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Asterius the Sophist

(1,580 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
Asterius of Cappadocia (b. between 260 and 280 CE, Cappadocia, d. after 341 CE) had become a Christian before the year 303 CE, as he recanted during the persecution under Emperor Maximian. He had received a training in the arts (esp. in rhetoric), was inspired by Philo of Alexandria and Origen, and shows Middle Platonic influences. Epiphanius of Salamis and Philostorgius identify him as a pupil of Lucian of Antioch (Epiph. Haer. 76.3, see Holl & Dummer, 1985; Philost. Hist. eccl. 2.14 [Bidez & Winkelmann, 25]). In contrast, Marcellus does not mention Lucian, but twice claim…
Date: 2019-08-09

Eusebius of Nicomedia

(425 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (died 341) was a central episcopal personality on the side of Arius during the Nicene Controversy. A relative of the later emperor Julian the Apostate and a disciple of Lucian of Antioch, he was already held in high esteem at the court of Licinius and Constantia. It was to her that he wrote the Epistula ad Constantiam (CPG 3503; iconoclastic issue). Initially bishop of Berytus, he became metropolitan of Bithynia in Nicomedia, the chief imperial residence in the East, no later …

Fortunatianus of Aquileia

(171 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (died before 370). According to Jerome, De viris illustribus 97, Fortunatianus was an African by birth and was bishop of Aquileia during the time of Emperor Constantius II. In 343 he participated in the Western Synod of Sardica (Homoeans). He was probably bringing the condemnation of Athanasius in Milan (355) and the second Sirmian formula of 357, which the exiled Liberius among others thus signed. Jerome, Ep. 10 (CSEL 54, 37) refers to Fortunatianus's Gospel commentaries (spiritualizing and allegorical pieces that concentrate on the meanings of…

Asterius the Preacher

(168 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] Contrary to the earlier theories of M. Richard and E. Skar, the research by W. Kinzig has shown that Asterius cannot be identified with the Cappadocian Sophist of the same name. The homilies on Pss 1–15 and 18 written by Asterius (including several for Easter) and his catena fragments date from the period between 385 and 410. The texts were pr…

Eutherius of Tyana

(125 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (1st half of 5th cent.). The metropolitan of Cappadocia secunda was one of the persistent critics of Cyril of Alexandria, whose Anathematisms (Anathema) he (like John of Antioch) categorized as Apollinarianism (Apollinaris of Laodicea/Apollinarianism), and a supporter of Nestorius at the Council of Ephesus (431). Excommunicated at the Council, he was only deposed at the end of that year. Although John insisted on the reinstallation of Eutherius during his attempt to reach agreement with Cyril, which Cyril rejected, Eutherius was against rapprochement. Ultimate…

Asterius of Amasea

(173 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (born before mid-4th cent.), student of a Scythian educated in legal matters. Asterius was active from c. 380/390 until the beginning of the 5th century in Amasea, the capital of Helenopontus on the Black Sea. He wrote 14 homilies and encomiums of martyrs; at the Council of Nicea in 787 he was cited as a witness to the positive regard for icon…

Faustinus

(166 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (the Luciferian). Together with an unknown Marcellinus, the Luciferian (Lucifer of Cagliari), Roman presbyter Faustinus, who supported the Roman bishop Liberius during the latter's exile (355–358), assisted Ursinus against Damasus in the papal succession conflict of 366/67; from exile in Eleutheropolis in Palestine, sometime before 384 in De confessione, he pleaded for the intervention of the emperors Valentinian, Theodosius and Arcadius. Faustinus's theological position in this confession and in his essay De trinitate, which was written at the behest…

Eusebius of Samosata (Saint)

(231 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (born before 330, Cappadocia – Jun 20 or 22, 380, in or near Doliche) was of Cappadocian descent, may have shared home and teacher with Basil the Great (Bas. Ep. 271), and was acquainted with, among others, Gregory of Nazianzus the Younger and the Elder. By 361 at the latest, he became bishop and befriended Meletius, whom he ordained bishop of Antioch. It was at a synod held in Antioch (363) that Eusebius, together with Meletius, accepted the Nicene Creed with the interpretation of the ὁμοούσιος/ homooúsios as ὅμοιος κατ᾿ οὐσíαν/ hómoios kat' ousían. At the …

