Article

The Trinity in the Fourth-Century Fathers

J. Warren Smith

in The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557813
Published online January 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199557813.003.0009

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

The Trinity in the Fourth-Century Fathers

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This article offers a nuanced account of the fourth-century Trinitarian controversies. It shows how the fundamentally exegetical controversies began with Arius' insistence on the unique divine prerogatives of the Father and continued with decades of debate over the appropriateness of the word homoousios, which had been rejected by third-century synods in Antioch because of concerns about modalism. It argues that the doctrine of the Trinity that emerged in the years leading up to the Council of Constantinople in 381 was not so much a philosophical dispute as it was a conflict over the interpretation of Scripture.

Keywords: Trinitarian controversy; fourth-century; exegetical controversies; Arius; divine prerogatives; homoousios; modalism; Antioch; Council of Constantinople; interpretation of Scripture

Article.  7187 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Christianity ; Philosophy of Religion ; Religion in the Ancient World

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