Ambrose’s Election and Early Years in Milan

Daniel H. Williams

in Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Arian-Nicene Conflicts

Published in print May 1995 | ISBN: 9780198264644
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191682735 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Ambrose’s Election and Early Years in Milan

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This chapter discusses Ambrose's election to the episcopate and his early years as bishop. Ambrose's anti-Arian policies in the early years of his episcopate demonstrate his attachment, familial and personal, to the Nicene form of Christianity. But this viewpoint must be carefully distinguished from Ambrose's non-aggressive religious-political agenda, which he established in Milan at the time of his becoming bishop. The standard assessment of Ambrose as one who openly opposed Arianism from the beginning is seriously flawed for the lack of evidence in its support. It is far more reasonable to postulate an Ambrose who maintained the religious-political policies he defended as governor of the province. After all, the upholding of these policies was the ostensible reason for his election.

Keywords: Ambrose of Milan; anti-Arian; episcopate; bishop; Nicene; Christianity; Arianism

Chapter.  11113 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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