The studies in this second collection by Professor Stead, which includes three pieces hitherto unpublished, investigate in detail the philosophical basis and legitimacy of important statements of early Christian doctrine, focusing on the writings of Arius, Athanasius and Augustine. Arius is shown as a theologian of merit, rather than the monster portrayed by conventional historians, with Athanasius' polemical attacks on him emerging as ill-founded - though Athanasius' own positive teaching is deservedly famous. Augustine appears as not only a masterly theologian, but an enterprising philosopher, albeit one capable of error. His cosmology, often neglected, forms the subject of one of the unpublished studies.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Greek influence on Christian thought; The appropriation of the philosophical concept of God by early Christian theologians: W. Pannenberg’s Thesis Reconsidered; Marcel Richard on Malchion and Paul of Samosata; Arius in modern research; Was Arius a Neoplatonist?; Arius on God’s many words; The Word ’from nothing’; The Arian controversy: a new perspective; Knowledge of God in Eusebius and Athanasius; Athanasius’ earliest written work; Athanasius als Exeget; The Scriptures and the soul of Christ in Athanasius; St. Athanasius on the Psalms; Why not three Gods? The logic of Gregory of Nyssa’s Trinitarian Doctrine; Augustine’s philosophy of being; The intelligible world in Platonic tradition, Marius Victorinus and Augustine; Augustine’s universe; Augustine’s De Magistro: a philosopher’s view (with addendum); Augustine, the Meno and the subconscious mind; Logic and the application of names to God; Divine simplicity as a problem for orthodoxy; Index.
'...the book provides an intellectual rich and rigorous journey through fourth- and fifth-century Christian thought...' Journal of Early Christian Studies 'It is the chief merit of this series to make available between two covers works that are not readly accessible... the series appears to be moving in a gratifying direction... an extremely useful introduction... enormously learned... essential reading... a thoroughly remarkable collection of essays.' Adamantius