Arianism

Arianism is the theological teaching of Arius (c. AD 250-336), who was ruled a heretic by the Christian church at the Council of Nicea.

Arius lived and taught in Alexandria, Egypt, in the early 4th century. The most controversial of his teachings dealt with the relationship between God the Father and the person of Jesus, saying that Jesus was not one with the Father, and that he was not fully, although almost, divine in nature. This teaching of Arius conflicted with trinitarian christological positions which were held by the Church (and subsequently maintained by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Churches and most Protestant Churches).

The term "Arianism" is also used to refer to other nontrinitarian theological systems of the fourth century, which regarded the Son of God, the Logos, as a created being (as in Arianism proper and Anomoeanism) or as neither uncreated nor created in the sense other beings are created (as in "Semi-Arianism").

Origin

Arius posed the question, "Is Jesus unbegotten?" In other words, he taught that God the Father and the Son did not exist together eternally. Further, Arius taught that the pre-incarnate Jesus was a divine being created by (and possibly inferior to) the Father at some point, before which the Son did not exist. In English-language works, it is sometimes said that Arians believe that Jesus is or was a "creature"; in this context, the word is being used in its original sense of "created being." That doctrine that Arius wrote was based on Scriptures such as John 14:28 where Jesus says that the father is "greater than I" to John 17:20-26 where Jesus asks that the Apostles become "one as we are one" so that all of them including Jesus and God become one, thus demonstrating that the oneness refers to thought and will, and not a physical Trinity, or so Arius believed.

Of all the various disagreements within the Christian Church, the Arian controversy has held the greatest force and power of theological and political conflict, with the possible exception of the Protestant Reformation. The conflict between Arianism and Trinitarian beliefs was the first major doctrinal confrontation in the Church after the legalization of Christianity by the Roman Emperor Constantine I.

The controversy over Arianism began to rise in the late third century and extended over the greater part of the fourth century and involved most church members, simple believers, priests and monks as well as bishops, emperors and members of Rome's imperial family. Yet, such a deep controversy within the Church could not have materialized in the third and fourth centuries without some significant historical influences providing the basis for the Arian doctrines. Most orthodox or mainstream Christian historians define and minimize the Arian conflict as the exclusive construct of Arius and a handful of rogue bishops engaging in heresy. Of the roughly three hundred bishops in attendance at the Council of Nicea, only three bishops did not sign the Nicene Creed.

After the dispute over Arius politicized the debate and a catholic or general solution to the debate was sought, with a great majority holding to the trinitarian position, the Arian position was declared officially to be heterodox. There is some irony in that the Roman Catholic Church canonized Lucian of Antioch as a brilliant and talented early Christian leader and martyr, although Lucian taught a very similar form of what would later be called Arianism. Arius was a student of Lucian's private academy in Antioch. The Ebionites, among other early Christian groups, also may have maintained similar doctrines that can be associated with formal Lucian and Arian Christology.

While Arianism continued to dominate for several decades even within the family of the Emperor, the Imperial nobility and higher-ranking clergy, in the end it was Trinitarianism which prevailed politically and thus theologically in the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth century. Arianism, which had been taught by the Arian missionary Ulfilas to the Germanic tribes, was dominant for some centuries among several Germanic tribes in western Europe, especially Goths and Lombards (and significantly for the late Empire, the Vandals), but ceased to be the mainstream belief by the 8th Century AD. Trinitarianism remained the dominant doctrine in all major branches of the Eastern and Western Church and within Protestantism, although there have been several anti-trinitarian movements, some of which acknowledge various similarities to classical Arianism.

Beliefs

Because most written material on Arianism was written by its opponents, the nature of Arian teachings is difficult to define precisely today. The letter of Auxentius, [The letter can be found at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/texts/auxentius.trans.html.] a 4th century Arian bishop of Milan, regarding the missionary Ulfilas, gives the clearest picture of Arian beliefs on the nature of the Trinity: God the Father ("unbegotten"), always existing, was separate from the lesser Jesus Christ ("only-begotten"), born before time began and creator of the world. The Father, working through the Son, created the Holy Spirit, who was subservient to the Son as the Son was to the Father. The Father was seen as "the only true God." 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 was cited as proof text:

