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What is Christology?

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  • Written By: Klaus Strasser
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2016
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In general, Christology is the study of the nature and essence of Jesus Christ. It is a distinct field of Christian theology. One of the main questions of Christology is how Jesus Christ could be both human and divine at the same time, otherwise known as the Incarnation. Other Christological topics include the question of the Resurrection and Christ's precise relation to the Holy Trinity.

Some of the early Christological problems involved the nature of the relation of Christ to God. It raised questions for some people, such as 'if Christ was a human being, how was it possible that he was also divine?' Many solutions to this query were offered, such as the Gnostic interpretation, which suggested that the physical body of Christ was only an illusory form produced by a higher spiritual essence. This interpretation is known as Docetism. In contrast, other interpretations, such as the classical Eastern Orthodox perspective, believed that Christ was both entirely human and entirely divine.

According to such disagreements concerning the nature of Christ, The First Council of Nicea was held in 325. This was one of the first assemblies of bishops in which Christology was rigorously debated. One of the objectives of the Council was to determine the nature of Christ as the Apostles described it. At this meeting, the unified Christian doctrine known as the Creed of Nicea was formulated. It established the divinity of Christ, identifying him directly with God.

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Despite the Creed of Nicea, theologians continued to investigate the dual humanity and divinity of Christ. Many types of solution were offered by various theologians and christologists. One example is the concept of metaxu, which is a Platonic term, used by Russian Orthodox theologians of the Silver Age, to explain the nature of Christ. Metaxu can be translated as resonance communication, and basically means that divinity and the world are related, while also separated. For these theologians, Christ was generally thought to be the incarnation of metaxu.

Other approaches to Christology have been used to make arguments in favor of atheism. For example, the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek accepts the dual divinity and humanity of Christ, but uses this to show that God does not exist. Following the writer G.K. Chesterton, the crucial moment in Žižek’s Christology is when Christ is crucified and says, 'My God, why hast thou forsaken me?.' According to Žižek, since Christ is God, this means that God does not believe in himself. Thus, for Žižek the significance of Christology and the Christian religion is that it is the first religion in which God denies his own existence.

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CarrotIsland
Post 2

@PurpleSpark- Gnostic people believe that the world was not created by God. They believe the demiurge created the physical universe. The Gnostic people belief system is more metaphysical. However, they believe that there is a God, but in a mystical way. They believe that demiurge is stronger than God is.

PurpleSpark
Post 1

I have heard of the term Gnostic but I really don’t have a clear understanding of what it means. Can anyone explain it?

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