‘The First and Brightest Light’ <sup>1</sup>

Lewis Ayres

in Nicaea and its Legacy

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780198755067
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602788 | DOI:
 ‘The First and Brightest Light’  1

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Focuses on some shared pro-Nicene Christological and cosmological principles. In the first place, pro-Nicenes see Christ as the agent of salvation and understand the nature of unity in the body of Christ through meditation on the mysterious presence of one who is the Word and Image of the Father and as such distinct from the world. Across different idioms, accounts of salvation and Christian existence are thus shaped by pro-Nicene concerns. These common themes begin to shape a common perception of Christian identity as mysterious and of the language of faith as inherently paradoxical. In the second half of the chapter, the author argues that this picture is reinforced when we see how pro-Nicenes shape common accounts of the semiotic structure of reality existing in the world. Through these accounts we begin to see a common aesthetics of faith emerging. This aesthetics forms the context for pro-Nicene Trinitarian theology.

Keywords: aesthetics; Ambrose; asceticism; Augustine; Basil; creation; faith; Gregory of Nyssa; participation

Chapter.  11170 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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