Dionysius of Alexandria

Henry Chadwick

in The Church in Ancient Society

Published in print December 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246953
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600463 | DOI:

Series: Oxford History of the Christian Church

 Dionysius of Alexandria

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The position of Dionysius, made bishop of Alexandria in about 247, meant that he was called upon to comment on controversial matters in a time of great difficulty and persecution. This led to disagreements over the nature of Christ with the bishop of Rome, another Dionysius. While Rome was primarily concerned with the affirmation of monotheism, Alexandria was more concerned with protecting the threeness and Christian understanding of God. These differences point to a broad difference of approach to the doctrine of God between the Latin west and the Greek east. Latin theologians sympathizing with Alexandria were accused of Arianism, i.e. denying the complete divinity of Jesus. East and west also differed over baptism. A letter by Dionysius indicates the conversion of the Armenians to Christianity.

Keywords: Alexandria; Arianism; Armenia; baptism; Christological controversy; Dionysius of Alexandria; Rome

Chapter.  2507 words. 

Subjects: History of Christianity

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