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 this present day profess as "orthodox." Nowhere is his Trinitarian theology extra basically 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 will 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 unique gains that symbolize 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 should be performed and what humans can and can't find out about God because it is set the exposition of Trinitarian doctrine. therefore opposed to Eunomius marks a turning element within the Trinitarian debates of the fourth century, for the 1st time addressing the methodological and epistemological variations that gave upward push to theological changes. Amidst the polemical vitriol of opposed to Eunomius is a decision to epistemological humility at the a part of the theologian, a choice to acknowledge the restrictions of even the simplest theology. whereas Basil sophisticated his theology throughout the process his profession, opposed to Eunomius continues to be a testomony to his early theological improvement and a privileged window into the Trinitarian controversies of the mid-fourth century.
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Additional info for Against Eunomius (Fathers of the Church)
Like most theologians of his era, Basil develops his doctrine of God by reflecting upon and interpreting scripture. For Basil, good theology cons~sts i? e~plicating what scripture reveals about God and standmg m silent adoration before the mystery of what it does not reveal. Scnpture not only reveals the content of theology, but also instructs the theologian in how language operates. 204 Scripture dictates what the theologian can and cannot say. This is not to say that BaSil did not approach the scriptures with metaphysical assumptions about God.
236. 53 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION Spirit is. He does not specifY how this relates to the Father and the Son, for whom the same can be said. Though the Spirit's inherent goodness separates him from the created realm (Basil is indeed adamant to deny that the Spirit is created through the Word), Basil's vision of the role of the Spirit in the divine activity of creating nonetheless remains unclear. 6, that the Spirit does not create, but perfects the created realm. l9' And yet Basil enumerates several activities the Spirit does perform: adopting the faithful as sons of God, teaching them, distributing spiritual gifts, scrutinizing the depths of God,'oo giving new life to Christians in Christ, and making them the dwelling-place of God.
With the exception of the last of these, all these Ongenian themes are found in many theologians between Origen and Basil and thus could have come to Basil through mtermedlate channels. In other cases, however, we can discern Basil's direct use of Origen, particularly in Basil's understanding of conceptualization 239. Eun. 8 and 2·34241. Eun. 14· 240. Eun. 4. 242. Eun. 22. 243. SC 299. 65-74' 245. Eun. 26, and 3·1. 244. Eun. 3 2 . 247. Eun. 22-24- 248. Eun. 1. 246. Eun. 14-17. INTRODUCTION (epinoia).