Date of Award


Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




A generation ago, Catholic theology was not particularly concerned with the problems surrounding the human knowledge of Jesus Christ. True, it repeated, in the main, some of the older traditional theses about His having possessed the beatific vision, an infused knowledge, and an experiential or acquired knowledge. These assertions were based largely on medieval scholastic speculation, based in turn on scriptural and Patristic data, but were treat ed much more sketchily and unconvincingly than among their predecessors. There was no attempt to understand the subject psychologically, much less to understand it scripturally, nor finally to see its ontological bases. Nor was the need for more thorough discussion felt, the mystery of Christ being rather regarded as unique--which it is--and the unspoken conclusion being that it could not be understood with any certainty anyway. In view of the increased effort to understand the findings of biblical data and the added fact that sometimes notions are advanced which seem hardly reconcilable with Catholic dogmatic teaching concerning the hypostatic union, the old state of affairs has undergone a radical change; sheer necessity, if not the intrinsic value of the subject, forces theologians and exegetes to renewed effort at a deeper appreciation of Christ's human nature and the character of His life and activity. No longer is the subject 'too hot to handle.