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By Maurice Wiles

Arians within the 3rd century advert maintained that Jesus was once much less divine than God. considered as the archetypal Christian heresy, Arianism used to be condemned within the Nicene Creed and it sounds as if squashed by means of the early church. much less popular is the truth that fifteen centuries later, Arianism was once alive and good, championed via Isaac Newton and different scientists of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. This ebook asks how and why Arianism continued.

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Extra resources for Archetypal Heresy: Arianism through the Centuries

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Thesis, Oxford University, 1983 ) and his ‘The Critical Edition of the Opus Imperfectum in Matthaeum : An Arian Source’ in SP (Oxford, 1982 ), xvii. 1. 382–6. NS 45 (1994 ), 72–93. THE END OF ARIANISM 39 The fundamental conviction of the author of the Opus Imperfectum is that his community is comprised of ‘true Christians’, and stands in sharp contrast to the ‘false Christians’ of the persecuting Catholic Church. 115 There is no evident difference in the pattern of the church's life, apart no doubt from such differences as the lack of public places of meeting may have forced on it.

Whatever hopes may have been raised by Theodosius' initiative, the final outcome was in fact not an abatement but an intensification of the new laws. 81 385 saw another glimmer of hope, not so much for the Eunomians as for the less radical Arians. In seeking closer accord with Valentinian II in the West, Theodosius seems to have relaxed the laws against those Arians who based their faith on the earlier creeds of Ariminum and Constantinople. But the apparent change of direction was short-lived and seems to have had little effect in the East.

It is in part perhaps the product of a general theory (going back to Hippolytus) that behind every heresy there lies the distorting influence of a specific philosophical school. Such an account does not in any event fit the particular circumstances of Arius' time very well. Although there were different philosophical schools, there was also much cross-influence between them. Any attempt to trace the precise emphasis in the philosophical tradition of the time at Alexandria is even more precarious than in the case of the theological tradition.

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