how can one thing be both God and man, when anything deserving to be called “God” must have certain attributes, and yet nothing that can aptly be called man can have those same attributes. The book considers fifteen potential responses to this objection. Finally, in Chapters 8 and 9 the book presents two further philosophical objections to Conciliar Christology.

Keywords: Conciliar Christology; Ecumenical Council; defense; analytic methodology; philosophical objection

Book.  272 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology ; Philosophy of Religion

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Table of Contents

Introduction in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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The Theory Enfleshed in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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The Fundamental Problem in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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Denying the Predications in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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Denying “In the Same Way” in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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Denying the Incompatibility in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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Number Troubles in In Defense of Conciliar Christology

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