Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter
By: Stephen H. Webb (author)Hardback
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In this groundbreaking study, Stephen H. Webb offers a new theological understanding of the material and spiritual: that, far from being contradictory, they unite in the very stuff of the eternal Jesus Christ. Accepting matter as a perfection (or predicate) of the divine requires a rethinking of the immateriality of God, the doctrine of creation out of nothing, the Chalcedonian formula of the person of Christ, and the analogical nature of religious language. It also requires a careful reconsideration of Augustine's appropriation of the Neo-Platonic understanding of divine incorporeality as well as Origen's rejection of anthropomorphism. Webb locates his position in contrast to evolutionary theories of emergent materialism and the popular idea that the world is God's body. He draws on a little known theological position known as the "heavenly flesh" Christology, investigates the many misunderstandings of its origins and relation to the Monophysite movement, and supplements it with retrievals of Duns Scotus, Caspar Scwenckfeld and Eastern Orthodox reflections on the transfiguration.
Also included in Webb's study are discussions of classical figures like Barth and Aquinas as well as more recent theological proposals from Bruce McCormack, David Hart, and Colin Gunton. Perhaps most provocatively, the book argues that Mormonism provides the most challenging, urgent, and potentially rewarding source for metaphysical renewal today. Webb's concept of Christian materialism challenges traditional Christian common sense, and aims to show the way to a more metaphysically sound orthodoxy.
Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Wabash College
Introduction ; Chapter 1: Thinking with Matter ; Chapter 2: A Brief History of the Metaphysics of Matter ; Chapter 3: Binding Matter, Unbinding God ; Chapter 4: The New Consensus about Anthropomorphism and God ; Chapter 5: What Flesh is This? ; Chapter 6: More Resources: Scotus, Schwenckfeld, and the Transfiguration ; Chapter 7: Thomas Aquinas on Relations, Personhood, and Matter ; Chapter 8: Karl Barth's Christological Metaphysics ; Chapter 9: Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints ; Chapter 10: A Conclusion by Way of a Metaphysical Beginning
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- ID: 9780199827954
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