Tracy Rowland’s recent ABC Religion & Ethics piece reminded me of the profound “hermeneutical key” between kenosis and the theophany of the Divine character. Such that I’m wondering if it is even possible to speak of kenosis outside the context of exitus-reditus or the theophanic nature of creation.

Speaking about Pope Benedict’s reading of Holy Saturday, she summarizes Simon Oliver:

“In his contribution to The Pope and Jesus of Nazareth, Simon Oliver argues that the notion of the descent of Christ to the dead on Holy Saturday with its kenotic or self-emptying Christology is for Pope Benedict a kind of hermeneutical key for reading the whole Gospel narrative: “Christ arrives to reveal the theophanic nature of creation, and by means of a new light to intensify creation’s (and therefore reason’s) theophanic character.” According to Oliver:

The incarnation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is therefore one aspect – the supremely revelatory and salvific aspect – of a theophanic and christoform creation. This is revealed in the maximal and singular union of the divine and human in Jesus. We might even say that the universe was created so that God might become incarnate, revealing creation as a descent from the Father of lights which is itself a participation in the eternal begetting of the Son.”


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