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Dual Nature of Christ refers to the theology that Jesus Christ is simultaneously fully God and fully human, as stated by the Nicene Creed and affirmed by the Chalcedonian Creed. More formally, this is known as the hypostatic union or mystical union. The opposite of hypostatic union is monophysitism.

Hypostatic union is a theological term used with reference to the Incarnation to express the revealed truth that in Christ one person subsists in two natures; the divine and the human. Hypostasis means, literally, "that which stands beneath"; as the basis or foundation. It thus came to be used by the Greek philosophers to denote reality as distinguished from mere appearance (Aristotle, "Mund.", IV, 21). It occurs also in Saint Paul's Epistles (II Corinthians 9:4; 11:17; Hebrews I, 3:III, 14), but not in the sense of a person. Previous to the Council of Nicaea (325), the term hypostasis was sometimes synonymous with ousios, and even St. Augustine (De Trin., V, 8) declared that he saw no difference between them. The distinction was in fact brought about gradually in the course of the controversies to which the Christological heresies gave rise and was definitively established by the Council of Chalcedon (451), which declared that in the Christ there are two natures; each retaining its own properties, and together united in one subsistence and in one single person (eis en prosopon kai mian hupostasin) (Denzinger, ed. Bannwart, 148). The two natures are not joined in a moral or accidental union (Nestorius), nor commingled (Eutyches), but nevertheless they are substantially united. The precise nature of this union is held to defy human comprehension, hence the alternative term "mystical union."

See alsoEdit

PD-icon.svg.png This article incorporates text from the public domain Catholic Encyclopedia, available online.


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