The Polemic of Athanasius of Alexandria and the Construction of the `Arian Controversy'
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 296
Width: 14.5 cm
Height: 22 cm
A historical and theological re-evaluation of the polemical writings of Athanasius of Alexandria (bishop 328-73), who would become known to later Christian generations as a saint and a champion of orthodoxy, and as the defender of the original Nicene Creed of 325 against the `Arian heresy'. For much of his own lifetime, however, Athanasius was an extremely controversial figure, and his writings, although highly influential on modern interpretations of the fourth-century Church and the so-called `Arian Controversy', display bias and distortion. David M. Gwynn examines Athanasius' polemic in detail, and in particular his construction of those he condemns as `Arian' as a single `heretical party', 'the Eusebians'. Gwynn argues that Athanasius' image of the Church polarized between his own `orthodoxy' and the `Arianism' of the `Eusebians' is a polemical construct, which has seriously impaired our knowledge of the development of Christianity in the crucial period in which the Later Roman Empire became ever increasingly a Christian empire.
an important resource Rebecca Lyman, Church History [Gwynn] provides his readership with a thorough survey of the status questionis regarding the dating of some fifteen Athanasian writings. Mark DelCogliano, Journal of Ecclesiastical History