THE DEFENSE OF CHALCEDON IN THE 6TH CENTURY: THE DOCTRINE OF "HYPOSTASIS" AND DEIFICATION IN THE CHRISTOLOGY OF LEONTIUS OF JERUSALEM

KENNETH WARREN WESCHE, Fordham University

Abstract

The thesis considers how Leontius' christology bears primarily on the problem of the integrity of Christ's human nature in its union with the Divine Logos. The problem is made acute by the fact that not only has the Christ no human hypostasis but Leontius maintains that the properties of the human nature accrue to the divine hypostasis of the Logos. How can the human nature avoid absorption into the divine if it is not protected from the divine nature by its own human hypostasis? And, if the properties of the human nature accrue to a divine and not a human hypostasis, is not the human nature at least rendered of little theological significance?^ The solution to the difficulty lies in Leontius' anthropology. Basing itself on primary sources, the thesis proposes that for Leontius, since man possesses a spiritual affinity with God, the human nature may contribute to the divine hypostasis of the Logos its own natural properties, making the Logos incarnate, and the divine hypostasis may contribute to the human nature its own incorruptibility and impassibility without altering in this exchange the natural properties of either nature. Both natures contribute to the other while remaining what they are; and because the Logos is the creator of the human nature, his assumption of the human nature, which involves entering into the human condition of birth and death, can only result in raising it to a superior, divine mode of existence.^ The thesis concludes that Leontius has successfully met the philosophical difficulty posed by the language of Chalcedon and St. Cyril. He has maintained in a coherent way the two concerns represented by Nicea and Chalcedon: that the same Son of God was incarnate, and that the human nature he assumed was complete and was not lost. ^

Subject Area

Theology

Recommended Citation

KENNETH WARREN WESCHE, "THE DEFENSE OF CHALCEDON IN THE 6TH CENTURY: THE DOCTRINE OF "HYPOSTASIS" AND DEIFICATION IN THE CHRISTOLOGY OF LEONTIUS OF JERUSALEM" (January 1, 1986). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8615708.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8615708

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