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245 Conclusion This study set out to contribute to existing literature in the field of medieval Christology. This examination of the writings of seven mendicant authors attempted to show not only their teachings regarding Christ’s transfiguration, but also where those teachings occurred and how they compared to one another. Researching each author individually has shed light on the Christology, exegesis, and spirituality of the thirteenth century. Examining their reflections on Christ’s transfiguration collectively, as found in several genres of scholastic literature, has allowed their full teaching to emerge. In the case of some authors, such as Alexander of Hales, an examination of disputed questions and biblical commentaries proved to be not that insightful; for others, however , especially Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas, this comparative study has produced many insights, since the genre of literature conditions , at least to some extent, what aspects of the transfiguration these authors reflect on.Also, if the research focus had remained only on the usual scholastic genres, such as the summa and the Sentences commentary , the notable interpretations of Christ’s transfiguration by Hugh of St. Cher and Bonaventure would have been omitted. Incorporating as many genres of scholastic literature as possible and studying several authors within a brief time period has allowed important questions and concerns regarding Christ’s transfiguration in the thirteenth century to emerge. Also, the chronological approach pursued here allows for comparisons not only between authors but also between the generations of theologians. Before summarizing the particular contributions of each author, something must be said about the scholastic exploration of Christ’s transfiguration in general. The most important development regarding 246 Conclusion the discussion of Christ’s transfiguration during this period is, quite simply, that it is discussed at all. The non-exegetical genres of scholastic literature in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries barely touch on it, and it is discussed only infrequently in scholastic theology after 1280. When one thinks of Christ’s transfiguration, the profound theological reflections of Eastern Christianity immediately come to mind, and for good reason. In general, Western medieval scholastic theology reflected little on Christ’s transfiguration; and yet, in this small window , between roughly 1230 and 1280, several mendicant theologians worked on explicating the meaning and significance of this beautiful and indeed perplexing event of Christ’s life. Aside from the spiritual significance of the transfiguration, these theologians wished to address a number of important questions that pertained directly to Christ and the importance of His earthly life. If Christ was truly human, how could He be transfigured? Does that not compromise His full humanity ? And what is transfiguration anyway? Would this event not compromise the truth of His passible human nature? Were His passion and death only an illusion? Why did the transfiguration occur when and where it did? And why were only Peter, James, and John invited to witness this marvelous event? How could anyone know that it was really Moses and Elijah who were present with Christ? And how does the condition of transfiguration relate to the resurrection? Many of these questions were asked, although not always in these terms, in the non-exegetical genres of scholastic literature. Some questions , however, were more central than others. The common questions, which arise in the summae, Sentences commentaries, and disputed questions include the meaning of the word,“transfiguration,” the relationship between Christ’s glory or clarity at the transfiguration and after the resurrection, and the role of the hypostatic union in providing Christ’s glory or clarity. The last question is the one that provides the foundation for the others, because it establishes how the supernatural qualities manifested by Christ in His earthly life are compatible with His passible human nature. Answering this question also helps to explain how Christ could have radiated light before His death, while choosing not to do so after His resurrection. The theology of Thomas Aquinas is especially helpful in this regard, not only because of his Conclusion  247 use of fittingness arguments (e.g., why it was fitting to manifest clarity during the transfiguration, while manifesting other qualities after the resurrection), but also because of the way he uses “dispensation” as a category to explain the simultaneity of beatific vision and the“coassumed defects” that allow Him to achieve His purpose of suffering and dying for humanity. In addition to the more speculative dimensions of the transfiguration , which relate to the various theologies of the hypostatic union in the thirteenth century, there is a...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813218984
Related ISBN
9780813217956
MARC Record
OCLC
721877111
Pages
266
Launched on MUSE
2013-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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