Communicatio Idiomatum: Reformation Christological Debates
Stock No: WW846970
Communicatio Idiomatum: Reformation Christological Debates  -     By: Richard Cross

Communicatio Idiomatum: Reformation Christological Debates

Oxford University Press / 2019 / Hardcover

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Product Information

Title: Communicatio Idiomatum: Reformation Christological Debates
By: Richard Cross
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2019
Weight: 1 pound 5 ounces
ISBN: 0198846975
ISBN-13: 9780198846970
Series: Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology
Stock No: WW846970

Publisher's Description

This study offers a radical reinterpretation of the sixteenth-century Christological debates between Lutheran and Reformed theologians on the ascription of divine and human predicates to the person of the incarnate Son of God (the communicatio idiomatum). It does so by close attention to the arguments deployed by the protagonists in the discussion, and to the theologians' metaphysical and semantic assumptions, explicit and implicit. It traces the central contours of the Christological debates, from the discussion between Luther and Zwingli in the 1520s to the Colloquy of Montbeliard in 1586.

Richard Cross shows that Luther's Christology is thoroughly Medieval, and that innovations usually associated with Luther-in particular, that Christ's human nature comes to share in divine attributes-should be ascribed instead to his younger contemporary Johannes Brenz. The discussion is highly sensitive to the differences between the various Luther groups-followers of Brenz, and the different factions aligned in varying ways with Melanchthon-and to the differences between all of these and the Reformed theologians. By locating the Christological discussions in their immediate Medieval background, Cross also provides a comprehensive account of the continuities and discontinuities between the two eras. In these ways, it is shown that the standard interpretations of the Reformation debates on the matter are almost wholly mistaken.

Author Bio


Richard Cross, John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame

Richard Cross has been the John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame since 2007. Prior to this he was Professor of Medieval Theology at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Oriel College. He is the author of books and numerous articles on the history of medieval philosophy and theology.

Editorial Reviews


"Richard Cross' detailed reading of Luther highlights the importance of Christ's human properties like mortality and bodiliness. It thus resembles many Protestant readings and at the same time makes Luther compatible with Catholic or medieval Christology ... Cross's rigorous analysis of what is means for a divine person to have a body or to participate in mortality has theologically important connections with other new historical studies on God and corporeality." -- Risto Saarinen, Ecclesiology


"Readers are indebted to Cross's painstaking reading, reflection and research, the result of which illuminates the pathway -- oft-mysterious and labyrinthine -- toward an augmented understanding of the ontology and theology of the hypostatic union embodied in the eucharist. Cross has shown convincingly that these putatively esoteric and arcane theological debates of the sixteenth-century still have deep resonance in the way the identity and economy of Christ, particularly through the eucharist, is comprehended and participated." -- Paul Chang-Ha Lim, Journal of Ecclesiastical History


"This book will be attractive to any with interest in the intersection of theology and philosophy ... the effort put into engaging with this book will pay dividends in the reader's understanding of Christ and the Reformation discussions." -- James M. Arcadi, Trinity Journal


"Cross presents a new and challenging narrative of the understanding of Christology in the Reformation, which recasts our understanding of the progression of these debates and their significance." -- K. J. Drake, International Journal of Systematic Theology


"This book is a rigorous analysis of the semantic and metaphysical christological proposals of key thinkers in this century." -- James M. Arcadi, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Trinity Journal


"In sum, this is a remarkable book." -- Thomas Haviland-Pabst, Criswell Theological Review


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