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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Christology is based on knowing Christ not just cognitively but integrally. All the great theologians have been saints. The first spirituality to emerge from the encounter with Jesus in the New Testament was a charter for monasticism. The spiritual life of the early Christians consisted in a longing to ‘bear witness’ to Christ through martyrdom. They ‘knew’ Christ by sharing in his death. In the Eastern Church of the Middle Ages, ‘knowing’ Christ came to mean contemplating Christ in the liturgy and in iconic representations of him. With the Franciscans and the Dominicans came a new sense of ‘knowing’ Christ by imitating him in a more literal way, sharing his poverty and his charism for preaching. The great flaw in how we try to ‘know Christ’ today is that the heart is separated from the head, the mind from the emotions. Only an integrated knowing can know Christ more fully.

Keywords: Christology, knowing Christ, spirituality, martyrdom, monasticism

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