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Author Topic: Do the Eastern Orthodox believe that Christ's humanity was incorruptible?  (Read 794 times) Average Rating: 0
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Matthew777
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« on: December 23, 2006, 10:09:39 PM »

Do Eastern Orthodox Christians hold to the doctrine of Julian, that the body of Christ was incorruptible before His resurrection?

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Julian claimed that the flesh of Christ was incorruptible from the moment of conception. Julian was opposed to Eutyches but his line of thought led him in a similar direction — indeed, similar to Apollinarius Julian viewed the controversy in terms of Christ’s susceptibility to human sin. In maintaining that Christ’s flesh was incorruptible — Julian became the principal spokesman of aphthartodocetism — Christ’s passion and death were real but were the result of a free and completely volition act of his will — a freedom of action which allowed Christ to confer passivity on his naturally incorruptible flesh. In addition to his letters to Severus on this subject, Julian wrote four works against the position of Severus, numerous fragments of which have survived in Syriac and Greek. Julian’s vision is based on his doctrine of original sin, a doctrine not completely different in nature from that of St. Augustine. For Julian the sexual act was the vehicle through which sin and corruption, the complete corruption of the human body and flesh, were transmitted from generation to generation. Severus’s view was different. He argued that the flesh is not the source of sin (Homily123; Homily 75; Homily 68). Although he maintained that virginity was better, Severus spoke out strongly for the blessed nature of marriage. In Homily 121 Severus writes that there is nothing more loved by God than "the union of flesh in marriage, from which union likewise comes the love for children." This is in reference to his comparison of the union of the soul and Christ. He even claims that if a better analogy had been possible, then the Gospels would have used it. Severus refuses to equate the original sin with sex (Homily 119), even claiming that the flesh or body participates in the joy and pleasure of the soul’s contemplation — theoria — to the extent that even "the bones of man" are penetrated by it. Even prior to his controversy with Julian Severus had argued against Eutyches in Homily 63 that the flesh is not defiled by nature but by sin and sin comes forth from the soul or mind of man, not from die body. Hence, in his Incarnation God the Logos was in no way defiled, soiled, or touched by sin. The belief of the indestructibleness and incorruptibility of the flesh became the central focus of the Julianists, who were given the name of Aphthartodocetists and Fantasiasts by their opponents. The followers of Julian applied the word Phthartolartians to the followers of Severus. For Julian redemption was uncertain if God the Logos assumed a body that was subject to corruption.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/fathers_florovsky_3.htm#_Toc47795029

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The Julianists upheld the incorruptibility of the Body of Christ, meaning that Christ was not naturally subject to the ordinary wants of hunger, thirst, weariness, etc., nor to pain, but that He assumed them of His free will for our sakes. They admitted that He is "consubstantial with us", against Eutyches, yet they were accused by the Severians of Eutychianism, Manichaeism, and Docetism, and were nicknamed Phantasiasts, Aphthartodocetae, or Incorrupticolae...

Justinian, who in his old age turned more than ever to the desire of conciliating the Monophysites (in spite of his failure to please them by condemning the "three chapters"), was probably led to favour Julian because he was the opponent of Severus, who was universally regarded as the great foe of orthodoxy. The emperor issued in edict in 565 making the "incorruptibility" an obligatory doctrine, in spite of the fact that Julian had been anathematized by a council of Constantinople in 536, at which date he had probably been dead for some years.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10489b.htm

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« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 11:37:30 PM by Matthew777 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 11:26:05 PM »

Is anyone familiar with Julianism in the first place? It's possible to be a Julianist without even knowing it.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 11:31:22 PM »

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Is anyone familiar with Julianism in the first place?

Fwiw, I've never heard of it before tonight* (which is strange, because I've read some on Justinian). What I can say is that I don't know any Orthodox who believe the type of stuff you quoted, such as the idea that "Christ was not naturally subject to the ordinary wants of hunger, thirst, weariness, etc." Your Church Fathers seemed rather consistent in their belief that the "garments of skin" in the genesis creation myth signified things like hunger, waste removal, etc., and Jesus being "fully man" (except for sin) meant that he too would have the same human failings as the rest of us.


*Though come to think of it, EKA might have mentioned it in passing on one of the OO threads.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 11:32:06 PM by Asteriktos » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2006, 11:36:52 PM »

Do the Eastern Orthodox believe that all of Christ's sufferings and temptations were completely voluntary in that He willed it to be allowed to happen to Him, even though these things were not natural for Him as an uncorrupt man? If Christ's human nature was incorruptible, how can it be said that He is consubstantial with us?

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