Dale Tuggy

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.


  1. Rose Brown
    March 19, 2015 @ 1:21 pm

    Pre-Nicene Christology and Arianism

    There was no Arianism prior to Arius because Arianism started with Arius.Arius began to teach a new teaching. He taught that the Logos had a beginning of existence.Albeit some scholars like Alexander Vasiliev refers to Lucian as the Arius before Arius.This merely shows that Lucian hold onto a proto-Arianism.

    Arius was condemned while Justin, Theophilus, Dionysius, and pre-Nicene Fathers were considered Orthodox because the former denied consubstantiality (oneness in essence) of the Father and the Son while the latter supported it.

    In Dialogue with Trypho Ch. 128 , Justin Martyr said: “this power is indivisible and inseparable from the Father” and “begotten from the Father, by His power and will, but not by abscission, as if the essence of the Father were divided,”

    The Alexandrian Dionysius used the term “same substance,” but refused to rely on it theologically because the word was not used in any biblical text.

    Theophilus of Antioch spoke of the Logos as begotten from the substance (ousia) of the Fathersource.

    Athenagoras ( A.D. 177) wrote:

    “We acknowledge one God, uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassable [i.e., not subject to suffering], incomprehensible, illimitable … by whom the universe has been created through his Logos … We acknowledge also a Son of God. Nor let anyone think it ridiculous that God should have a Son … the Son of God is the Logos of the Father. If … it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by the Son, I will state briefly that he is the first product of the Father, not as having been brought into existence, for from the beginning God, who is the eternal mind, had theLogos in himself, being from eternity instinct with Logos. (Plea for the Christians ch. 10)

    Some of the pre-nicene fathers were subordinationists yet they still adhere to Jesus as “God of God.” Gregory Thaumaturgus, Irenaeus, Athenagoras and others taught that the Son is eternally begotten from the Father not created from nothing. On the other hand, Arius introduced a completely alien thought to the church by teaching that the Logos had a beginning of existence, created from nothing.


  2. Ben Nasmith
    March 11, 2014 @ 10:01 am

    Here’s my favourite quote from Davis: “homoousios, coined by the Gnostic heretics, proposed by an unbaptized emperor, jeopardized by naïve defenders, but eventually vindicated as orthodox, was added to the creed of Nicaea to become a sign of contradiction for the next half-century.” (p.62)


  3. reality checker
    March 11, 2014 @ 4:36 am

    Athanasius appears at one point in his career to be in agreement with the assessmentt you made regarding homoousios that it may refer to being ‘of a kind’ just as for example a child is to their parent, and this w/o a necessary connotation that both parent and child are the “same being” (for example, Siamese twins are the same being). That is the meaning which is usually read back into the word homoousios found in the Nicene creed. Here’s what he said in De Synodis 51 “For what shall we say about Jephtha’s daughter; because she was only-begotten, and ‘he had not,’ says Scripture, ‘other child’ (Jud. 11:34); and again, concerning the widow’s son, whom the Lord raised from the dead, because he too had no brother, but was only-begotten, was on that account neither of these coessential [homoousios] with him that begat? Surely they were, for they were children, and this is a property of children with reference to their parents.” Obviously children are not the same identical being as their parents. That he used it in this way here does not mean that in another point in his career he may have attached that other connotation. it just shows that this word had a level of ambiguity which was not at all helpful. thanks for bringing this point out.



  4. Dale
    March 10, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

    Yeah, if historical theology or the development of theology is what you want to learn, I think that is probably the most useful book in the above list. His theological judgments aren’t always as accurate as I’d like, but he’s fair-handed on the history, and to the point.


  5. Ben Nasmith
    March 10, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

    I really enjoyed the Leo Donald Davis book and learned a lot from it!


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