Archetypal Heresy: Arianism through the Centuries by Maurice Wiles

By Maurice Wiles

Arians within the 3rd century advert maintained that Jesus used to be much less divine than God. considered as the archetypal Christian heresy, Arianism was once condemned within the Nicene Creed and it seems that squashed by way of the early church. much less renowned is the truth that fifteen centuries later, Arianism was once alive and good, championed via Isaac Newton and different scientists of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. This publication asks how and why Arianism continued.

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33 And in the account that he gives of Christian baptism, he spells out its threefold form as being ‘in the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe . . 34 The structure of the faith that he practises leads him to speak of a second divine reality, in addition to the supreme God, who is distinct from him but a proper object of Christian worship. This second divine reality is called by many different titles, especially Word and Son. In defending his position against Jewish objections, Justin draws extensively on the Old Testament scriptures.

63 See esp. his ch. 18, ‘Homoian Arianism’, 557–97. 64 See pp. 10–23 above. 65 É. Amann, ‘Semi-Ariens’, DTC vol. xiv (2), 1790. THE END OF ARIANISM 29 that ascribed a created status to the Son. Indeed, alarm about the radical development of such ideas by Aetius and his pupil Eunomius was the initial impetus which gave rise to the emergence of the Homoiousians as a distinct group with a distinct theological approach. 66 It would not have been surprising if from the standpoint of Nicene orthodoxy the Homoiousians should have appeared to be standing half-way between the truth and Arian error, even though that seriously misrepresents their intentions.

83 See Liebeschutz, Barbarians and Bishops , 152. 84 Theodosian Code 16. 5. 23; 16. 5. 49. 85 Kopecek, A History of Neo-Arianism , 529–39. 34 THE END OF ARIANISM opposition to contend with. Though having no churches within the city in which to meet, the Arians used to foregather in the open air and organize colourful, hymn-singing processions, which were liable to end in serious clashes with rival Catholic demonstrations. 89 Meanwhile, as they sought to survive in the face of so much hostile legislation, neither the Eunomians nor the Arians abandoned their characteristic concern for precision of theological truth.

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