On Tue, 26 Feb 2002 19:03:35 -0500 "bivalve"
> >My understanding, without background references is that the
> traditional justification for the virgin birth was that it was how
> Christ obtained a sinless nature. My suspicion is this related to
> ancient ideas on how conception occurred, that the man planted the
> seed in the woman who essentially provided the a suitable host.
> This idea of conception seems to have survived into the early
> microscope era, I recall seeing early drawings of sperm where people
> thought they could see homunculi in the sperm.<
> I do not know about ideas current in the first century AD, but I
> believe that there were advocates of principally maternal origin of
> babies, as well as of principally paternal origin, in the medieval
> to early modern eras. The drawings of homunculi get more publicity,
> but this was not universal opinion.
> Dr. David Campbell
David and Jon,
I don't know how things were viewed in general, but Aristotle was very
clear that the male provided the form or soul and the female the matter.
In human beings, if the soul provided was vigorous, a proper soul, then
the result would become a true man. The soul would be adequate to force
the recalcitrant matter to the ideal. If the soul were weak, the result
would be a woman or slave, human, but far short of the ideal. One might
think that this would fit the incarnation, i.e., a form directly from the
deity would surely produce the ideal human. But it seems to me that this
would sever the connection to the human race where the form had been
transmitted from Adam down through his male descendents. Don't recall
what Thomas, who followed Aristotle as far as possible, makes of this.
Don't want to take the time to look it up. It may be that creationism (of
the origin of the soul, not of the universe) rather than traducianism
could be used to bridge the gap.
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