St Basil and Anomoean Theology

Torstein Theodor Tollefsen

in Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199605965
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738227 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

St Basil and Anomoean Theology

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The exchange between the Anomoean (Neoarian) theologian Eunomius and the Cappadocian Fathers constitutes one important feature of the fourth-century Trinitarian controversy. The label ‘anomoean’ stems from Eunomius’ idea that Christ is ‘unlike’ (anomoios) the Father. The Christian terminology of essence and activity went through a particular development in this controversy. One issue concerned the knowability of the divine essence. Basil the Great applied the essence–activities distinction to argue against the Eunomian doctrine that the essence of God may be known perfectly. The chapter contains a description of some features of Eunomius’ theology.

Keywords: activity; Anomoean theologian; Basil; Cappadocian Fathers; essence; Eunomius; knowability of divine essence

Chapter.  5344 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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