Friday, May 08, 2009

Hilary of Poitiers, 4

An embarrassment of riches for today's offerings. Here are three:

By the birth of the Son the Father is constituted greater: the nature that his his by birth, does not suffer the Son to be less
- DT 9.56

therefore his not knowing what he knows, and his knowing what he does not know, is nothing else than a divine economy in word and deed
- DT 9.63

He accommodated himself to the reality of his birth in the flesh in everything to which the weakness of our nature is subject, not in such wise that he became weak in his divine nature, but that God, born man, assumed the weaknesses of humanity, yet without thereby reducing his unchangeable nature to a weak nature, for the unchangeable nature was that wherein he mysteriously assumed flesh
- DT 9.66

I think Hilary has some strange ideas about Christ suffering without feeling pain (pati non dolere), which Hanson flatly states is Docetic. Also, he has some difficult to grasp (for me!) idea about what it means for the Word to empty himself - to Hilary it seems as if the incarnate Son loses 'some kind' of the unity, yet remaining fully God, and then gains some kind of unity, when the Flesh of his humanity is perfected and united in the Godhead after the Resurrection. If you've got any enlightenment for me on that part of Hilary's theology, I'd love to hear it.

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