Archetypal Heresy: Arianism through the Centuries by Maurice Wiles

By Maurice Wiles

Arians within the 3rd century advert maintained that Jesus was once much less divine than God. considered as the archetypal Christian heresy, Arianism used to be condemned within the Nicene Creed and it appears squashed by means of the early church. much less popular is the truth that fifteen centuries later, Arianism was once alive and good, championed through Isaac Newton and different scientists of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. This booklet asks how and why Arianism persevered.

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Archetypal Heresy: Arianism through the Centuries

Arians within the 3rd century advert maintained that Jesus was once much less divine than God. considered as the archetypal Christian heresy, Arianism was once condemned within the Nicene Creed and it seems that squashed via the early church. much less popular is the truth that fifteen centuries later, Arianism was once alive and good, championed through Isaac Newton and different scientists of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.

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38 THE END OF ARIANISM friend at court. The edicts of Theodosius were not at first enforced as strongly in the West as in the East. 107 But by 387, with the death of Justina and the weak political position of Valentinian II which made him increasingly dependent on the support and good will of Theodosius, the difference between the two halves of the empire had been substantially lessened. The growing presence of Gothic Arians was no help to the cause of the Latin-speaking Arians of the Western empire.

185–217). 108 Commentary of Maximinus 13 (ed. R. Gryson, Scolies Ariennes , 214). 109 M. Meslin, ‘Nationalisme, État et religions à la fin du IVe siècle’, Archives de sociologie des religions , 18 (1964 ), 6–7. 110 See H. O. Maier, ‘Private Space as the Social Context of Arianism in Ambrose's Milan’, JTS 111 See J. H. A. Van Banning, ‘The Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum ’ (unpublished D. Phil. thesis, Oxford University, 1983 ) and his ‘The Critical Edition of the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum : An Arian Source’ in SP (Oxford, 1982 ), xvii.

The supreme God remains the supreme and only source of all that is. But the unity of the Father and his Word or Son is also to be understood in terms of will. A word (λόγōς) spoken is one in intention and meaning with the thought or reason (λόγōς) that gave rise to it; and a son who is perfectly obedient to his father is one with him at the fundamental level of moral unity. Thus it is the willed action of the Father in bringing into being a second divine reality, the Son, and the willed conformity of that Son with the intentions of the Father that preserve the unity of God as the source of all, and also the unity of the two divine beings of Christian piety.

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