:"Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth — as in fact there are many gods and many lords — yet for us there is one God (Gk. "theos" - θεος), the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord ("kyrios" - κυριος), Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist." (NRSV)

A letter from Arius to the Arian Eusebius of Nicomedia succinctly states the core beliefs of the Arians:

:"Some of them say that the Son is an eructation, others that he is a production, others that he is also unbegotten. These are impieties to which we cannot listen, even though the heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and believe and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way part of the unbegotten; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter; but that by his own will and counsel he has subsisted before time and before ages as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that before he was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established, he was not. For he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning." (Peters, "Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe", p. 41)

The First Council of Nicaea and its aftermath

In 321, Arius was denounced by a synod at Alexandria for teaching a heterodox view of the relationship of Jesus to God the Father. Because Arius and his followers had great influence in the schools of Alexandria—counterparts to modern universities or seminaries—their theological views spread, especially in the eastern Mediterranean.

By 325, the controversy had become significant enough that the Emperor Constantine called an assembly of bishops, the First Council of Nicaea, which condemned Arius' doctrine and formulated the Original Nicene Creed [ [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.vii.iii.html NPNF2-14. The Seven Ecumenical Councils | Christian Classics Ethereal Library ] ] , forms of which are still recited in Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, and some Protestant services. The Nicene Creed's central term, used to describe the relationship between the Father and the Son, is Homoousios, or Consubstantiality, meaning "of the same substance" or "of one being". (The Athanasian Creed is less often used but is a more overtly anti-Arian statement on the Trinity.)

