In Him All Things Cohere: Seeing Jesus as Theological Act Open Access

Heacock Sanders, Kirsten Lynn (2014)

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This dissertation considers the implications of seeing Jesus for doing theology. In the first chapter, I claim that divine transcendence determines what kind of knowledge of God is available. I rely on Thomas Aquinas and Pseudo-Dionysius to identify the possibilities and constraints of speech about God. Chapter 2 traces conciliar developments, from Nicaea to Chalcedon, that clarify Christian speech about Jesus, including affirmation of his two natures and his divine identity. Chapter 3 continues on this historical bent, identifying the Iconoclast controversy as a further discussion concerning Jesus' identity as the divine"Who."In Chapters 4 and 5, I take Julian of Norwich as an example of a theologian working in a "visual" mode. Julian moves from an icon of Jesus to an innovative theological "system"- it is her vision of Jesus that determines what she is willing to say about God.

Table of Contents

I. Chapter 1: An Epistemological Problem with a Christological Answer

a.Introduction: Why We Need a Visual Theology

b. "We See Through a Glass Darkly": Transcendence and Epistemology

c. "We Speak of God as We Know Him": Thomas Aquinas and the Res significata/ modus significandi distinction

i. Further Distinctions: God is Uncreated.

ii. God is Simple.

iii. God is Infinite.

iv. God's Im/Materiality.

v. Perfection Terms.

d. Transcendence and Language: Pseudo-Dionysius

e. Knowing God Christologically

II. Chapter 2: Nicaea, Chalcedon, and the Possibilities of Christology for Seeing Jesus

a. Introduction

b. Nicaea and Christology

i. Soteriology: "Son of God."

ii. Preexistence: "Begotten, Not Made."

c. Identity and Distinction: Homoousios, Non-Identity, and the Road toward Hypostasis

d. Trinity

e. Towards the Chalcedonian Definition

i. Theotokos.

ii. Cyril and Apollinarius.

iii. Hypostasis Revisited.

iv. Chalcedonian Definition.

v. Further Refinements of Language of Person: The Theopaschite Controversy.

III. Chapter 3: Icon Theology a. Introduction

b. Leo III and the First Iconoclasm

c. John of Damascus

i. Incarnation and Material Reality.

ii. The Image and the Archetype.

iii. Images in the Hebrew Bible.

iv. Matter and Hypostatic Union.

d. The Council of Hiereia

e. Theodore the Studite

i. Homoousios.

ii. Hypostasis- Particular versus Universal.

b. A Test Case: Transfiguration and Christological Sight

c. Naturally His Own

d. Conclusion

Chapter 4: Julian and the Coherence of Vision

I. Introduction

II. The Context of Julian's Writing

a. Was Julian a "Mystic"?

b. Julian as Social Theologian

c. Julian as Feminist Theologian

d. Julian's Christological Particularity

III. The Content of Julian's Theology

a. Cruciformity

b. Visions of the Blood

c. Visions of the Body

IV. Conclusion

Chapter 5: Julian's Vision of Coherence

I. Introduction

II. Trinity

III. Creation

IV. Sin

V. Redemption

a. Lord and the Servant I: Adam

b. Lord and the Servant II: Christ as the Second Adam

VI. Conclusion

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