The Logos-theologians, while vigorously affirming, against the gnostics, the integrity of the human nature assumed by Christ, were less concerned with examining the manner in which divinity and humanity were united in him: Tertullian spoke of two substances united but not confused in Christ’s person, such that each substance keeps its own properties and Christ acts both as man and as God Adv.
Prax. 27,11-12. Origen, who platonically considered human souls, including Christ’s, as preexistent to their respective bodies, to which they were united at the moment of their creation, conceived such a close union, in Christ, of divine Logos and assumed humanity first soul, then body that he formulated the principle of communicatio idiomatum: by virtue of the union, the characteristics of the divinity can be predicated of the man, and the characteristics of the humanity can be predicated of God: In fact we say that the Son of God died by virtue of that nature which could taste death Princ. II,6,3. Best countries to visit in september The conflict between monarchians and Logostheologians continued in the East in the 2nd half of the 3rd and early 4th c.; the latter predominated, but polemical requirements sometimes led them to stress the inferiority of the Logos to the Father Dionysius of Alexandria, even more than Justin, Tertullian and Origen had done.
On the occasion of an important episode in this conflict, the deposition of the adoptionist Paul of Samosata from the see of Antioch 268, we catch our earliest glimpse, among Paul’s mainly Origenian opponents, of the christological conception known as Logossarx flesh, according to which the Logos was incarnate in a human body without a soul, the functions of the soul being assumed by the Logos itself. The origin of this christological conception is obscured by lack of evidence: given the rapid reaction of Alexandrian circles against the Origenian doctrine of the preexistence of souls and so also of Christ’s before bodies, it is possible that this was carried so far as to deny even the presence of a soul in Christ.
In any case, there is no doubt that the roots of this doctrine lay in the undervaluing of the importance of Christ’s humanity compared to his divinity, which was a constant of Alexandrian = Origenian Christology. In fact the Logossarx Christology spread in the areas dominated by Alexandrian influence Egypt, Palestine, part of Asia Minor, while in Syria and elsewhere it came into conflict with the Christology of Asiatic origin which attributed great significance to Christ’s human component Irenaeus; in the West it remained unknown.
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