Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology

Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology


By (author) Dr. Lewis Ayres

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 30mm | 762g
  • Publication date: 22 June 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0198755058
  • ISBN 13: 9780198755050
  • Sales rank: 75,821

Product description

The first part of Nicaea and its Legacy offers a narrative of the fourth-century trinitarian controversy. It does not assume that the controversy begins with Arius, but with tensions among existing theological strategies. Lewis Ayres argues that, just as we cannot speak of one 'Arian' theology, so we cannot speak of one 'Nicene' theology either, in 325 or in 381. The second part of the book offers an account of the theological practices and assumptions within which pro-Nicene theologians assumed their short formulae and creeds were to be understood. Ayres also argues that there is no fundamental division between eastern and western trinitarian theologies at the end of the fourth century. The last section of the book challenges modern post-Hegelian trinitarian theology to engage with Nicaea more deeply.

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Author information

Lewis Ayres is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, Candler School of Theology and the Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University.

Review quote

The author's extensive erudition and knowledge of primary and secondary sources...make his achievement almost as remarkable as his initial ambition... This approach to pro-Nicene theology offers some illuminating insights... I maintain my stance on the opposite bank, but am glad to be able to salute a book of such good scholarship and stimulus from the other bank. Maurice Wiles, The Journal of Theological Studies

Table of contents

I. TOWARDS A CONTROVERSY ; 1. Points of Departure ; 2. Theological Trajectories in the Early Fourth Century I ; 3. Theological Trajectories in the Early Fourth Century II ; 4. Confusion and Controversy: AD 325-340 ; 5. The Creation of 'Arianism': AD 340-350 ; II. THE EMERGENCE OF PRO-NICENE THEOLOGY ; 6. Shaping the Alternatives: AD 350-360 ; 7. The Beginnings of Rapprochement ; 8. Basil of Caesarea and the Development of Pro-Nicene Theology ; 9. The East from Valens to Theodosius ; 10. Victory and the Struggle for Definition ; III. UNDERSTANDING PRO-NICENE THEOLOGY ; 11. On the Contours of Mystery ; 12. 'The First and Brightest Light' ; 13. 'Walk Towards Him Shining' ; 14. 'On Not Three Gods': Gregory of Nyssa's Trinitarian Theology ; 15. The Grammar of Augustine's Trinitarian Theology ; 16. In Spite of Hegel, Fire and Sword ; Epilogue: On Teaching the Fourth Century