The focus of the Council of Nicaea was the divinity of Christ (see Paul of Samosata and the Synods of Antioch). Arius taught that Jesus Christ was divine and was sent to earth for the salvation of mankind but that Jesus Christ was not equal to the Father (infinite, primordial origin) and to the Holy Spirit (giver of life). Under Arianism, Christ was instead not consubstantial with God the Father. ["The oneness of Essence, the Equality of Divinity, and the Equality of Honor ofGod the Son with the God the Father." Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 92-95] Since both the Father and the Son under Arius were made of "like" essence or being (see homoiousia) but not of the same essence or being (see homoousia). [Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 92-95: "This heretical teaching of Arius disrupted the whole Christian world, since it drew after it very many people. In 325 the First Ecumenical Council was called against this teaching, and at this council 318 of the chief hierarchs of the church unanimously expressed the ancient teaching of Orthodoxy and condemned the false teaching of Arius. The Council triumphantly pronounced anathema against those who say that there was a time the Son of God did not exist, against those who affirm that he was created, or that he is of a different essence from God the Father. The Council composed of a Symbol of Faith, which was confirmed and completed later at the Second Ecumenical Council. The unity and equality of honor of the Son of God with God the Father was expressed by this Council in the Symbol of Faith by there words: 'of One Essence with the Father.'"] Ousia is essence or being, in Eastern Christianity, and is the aspect of God that is completely incomprehensible to mankind and human perception. It is all that subsists by itself and which has not its being in another. [The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, SVS Press, 1997. (ISBN 0-913836-31-1) James Clarke & Co Ltd, 1991. (ISBN 0-227-67919-9) V Lossky pg50-51 ] God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all being uncreated. [Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 57 As quote by John Damascene: God is unoriginate, unending, eternal, constant, uncreated, unchanging, unalterable, simple, incomplex, bodiless, invisible, intangible, indescribable, without bounds, inaccessible to the mind, uncontainable, incomprehensible, good, righteous, that Creator of all creatures, the almighty Pantocrator.] According to the teaching of Arius, the preexistent Logos and thus the incarnate Jesus Christ was a created being, of a distinct, though similar, essence or substance to the Creator; his opponents argued that this would make Jesus less than God, and that this was heretical. [Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 92-95: "Finally, following the authoritative example of St Basil the Great, it became accepted to understand by the hypostasis the personal attributes in the Triune Divinity. But apart from this, there were heretics in the ancient Christian period who consciously denied or lessened the Divinity of the Son of God. Heresies of this type were numerous and from time to time caused strong disturbances in the Church. Such, for example, were the following heretics: 1. In the Apostolic Age- the Ebonites (after the name of the heretic Ebion). The Holy Fathers testify that the holy Evangelist John the Theologian wrote his Gospel against them.2. In the third century, Paul of Samosata, who was accused by two councils of Antioch in the same century.3. The most dangerous of all the heretics was Arius, the presbyter of Alexandria, in the 4th century. Arius taught that the Word, or Son of God, received the beginning of His existence in time, although before anything else, that he was created by God, although subsequently God created everything through him; that he is called the Son of Godonly because He is the most perfect of all the created spirits, and has a nature which, being different from the Father's is not divine. This heretical teaching of Arius disturbed the whole Christian World, since it drew after it very many people. In 325 the First Ecumenical Council was called against this teaching, and at this council 318 of the chief hierarchs of the church unanimously expressed the ancient teaching of Orthodoxy and condemned the false teaching of Arius. The Council triumphantly pronounced anathema against those who say that there was a time the Son of God did not exist, against those who affirm that he was created, or that he is of a different essence from God the Father. The Council composed of a Symbol of Faith, which was confirmed and completed later at the Second Ecumenical Council. The unity and equality of honor of the Son of God with God the Father was expressed by this Council in the Symbol of Faith by there words: "of One Essence with the Father." After the council, the Arian heresy was divided into three branches and continued to exist from some decades. It was subject to further refutation in its details at several local councils and in the works of the great Fathers of the Church of the 4th century and part of the 5th century (Sts. Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Ambrose of Milan, Cyril of Alexandria, and others). However, the spirit of this heresy even later found a place for itself in various false teachings both of the middle and modern times."] Much of the distinction between the differing factions was over the phrasing that Christ expressed in the New Testament to express submission to God the Father. [Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 92-95: "After the council, the Arian heresy was divided into three branches and continued to exist from some decades. It was subject to further refutation in its details at several local councils and in the works of the great Fathers of the Church of the 4th century and part of the 5th century (Sts.Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Ambrose of Milan, Cyril of Alexandria, and others). However, the spirit of this heresy even later found a place for itself in various false teachings both of the middle and modern times. In answering the opinions of the Arians, the Fathers of the Church did not overlook a single one of the passages in Holy Scripture which had been cited by the heretics in justification of their idea of the inequality of the Son with the Father. Concerning the expressions in Sacred Scripture which seem to speak of the inequality of the Son with the Father, one should bear in mind the following: a) that the Lord Jesus Christ is not only God, but also became Man, and such expressions can be referred to His humanity; b) that in addition, He, as our Redeemer, during the days of His earthly life was in a condition of voluntary belittlement, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death (phil. 2:7-8). In keeping with these words of the Apostle, the Fathers of the Church express this condition by the words "ekkenosis", "kenosis", which mean a pouring out, a lessening, a belittlement. "Foreseeing Thy divine self-emptying upon the cross, Habakkuk cried out marvelling" (Canon for the matins of Great Saturday). Even when the Lord speaks of His own Divinity, He, being sent by the Father and having come to fulfill upon the earth the will of the Father, places Himself in obedience to the Father, being One in Essence and equal in honor with Him as the Son, giving us an example of obedience. This relationship of submission refers not to the Essence (ousia) of the Divinity, but to the activity of the Persons in the World: the Father is He Who Sends; the Son is He Who is Sent. This the obedience of love."] The theological term for this submission is kenosis. [Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky pages 92-95: "After the council, the Arian heresy was divided into three branches and continued to exist from some decades. It was subject to further refutation in its details at several local councils and in the works of the great Fathers of the Church of the 4th century and part of the 5th century (Sts.Athanasius the Great, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Gregory of Nyssa, Epiphanius, Ambrose of Milan, Cyril of Alexandria, and others). However, the spirit of this heresy even later found a place for itself in various false teachings both of the middle and modern times. In answering the opinions of the Arians, the Fathers of the Church did not overlook a single one of the passages in Holy Scripture which had been cited by the heretics in justification of their idea of the inequality of the Son with the Father. Concerning the expressions in Sacred Scripture which seem to speak of the inequality of the Son with the Father, one should bear in mind the following: a) that the Lord Jesus Christ is not only God, but also became Man, and such expressions can be referred to His humanity; b) that in addition, He, as our Redeemer, during the days of His earthly life was in a condition of voluntary belittlement, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death (Phil. 2:7-8). In keeping with these words of the Apostle, the Fathers of the Church express this condition by the words "ekkenosis", "kenosis", which mean a pouring out, a lessening, a belittlement. "Foreseeing Thy divine self-emptying upon the cross, Habakkuk cried out marvelling" (Canon for the matins of Great Saturday). Even when the Lord speaks of His own Divinity, He, being sent by the Father and having come to fulfill upon the earth the will of the Father, places Himself in obedience to the Father, being One in Essence and equal in honor with Him as the Son, giving us an example of obedience. This relationship of submission refers not to the Essence (ousia) of the Divinity, but to the activity of the Persons in the World: the Father is He Who Sends; the Son is He Who is Sent. This the obedience of love."] This Ecumenical council declared that Jesus Christ was a distinct being of God in existence or reality (hypostasis), which the Latin fathers translated as persona. Jesus was God in essence, being and or nature (ousia), which the Latin fathers translated as substantia.

