From the beginning of the twentieth century monographs on the incarnation, or belief that the Son/Word of God personally assumed a fully human existence at the time of Emperor Augustus, have appeared at regular intervals. In particular, since the Second World War ended in 1945, this central Christian doctrine has been examined and expounded by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Barth, G. S. Hendry, John Hick, Bernard Lonergan, W. R. Matthews, Jürgen Moltmann. T. V. Morris, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Norman Pittenger, Karl Rahner, Paul Tillich, T. F. Torrance, and others. Biblical and historical studies by such writers as J. D. G. Dunn, Alois Grillmeier, Richard Hanson, J. N. D. Kelly, C. F. D. Moule, Jaroslav Pelikan, and Rowan Williams have enriched scholarly appreciation of the origins and development of belief in the incarnation.
Theological reflection on the incarnation could be enhanced by more symposia, especially those of an interdisciplinary character. But, to say the least, there have not been many such symposia. A collaborative work edited by John Hick, The Myth of God Incarnate (London: SCM Press, 1977) was a welcome exception. Its sequel, edited by Michael Goulder, Incarnation and Myth: The Debate Continued (London: SCM Press, 1979) proved an even more fruitful and stringent interchange. Over twenty years later, at the start of the third millennium, it seemed worthwhile gathering experts in a variety of disciplines (biblical studies, ancient Christian writers, ancient Jewish writers, theology, philosophy, preaching, literature, and the fine arts) from three continents to explore collaboratively the incarnation. Hence we brought together twenty-one other specialists, many of whom have already published works on different aspects of the specific Christian belief in the incarnation. We managed to secure papers, sometimes more than one paper, in all these fields.
To promote advance discussion and establish stronger connecting