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Q3 Arian Controversy Read-Only - Trinitarian or Arian...

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Trinitarian or Ariancontroversyof the 4th-centuryBefore 318, nearly all positions had been looked at concerning the status of Jesus as the Son ofGod, all attached to prestigious names—especially those of Tertullian and Origen—all appealingto scripture, tradition, and predecessors. That was the time when even conceptions of a “qualifieddivinity” of the Son were found adequate to account for the suffering of God. Some thought thatno distinctions ought to be found in the Godhead (monarchianism) or that the Son was a mereman adopted by the Father (adoptionism); others thought that he was inferior to the Father(subordinationism); still others that he was fully God. Many more variations on the themecirculated. A doctrinal storm was gathering. Thestorm broke outin 318 when Arius, a respectedLibyan presbyter in Alexandria, began to teach what many thought acceptable in view of thesufferings of Jesus: that the Logos/Son was a mere creature, made from “nonexistence” and hadnot always existed. Hence he was not quite equal to the Father. The controversy went throughepisodes of such violence, unfortunately not only verbal violence, that Emperor Constantine,badly concerned with the peace and unity of the estate, called a general council at Nicaea in 325,which he himself attended and which was presided over by his representative and messenger,Ossius, bishop of Cordova.The council proclaimed two main theses, incorporated in the so-called Nicene creed: that Christhad a real body (against those who still thought Jesus only “seemed” to have a body, thedocetists” ordocetism); and that the Son was perfectly equal to the Father (“of one substance”with the Father:homoousios). Imperial approval was given to the findings of the council, withpenalties meted out to those who disagreed with its decrees and lasting vilification tacked to thename of Arius.(taken fromThe Painful Partitions 150–430)Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius (250–336 AD), who was a Christian priest. TheTrinitairian or Arian controversy describes several controversies related to Arianism whichdivided the Christian church from before the Council of Nicaea in 325 to after the Council ofConstantinople in 381. The Trinitairian or Arian controversy is important to 4thcentury indefining god and understanding the doctrine of the trinity (father, son and Holy Spirit). It was

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Term
Fall
Professor
Dr.LucianTurcescu
Tags
Christianity, Trinity, Council, First Council of Nicaea, Arius

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