Dogmatic Christology Theological anthropology Humanity of Christ
Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Strzelczyk, G. (2016). Neuronauki a zagadnienie wiedzy Jezusa. Scientia et Fides, 4, nº 1, pp. 193-207
Neurosciences and the Question of the Knowledge of Jesus
Rapidly developing neurosciences provide greater and greater insight into human cognitive processes. In this context one may formulate a hypothesis that the current reception of their research findings by theological anthropology can serve as a turning point in the discussion over the question of the human knowledge of Jesus, which is held within dogmatic christology. Classical christology is open to adopt the data from neurosciences, particularly thanks to the conviction, upheld by the Chalcedonian dogma, that the characteristics of natures in Christ do not undergo any changes after the Incarnation. It is especially in the reflection upon the characteristics of human nature that the results of natural sciences should be taken into account as they can indicate some intransgressible limits of human cognitive abilities. One of the results of this reception is a more and more clearly noticeable need for the revision of a common belief in theological anthropology stating that all the “higher” acts of human cognition take place in the soul; thus they have a nonmaterial character. This has, in turn, its key significance for the discussion over the knowledge of Jesus, since the neo-Scholastic theory of human triple knowledge in Christ (the knowledge coming from the beatific vision, the infused knowledge, the acquired knowledge), drawing its inspiration from the hypotheses of St. Thomas Aquinas, was to a great extent based on the assumption that the soul is the center of cognition, which can be gained in a way independent of the body. Given the new perspective of understanding human cognition, open to us by neurosciences, the attempts to sustain this theory may result in material heresy consisting in attributing Christ some characteristics which can by no means be regarded as belonging to human nature (in the pre-Paschal state).