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Download e-book for iPad: Against Eunomius (Fathers of the Church) by Saint Basil of Caesarea

By Saint Basil of Caesarea

ISBN-10: 0813201225

ISBN-13: 9780813201221

Basil of Caesarea is taken into account one of many architects of the Pro-Nicene Trinitarian doctrine followed on the Council of Constantinople in 381, which jap and western Christians to this present day profess as "orthodox." Nowhere is his Trinitarian theology extra essentially expressed than in his first significant doctrinal paintings, opposed to Eunomius, accomplished in 364 or 365 CE. Responding to Eunomius, whose Apology gave renewed impetus to a convention of starkly subordinationist Trinitarian theology that will live on for many years, Basil's opposed to Eunomius displays the serious controversy raging at the moment between Christians around the Mediterranean global over who God is. during this treatise, Basil makes an attempt to articulate a theology either one of God's unitary essence and of the exact beneficial properties that signify the daddy, Son, and Holy Spirit--a contrast that a few hail because the cornerstone of "Cappadocian" theology. In opposed to Eunomius, we see the conflict no longer easily of 2 dogmatic positions at the doctrine of the Trinity, yet of 2 essentially adversarial theological equipment. Basil's treatise is as a lot approximately how theology must be performed and what humans can and can't learn about God because it is set the exposition of Trinitarian doctrine. therefore opposed to Eunomius marks a turning aspect within the Trinitarian debates of the fourth century, for the 1st time addressing the methodological and epistemological transformations that gave upward push to theological modifications. Amidst the polemical vitriol of opposed to Eunomius is a choice to epistemological humility at the a part of the theologian, a choice to acknowledge the restrictions of even the easiest theology. whereas Basil subtle his theology during the process his occupation, opposed to Eunomius is still a testomony to his early theological improvement and a privileged window into the Trinitarian controversies of the mid-fourth century.

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These debates must be left to the side for now, except 176. Eun. 6. 178. Ibid. 179· Eun. 7. 177· Eun. 5. 180. Eun. 15. 181. Eun. log. "I82 And that leads to the third theme, which is the division of things we say about God into those that are said in cornman of the Father and Son (leaving to the side the question of the Spirit) and those that apply uniquely to each. Again, Basil divides up the territory differently from Eunomius, who would deny that there are any terms said in cornman of the Unbegotten and the Begotten-let alone the Spirit-with the same signification.

But Basil also holds that some terms refer just to the Son and others just to the Father. ' These terms name the "distinguishing marks" of the two. ISS The language here can be confusing: Basil uses the same family of terms, all based on the adjective '(OlO<;, for both what is unique to a cornman nature or substance and what is un\que to each individual that shares that cornman nature. The first can be thought of along the lines of what Porphyrian logic (drawing on Aristotle) called propria. These are features peculiar to a kind but which do not define the kind.

When Eunomius fleshes out the bare bones of the creed with his theological proposals, he is not claiming to correct or supplement his criterion, but merely to explicate it. Basil surely goes too far m. attacking Eunomius on this point. to perceive that the debate is not about the words of the creed Itself, but about how they are interpreted through additional, more con~oversial claims. The debate is not, then, a clash of creeds, but of mterpretations of creeds (which are in tum assumed to be interpretations of scripture).

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Against Eunomius (Fathers of the Church) by Saint Basil of Caesarea


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