Athanasius

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Athanasius – Father of Orthodoxy
Abstraction:
St. Athanasius is one of the Four Doctors of the Grecian Church. He was a theologian, ecclesiastical solon, and Egyptian national leader ; was the main guardian of Christian orthodoxy in the 4th-century conflict against Arianism. His main differentiation as a theologist was his avid protagonism of the indispensable deity of Christ as co-equal in substance with the Father. This was the philosophy of the homoousios, proclaimed by the Nicene Creed, and intricately defended by his life and Hagiographas.
Christian authors of early times whose work is considered by and large orthodox have a corporate name and it is Fathers of the Church.” Another differentiation is farther made and Doctor of the Church” is subsequently introduced. Doctor of the Church ( Latin physician, teacher, from Latin docere, to learn ) is a rubric given by a assortment of Christian churches to persons whom they recognize as holding been of peculiar importance, chiefly sing their add-ons to theological or doctrinal affairs. [ 1 ] St. Athanasius is one of the male parents of early church who had such an astonishing influence of the orthodoxy of the early church that he is one of the Four Doctors of the Grecian Church along with St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory of Nazianzen, St. John Chrysostom. [ 2 ]
An incomparable pillar of the Church, ” through whom God had protected and preserved the existent Faith in a most hard period ( Gregory of Nazianzen )
Why is this adult male such a critical figure in church history? To hold a better apprehension of the magnitude of Athanasius on the early church we should chiefly look at some of the major pinnacles of his life which practically shaped Christianity as it is today.
Athanasius was born c. 295. Sometime during his young person Athanasius and his female parent were baptized and he was later trained and educated by Alexander, the Bishop of Alexandria. It was from Alexander that Athanasius obtained non merely his cursory cognition of modern-day doctrine, but besides his thorough apprehension of Bible and the theological tradition of Alexandria. In his oration on Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzen stated:
He was brought up, from the first, in spiritual wonts and patterns, after a brief survey of literature and doctrine, so that he might non be absolutely unskilled in such topics, or ignorant of affairs which he had determined to contemn. For his generous and eager psyche could non digest being occupied in amour propres, like unskilled jocks, who beat the air alternatively of their adversaries and lose the award. From chew overing on every book of the Old and New Testament, with a deepness such as none else has applied even to one of them, he grew rich in contemplation, rich in luster of life, uniting them in fantastic kind by that aureate bond which few can weave ; utilizing life as the usher of contemplation, contemplation as the seal of life.” [ 3 ]
He was a theologian, ecclesiastical solon, and Egyptian national leader ; was the main guardian of Christian orthodoxy in the 4th-century conflict against Arianism, the unorthodoxy that the Son of God was a animal of similar, but non of the same, substance as God the Father. Athanasius was an baby during the persecution of Diocletian and hardly more than a male child when the Edict of Milan legalized the church in 313. He was ordained a deacon five old ages subsequently at the age of 23. The most unquestionable claim we can do for Athanasius is that his full life was absorbed in the service of the church.
In all of Christian history, few clerics have been so wholly involved in doctrinal and ecclesiastical differences as Athanasius. In comparing with him, one ventures that even so controversial a figure as Martin Luther lived out a comparatively quiet and uneventful life. [ 4 ] Ailments about Acts of the Apostless of force and illegal invasions on the rights of others accompanied the patriarch throughout his life. His booklets reveal the intelligence and lucidity of an outstanding personality, but he indulged in all the fast ones of calumny and outrageously caricatured his oppositions in the most graphic colourss. [ 5 ] Athanasius came many times near to perpetrating high lese majesty and the Emperor, Constantius, himself was surprised by the bishop ‘s force and impulsiveness. [ 6 ] All these actions were undertaken by Athanasius merely because the theological rules he defended were of high significance to him! Making strictly political and condemnable accusals was the surest manner of cut downing the theological resistance to hush. Therefore, he became the life symbol of orthodoxy and the unconquerable Church.
Council of Nicaea
The event that most marked the fate of this avid cleric was of class, the Council of Nicaea in 325. The primary concern of this council was the contention between Alexander and Arius. The chief challenge for those who wanted to resolutely rebut Arius ‘s philosophy was to happen a manner to joint the relationship between the Son and the Father that could non be co-opted by Arius and his protagonists and interpreted in a sense consonant with the belief that the Son had a beginning of his being. Such scriptural footings as Image, ” for illustration, could be accepted by Arius ‘s protagonists, with the caution that even human existences are God ‘s image, despite being animals. Finally, it became necessary to fall back to the unscriptural term homoousios” ( of one being ) , in order to govern out any suggestion of the Son being a animal. Those who opposed Arius ‘s philosophy prevailed, and so a credo was drawn up which included the litmus trial of the homoousios” expression, and anathematized anyone who would state that there was one time when the Son did non be, and that he did non be before he came into being and who allege that he came into being from nonentity, or that he is from another subsistence ( epistasis ) or substance ( ousia ) , or is alterable or changeable.” Arius was exiled and Athanasius ‘s wise man, Alexander, seemed to be vindicated. [ 7 ]
Although there is possibly no other name more closely identified with Nicaea than Athanasius, this close designation had more to make with the wake of the council so with the event itself. Three facts conspired to do this so.
