"This book will delight and engage biblical scholars as well as historians and medievalists. It explores the tensions between the portraits of Jesus in the Gospels and later Christological doctrine and between patristic and medieval theologies. Its thesis, that there are radical discontinuities in Christian tradition and theology, as well as continuities, is important and timely." —Adela Yarbro Collins, Buckingham Professor of New Testament Criticism and Interpretation at Yale University Divinity School, author of Cosmology and Eschatology in Jewish and Christian Apocalypticism and Crisis and Catharsis: The Power of the Apocalypse
"This important and innovative book challenges readers to re-think continuities and discontinuities in western Christian thought, and indeed with respect to one of its most central issues, the humanity of Christ. For too long scholars have described medieval scholastic theologians as indebted, even enchained, to inherited patristic authorities. Madigan demonstrates the ingenious creativity these writers brought to the interpretation of texts and issues when they had to articulate for themselves what it meant to say that Christ suffered or gained in knowledge or feared death. This will prove an outstanding new way to introduce students to the originality and subtlety of scholastic theologians." —John Van Engen, Professor of Medieval History, University of Notre Dame.
"By tracing how western Christian authors from the patristic period to the High Middle Ages have dealt with the problem of Christ's passions, Kevin Madigan not only explores a central problem of Christology, but also makes a provocative argument about the history of Christian thought. Where previous scholars have seen continuity and development, Madigan finds discontinuity and tacit disavowal. Madigan claims that Christian orthodoxy, far from emerging organically from tradition, in fact continually reinvents itself, sometimes by distorting the thought of the "Fathers" it claims as authoritative. This thought-provoking book will stimulate much-needed debate among theologians and students of Christian history." —David Brakke, Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University, author of Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual Combat in Early Christianity
"Kevin Madigan's study is an achievement, due to its remarkable proportions: concise in length, sharp in thinking, well-contained in its scholarship, and as clear-cut in its statements. The argument is made in a manner as meticulous as straight."—The Thomist
"Madigan's slim book is an attempt to show that there was no substantial continuity in the doctrinal thought on the possibility of Christ between the patristic and medieval theologians... One welcomes such a book, which should open up more resources to students of medieval thought, literature, history, and theology." —Journal of Religious History