The Two Natures of the Incarnate Christ and the Bearer Question

  • Mihretu P. Guta Biola University & Azusa Pacific University
Keywords: Bearer, Properties, Manifestations, Personhood, Incarnation


The Chalcedonian Definition states that the incarnate Christ is both fully human and fully divine. But spelling out what the Chalcedonian Definition entails continues to be a subject of intense controversy among philosophers and theologians alike. One of these controversies concerns what I call the problem of the bearer question. At the heart of this question lies whether or not the two natures of Christ require two distinct bearers. In section I, I will explain the problem of the bearer question and how it arises directly due to the Chalcedonian Definition. In section II, I will propose a solution to the problem of the bearer question within the framework of what I call, a ‘Multi–Track Disposition Model of the Incarnation’. At the heart of this model lies the notion that the manifestation of properties is multi–directional in the sense that there is a reciprocal partnership among property manifestations. In section III, I will contrast the solution proposed to the bearer question by the Multi–Track Model to that of a ‘Kenotic Model of the Incarnation’. I will argue that the Multi–Track Model provides us with better conceptual resources to make sense of the bearer question. Finally, in section IV, I will briefly point out why ultimately a conclusive answer to the bearer question may still prove to be elusive because the bearer question gives rise to a host of other unresolved questions.

How to Cite
Guta, M. P. (2019). The Two Natures of the Incarnate Christ and the Bearer Question. TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology, 3(1), 113-143.