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Jesus Christ, Eternal GodHeavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter$
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Stephen H. Webb

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827954

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827954.001.0001

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What Flesh Is This?

What Flesh Is This?

(p.97) { 5 } What Flesh Is This?
Jesus Christ, Eternal God

Stephen H. Webb

Oxford University Press

Robert Jenson has argued that Jesus Christ is eternal, and this chapter demonstrates how Heavenly Flesh Christology can honor that claim. Unfortunately, Heavenly Flesh Christology has received little attention in the scholarly literature and even less attention as a possible resource for contemporary reflections on Jesus Christ. The origin of this position is murky, and this chapter seeks that origin by examining the Christologies of Apelles, Apollinaris, Hilary of Poitiers, Cyril of Alexandria, and Eutyches. The Council of Chalcedon is usually interpreted as rejecting Heavenly Flesh Christology, but this chapter raises questions about what the Council Fathers were really worried about. Finally, Heavenly Flesh Christology is often associated with or identified with the Monophysite movement, which has itself been variously interpreted and seriously misunderstood. A proper understanding of Monophysitism requires a rethinking of Heavenly Flesh Christology.

Keywords:   Robert Jenson, Apelles, Apollinaris, Hilary of Poitiers, Cyril of Alexandria, Eutyches, Council of Chalcedon, Monophysite

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