The Two Natures of the Incarnate Christ and the Bearer Question
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.