Against Eunomius (Fathers of the Church) by Saint Basil of Caesarea

By Saint Basil of Caesarea

Basil of Caesarea is taken into account one of many architects of the Pro-Nicene Trinitarian doctrine followed on the Council of Constantinople in 381, which jap and western Christians to at the present time profess as "orthodox." Nowhere is his Trinitarian theology extra sincerely expressed than in his first significant doctrinal paintings, opposed to Eunomius, entire in 364 or 365 CE. Responding to Eunomius, whose Apology gave renewed impetus to a convention of starkly subordinationist Trinitarian theology that may live on for many years, Basil's opposed to Eunomius displays the serious controversy raging at the moment between Christians around the Mediterranean international over who God is. during this treatise, Basil makes an attempt to articulate a theology either one of God's unitary essence and of the particular gains that signify the daddy, Son, and Holy Spirit--a contrast that a few hail because the cornerstone of "Cappadocian" theology. In opposed to Eunomius, we see the conflict now not easily of 2 dogmatic positions at the doctrine of the Trinity, yet of 2 essentially antagonistic theological equipment. Basil's treatise is as a lot approximately how theology must be performed and what humans can and can't learn about God because it is ready the exposition of Trinitarian doctrine. therefore opposed to Eunomius marks a turning aspect within the Trinitarian debates of the fourth century, for the 1st time addressing the methodological and epistemological alterations that gave upward thrust to theological ameliorations. Amidst the polemical vitriol of opposed to Eunomius is a choice to epistemological humility at the a part of the theologian, a decision to acknowledge the constraints of even the easiest theology. whereas Basil subtle his theology in the course of the process his occupation, opposed to Eunomius is still a testomony to his early theological improvement and a privileged window into the Trinitarian controversies of the mid-fourth century.

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Steenson, "Basil of Ancyra and the Course of Nlcene Ortho~ doxy" (DPhil. , Oxford University, 19 8 3). Homoiousians. "5 Despite the usefulness of Steenson's contribution, a detailed analysis of the relation between Basil's thought in Against Eunomius and Homoiousian theology remains a scholarly desideratum. Nonetheless, we offer a few areas in which Basil's direct dependence on the Homoiousians seems likely. First, the names 'Father' and 'Son' give rise primarily to notions; that is, they do not reveal substance as the Heteroousians had taught.

However more complex the situation was, the invective of this "war of rival asceticisms" drew on themes from the pre-existing debate between philosophy and rhetoric. Basil may be drawing on the anti-rhetorical features of this debate in his polemical characterization of Eunomius. l71 Therefore, because of its multiform polemics and juridical oratory, Basil's Against Eunomius is neit a systematic work on Trinitarian theology, nor should it be interpreted as if it were. " Basil's scorn for Eunomius and the distortio~s inhere~t in his character assassination at times carry over to hiS theological refutations.

20, 37-44; Ps. 59·4; Ps. 5. Synac translations: Hex. 6. Textual variants: Eun. 19; Hex. 4·5; Ps. 1206. See Hildebrand 112-14 for more details. nost respect to each word of scripture because it is noth, . ing less than a word of the Spirit. At the same time, in Against Eunomlus Basil appears to ~c­ knowledge degrees of inspiration. iptures. Such passages have extraordinary importance for Ba~11. "! Nonetheless, because Basil believed that the scriptures were inspired, they were for him the authoritative and true "divine scripture,"'" "divine or"223 or "divine word,"'" the basis for all Christian theologiacIes, .

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