Constantine exiled those who refused to accept the Nicean creed—Arius himself, the deacon Euzoios, and the Libyan bishops Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais—and also the bishops who signed the creed but refused to join in condemnation of Arius, Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea. The Emperor also ordered all copies of the "Thalia", the book in which Arius had expressed his teachings, to be burned.

Although he was committed to maintaining what the church had defined at Nicaea, Constantine was also bent on pacifying the situation and eventually became more lenient toward those condemned and exiled at the council. First he allowed Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was a protégé of his sister, and Theognis to return once they had signed an ambiguous statement of faith. The two, and other friends of Arius, worked for Arius' rehabilitation. At the First Synod of Tyre in AD 335, they brought accusations against Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, the primary opponent of Arius; after this, Constantine had Athanasius banished, since he considered him an impediment to reconciliation. In the same year, the Synod of Jerusalem under Constantine's direction readmitted Arius to communion in AD 336. Arius, however, died on the way to this event in Constantinople. Several scholarly studies suggest that Arius was poisoned by his opponents. [Edward Gibbons "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", Chapter 21, (1776-88), Jonathan Kirsch, "God Against the Gods: The History of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism", 2004, and Charles Freeman, "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason", 2002.] Eusebius and Theognis remained in the Emperor's favour, and when Constantine, who had been a catechumen much of his adult life, accepted baptism on his deathbed, it was from Eusebius of Nicomedia.

The theological debates reopen

The Council of Nicaea did not end the controversy, as many bishops of the Eastern provinces disputed the "homoousios", the central term of the Nicene creed, as it had been used by Paul of Samosata, who had advocated a monarchianist Christology. Both the man and his teaching, including the term "homoousios", had been condemned by the Synods of Antioch in 269.

Hence, after Constantine's death in 337, open dispute resumed again. Constantine's son Constantius II, who had become Emperor of the eastern part of the Empire, actually encouraged the Arians and set out to reverse the Nicene creed. His advisor in these affairs was Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had already at the Council of Nicea been the head of the Arian party, who also was made bishop of Constantinople.

Constantius used his power to exile bishops adhering to the Nicene creed, especially Athanasius of Alexandria, who fled to Rome. In 355 Constantius became the sole Emperor and extended his pro-Arian policy toward the western provinces, frequently using force to push through his creed, even exiling Pope Liberius and installing Antipope Felix II.

As debates raged in an attempt to come up with a new formula, three camps evolved among the opponents of the Nicene creed. The first group mainly opposed the Nicene terminology and preferred the term "homoiousios" (alike in substance) to the Nicene "homoousios", while they rejected Arius and his teaching and accepted the equality and coeternality of the persons of the Trinity. Because of this centrist position, and despite their rejection of Arius, they were called "semi-Arians" by their opponents. The second group also avoided invoking the name of Arius, but in large part followed Arius' teachings and, in another attempted compromise wording, described the Son as being like ("homoios") the Father. A third group explicitly called upon Arius and described the Son as unlike ("anhomoios") the Father. Constantius wavered in his support between the first and the second party, while harshly persecuting the third.