First, the male parents at Nicaea had formalized in the church a superior patriarchal construction, harmonizing to which the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch would exert general inadvertence of the other churches in their several parts. Merely three old ages after the Council, Alexander holding died, Athanasius became Bishop of Alexandria on 17 April 328. He became shepherd of one of the most vivacious metropoliss within the Roman Empire. Athanasius found himself in one of the most influential and esteemed places in the whole church. It was from Alexandria that Rome governed Egypt and north-east Africa. Furthermore, it has been for centuries a Centre of civilization, at one clip touting the largest library in the ancient universe. It was the place of assorted schools of doctrine ( Stoics and Platonists ) and a really widely distributed metropolis composed of Egyptians, Greeks, Jews and other minorities. [ 8 ]
Second, Nicaea had besides determined that the church at Alexandria, because of the superior records and resources of uranology available in that metropolis, would be changed with set uping the proper day of the month of Easter each twelvemonth, and so informing the remainder of the church by an one-year notice. This agreement afforded Athanasius an official chance to direct an one-year missive to all of the other major ecclesiastical centres, and until his decease in 373 he used his Pascal Letters” as chances to learn and warn Christians far beyond the boundary lines of Alexandria. Because many replacements of Athanasius followed his illustration in this regard, the bishop of Alexandria became one of the most influential instruction governments in the whole church, 2nd merely to Rome.
Third, because Nicaea had implicitly granted the Roman emperors an authorization over the personal businesss of the church that they had ne’er had before, the following several decennaries ( even centuries! ) would see many cases of direct imperial intervention with the church ‘s instruction ministry itself, including the office of bishop. [ 9 ] As assorted emperors exercised this intervention, Athanasius was forced into expatriate from Alexandria no fewer than five times which kept him off for 17 old ages all together.
Athanasius spent these extended periods of ostracism chiefly making two things. First, he traveled extensively to faraway topographic points, where he conferred with clerics sing the Arian unorthodoxy and other ecclesiastical affairs, including imperial intervention. These audiences greatly extended the repute of Athanasius as a cosmopolitan Christian instructor. Second, these periods of expatriate afforded him ample clip to compose the drawn-out theological treatises that caused him to be ranked, even today, among the greatest advocates of Christian philosophy.
Hagiographas
Among his legion Hagiographas one can happen many letters and defences, some of the most celebrated Hagiographas are Against the Heathen and On The Incarnation ; works on asceticism which include Life of St. Anthony every bit good as Discourse on Virginity.
Athanasius ‘s theological Hagiographas span a period of over four decennaries permeated with intense doctrinal argument. Throughout this disruptive clip, he maintains a unusually consistence in his theological vision and even vocabulary, even though with some noteworthy developments and discrepancy of accent. The most obvious division in Athanasius ‘s principal of doctrinal Hagiographas is between the early Against the Heathen and On the Incarnation, in which he makes no expressed reference of Arius, and the later works which are obviously preoccupied with supporting Nicene philosophy and rebuting the Arians” . Compared to Against the Heathen and On the Incarnation, the ulterior Hagiographas tend to be more properly theo-logical, concerned in a sustained and focussed manner with the ontological position of the dealingss between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. [ 10 ]
Against the Heathen and On the Embodiment
Athanasius ‘ bipartite work of apologetics, Against the Heathen and On the Incarnation, completed about 335, was the first great classic of developed Greek Orthodox divinity. Athanasius sets out in positive footings the ground for the embodiment and the manner in which it effects the Godhead program for adult male ‘s redemption. This work has been regarded as a work of Athanasius ‘ early young person, from a day of the month merely before the eruption of the great Arian contention in AD 318. It would be a remarkably mature work, if truly written by one so immature, chiefly intended to do the cardinal thoughts of the Christian religion intelligible to the heathen universe. The work is one which gives in clear outline an history of adult male ‘s wickedness and of God ‘s redemption. [ 11 ]
In Against the Heathen Athanasius expounded the preliminary and foundational truths of the Christian Gospel. He wrote refering God as Father and Son, their act of creative activity with their subsequent heaven-sent relation to creative activity, specifically with human existences, and the beginning of immorality. In so making he refuted the cardinal mistakes of the heathens. [ 12 ]
