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Durham e-Theses
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Orthodoxy and heresy according to saint epiphanius of salamis

Tsiakkas, Christophoros (1994) Orthodoxy and heresy according to saint epiphanius of salamis. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Heresy and Orthodoxy have been much discussed terms in theological studies from ancient times to the present day and various opinions and beliefs have been expressed on them. In this thesis, we have tried to gather the thought of Epiphanius on these terms on the basis of his works Panarion and Angyrotos. We have tried to let the texts of our author lead us to clear conclusions and this has meant that we made extensive use of the writings under examination. In this effort we are conscious that we have stood closer to Epiphanius' own methodology, namely his use of relevant texts, whereby the historical continuity of the faith of the Church, which lies at the root of her experience, is more adequately exposed. The thesis comprises three parts, dealing consecutively with a) Epiphanius' life and work, b) Epiphanius' views of Heresy and c) Epiphanius' views of Orthodoxy. In part a) we provide a brief account of Epiphanius' person and historical context, as well as his perception concerning his heresiology. In part b) we explore Epiphanius' sources for his account of heresy, his methodology, as well as his views on such central topics as the beginnings and development of heresy, the difference between schism and heresy, truth and heresy, church and heresy. Scripture and heresy, the devil and heresy and, finally the meaning of heresy suggested by the appelations which Epiphanius uses in his descriptions of it. In part c) we provide a general introduction on Epiphanius' understanding of orthodoxy, an account of the presuppositions of orthodoxy and the main contents of the orthodox faith as Epiphanius expounds them which comprise the topics of Theology/Triadology, Christology and Ecclesiology. In our conclusion we stress that, according to St. Epiphanius, Orthodoxy is the divinely provided and regulated truth which precedes the ecclesiastical life of the community and is expressed via all the manifestations of this life. By the same token. Heresy is any deviation from this divine and primordial truth as appropriated through and manifested in ecclesiastical life. As far as priority goes in respect to Orthodoxy and Heresy Epiphanius' view is contrary to that of Walter Bauer. For Epiphanius Orthodoxy precedes Heresy. The difference between these two views seems to lie in their choice of context. Bauer explores his topic in the context of historical and 'scientific' methods to which he subordinates his ecclesiastical data. Epiphanius develops his topic in the context of ecclesiastical tradition and life without neglecting the historical and scientific data. In Epiphanius' view ecclesiastical life and history do not constitute a field of fuction and confrontation between diverse ideologies and interpretations. Rather they constitute a living and unbreakable foundation of orthodoxy, which is expressed in the theory and practice of the Church.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1994
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 11:46

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