Incarnation: Metaphysical issues

Philosophy Compass 4 (4):703-714 (2009)
The last quarter of the twentieth century saw a resurgence of realism in various areas of philosophy, including metaphysics and the philosophy of religion, and this trend has continued in the first decade of the twenty-first century. In philosophy of religion this led to explorations of the philosophical coherence of orthodox doctrines, such as the Christian doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation. In metaphysics, there was renewed interest in debates concerning persistence, composition, the relation between mind and body, time and necessity, among others. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the links between these two strands of realist inquiry, focusing on some metaphysical issues raised by the Incarnation. It ends with some suggestions as to how recent developments in metaphysical debate might inform our understanding of this most central of Christian beliefs.
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