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  1. Athanasius I of Alexandria [note 1] (c. 296–298 – 2 May 373), also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor, or, among Coptic Christians, Athanasius the Apostolic, was a Coptic church father [4] and the 20th pope of Alexandria (as Athanasius I ).

  2. St. Athanasius, also called Saint Athanasius of Alexandria or Saint Athanasius the Apostolic, (born c. 293, Alexandria—died May 2, 373, Alexandria; feast day May 2), theologian, ecclesiastical statesman, and Egyptian national leader. He was the chief defender of Christian orthodoxy in the 4th-century battle against Arianism, the heresy that the Son of God was a creature of like, but not of ...

    • Turbulent Times For The Faith
    • The Rise of Arianism
    • The Council of Nicaea
    • Athansius Keeps Fighting
    • Treatises to Defend Doctrine
    • Athanasius' Lasting Legacy
    • Sources

    Athanasius was born about 293 A.D. in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. He rose through the ranks to become the assistant to Alexander, bishop of Alexandria. After centuries of persecution, the Christian Church suddenly experienced a change in fortune when the Roman Emperor Constantine converted. In 313 A.D., Constantine the Great issued the Edict o...

    One such doctrine was called Arianism, named after the priest Arius of Alexandria (256-336 A.D.). Arianism came after a second century heresy called Modalism. Modalism contended that God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spiritwere only modes, or masks that God used on various occasions. In other words, sometimes God would appear as the Father,...

    A bitter fight broke out between supporters and opponents of Arianism. Letters from the time are filled with false accusations, insults, and character assassination. In 325 A.D., Emperor Constantine called for a conference of bishops and church leaders at the ancient city of Nicaea, in what is now Turkey. Front and center at the meeting was the que...

    The death of Arius did not end his heresy. During his lifetime, Arius had composed catchy little songs about his beliefs that spread quickly across the Roman Empire. Peasants would sing them while working, and the heresy about Jesus being a created being became even more popular. Meanwhile, Athanasius continued to defend the Trinity. In 328 A.D. he...

    Athanasius realized that preaching and teaching, as effective as they were, would still not reach as many people as he wanted. He began writing treatises, or apologetic defenses, of the true biblical message. Considering when they were written, his books are quite readable today and available free online. His most important work was On the Incarnat...

    In the long history of Christianity, Athanasius is revered for his single-minded defense of Trinitarianism. He never compromised; he never budged a bit in his insistence that Jesus Christ was both fully human and fully divine. Athanasius rescued the Christian Church from accepting Gnosticism, a widespread belief that material things are evil and sp...

    "Athanasius," Christianity Today, https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/theologians/athanasius.html.
    "Athanasius," by Aaron J. West, Fourth Century Christianity, https://www.fourthcentury.com/athanasius-chart/.
    On the Incarnation, by Athanasius, Christian Classics Ethereal Library,https://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.pdf.
    "St. Athanasius," Catholic Encyclopedia, by Clifford Cornelius, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02035a.htm.
    • Christianity Expert
    • Historical Significance
    • Criticism of Athanasius
    • Bibliography
    • External Links

    Opposition to Arianism

    Likely the most significant contribution Athanasius made to the development of Christianity was his staunch defense against Arianism (and his resulting support for the doctrine that God (the Father) and Jesus (the Son) share a common substance). In about 319, when Athanasius was a deacon, a presbyter named Arius began teaching that there was a time when Jesus did not exist and that he had been created by God - a view which came to be known as Arianism. This Christological formulation, which s...

    New Testament canon

    Athanasius is also the first person to formally identify (and canonize) the same 27 books of the New Testament that are in use today. Up until that point, the lists of appropriate works tended to vary throughout the Christian community. This milestone in the evolution of the canon of New Testament books can be found in his Easter letter from Alexandria, written in 367, which is usually referred to as his 39th Festal Letter. The import of this letter cannot be overstated, as Pope Damasus, the...

    Relics and veneration

    The saint was originally buried in Alexandria, but his body was later transferred to Italy. In the recent past, Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria returned the relics of Saint Athanasius to Egypt on May 15, 1973, after his historic visit to the Vatican and meeting with Pope Paul VI. The relics of Saint Athanasius the Great of Alexandria are currently preserved under the new St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Deir El-Anba Rowais, Abbassiya, Cairo, Egypt. The veneration that Athanasius is acc...

    Some modern historians suggest that the tactics of Athanasius, while often downplayed by church historians, were a significant factor in his success. He did not hesitate to back up his theological views with the use of force. In Alexandria, he assembled a group that could instigate a riot in the city if needed. It was an arrangement "built up and p...

    Arnold, Duane W.-H. The Early Episcopal Career of Athanasius of Alexandria. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1991. ISBN 0268009252
    Barnes, Timothy. Athanasius and Constantius: Theology and Politics in the Constantinian Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993. ISBN 0674050673
    Barnes, Timothy. Constantine and Eusebius. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1981. ISBN 0674165306
    Brakke, David. Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. ISBN 0198268165

    All links retrieved April 23, 2016. 1. Athanasius: Select Works and Lettersfrom Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Calvin College – Background information, plus his actual writings 2. St. Athanasius the Greatat Ellopos Blog – Athanasius resources, bilingual anthology (in Greek original and English) 3. Contending for Our All: The Life and Ministry...

    • c. 296 in Alexandria, Egypt
    • May 21, 373 in Alexandria, Egypt
  3. Jun 21, 2022 · Athanasius was Bishop of Alexandria from 328 to 373. He had attended the famous Council of Nicaea as a deacon in 325; this council was a meeting of as many church leaders as possible, and it condemned the teaching of Arius who claimed that Jesus was not fully God but just the highest part of creation. Athanasius would be deeply engaged in the ...

  4. Jun 14, 2016 · Athanasius of Alexandria. Our father among the saints Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled "Athanasios"; from Greek, "immortal") was a bishop of Alexandria and major theological writer in the fourth century. He is also called Athanasius the Great and (by the Coptic church) Athanasius the Apostolic. He was born in 298 and died on May 2, 373.

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