By David M. Gwynn
Athanasius of Alexandria (c.295-373) is among the maximum and so much debatable figures of early Christian heritage. His lifestyles spanned the interval of primary swap for the Roman Empire and the Christian Church that the conversion of Constantine the nice, the 1st Christian Roman emperor. A bishop and theologian, an ascetic and a pastoral father, Athanasius performed a relevant function in shaping Christianity in those the most important youth. As bishop of Alexandria (328-73) he fought to unite the divided Egyptian Church and encouraged admiration and competition alike from fellow bishops and the emperor Constantine and his successors. Athanasius attended the 1st ecumenical Council of Nicaea summoned by way of Constantine in 325 and as a theologian will be remembered because the defender of the unique Nicene Creed opposed to the 'Arian' heresy. He used to be additionally a champion of the ascetic stream that reworked Christianity, a buyer of priests and virgins and the writer of diverse ascetic works together with the recognized lifetime of Antony. these types of parts performed their half in Athanasius' vocation as a pastoral father, liable for the actual and religious wellness of his congregations. This e-book bargains the 1st examine in English to attract jointly those varied but inseparable roles that outlined Athanasius' existence and the impression that he exerted on next Christian culture. The presentation is offered to either experts and non-specialists and is illuminated all through via huge citation from Athanasius' many writings, for it's via his personal phrases that we may possibly top procedure this outstanding guy.
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Additional info for Athanasius of Alexandria: Bishop, Theologian, Ascetic, Father
Athanasius’ restoration was short lived, for in October 362 he received the rare accolade of being one of the few bishops to be forced into exile by the last pagan emperor. During his short return to Alexandria, Athanasius presided over a council, from which two documents survive: the fragmentary encyclical letter (the Epistula Catholica)27 and a letter sent to Antioch in an effort to resolve the schism dividing the Christians of that city. Although this Tomus ad Antiochenos failed to achieve Antiochene unity, the theology of the letter marks a further evolution in Athanasius’ approach to Trinitarian doctrines.
There alone was all that was glorious and costly and peerless treated with dishonour. Like, once more, to the entry of Christ were those that went before with shouts and followed with dances; only the crowd which sung his praises was not of children only, but every tongue was harmonious, as men contended only to outdo one another. I pass by the universal cheers, and the pouring forth of unguents, and the nightlong festivities, and the whole city gleaming with light, and the feasting in public and at home, and all the means of testifying to a city’s joy, which were then in lavish and incredible profusion bestowed upon him.
The doctrinal signiﬁcance of this Dedication Council will again receive more attention in a later chapter. But the creed that the council composed revealed directions in eastern theology that Athanasius at least regarded as heretical. It was in this context that Athanasius began his longest theological and polemical work, the three Orationes contra Arianos. The condemnation of his opponents as ‘Arian’ vindicated Athanasius’ claims to innocence and legitimacy. Nevertheless, there is no questioning the sincerity of his conviction that fundamental principles of Christian doctrine were at stake, a conviction that the western bishops who rallied to his defence came to share.
Athanasius of Alexandria: Bishop, Theologian, Ascetic, Father by David M. Gwynn