The debates between these groups resulted in numerous synods, among them the Council of Sardica in 343, the Council of Sirmium in 358 and the double Council of Rimini and Seleucia in 359, and no less than fourteen further creed formulas between 340 and 360, leading the pagan observer Ammianus Marcellinus to comment sarcastically: "The highways were covered with galloping bishops." None of these attempts was acceptable to the defenders of Nicene orthodoxy: writing about the latter councils, Saint Jerome remarked that the world "awoke with a groan to find itself Arian."

After Constantius' death in 361, his successor Julian, a devotee of Rome's pagan gods, declared that he would no longer attempt to favor one church faction over another, and allowed all exiled bishops to return; this had the objective of further increasing dissension among Christians. The Emperor Valens, however, revived Constantius' policy and supported the "Homoian" party, exiling bishops and often using force. During this persecution many bishops were exiled to the other ends of the Empire, (e.g., Hilarius of Poitiers to the Eastern provinces). These contacts and the common plight subsequently led to a rapprochement between the Western supporters of the Nicene creed and the "homoousios" and the Eastern semi-Arians.

Theodosius and the Council of Constantinople

It was not until the co-reigns of Gratian and Theodosius that Arianism was effectively wiped out among the ruling class and elite of the Eastern Empire. Theodosius' wife St Flacilla was instrumental in his campaign to end Arianism. Valens died in the Battle of Adrianople in 378 and was succeeded by Theodosius I, who adhered to the Nicene creed. This allowed for settling the dispute.

Two days after Theodosius arrived in Constantinople, November 24, 380, he expelled the Homoian bishop, Demophilus of Constantinople, and surrendered the churches of that city to Gregory Nazianzus, the leader of the rather small Nicene community there, an act which provoked rioting. Theodosius had just been baptized, by bishop Acholius of Thessalonica, during a severe illness, as was common in the early Christian world. In February he and Gratian published an edict [ [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf202.iii.xii.iv.html Sozomen's Church History VII.4] ] that all their subjects should profess the faith of the bishops of Rome and Alexandria (i.e., the Nicene faith), or be handed over for punishment for not doing so.

Although much of the church hierarchy in the East had opposed the Nicene creed in the decades leading up to Theodosius' accession, he managed to achieve unity on the basis of the Nicene creed. In 381, at the Second Ecumenical Council in Constantinople, a group of mainly Eastern bishops assembled and accepted the Nicene Creed of 381, [The text of this version of the Nicene creed is available at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf214.ix.iii.html.] which was supplemented in regard to the Holy Spirit, as well as some other changes, see Comparison between Creed of 325 and Creed of 381. This is generally considered the end of the dispute about the Trinity and the end of Arianism among the Roman, non-Germanic peoples.

Remnants of Arianism in the West

However, much of southeastern Europe and central Europe, including many of the Goths and Vandals respectively, had embraced Arianism (the Visigoths converted to Arian Christianity in 376), which led to Arianism being a religious factor in various wars in the Roman Empire. [St Gregory of Tours The inhibiting and paralyzing force of superstitious beliefs penetrated to every department of life, and the most primary and elementary activities of society were influenced. War, for example, was not a simple matter of a test of strength and courage, but supernatural matters had to be taken carefully into consideration. When Clovis said of the Goths in southern Gaul, "I take it hard that these Arians should hold a part of the Gauls; let us go with God's aid and conquer them and bring the land under our dominion", [note: see p. 45 (Book II:37)] he was not speaking in a hypocritical or arrogant manner but in real accordance with the religious sentiment of the time. What he meant was that the Goths, being heretics, were at once enemies of the true God and inferior to the orthodox Franks in their supernatural backing. Considerations of duty, strategy, and self-interest all reinforced one another in Clovis's mind. However, it was not always the orthodox side that won. We hear of a battle fought a few years before Gregory became bishop of Tours between king Sigibert and the Huns, [note: Book IV:29] in which the Huns " by the use of magic arts caused various false appearances to arise before their enemies and overcame them decisively. Medieval Study Guide to Gregory of Tours History of the Franks.http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/gregory-hist.html] In the west, organized Arianism survived in North Africa, in Hispania, and parts of Italy until it was finally suppressed in the 6th and 7th centuries.

