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Apollinaris of Laodicea

(4,078 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
A dichotomous view of Apollinarius of Laodicea (c. 315–c. 390 CE) prevailed throughout antiquity. On the one hand, he was the poet, the commentator on biblical works, the contemporary of Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus (Philost. Hist. eccl. 8.13), the teacher and exponent of Nicene orthodoxy. On the other hand, he was the source of a heresy, and his followers were condemned from 377 CE onward at various synods, the first in Rome, and then from 383 CE on through imperial edicts. It was clearly proving increasingly difficult…
Date: 2019-08-09


(426 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[English Version] von Cyrus (Kyrrhos). Die Wirksamkeit Th. fällt in die Zeit zw. den Konzilen in Ephesus (431) und Chalcedon (451). In den christologischen Auseinandersetzungen entfaltete er eine Alternative zu Cyrill von Alexandrien und vertrat hierin die antiochenische Theologie. Th. wurde 423 Bf. in Kyrrhos (ep. 116), wahrscheinlich im Alter von 30 Jahren; er starb um 466. – Th. erzählt in der Gesch. von den syr. Mönchen von Kontakten seiner Familie zu Asketen im Umfeld von Antiochien. Vor seine…

Flavian of Antioch

(199 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke Petra
[German Version] (died 404) was active together with Diodore of Tarsus in the Antiochene church and in 381 became bishop and successor of Meletius of Antioch. Flavian continued the Antiochene Schism, the simultaneous existence of several different Nicene (Nicea, Council of 325) church communities, and implemented the Melitian tradition in Antioch. Although his bishop's seat was for a long time unrecognized in the West, after the death of Evagrius no further successor to Paulinus of Antioch was app…

Theodoret of Cyrrhus

(515 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] Theodoret was active in the period between the Council of Ephesus (431) and the Council of Chalcedon (451). In the christological debates, he spelled out an alternative to the theology of Cyril of Alexandria, becoming the exponent of Antiochene theology. In 423 he became bishop in Cyrrhus ( Ep. 116), probably at the age of 30; he died c. 466. In his history of the Syrian monks, he tells of his family’s contacts with ascetics in the vicinity of Antioch. Before becoming bishop, Theodoret lived for a time in the monastery of Nikertai, near Apamea ( Ep. 18, 119, Hist. eccl. 3.4). Of…

Nemesius of Emesa

(220 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] is known only as the author of the work De natura hominis, which until the 16th century was attributed to Gregory of Nyssa; a dating c. 400 is probable. According to Nemesius, human beings stand on the border between the visibly perceptible and the intelligible worlds, and hold the two realms together (unmixed union of soul and body). Nemesius discusses in detail the sense organs, the brain, parts of the soul, the intellect, nutrition, bloodstreams, and breathing. The distinction between unconscious and conscious acts forms a transition to the concluding chapters on heim…

Meletius of Antioch

(300 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] (died May, 381). Meletius embodies the movement toward the Neo-Nicene position of the Council of Constantinople (Constantinople/Byzantium: IV, 1), 381. He died during the Council ¶ that had honoured him as its president. He came from the circle of the Homoeans (cf. his sermon transmitted by Epiphanius of Salamis, Haer. 73,29–33), whose compromise formula in the doctrine of the Trinity had from 360 been an imperial dogma (Trinity: III, 1). As their representative, Meletius became bishop of Antioch in 360, but he was not able to h…

Cyprian of Antioch

(217 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] The story of Cyprian and Justina is preserved in three books: Conversio, Confessio (before 379), and Martyrium (before 460). The magician Cyprian is to force the love of the Christian Justina. Through prayer and the sign of the cross Justina wards off the love magic and demons, demonstrates their impotence and so succeeds in converting Cyprian. According to the Conversio, Cyprian became bishop of Antioch and Justina a deaconess. In the Confessio, Cyprian looks back on his initiation into the mysteries, his years of instruction, and his journey…

Justina (Saint)

(167 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] The figure of Justina is closely linked to the account of the magician Cyprian. In this account, transmitted since the 4th century, the conversion narratives of Justina and Cyprian of Antioch are interwoven. Justina hears the preaching of a deacon and becomes a Christian, along with her parents. As a “bride of Christ,” she rejects a pagan's marriage proposals. When he asks Cyprian for assistance, Justina renders the magic ineffective through prayer and the sign of the cross. At the end of the account, Justina becomes a deaconess and the leader of an asketerion. The third …

