Physicalist Soteriology in Hilary of Poitiers by Ellen Scully

By Ellen Scully

In Physicalist Soteriology in Hilary of Poitiers, Ellen Scully offers Hilary as a consultant of the “mystical” or “physical” trajectory of patristic soteriology pretty much linked to the Greek fathers. Scully indicates that Hilary’s physicalism is exclusive, either in its Latin non-Platonic provenance and its conceptual beginning, specifically that the incarnation has salvific results for all humanity simply because Christ’s physique includes each human person. Hilary’s soteriological conviction that every one people are found in Christ’s physique has theological ramifications that extend past soteriology to incorporate christology, eschatology, ecclesiology, and Trinitarian theology. In detailing those ramifications, Scully illumines the pervasive centrality of physicalism in Hilary’s theology whereas correcting regular soteriological shows of physicalism as an completely Greek phenomenon.

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Komonchak, Mary Collins, Dermot A. Lane (Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1987), 841. 68 Raymond Schwager, “Salvation” in the Encyclopedia of Christian Theology, vol. 3, ed. JeanYves Lacoste, (New York: Routledge, 2005), 1426. CHAPTER 2 Hilary’s Use of Language and Rhetoric In the previous chapter, I showed that the history of Hilary scholarship manifests disagreement on whether or not Hilary participates in what was perceived to be the Greek trajectory of physicalism. 1 For those scholars who deny that Hilary is a physicalist, there is a historical tradition of reading Hilary’s statements in a spiritual or metaphorical way.

Tertullian offers us a useful comparison when he speaks about the way in which the Church is the body of Christ: But wherever [the apostle] says that the Church is the body of Christ—as here he declares that he fills up in his flesh what is lacking of the afflictions of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church (Col. 1:24)— he is not, therefore, in every passage, transferring the naming of the body away from the substance of the flesh. For he says above that we are reconciled in his body through his death (Col.

Burns’ conclusion is that Tr. ps. Instr. 24 offers “verifiable contact” (71) with Origen’s commentaries on the Psalms. For the text of the passages of both Origen and Hilary, see Goffinet, L’Utilisation d’Origène, 33–36. 12 Tr. ps. 9–11): Sed quae tandem comparationis similitudo est: examinatos eos igni, sicut examinatur argentum? 13 See De Trin. 7; Tr. ps. 4. 14 The same argument can easily be made for imago. Humans are made in both the similitudo and the imago of God. Therefore, Hilary’s usage of imago follows along the same lines as his usage of similitudo.

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