Arianism in the early medieval Germanic kingdoms

However, during the time of Arianism's flowering in Constantinople, the Gothic convert Ulfilas (later the subject of the letter of Auxentius cited above) was sent as a missionary to the Gothic barbarians across the Danube, a mission favored for political reasons by emperor Constantius II. Ulfilas' initial success in converting this Germanic people to an Arian form of Christianity was strengthened by later events. When the Germanic peoples entered the Roman Empire and founded successor-kingdoms in the western part, most had been Arian Christians for more than a century.Fact|date=September 2007The conflict in the 4th century had seen Arian and Nicene factions struggling for control of the Church. In contrast, in the Arian German kingdoms established on the wreckage of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, there were entirely separate Arian and Nicene Churches with parallel hierarchies, each serving different sets of believers. The Germanic elites were Arians, and the majority population Nicene.Fact|date=September 2007 Many scholars see the persistence of the Germanic Arianism as a strategy to differentiate the Germanic elite from the local inhabitants and culture and to maintain their group identity.Fact|date=September 2007

Most Germanic tribes were generally tolerant of the Nicene beliefs of their subjects. However, the Vandals tried for several decades to force their Arian belief on their North African Nicene subjects, exiling Nicene clergy, dissolving monasteries, and exercising heavy pressure on non-conforming Christians.

By the beginning of the 8th century, these kingdoms had either been conquered by Nicene neighbors (Ostrogoths, Vandals, Burgundians) or their rulers had accepted Nicene Christianity (Visigoths, Lombards).

The Franks were unique among the Germanic peoples in that they entered the empire as pagans and converted to Nicene Christianity directly, guided by their king Clovis. Fact|date=September 2007

"Arian" as a polemical epithet

In many ways, the conflict around Arian beliefs in the fourth, fifth and sixth centuries helped firmly define the centrality of the Trinity in Nicene Christian theology. As the first major intra-Christian conflict after Christianity's legalization, the struggle between Nicenes and Arians left a deep impression on the institutional memory of Nicene churches.

Archbishop Dmitri of the Orthodox Church in America said Islam is the largest descendant of Arianism today. There is some superficial similarity in Islam's teaching that Jesus was a great prophet, but very distinct from God, although Islam sees Jesus as a human messenger of God without the divine properties that Arianism attributes to Christ. Islam sees itself as a continuation of the Jewish and Christian traditions and reveres many of the same prophets.

Thus, over the past 1,500 years, some Christians have used the term "Arian" to refer to those groups that see themselves as worshiping Jesus Christ or respecting his teachings, but do not hold to the Nicene creed. Despite the frequency with which this name is used as a polemical label, there has been no historically continuous survival of Arianism into the modern era.

There have been religious movements holding beliefs that either they, or their opponents, have considered Arian. To quote the "Encyclopaedia Britannica"'s article on Arianism:"In modern times some Unitarians are virtually Arians in that they are unwilling either to reduce Christ to a mere human being or to attribute to him a divine nature identical with that of the Father." ["Arianism." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2007 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007.] However, their doctrines cannot be considered representative of traditional Arian doctrines or vice-versa.

References

* Athanasius of Alexandria, "History of the Arians" [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-47.htm Part I] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-48.htm Part II] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-49.htm Part III] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-50.htm Part IV] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-51.htm Part V] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-52.htm Part VI] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-53.htm Part VII] [http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF2-04/Npnf2-04-54.htm Part VIII]
* Lewis Ayres, [http://books.google.com/books?id=DXeHAAAACAAJ&dq=nicaea+and+its+legacy "Nicaea and its Legacy: An Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology"] (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).
* Mark Belletini, "Arius in the Mirror: The Alexandrian Dissent And How It Is Reflected in Modern Unitarian Universalist Practice and Discourse" http://firstuucolumbus.org/sermons/ariuspaper.htm
* Ivor J. Davidson, "A Public Faith", Volume 2 of Baker History of the Church, 2005, ISBN 0-8010-1275-9
* R.P.C. Hanson, [http://books.google.com/books?id=Jm5cAAAACAAJ&dq=the+search+for+the+christian+doctrine+of+God&ei=loz5RpnJH5nApALSt52-CQ "The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318-381"] (T&T Clark, 1988).
* J.N.D. Kelly, "Early Christian Doctrines", 1978, ISBN 0-06-064334-X
* Sarah Parvis, [http://books.google.com/books?id=-jgsQihyWTEC&dq=sarah+parvis&ie=ISO-8859-1 "Marcellus of Ancyra And the Lost Years of the Arian Controversy 325-345"] (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).
* William C. Rusch, "The Trinitarian Controversy", (Sources of Early Christian Thought), 1980, ISBN 0-8006-1410-0
* John Henry Newman, " [http://www.newmanreader.org/works/arians/index.html Arians of the Fourth Century] ", 1833
* Schaff, Philip " [http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/history/3_ch09.htm Theological Controversies and the Development of Orthodoxy] ", History of the Christian Church, Vol III, Ch. IX
* Williams, Rowan, "Arius: Heresy and Tradition", rev. edn. 2001, ISBN 0-8028-4969-5
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=O2f2GAAACAAJ&dq=athanasius+werke+dokumente+zur+geschichte Documents of the Arian Controversy] (2007, German and original languages only, Berlin and New York: Walter De Gruyter, 2007)

