Download Christian History: An Introduction by Alister E. McGrath PDF

By Alister E. McGrath

A tremendous new creation to the worldwide historical past of Christianity, written by way of one of many world's major theologians and writer of diverse bestselling textbooks. presents a very international evaluate via exploring the advance of Christianity and similar concerns in Asia, Latin the US and Africa, and never simply concentrating on Western issues Spanning greater than millennia and mixing components of theology, heritage, and tradition, it strains the improvement of all 3 branches of Christianity - Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox - offering context to Christianity's origins and its hyperlinks to Judaism seems past denominational historical past at Christianity's impression on contributors, society, politics, and highbrow proposal, in addition to on artwork, structure, and the common sciences Combines McGrath's acute ancient sensibility with ambitious organizational ability, breaking the cloth down into available, self-contained old sessions bargains an available and student-oriented textual content, assuming very little strengthen theological or historic wisdom at the a part of the reader

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Additional info for Christian History: An Introduction

Sample text

But Athanasius will not allow that the lÞgoB itself progressed. Indeed, he explicitly identifies the problem, as he sees it, with ascribing progress to the Word: ‘‘If he advanced when he became man, it is clear that, before he became man, he was imperfect’’ (¼telcB)15—precisely the Arians’ point. 18 But if the Incarnate Word progressed at all, it was only christus proficiens? 27 in this limited physical sense. Athanasius’s basic point, however, is that the human body was a mere vehicle or instrument for the gradual revelation of the wisdom of the lÞgoB.

Even the early Thomas will go only this far. Twenty years later, as he wrote the Tertia Pars of the Summa, Thomas would stake out a much different position, one selfconsciously defining itself over and against his earlier opinion and that of his mendicant contemporaries and teachers. 58 But now he moves to criticize the argument that Christ’s acquired knowledge could not increase in essence: Therefore, if beyond the infused habit of knowledge, there were not as well a habit of acquired knowledge in the soul of Christ (which is what some people think and what I myself once thought), none of Christ’s knowledge would have increased in essence [secundum suam essentiam] but only by experience [sed solum per experientiam], that is, by comparing the infused intelligible species to sensible images [ phantasmata].

It followed, for the Arians, that it was the divine lÞgoB, not the human soul, which experienced the pÀyoB registered so voluminously in the New Testament. ’’8 It was this reading of the gospel text, along with others like it, that awoke Athanasius from his dogmatic slumbers. Paradoxically, the nature of Athanasius’s refutation of the Arian interpretation of Luke 2:52 depends on an anthropological assumption he shares with his heretical archenemies. Like the Arians, Athanasius (d. , the body—of the Incarnate Word, the lack of a human soul will make this exegetical strategy awkward.

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