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Durham e-Theses
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Athanasius' contra arianos iv: a reconsideration

Cathleen S.W. Walbrodt, (1993) Athanasius' contra arianos iv: a reconsideration. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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The purpose of this thesis is to provide a through reconsideration of the treatise Oratio IV Contra Arianos (hereinafter referred to as CAR IV), which historically is attributed to St. Athanasius. This reconsideration addresses three main areas of inquiry:1. Is it defensible to consider Athanasius to be the author of CAR IV in terms of linguistics and theology?2. Since the Athanasian premise is not universally accepted, what other authors are suggested by patristics scholars?3. Regardless of authorship, what theological value does CAR IV hold for the contemporary reader? It is this author's contention that CAR IV, though a lesser-known writing of the Nicene period, is a very significant treatise. CAR IV offers a valuable insight into the theologically rich and complex world of the fourth century church. In CAR IV, by way of refutation, we are introduced to a view as radical and persistent as Arianism but less often discussed - modalistic monarchianism. An understanding of all the varied doctrines that did battle at Nicea leads to a greater appreciation for the endurance of the tradition expressed in the Nicene creed. In conclusion, the present author finds the argument that CAR IV is genuinely Athanasian but separate from the other three Orations to be the most convincing theory yet expounded. CAR IV would be more properly titled Contra Marcellum. Perhaps Athanasius never gave this title to the work in deference to Marcellus. Only Athanasius, Marcellus' friend, would demonstrate this consideration. It is also suggested that CAR IV was an incomplete rough draft. The author of this thesis agrees with this reasoning also, and after contemplation would further this explanation by hypothesizing that CAR IV was an incomplete text of Athanasius that was collected and arranged in its current form posthumously by students of the Bishop.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1993
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:24 Oct 2012 15:14

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