Drinking in the Majesty and Grace of God: Basil of Caesarea

Ellen T. Charry

in By the Renewing of Your Minds

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780195134865
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853472 | DOI:
Drinking in the Majesty and Grace of God: Basil of Caesarea

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Basil of Caesarea, a theologian-bishop like Athanasius, helped forward the Cappadocian formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity by inferring that since the Holy Spirit transforms lives, he is as important as the Father and the Son. Basil wrote On the Holy Spirit in about 375, amid the protracted and complex trinitarian controversies of the 4th century, whose third quarter focused on the dignity of status of the Holy Spirit. This chapter highlights Basil's pastoral concerns: to stimulate his flock's growth in Christian piety, especially as effected in worship, through engaged understanding of the Trinity; to use the experience of spiritual transformation in support of the equality of the Holy Spirit with the Father and the Son; to legitimate Episcopal authority to develop church practices that promote proper knowledge of the truth and goodness of God; and to set forth the pastoral responsibilities of theology.

Keywords: Basil of Caesarea; Trinity; Holy Spirit; Christian piety; God; Christian theology

Chapter.  9832 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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