Download Athanasius of Alexandria: Bishop, Theologian, Ascetic, by David M. Gwynn PDF

By David M. Gwynn

ISBN-10: 0199210969

ISBN-13: 9780199210961

Athanasius of Alexandria (c.295-373) is among the maximum and such a lot debatable figures of early Christian background. His existence spanned the interval of basic 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 primary position in shaping Christianity in those the most important adolescence. 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 via 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 circulate that reworked Christianity, a consumer of priests and virgins and the writer of various ascetic works together with the recognized lifetime of Antony. these kind of parts performed their half in Athanasius' vocation as a pastoral father, liable for the actual and non secular health of his congregations. This ebook deals the 1st research in English to attract jointly those assorted but inseparable roles that outlined Athanasius' existence and the effect that he exerted on next Christian culture. The presentation is on the market to either experts and non-specialists and is illuminated all through by way of huge citation from Athanasius' many writings, for it's via his personal phrases that we may perhaps most sensible procedure this extraordinary guy.

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Extra resources for Athanasius of Alexandria: Bishop, Theologian, Ascetic, Father

Example text

Cf. 21. 30 Festal Letter X is the longest of the extant Festal Letters, and the only letter to have received a detailed edition and monograph: Lorenz (1986). For the importance of the letter to Athanasius’ pastoral mission, see Ch. 5. 32 Athanasius of Alexandria Arianos 3–19) in defence of Athanasius’ position. The charges on which he had been condemned in 335 and the Council of Tyre itself were dismissed as the product of a Melitian–‘Eusebian’ conspiracy. Their accusations were nothing more than ‘an impiety on behalf of the Ariomaniacs, which rages against piety so that, when the orthodox are out of the way, the advocates of impiety may preach whatever they wish without fear’ (5).

39 Theologically, the easterners were far more concerned with Marcellus of Ancyra than with Athanasius, for reasons we will explore in the next chapter. It was Marcellus’ heresy that they accused the western bishops of adopting. Athanasius, of course, maintained that the underlying cause of the accusations he faced was his defence of orthodoxy against ‘Arianism’. For the eastern bishops, his name was synonymous rather with violence and illegality. Their letter provides a rare glimpse of how Athanasius was seen from the other side: In the case of Athanasius, formerly bishop of Alexandria, you are to understand what was enacted.

There he waited for the opportunity to return home. 27 Constantine II, now the senior emperor in the west, provided Athanasius with a letter of recommendation, and the bishop set out for the east. Athanasius did not travel directly to Alexandria. His return was the subject of controversy. In the eyes of many eastern bishops Athanasius had been condemned by a legitimate council of the Church, and required the approval of a council before he could be restored. Although he had been exiled by Constantine the Great, his critics could argue, the emperor’s death did not affect his status.

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Athanasius of Alexandria: Bishop, Theologian, Ascetic, Father by David M. Gwynn

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