This thesis is a venture of a person in the reformed tradition
into thirteenth century scholastic theology, in particular, into the
Christology of Alexander of Hales (died 1245).
It is based especially on the Glossa on the Sentences of
Peter Lombard. The quaestiones disputed before Alexander was a
Franciscan are also taken into consideration. The Summa
traditionally attributed to Alexander has not been used because it is
a compilation of various authors.
The main question of the thesis has been: what place does
Alexander give the humanity of Christ?
At only one place has Alexander's answer to this question
been found to be satisfactory and that is where he has followed in
the steps of Ansa Lai. Only when he treats of the doctrine of
satisfaction for the temporal punishment of original sin does he
give the humanity a necessary place, or, to put that another way,
does he go beyond what is, in effect, Adoptlonlst Christology. His
doctrine of Christ, by and large, leaves out of Christ's necessary
work, eternal satisfaction for original sin, satisfaction for
actual sins, forgiveness of guilt, and the sanctification of man.
There are four aspects of hie thinking involved in this
limited Christology. Whether they are presuppositions, causes or
effects, is a matter for the history of theology.
i) His presupposition of God as "One" in the neo-Platonic
tradition. This prevents Alexander's conceiving of God's full
involvement in creation. In his thinking on the uniting and on
the hypostatic union he keeps God and man "at arm's length", first
by distinguishing too much between Divine nature and Person, and
then in the hypostatic union by distinguishing between hypostasis
and person. The "One" is also seen as a presupposition in the
discussion of Christ's suffering and relation to sin, and in
Alexander's doctrine of predestination and "Poainus" where time and
eternity are not discussed in view of the incarnation.
ii) As a corollary man has a capacity for God. in Alexander's
understanding of Christ this is seen as something akin to
Apollinarianism, and elsewhere It Is seen In his view of Mary and
the saints, of grace, freewill, and merit, and in the doctrine of
the sacraments, particularly that of Penance.
ill) His doctrine of grace, in particular regard to forgiveness
and sanctifioation grace (or the Holy Spirit) takes the place of
Jesus Christ. Grace Is viewed substantially and becomes "mediator"
by means of the doctrine of uncreated and created grace. Christ Is,
at best, a channel of this grace.
iv) The doctrine of the priesthood and the sacraments. Here
a mediatorial role is also assumed. It appears that priest and
sacrament are man to God and God to man. Christ's power is forwarded
to the Church which appears to replace the Holy spirit. The
relationship of grace and the Holy Spirit is not definite.
These viewpoints contribute to a limited Christology and
prevent an incarnation centred doctrine of Christ.