Trends and Transmutations in
In this chapter we shall look at the historical trends and transmutations of christology, down to the difficulties and deadlocks of the present day; and we shall begin by commenting on its biblical identity, its present position, and its therapeutic relevance in each of its phases.1 We shall consider the theme and pattern of the orthodox christology of the ancient church, exploring what it has to say about the constitution of the person of Christ, and looking at its soteriological relevance in a world that was metaphysically interpreted. The ‘turn to anthropology’ in modern European times engendered a fundamentally different christological paradigm — the paradigm of modern liberal ‘Jesuology’, which is christology from an anthropological viewpoint. We shall look at this as we find it in Friedrich Schleiermacher and Karl Rahner, seeing how this new approach views the constitution of Christ’s person, and considering its soteriological relevance in a world that is now reduced to human dimensions. We shall then try to develop the principles of an eschatological christology under the end-time conditions of our present scientific and technological civilization, which this outline hopes to develop. In the past, christology became dogmatically fixed. We shall try to throw it open once more for interpretations of Christ which are related to the present.
Of course no contemporary christology is ever completely new. Every christology is part of a grateful and critical dialogue with the christologies of predecessors and other contemporaries, setting its own tiny accents in this great dialogue about the messianic secret of Jesus Christ. In this chapter we can do no more than consider a few