podcast 170 – Athanasius’s On the Nicene Council – Part 2

January 30, 2017

In this episode we hear the rest (chapters 4-7) of On the Nicene Council (aka Defence of the Nicene Definition, De Decretis) by Athanasius of Alexandria.

He argues that Christ being called “Word,” “Wisdom,” “Power,” “Hand,” and “Image” of God implies that he is indeed “from the essence” on “one in essence” with God. He attacks his opponents’ older two-stage logos theory, on which the Son did not exist before his “generation” from God, and defends the Origenist teaching of eternal generation. The Son, he argues, must be “proper Offspring” from the essence of God, and so also be unchangeable, immutable, and eternal.

He gives his own account of the motivations of that 325 council, which he attended with his then bishop, and then he urges that earlier catholic teachers – Theognostus, Dionysius of Alexandria, Dionysius of Rome, and Origen – had taught substantially the same christology as the 325 council. And he attacks his opponents’ term “unoriginate” as unscriptural, equivocal, and even blasphemous!

What’s your take? Does the Saint make his case here that all Christians should unite behind the original Nicene creed?

Links for this episode:

Dale Tuggy is Professor of Philosophy at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches courses in analytic theology, philosophy of religion, religious studies, and the history of philosophy.

One thought on “podcast 170 – Athanasius’s On the Nicene Council – Part 2”

  1. Great podcasts. I’m really enjoying all the podcasts on the history of the church and doctrine which I’ve been looking back over more recently.

    Maybe a little unfair on the impression of Athanasius’ voice though. 😀

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