Hieromonk Atanasije Jevtić

St. Athanasius the Great and the Council of Alexandria in 362

pages: 261-286

Abstract

Having presented a Serbian translation of the resolutions of the Council of Alexandria of 362 A. D. (Tomos ad Antiochenos), the author, before commenting on the same, reviews the life and work of St. Athanasius in the context of the ecclesiastical-theological events during the period between the First Ecumenical Council and the year 362.

Besides objectively presenting the events, the article attempts to grasp and precisely evaluate the post-Nicean theological trends in the East, avoiding the usual stereotypes of most Western historians, to whom the whole East was simply »Arian« or »semi-Arian«. It seeks to fully clarify the reasons of Eastern opposition towards the Niceans and the Nicean term »homoousios«. All the complexities of the Eastern bishops' fight not only against Nicea, but also against Arianism and Sabelianism,, are shown. The complexities of this dispute of Eastern theology were not understood in the West, and that was the reason they gave support to the Sabelianizing Marcel of Ancyra. The greatness of St. Athanasius was in that he was the first to find understanding for the East, even though it had persecuted him so much, and was the first to extend his hand to the healthiest group of Eastern bishops centered around Basil of Ancyra and St. Meletius of Antioch.

The article contains a ishort analysis of Eastern creeds (from the II of Antioch to the V of Syrmium) and particularly analyzes the homoiousian theology and its attempts to remain faithful to the healthiest tradition of Eastern Trinitarian theology.

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