Notwithstanding the fact that Novatian’s De trinitate follows Tertullian’s Adversus Praxean as a pre-eminent source, the former parted company with the latter on some crucial doctrinal points. This article examines Novatian’s approach to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in his De trinitate, analyzing at the same time its Stoicbackground. The paper illustrates how a meticulous research of Novatian’s De trinitate prompts scholars to discover hidden motives in ancient Christian literature.
Following the edition of the works of Ps. Justin by B. Pouderon, this article presents some critical notes concerning de monarchia and the Cohortatio ad Graecos. Notwithstanding the significant relationship with Clement of Alexandria, the de monarchia in fact comes from the Judeo-Hellenic background of Alexandria. The work was composed in the context of the anti-polytheistic controversy, and lacks the detail which would indicate a Christian origin. Concerning the Cohortatio it is suggested that due to its linguistic characteristics the probable (...) author is Marcellus of Ancyra, despite the fact that neither the doctrine nor the exegesis support this assumption. (shrink)
The Author, taking account of the deficiencies of the surviving documentation on the doctrinal thought of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, and considering the primacy of oral communication, nevertheless rejects the conclusion of a recent article on Origen’s doctrine of the Logos. There are no concrete data in the work of the Alexandrian theologian to support the hypothesis that he engaged in controversy with radical supporters of the doctrine of the Logos, who – as Arians ante litteram – separated the (...) Son from the divinity of the Father. Moreover, one cannot ascribe to Origen’s age the debate against those who supported the Son as being homoousios with the Father. According to extant documentation, this question is not raised before the dispute of the two Dionysiuses. In order to attempt reconstruction of the theological reasoning in the early Church, while at the same time avoiding hypotheses which, however intriguing they may seem, are simplynot well-founded, analysis must confine itself to the extant documents. (shrink)
In relation to the recent monograph of Karmann on Meletius of Antioch, some important episodes concerning the Arian controversy in the East between 360 and 364 are examined. The presence of the Meletians at the Council of Alexandria in 362 is ruled out and the meaning of the Trinitarian and Christological formulas in the Tomus ad Antiochenos is critically evaluated. The more political than doctrinal meaning of the formula issued by the Council of Antioch in 363 is accentuated, and the (...) significance of the contentious relationship between Athanasius and Meletius is considered in depth. That the doctrinal decisions of the Alessandrian council of 362 might have anticipated the passage from Nicenism to Neo – Nicenism is ruled out; this is confirmed by the Trinitarian reflection of Basil of Caesarea. (shrink)