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Louis XIV and the metaphysics of a juridical christology

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  1. 1.

    For an overview of the history of such a ‘juridical solution’ to the problem of the hypostatic union, but without the reference to Paschasius or the Council of Frankfurt, cf. (Landgraf 1953, I:94–101).

  2. 2.

    Author’s translation of: “persona personam consumere potest, substantia vero substantiam non potest, si quidem persona res iuris est, substantia res naturae” (Werminghoff [1906] 2010, Conc. 2:, 1:150).

  3. 3.

    Author’s translation of: “et sicut apud nos homines filius patris familias iuxta patrem uel seruus iuxta dominum personae propriae locum non habet, ita in deo et homine gemina quidem substantia, sed non gemina persona est, [quia persona personam consumere potest, substantia uero substantiam non potest, si quidem persona res iuris est, substantia res naturae].” (Reiensis 1891, 139).

  4. 4.

    Author’s translation of: “Juristisch ist gegen die die Formel, dass mehrere Personen Inhaber ein und derselben Substanz (Vermögen) sind, dass sie in uno statu sind, ebensowenig einzuwenden, wie gegen die andere, dass eine Person mehrere Substanzen unvermischt besitzt (s. Tertullian’s Christologie adv. Prax. 27; Bd. I S. 469).” (Harnack 1887, 288) The metaphysical elaboration of this analogy for the Trinity is the topic of another paper under preparation.

  5. 5.

    For a critical review, cf. (Kusch 2014).

  6. 6.

    The terminology of ‘liberty space’ and ‘ability space’ is borrowed from, or rather inspired by Lindahl (2006). However, the meaning employed here differs too drastically to either claim a connection or try to distinguish the differences.

  7. 7.

    This older paper remains very representative of the general project of dispositional realism, but there is a wealth of more recent literature in the metaphysics of powers and dispositions, cf. (Groff and Greco 2013; Heil 2016).

  8. 8.

    Cf. (Bauwens 2018).

  9. 9.

    How to deal with some classical problems in the (philosophical and theological) free will debate related to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities on the libertarian position assumed here, cf. (Bauwens 2017).

  10. 10.

    Cf. (Dumont 1995; Scotus 1994; Dalbiez 1948) For critical comments, cf. (MacDonald 1995).

  11. 11.

    Author’s translation of: “Comme Dieu, ce roi est omniprésent car, grâce à ses agents, officiers et commissaires, il a « des yeux et des mains partout » et « de longs bras » qui exécutent au loin ses ordres. […] Chacun de ces agents « est » le roi ou doit être considéré comme tel, du valet de pied au gouverneur de province.” (Vonglis 2006, 39, original emphasis).

  12. 12.

    For what are still the classics in the contemporary field of social ontology, cf. (Searle 1995, 2010).

  13. 13.

    For a more philosophical exploration of the idea of the state as an earthly God in modernity, cf. (Siep 2015).

  14. 14.

    (Kantorowicz 1997, 391) It is quoted from the Glossa Ordinaria by Accursius on the Institutes, 3,1,3 verbum quasi: “sed pater & filius unum fictione juris sunt”.

  15. 15.

    Digests, 28,2,11: “quasi olim hi domini essent, qui etiam vivo patre quodammodo domini existimantur.”.

  16. 16.

    Codex, 6,26,11: “cum et natura pater et filius eadem persona paene intelleguntur”.

  17. 17.

    Author’s translation of: “Que la France lui survivrait donc, non parce que distincte de lui durant sa vie, mais parce que contenu dès sa mort dans la personne de son successeur devenu à son tour l’État. Un successeur qui, en vertu d’un doctrine déjà ancienne, mais approfondie au XVIIe siècle, la mystique du sang, était un autre lui-même, car, porteur du même sang, il possédait les mêmes qualités que le défunt.” (Vonglis 2006, 18).

  18. 18.

    Given that this raises questions about the position of God as a person requiring a recognition by another person as a person, this is again a point at which Trinitarian reflection could start, which is, again as mentioned above, the topic of another paper under preparation.

  19. 19.

    For some background on this distinction, especially in connection to Duns Scotus, cf. Ledsham (2010) and Ojakangas (2012).

  20. 20.

    This has raised legitimate worries in terms of divine voluntarism (Benedict XVI 2006), which might nevertheless be resolvable within that same framework, cf. the last section in (Bauwens 2017).

  21. 21.

    Cf. supra the footnote with the references to Duns Scotus’s synchronic contingency.

  22. 22.

    For a genealogy of this typically modern ‘open options’ conception of freedom, including its theological roots, cf. (Schmutz 2002).


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Bauwens, M. Louis XIV and the metaphysics of a juridical christology. Int J Philos Relig 84, 289–305 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11153-018-9666-1

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  • Metaphysics
  • Christology
  • Social ontology
  • Powers
  • Dispositions