Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ

Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ

Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ

Ecce Homo: On the Divine Unity of Christ

Synopsis

Interacting with theologians throughout the ages, Riches narrates the development of the church's doctrine of Christ as an increasingly profound realization that the depth of the difference between the human being and God is realized, in fact, only in the perfect union of divinity and humanity in the one Christ. He sets the apostolic proclamation in its historical, theological, philosophical, and mystical context, showing that, as the starting point of "orthodoxy," it forecloses every theological attempt to divide or reduce the "one Lord Jesus Christ."

Excerpt

Nothing is more fundamental in Christian theology than clarifying what we say and believe about Jesus Christ; if we fail to do this as we should, everything else collapses into confusion — our doctrine of God, our understanding of the church and its sacraments, our commitment to a level of universal human dignity and capacity beyond our imagining, our approach to prayer and contemplation. It is not all that surprising that in a period of general theological transition and diversity in all the churches, some of the depths and subtleties of classical reflection on Christology have been missed. Recent generations have grown up with a vague sense of the inadequacy of this tradition — a sense that it is unhelpfully dominated by “Greek metaphysics” or that it fails to do justice to the humanity of Jesus. the result has been that the close interconnection of classical Christological thinking with all these other areas of our reflective faith has often been missed or understated. the time is ripe for a scholarly survey that pulls these themes back together on the basis of careful and sympathetic study of the tradition and its development, so that the faith of God’s people may be more richly resourced.

And this is what Aaron Riches’ excellent survey offers. He expounds with clarity the way in which the fifth-century doctrinal formulations took shape, follows through their development in the Middle Ages, and provides a very helpful orientation to some of the debates of the last century. His narrative gently dismisses the clichés that surround the subject and opens up some of the depths implicit in the confession of “one Lord Jesus Christ” (not least in some fresh and illuminating thoughts about the implications for what we say concerning Mary the Mother of God). This book is a truly valuable and fresh introduction to the wellspring of all Christian thinking and praying, a witness to the doctrinal foundation that most profoundly unites Christians, and it is a joy to welcome and commend it.

Rowan Williams

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