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 japanese 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, comprehensive in 364 or 365 CE. Responding to Eunomius, whose Apology gave renewed impetus to a practice of starkly subordinationist Trinitarian theology that may continue to exist 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 specific beneficial properties that signify 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 hostile theological tools. Basil's treatise is as a lot approximately how theology should be performed and what people can and can't learn about God because it is ready 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 transformations that gave upward push to theological alterations. 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 constraints of even the simplest theology. whereas Basil subtle 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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9Q So there is much of the broadly Aristotelian notion of substance in Against Eunomius. But just as it would be wrong to see Basil as simply reproducing Stoic metaphysics in his Trinitarian theology,· we must beware of a similarly reductionist account of Basil's Aristotelianism.

Ibid. 187. Eun. 28. 188. Eun. 16. 18g. Eun. 3. " Basil uses this scheme to explain the different approaches of the four canonical evangelists. Whereas the authors of the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) focused on Christ's origins "according to the flesh" and "approached the theology by going through the corporeal origins," John began directly with the eternal origin of the Word from GOd. "19' With this move, Basil can separate the Gospel accounts of the Son's origins into the economic and the theological and can focus solely on the latter.

When Basil is speaking about unique features of the second kind in Against Eunomius, he even uses the standard philosophical examples of differentiae of the genus of "animal": being winged or footed, aquatic or terrestrial, rational or irrational. l86 These features distinguish various species within this genus. Of course, Father and Son are not species under a cornman genus. Nonetheless, the relation of differentiae to cornman features provides a useful model for thinking about the relation of the distinguishing marks of Father and Son to the properties they share in cornman.

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Against Eunomius (Fathers of the Church) by Saint Basil of Caesarea
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