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The "communication of attributes" (communicatio idiomatum) is the idea in Christianity that what can be said of one of Christ's natures can be said of his person. But Lutheranism, in a doctrine termed "genus maiestaticum," goes further and says that attributes of the divine nature are attributes not only of his person but also of his human nature. In my tradition (reformed Presbyterian) this idea is roundly rejected and condemned. Do Orthodoxy or Catholicism say anything about it?

It's not sufficient to point to general teachings of either church. To answer my question, the teachings must somehow be a response to or an interaction with Lutheranism. But you needn't be too stringent on finding an "official source," just so long as it's not Joe Schmoe Catholic interviewed at 7-11.

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Good question. You know exactly what you're looking for. –  Anonymous Jan 19 at 1:27
Could you explain the sentence ` what can be said of his divine nature can be said of his human nature.`. It seems for me to be strange.... –  Малъ Скрылевъ Jan 23 at 8:42
I wish I had time to answer this. A good answer should not only address the theological controversity itself, but also the neo-Protestant, neo-Kantian distinction between God's essence and effects popularized by Hermann Lotze in the 19th century. This has confused all post-19th century discourse on the 'real presence' of Christ in Luther research. Luther was not neo-Kantian (nor Platonist) in his metaphysics (despite lots of recent Lutheran scholarship anachronistically reading a neo-Kantian philosophical construction back into Luther's writings). –  maj nem ɪz dæn Jan 31 at 4:42
Not this month, I won't. But after mid-April I should have a few months of breathing room again. –  maj nem ɪz dæn Mar 19 at 22:04
Looks like a Jesuit Priest who preached a muddled communicatio idiomatum got reprimanded for it.. But in conjunction with Lutheranism, looks like the Catholic Church is planning some sort of commemoration in a few years where they celebrate unity in that Doctrine. –  Peter Turner Mar 20 at 17:49

1 Answer 1

Your can read the whole chapter about this in "An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" of saint John of Damascus (675-749 AD). He said:

When, then, we speak of His divinity we do not ascribe to it the properties of humanity. For we do not say that His divinity is subject to passion or created. Nor, again, do we predicate of His flesh or of His humanity the properties of divinity: for we do not say that His flesh or His humanity is uncreated. But when we speak of His subsistence, whether we give it a name implying both natures, or one that refers to only one of them, we still attribute to it the properties of both natures. For Christ, which name implies both natures, is spoken of as at once God and man, created and uncreated, subject to suffering anti incapable of suffering: and when He is named Son of God and God, in reference to only one of His natures, He still keeps the properties of the co-existing nature, that is, the flesh, being spoken of as God who suffers, and as the Lord of Glory crucified, not in respect of His being God but in respect of His being at the same time man. Likewise also when He is called Man and Son of Man, He still keeps the properties and glories of the divine nature, a child before the ages, and man who knew no beginning; it is not, however, as child or man but as God that He is before the ages, and became a child in the end. And Ibis is the manner of the mutual communication, either nature giving in exchange to the other its own properties through the identity of the subsistence and the interpenetration of the parts with one another. Accordingly we can say of Christ: This our God was seen upon the earth and lived amongst men, and This man is uncreated and impossible and uncircumscribed.

(Book 3, a part of chapter 4 "Concerning the manner of the Mutual Communication").

If you know russian language you can read the article of archpriest and professor Liveriy Voronov about Communicatio idiomatum.

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