Cyrus and John

(162 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (Abbacyrus, Apa Kyr, ἀββᾶ κῦρος). In order to Christianize a pagan cultic site, Cyril of Alexandria transferred the bones of two martyrs otherwise unknown to history, those of the monk Cyrus and of the soldier John (the bones of the latter could not be distinguished from those of Cyrus when they were discovered), to the Church of the Evangelists in Menouthis (modern Abukir =Abbacyrus). The pagan sanctuary of the κύρα/ kýra of Menouthis was not thereby deprived of power, however, on into the Arab period. According to Sophronius ( Encomium; Report of 70 Miracles), the heali…

Asterius the Sophist

(188 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (between 260 and 280, Cappadocia – after 341) became a Christian before 303 but recanted during the persecution under Maximian. Later, he vainly sought episcopal office. He was a pupil of Paulinus of Tyre, a follower of Origen. Before and after Nicea (325), he was influenced by the writings and preaching missions of the Eusebians. Extant are fragments of his συνταγμάτιον/ syntagmátion and a defense of a letter of Eusebius of Nicomedia. Arius, too, learned from Asterius. As an innov…

Cyril of Alexandria

(371 words)

Author(s): Vinzent, Markus
[German Version] (c. 375/380, Theodotion – Jun 27, 444, Alexandria). Although Cyril, like his opponent Nestorius, was excommunicated at the third ecumenical Council of Ephesus (431), tradition elevated him as the banner-bearer of orthodoxy – for Chalcedonians (Chalcedon) because of Cyril's letters in opposition to Nestorius, accepted in 451, for the anti-Chalcedonians because of his patriarchal manner, his literary reputation and his theological affinity with the Monophy¶ site position. Cyril's writings ( Exegetica, Easter letters, homilies, anti-Arian and anti-Nest…

Deconstruction/Deconstructivism

(1,117 words)

Author(s): Grondin, Jean | Vinzent, Markus | Pöttner, Martin
[German Version] I. Philosophical Considerations – II. Deconstruction/Deconstructionism and Religion – III. Deconstruction/Deconstructionism and Theology I. Philosophical Considerations The expression “deconstruction” refers to the position of the French philosopher J. Derrida (1930–2004) and to the line of thought deriving from his work especially as manifested in literary criticism, though its roots are …

Hermeneutics

(8,461 words)

Author(s): Terrin, Aldo Natale | Dohmen, Christoph | Schunack, Gerd | Figal, Günter | Jeanrond, Werner G. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy – V. Fundamental Theology – VI. Ethics – VII. Practical Theology – VIII. Cultural History I. Religious Studies The classical questions of hermeneutics concern the problems of understanding within a historical context that includes both what is to be interpreted and the one who is interpreting. The latter's horizon of understanding is effective as pre-understanding in dealing with documents of the past, whose history of influen…

God

(23,549 words)

Author(s): Zinser, Hartmut | Kaiser, Otto | Lindemann, Andreas | Brümmer, Vincent | Schwöbel, Christoph | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. New Testament – IV. Philosophy of Religion – V. Dogmatics – VI. Practical Theology – VII. Missiology – VIII. Art – IX. Judaism – X. Islam I. Religious Studies 1. It is fundamentally true that God is not an object of religious studies, since God – as theology teaches – cannot be made an object of empirical scientific study. Religious studies can only address the concepts that human beings have expressed concerning their God (or gods: God, Representations and sym…

Spirit/Holy Spirit

(8,121 words)

Author(s): Stolz, Fritz | Oeming, Manfred | Dunn, James D.G. | Ritter, Adolf Martin | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies and History of Philosophy The dogmatic definition of the Holy Spirit as a person within the one divine substance (Trinity/Doctrine of the Trinity) presupposes not only a particular philosophical context but also a religio-historical horizon. A formative influence on the conceptualization of the Holy Spirit was exercised by the various anthropomorphic interpretations of elemental anthropological or normative qualities in the context of polytheistic interpretations of …