ee also

* Arian controversy
* Arius
* Semi-Arianism
* Subordinationist
* Christology
* Unitarianism
* Unitarian Christianity
* Biblical Unitarianism
* Germanic Christianity
* Arian Catholicism
* Nontrinitarianism
* Non-Trinitarian churches
* Shituf

External links

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01707c.htm Catholic Encyclopeia: Arianism]
* [http://www.lcms.org/ca/www/cyclopedia/02/display.asp?t1=A&word=ARIANISM Christian Cyclopedia: Arianism]
* [http://tera-3.ul.cs.cmu.edu/cgi-bin/getImage.pl?target=/data/www/NASD/4a7f1db4-5792-415c-be79-266f41eef20a/009/499/PTIFF/00000052.tif&rs=1 Concordia Cyclopedia: Arianism (page 1)] [http://tera-3.ul.cs.cmu.edu/cgi-bin/getImage.pl?target=/data/www/NASD/4a7f1db4-5792-415c-be79-266f41eef20a/009/499/PTIFF/00000053.tif&rs=1 (page 2)] [http://tera-3.ul.cs.cmu.edu/cgi-bin/getImage.pl?target=/data/www/NASD/4a7f1db4-5792-415c-be79-266f41eef20a/009/499/PTIFF/00000054.tif&rs=1 (page 3)]
* [http://arian-catholic.org/ Arian Catholic Church and Theological Society] (Arian Catholic viewpoint)
* [http://mb-soft.com/believe/txo/arianism.htm Believe: Arianism]
* [http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=1757&letter=A Jewish Encyclopedia: Arianism]
* [http://www.the-highway.com/arian_Hanko1.html Concise Summary of the Arian Controversy]
* [http://www.fourthcentury.com/index.php/urkunde-chart-opitz English translations of all extant letters relating to early Arianism]
* [http://www.fourthcentury.com/notwppages/arius-supporters-map.htm A map of early sympathizers with Arius]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Arianism — • Founded by Arius, belief asserting that Christ was not God like the Father, but a creature made in time. Rejected by the Council of Constantinople (381) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Arianism     Arianism …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Arianism — A ri*an*ism, n. The doctrines of the Arians. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Arianism — (n.) c.1600, from ARIAN (Cf. Arian) + ISM (Cf. ism) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Arianism — [er′ē ən iz΄əm, ar′ē ən iz΄əm] n. the doctrines of Arius, who taught that Jesus was not of the same substance as God, but a created being exalted above all other creatures …   English World dictionary

  • Arianism —    Religious heresy associated with the Alexandrian presbyter Arius (c. 260 336). Arianism offered a concept of the relationship between God the Father and God the Son different from that of the Catholic tradition in the late Roman and early… …   Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe

  • Arianism — Arianistic, Arianistical, adj. /air ee euh niz euhm, ar /, n. Theol. the doctrine, taught by Arius, that Christ the Son was not consubstantial with God the Father. [1590 1600; ARIAN + ISM] * * * Christian heresy that declared that Christ is not… …   Universalium

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  • Arianism —    The great fourth century heresy (q.v.), originated by Arius, a presbyter in the church of Alexandria (q.v.). Arius postulated that Christ was created by God from nothing, from which he reasoned that the Son is not co equal and co eternal with… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

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