Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter

ISBN : 9780199827954

Stephen H. Webb
368 Pages
163 x 238 mm
Pub date
Jan 2012
Send mail

In this groundbreaking study, Stephen H. Webb offers a new theological understanding of the material and spiritual: that, far from being contradictory, they unite in the very stuff of the eternal Jesus Christ. Accepting matter as a perfection (or predicate) of the divine requires a rethinking of the immateriality of God, the doctrine of creation out of nothing, the Chalcedonian formula of the person of Christ, and the analogical nature of religious language. It also requires a careful reconsideration of Augustine's appropriation of the Neo-Platonic understanding of divine incorporeality as well as Origen's rejection of anthropomorphism. Webb locates his position in contrast to evolutionary theories of emergent materialism and the popular idea that the world is God's body. He draws on a little known theological position known as the "heavenly flesh" Christology, investigates the many misunderstandings of its origins and relation to the Monophysite movement, and supplements it with retrievals of Duns Scotus, Caspar Scwenckfeld and Eastern Orthodox reflections on the transfiguration. Also included in Webb's study are discussions of classical figures like Barth and Aquinas as well as more recent theological proposals from Bruce McCormack, David Hart, and Colin Gunton. Perhaps most provocatively, the book argues that Mormonism provides the most challenging, urgent, and potentially rewarding source for metaphysical renewal today. Webb's concept of Christian materialism challenges traditional Christian common sense, and aims to show the way to a more metaphysically sound orthodoxy.


Chapter 1: Thinking with Matter
Chapter 2: A Brief History of the Metaphysics of Matter
Chapter 3: Binding Matter, Unbinding God
Chapter 4: The New Consensus about Anthropomorphism and God
Chapter 5: What Flesh is This?
Chapter 6: More Resources: Scotus, Schwenckfeld, and the Transfiguration
Chapter 7: Thomas Aquinas on Relations, Personhood, and Matter
Chapter 8: Karl Barth's Christological Metaphysics
Chapter 9: Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints
Chapter 10: A Conclusion by Way of a Metaphysical Beginning

About the author: 

Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Wabash College

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.