Maximus of Antioch

(142 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] Maximus of Antioch, successor of Domnus, who had been deposed in Ephesus (Ephesus, Councils of ) in 449. The procedure was confirmed at the Council of Chalcedon, in which Maximus participated as bishop of Antioch. In Chalcedon, Maximus testified to the orthodoxy of Theodoret of Cyrrhus and subscribed to the anathema over Nestorius and Eutyches. He signed the resolution to depose Dioscorus of Alexandria and argued in favor of the Tomus Leonis (Leo I) as the norm for Christology (II, 1). Maximus concluded an agreement with Juvenal of Jerusalem to the e…


(1,805 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] Patristics is the study of the Early Church. In Protestantism, patristics has always been only one term among many. In the 17th and 18th centuries, writers spoke of antiquitates ecclesiae (e.g. B. Bebel, Patrologia, sive, Antiquitates ecclesiae, 1669) or “Christian antiquities,” and even “New Testament church history.” In contrast to church history, which was taught at the faculties of philosophy in 17th- and 19th-century Germany, patristics was understood as part of theology. Its affinity to theology is clear from expressions such as theologia patristica (e.g. …

Diodore of Tarsus

(414 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] participated as bishop of Tarsus in the Council of Constantinople in 381 (Socr. Hist. eccl. V 8.18; Soz. Hist. eccl. VII 7.49; Thdt. Hist. eccl. V 8) and is named as a representative of the orthodoxy established there ( Cod. Theod. XVI 1.3). There are no reports from Tarsus from later years or about his work. Diodore is known as a theologian from Antioch and apparently was a native. According to Julian of Eclanum ( Ep. 90), he studied in Athens. The titles of his writings attest to his philosophical education, for example Contra Platon, On God and the Gods, On Nature and …


(1,627 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[English Version] . Unter Patristik (P.) ist die Beschäftigung mit der Alten Kirche zu verstehen, wobei im prot. Bereich P., abgeleitet von patres, nur eine Bez. neben anderen war und ist. So sprach man im 17. und 18.Jh. von Antiquitates ecclesiae (z.B. B. Bebel, Patrologia sive Antiquitates ecclesiae, 1669) oder »christl. Alterthümern« oder auch der »Kirchengesch. des NT«. Im Unterschied zur Kirchengesch., die im 17. und 18.Jh. in Deutschland an den philos. Fakultäten gelehrt wurde, wurde die P. …


(197 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[English Version] von Emesa. Die Person des N. ist nur als Autor des Werkes »De natura hominis« bekannt, das bis ins 16.Jh. Gregor von Nyssa zugeschrieben wurde; eine Datierung in die Zeit um 400 ist wahrscheinlich. Nach N. steht der Mensch an der Grenze zw. sichtbar wahrnehmbarer und intelligibler Welt und hält die Bereiche zus. (unvermischte Einung von Seele und Körper). N. geht auf Sinnesorgane, Gehirn, Seelenteile, Intellekt, Ernährung, Blutbahnen und Atmung ausführlicher ein. Die Unterscheidun…


(195 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[English Version] . Tertullian berichtet in seiner Schrift »Adversus Praxean«, daß P., der Ende des 2.Jh. nach Rom kam, dort gegen die Montanisten (Montanismus) wirkte und als erster aus Kleinasien eine bestimmte Form der Christologie mitbrachte, die dann in Nordafrika begegnete. Diese Aussage steht in Spannung zu den Ausführungen Hippolyts (haer. IX 7–10) über die Anfänge des Monarchianismus in Rom, in denen P. nicht erwähnt wird, sondern Noe¨t von Smyrna, Epigonus und Kleomenes. Eine sachliche N…


(194 words)

Author(s): Bergjan, Silke-Petra
[German Version] In his Adversus Praxean, Tertullian reports that Praxeas, who came to Rome at the end of the 2nd century, worked there to combat the Montanists (Montanism) and was the first to bring a particular form of Christology from Asia Minor, which then surfaced in North Africa. This statement conflicts with what Hippolytus says ( Haer. IX 7–10) about the beginnings of Monarchianism in Rome; Hippolytus does not mention Praxeas but names Noetus of Smyrna, Epigonus, and Cleomenes. The identification of the Son with the Father was intended to secure the unity of God ( monarchia) agains…