Verus Filius Dei Incarnatus : the christologies of Paulinus II of Aquileia, Benedict of Aniane, and Agobard of Lyon in the context of the Felician controversy
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This thesis evaluates the claims of some modern scholars who have contended that the response of the Carolingians to Hispanic Felicianism, by assuming Chalcedonian parameters, is misplaced and based on a problematic misreading of Felician Christology. I agree with the general defence of the Felician Christology offered by John Cavadini, but argue that his conclusion, that because Pope Hadrian and Alcuin misrepresented Felicianism the allegation of Nestorianism does not hold, should be rejected. An analysis of Iberian Christological sources antedating the Felician controversy will be used to demonstrate that the Spanish theological tradition highly valued the Chalcedonian position. This, then, clears the way to argue that the Carolingian’s Chalcedonian approach to the Felicians is quite warranted. The interactions of Paulinus and Benedict with Felicianism elucidate that they substantially understood Felician Christology but that an accusation of Nestorianism nevertheless holds. Moreover, the intimate knowledge of Felicianism also becomes evident in the fact that, for Paulinus and Benedict, Felicianism could also be understood as a form of Arianism. However, Agobard’s work shows that Felicianism around 818 is more unambiguously Nestorian. Regarding the Carolingians’ own Christologies, this thesis suggests that a Neo-Chalcedonian reading of Chalcedon inspired their Christological programme and that attempts are made to unite this Cyrillian description and understanding of Christ with the sensibilities of those in the West. It highlights and discusses the idiosyncracies of each thinker in their own right and shows how these particular methods are employed to counter the Felician notion that Christ, secundum humanitatem, should be considered as an adoptivus Filius Dei.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2024-08-29
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 29th August 2024
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