IntroductionThe purpose of the book a vindication of Christian doctrine, and especially of the Cross, against the scoffing objection of Gentiles. The effects of this doctrine its main vindication. The knowledge of our religion and of the truth of things is independently manifest rather than in need of human teachers, for almost day by day it asserts itself by facts, and manifests itself brighter than the sun by the doctrine of Christ. Still, as you nevertheless desire to hear about it, Macarius  , come let us as we may be able set forth a few points of the faith of Christ: able though you are to find it out from the divine oracles, but yet generously desiring to hear from others as well.
|Published (Last):||9 May 2008|
|PDF File Size:||13.25 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||16.17 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Biography[ edit ] A statue of Athanasius in Catania , Sicily. Athanasius was born to a Christian family in the city of Alexandria  or possibly the nearby Nile Delta town of Damanhur sometime between the years and The earlier date is sometimes assigned due to the maturity revealed in his two earliest treatises Contra Gentes Against the Heathens and De Incarnatione On the Incarnation , which were admittedly written about the year before Arianism had begun to make itself felt, as those writings do not show an awareness of Arianism.
Secondly, the Festal Epistles state that the Arians had accused Athanasius, among other charges, of not having yet attained the canonical age 30 and thus could not have been properly ordained as Patriarch of Alexandria in The accusation must have seemed plausible. Historical evidence, however, indicates that he was fluent in Coptic as well given the regions of Egypt where he preached. He sent for the children and discovered that one of the boys Athanasius had acted as bishop.
After questioning Athanasius, Bishop Alexander informed him that the baptisms were genuine, as both the form and matter of the sacrament had been performed through the recitation of the correct words and the administration of water, and that he must not continue to do this as those baptized had not been properly catechized.
He invited Athanasius and his playfellows to prepare for clerical careers. Intellectually, morally, and politically—it epitomized the ethnically diverse Graeco-Roman world, even more than Rome or Constantinople, Antioch or Marseilles.
His successor as bishop of Alexandria was Alexander of Alexandria — Athanasius was also familiar with the theories of various philosophical schools, and in particular with the developments of Neo-Platonism. Ultimately, Athanasius would modify the philosophical thought of the School of Alexandria away from the Origenist principles such as the "entirely allegorical interpretation of the text".
Still, in later works, Athanasius quotes Homer more than once Hist. Athanasius knew Greek and admitted not knowing Hebrew [see, e. The Old Testament passages he quotes frequently come from the Septuagint Greek translation.
Only rarely did he use other Greek versions to Aquila once in the Ecthesis, to other versions once or twice on the Psalms , and his knowledge of the Old Testament was limited to the Septuagint. Bishop or Patriarch, the highest ecclesial rank in the Centre of the Church, in Alexandria Alexander ordained Athanasius a deacon in Already a recognized theologian and ascetic , he was the obvious choice to replace his aging mentor Alexander as the Patriarch of Alexandria ,  despite the opposition of the followers of Arius and Meletius of Lycopolis.
From this time to the end of the Arian controversies the word "consubstantial" continued to be the test of orthodoxy. The formulary of faith drawn up by Hosius is known as the Nicene Creed. The term had been proposed in a non-obvious and illegitimate sense by Paul of Samosata to the Fathers at Antioch, and had been rejected by them as savouring of materialistic conceptions of the Godhead.
It appears that Arius reproached Alexander for what he felt were misguided or heretical teachings being taught by the bishop. Arius was subsequently excommunicated by Alexander, and he would begin to elicit the support of many bishops who agreed with his position.
Athanasius of Alexandria
Contra Gentes ———————————— This treatise and that which follows it form in reality two parts of a single work. Jerome De Script. Both books, indeed, are mainly directed against the Gentiles, but in the present treatise the refutation is carried out with more special reference to the beliefs and worship of the heathen. The two books belong to the earlier years of Athanasius.
Contra Gentes ———————————— This treatise and that which follows it form in reality two parts of a single work. Jerome De Script. Both books, indeed, are mainly directed against the Gentiles, but in the present treatise the refutation is carried out with more special reference to the beliefs and worship of the heathen. The two books belong to the earlier years of Athanasius. The Arian controversy which broke out a. How long before the limit thus fixed the work was composed it is impossible to say with certainty.
Against the Heathen
The effects of this doctrine its main vindication. Part 1 1. The knowledge of our religion and of the truth of things is independently manifest rather than in need of human teachers, for almost day by day it asserts itself by facts, and manifests itself brighter than the sun by the doctrine of Christ. Still, as you nevertheless desire to hear about it, Macarius , come let us as we may be able set forth a few points of the faith of Christ: able though you are to find it out from the divine oracles, but yet generously desiring to hear from others as well. For although the sacred and inspired Scriptures are sufficient to declare the truth — while there are other works of our blessed teachers compiled for this purpose, if he meet with which a man will gain some knowledge of the interpretation of the Scriptures , and be able to learn what he wishes to know — still, as we have not at present in our hands the compositions of our teachers, we must communicate in writing to you what we learned from them — the faith , namely, of Christ the Saviour; lest any should hold cheap the doctrine taught among us, or think faith. For this is what the Gentiles traduce and scoff at, and laugh loudly at us, insisting on the one fact of the Cross of Christ; and it is just here that one must pity their want of sense, because when they traduce the Cross of Christ they do not see that its power has filled all the world, and that by it the effects of the knowledge of God are made manifest to all.