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Nicaea and Its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology

4.4  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Lewis Ayres offers a new account of the most important century in the development of Christian belief after Christ. He shows how the doctrine of the Trinity was developed, and in particular argues that a conception of God's mysteriousness and spiritual progress towards understanding is central to that doctrine. He also proposes that modern theologies of the Trinity fail to ...more
Paperback, 475 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published October 15th 2004)
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Радостин Марчев
Ако не най-доброто, то едно от най-добрите изложения на тринитарното богословие през 4 век, което вероятно ще наложи стандарт. Сложна материя изкисваща доста предварителни знания, за да си позволи човек изобщо да се захване с нея, но определено заслужаваща си усилието. Айерс не пише много, но почти всичко, което напише е добро.
Трябва да призная, че въпреки най-добрите си намерения не успях да се преборя с последните няколко десетки страници. Или авторът започва да пише още по-сложно (а стилът м
May 17, 2013 Charlie rated it it was amazing
This is probably the best interpretation of fourth-century Trinitarian theology of reasonable length. It is quite dense, though, and should not be used an introduction. Several of Ayres' claims cut against the scholarly status quo. They are well argued, but the reader should probably be familiar with other literature beforehand. I recommend first reading The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God by R. P. C. Hanson, a very large but comprehensive work.
May 25, 2016 Steve rated it it was amazing
This is a truly outstanding book, with detailed, full explanations of the different theological streams that flower in and out of Nicaea and then to the council of Constantinople. There are full discussions of the Cappadocians as well as St Augustine. It is hard to imagine more thorough account.
Bob Buice
Sep 17, 2016 Bob Buice rated it liked it
Subordinationist Christology, the Son is subordinate to the Father, was heavily preached by thinkers such as Origen of Alexander (c. 185 – c. 254), historian Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263 – 339 CE), Eusebius of Nicomedia (c. 260 – c. 340 CE), and others. However, this was not the universal teaching of the church. When Arius (c. 253 – 336 CE), presbyter of the church of the Baucalis in Alexander, said, "If the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this ...more
Jacob Aitken
For the most part Ayres gives us a magisterial survey and exposition of the Nicene era. His goal is to identify and commend what he terms a “pro-Nicene” theology. His second goal is to combat a problematic understanding of Trinitarian theology: Eastern personalism vs. Western monism, also known as the “De Regnon” Thesis.

He begins his narrative as most do—with a discussion of Origen. Ayres helpfully notes that early Christian thinkers were reticent to use the term “homousios” since it implied a
Sep 04, 2013 Sagely rated it it was ok
I recently read a critique of Henri de Lubac's theological program that cast it as a retreat into some Patristic Middle Earth. The theological methodology Lewis Ayres lays out in the last chapter of Nicaea and Its Legacy sets course on a similar heading.

Initially, in Part I (chs 1-5), I applaud Ayres' method. Ayres offers a thick description of the theologically diverse early to mid 4th century. In fact, throughout NaIL, Ayres offers admirable opposition to traditional narratives about Nicaea an
Joel Zartman
Aug 10, 2016 Joel Zartman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An advanced, difficult work, but Ancient Church historiography at its best. Familiarity with the persons, the period and the primary works will help you understand this book. You need a frame of reference first. The last chapter gives a summary of the steps the book works through and can serve as a frame of reference.

Ayres sets himself the task of undermining contemporary theological method, which proceeds against pre-modern theology by means of three fallacious strategies (387-391). He shows th
G Walker
Good... helpful volume... suffers from what I call "Leithart footnoting" (that is referencing an entire book, not a page number or even a chapter or section)... which is to say, due to the author's erudition, he expects his readers to be as well versed with the sources that he quotes as he is... Good stuff overall... Not sure yet how I feel about his take on Augustine or his understanding of the issues between East and West... but still very helpful volume, cf Anatolios, Behr, Hanson, Young etc.
Steven Wedgeworth
Jun 10, 2011 Steven Wedgeworth rated it it was amazing
The best. Ayres is my hero. This book is all you need for Nicene theology and history. Shuts up the neo-Palamites and social-Trinitarians quite well too. Brings Augustine and the Cappadocians together for a big pro-Nicene love fest. Super long and dense though. And expensive. Have I mentioned that I hate academic publishing houses? I'm looking at you Oxford press!
May 17, 2011 D.N. rated it it was amazing
An outstanding single volume account of fourth-century trinitarian theology. Sure to be a standard text for years to come, and one that I'll no doubt refer to repeatedly.
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