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Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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CHRISTOLOGY

The scientific study of the person of Jesus Christ and especially the mystery of the union in Christ of the divine and human natures. While Christology had been widely studied since patristic times, it was mainly since the Reformation that rival Christologies have arisen in the Western world. Allowing for many variations, the Christology of Lutheranism tends to be Apollinarist, with its strong emphasis on the unity of Christ's person and its claims (since Luther's time) that Christ assumed a humanity in the sense that he rarely manifested his divinity. Calvinist or Reformed Christology tends to so stress the difference between the divine and human in Christ as to verge on Nestorianism. Outside these traditions, Protestant Christology so redefines Christ's divinity that Jesus becomes merely the "Man from Nazareth." Roman Catholic Christology, as taught by the Church's magisterium, adheres firmly to the doctrine of the early ecumenical councils of Nicaea, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. (Etym. Greek Christos, Christ + logia, science, knowledge.)