By Marilyn McCord Adams
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Additional resources for What Sort of Human Nature?: Medieval Philosophy and the Systematics of Christology
It is metaphysically impossible for one person/supposit to assume another person/ supposit. Therefore, it is metaphysically impossible for the Son of God to become the person who sinned and owed the punishment, or for Adam to profit personally by becoming the Son of God. What can be assumed is the individual human nature. If it were cleansed upon arrival by the efficient causal activity of the Holy Spirit or the Divine Word or the Trinity Itself, then there would be no sinful act in the nature to be attributed to the Divine supposit, and God would not be a sinner by communicatio idiomatum.
Ignorance, Merely Apparent? Bonaventure argues that the defect of ignorance is unfitting for Christ, not only because it is incompatible with the deiformity presupposed for hypostatic union, but also because it could lead to error and falling away from justice. 4. Appetites at Odds? One liability under which fallen humans labor is divided appetites. For Bonaventure, human nature is complex, joining two substances—mind and body—in one individual. The soul has sensory as well as rational appetites, which pull in different directions.
Aquinas shares with Anselm the sense that Divine Goodness is unfathomable a priori. The argument for the propriety of the Incarnation proceeds, not a priori, but a posteriori from the data of creation and Incarnation, disclosed by natural reason and revelation, respectively. But we cannot know about matters that proceed from the Divine will alone beyond anything required for creatures, What Sort of Human Nature? 51 unless they are handed down to us in the Sacred Scriptures. And—like Bonaventure—Aquinas denies that hypostatic union with a Divine person is required for the natural perfection of creatures individually or collectively.