Chalcedon, Brian Daley, God Visible
The historical accounts of early Christian understandings of Jesus typically fall into two major approaches. The first approach is teleological. According to this approach, a particular Christological formulation, most frequently associated with the Chalcedonian Definition, is presented as anticipated by the earlier Christian theologians and elaborated by later authors. When the Chalcedonian Definition serves as the target formulation, earlier Christological proposals are interpreted and evaluated in light of how closely they approximate (or how far they depart from) the Christ who is the one person of the Logos in two natures, human and divine. An influential example of the teleological approach is Aloys Grillmeier’s taxonomy of Logos/sarx and Logos/anthropos Christologies, which the German scholar deployed as a grid for interpreting all patristic accounts of Jesus, and their respective strengths and weaknesses. In this taxonomy, the Logos/sarx Christology captured the unity of Christ’s person, sometimes at the expense of the integrity of his humanity; Logos/anthropos Christology captured the fullness of Christ’s humanity, sometimes at the expense of the unity of his person. Foundational for Grillmeier’s approach was the theological assumption of the normativity and teleological importance of the Chalcedonian Definition.
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