In On the Incarnation, the 2nd work addressed to Macarius, Athanasius continues his articulation of the Christian religion by taking up, as the rubric suggests, the embodiment and the work of the salvation. [ 13 ] Athanasius stresses the fact that A superman would hold been of no usage to adult male. [ 14 ]
As so devils confess Him, and His plants bear Him witness twenty-four hours by twenty-four hours, it must be apparent, and allow none brazen it out against the truth, both that the Saviour raised His ain organic structure, and that He is the true Son of God, being from Him, as from His Father, His ain Word, and Wisdom, and Power, Who in ages subsequently took a organic structure for the redemption of all, and taught the universe refering the Father, and brought decease to nought, and bestowed incorruptness upon all by the promise of the Resurrection, holding raised His ain organic structure as a first-fruits of this, and holding displayed it by the mark of the Cross as a memorial of triumph over decease and its corruption.” [ 15 ]
It is in On the Incarnation that Athanasius once more observes that the Jews and Greeks may express joy at and contemn such a impression, believing it either impossible or indecent ; yet, it is through the really humbleness of the Word that he demonstrates his Godhead power, repressing the pretentions of graven images by his supposed humiliation – by the cross – and those who mock and disbelieve invisibly winning over to acknowledge His deity and power. [ 16 ]
Decision
Athanasius ‘ theological Hagiographas span a period of over four decennaries permeated with intense doctrinal argument. His main differentiation as a theologist was his avid protagonism of the indispensable deity of Christ as co-equal in substance with the Father. This was the philosophy of the homoousios, proclaimed by the Nicene Creed, and intricately defended by his life and Hagiographas. Whether or non Athanasius foremost suggested the usage of this look, he was its greatest guardian ; and the Catholic philosophy of the Three has of all time since been more identified with his immortal ” name than with any other in the history of the church and of Christian divinity. [ 17 ]
His Hagiographas reveal the intelligence and lucidity of an outstanding personality, still many ailments about Acts of the Apostless of force and illegal violations on the rights of others accompanied the patriarch throughout his life. When Athanasius died, he stood on the threshold of triumph. The whole subsequent development of the Greek-Byzantine Church was based on the battle and success of this adult male. [ 18 ]
Athanasius saved the Church from going entangled in the thought of advancement and from the traps of political power. Through him it once more became an establishment of redemption, that is, a Church in the rigorous sense of the word, with the sermon of Christ as its indispensable purpose.” [ 19 ]
Plants Cited
Father of the Early Church” Academic Search Premier. EBSCO HOST Research Databases. Otonas and Raimonda Balciunai Library, Klaipeda, Lithuania. 14 Nov. 2009 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true & A ; db=a9h & A ; AN=39006017 & A ; site=ehost-live & gt ;
Gregory of Nazianzen, Oration XXI, On the Great Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria” . 14 Nov. 2009
Han dynasties von Campenhausen, The Fathers of the Greek Church” , 14 Nov. 2009
Khaled Anatolios. Athanasius” . 14 Nov. 2009
Doctor of the Church.” New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 14, 2009 from Encyclopedia.com: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/ Doctor of the church
Patrick Henry Reardon. Athanasius Pugnacious Defender of Orthodoxy” Academic Search Premier. EBSCO HOST Research Databases. Otonas and Raimonda Balciunai Library, Klaipeda, Lithuania. 14 Nov. 2009 & lt ; hypertext transfer protocol: //search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true & A ; db=a9h & A ; AN=16237777 & A ; site=ehost-live & gt ;
Saint Athanasius.” The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2009 from Encyclopedia.com: hypertext transfer protocol: //www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1E1-AthanasSt.html
St. Athanasius. Against the Heathen ( Contra Gentes ) & A ; On the Incarnation” , 14 Nov. 2009
Weinandy Thomas Gerard, Athanasius: a theological introduction” , 14 Nov. 2009
[ 1 ] New World Encyclopedia, Doctor of the Church, hypertext transfer protocol: //www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Doctor_of_the_Church
[ 2 ] Ebsco Host Database, Fathers of the church, hypertext transfer protocol: //search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true & A ; db=a9h & A ; AN=39006017 & A ; site=ehost-live
[ 3 ] Oration XXI, 6
[ 4 ] Patrick Henry Reardon, Athanasius – Hard-bitten Defender of Orthodoxy
[ 5 ] Campenhausen, p.71
[ 6 ] Campenhausen, p.71
[ 7 ] Anatolius, p.11
[ 8 ] Weinandy, p.2
[ 9 ] Reardon
[ 10 ] Anatolios, p.39
[ 11 ] Wiles, p.84
[ 12 ] Weinandy, p27
[ 13 ] Weinandy, p27
[ 14 ] Campenhausen p.69
[ 15 ] On the Incarnation, §32
[ 16 ] Weinandy, p27
[ 17 ] Encyclopedia Britannica
[ 18 ] Campenhausen, p.68
[ 19 ] Campenhausen, p.77

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