Religious Studies


symposium on Divine Discourse

The possibilities of Incarnation: some radical Molinist suggestions


THOMAS P.  FLINT  a1
a1 Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556

Abstract

The traditional doctrine of the Incarnation maintains that God became man. But was it necessary that God become the particular man He in fact became? Could some man or woman other than the man born in Bethlehem roughly two thousand years ago have been assumed by the Son to effect our salvation? This essay addresses such questions from the perspective of one embracing Molina's picture of divine providence. After showing how Molina thought his theory of middle knowledge helps alleviate a traditional Christological puzzle, the essay turns to the aforementioned questions concerning God's incarnational alternatives and suggests some fairly radical answers. Finally, the essay presents two substantial objections to these radical answers and argues that these objections fail.