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Cappadocian Fathers

(1,818 words)

Author(s): Friedrich Normann
Cappadocia, the most easterly district of Asia Minor, was early taught the Christian message (cf. 1 Pet 1:1), and at the Council of Nicaea was represented by seven bishops. There was no Cappadocian school of theology in the sense of the schools of Alexandria and Antioch. The unity of thought among the “Cappadocian” Fathers derives ultimately from Basil of Caesarea. It is Basil whom Gregory of Nazianzus and his younger brother Gregory of Nyssa recognize as teacher, and from Basil a line can be traced back to Origen through Gregory Thaumaturgus, and thereby to the Alexandrian tradition. 1. Pag…

Antiochene School of Theology

(2,224 words)

Author(s): Friedrich Normann
As the third city of the Roman Empire, Antioch offered the development of a Christian theology a cultural basis comparable to that of the capital of Egypt. Antioch stood more in the philosophical tradition of Aristotle whereas Alexandria inclined to Plato; and these philosophical differences were soon revealed in the theologizing of the schools of both cities. The methods of rabbinic Judaism dominated scholarship at Antioch; in Alexandria the scientific approach of Hellenistic Judaism was prefer…