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Predestination, theory of

(1,054 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Drecoll, Volker Henning (Münster)
[German version] I. General comments Predestination (Lat. praedestinatio, a Christian concept) is most precisely the Christian doctrine according to which history and individual lives are predetermined. A groundbreaking idea in the history of the Church resulting mainly from the dispute between Augustinus and the Pelagians (Pelagius [4]), its roots go back to the OT and Graeco-Roman philosophy and religion. It is, ultimately, the Christian version of a conflict, fundamental to most religious systems, b…


(1,000 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Princeton) | Drecoll, Volker Henning (Münster)
[English version] I. Allgemeines Prädestination (lat. praedestinatio, ein christl. Begriff) ist im engen Sinne die christl. Lehre von der Vorherbestimmtheit der Gesch. und des Einzellebens. Sie wurde bes. in der Auseinandersetzung des Augustinus mit den Pelagianern (Pelagius [4]) für die Kirche wegweisend gestaltet, hat aber Wurzeln, die sowohl auf das AT als auch auf die griech.-röm. Philos. und Rel. zurückreichen. Sie ist letztlich die christl. Ausprägung eines für die meisten rel. Systeme grundlege…

Quaresmio (Quaresmi), Francesco

(251 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] (baptized Alessandro; Apr 4, 1583 or 1585, Lodi – Oct 25, 1656, Milan), OFM. Initially guardian of the Franciscan house in Milan, in 1616 he went to Palestine; in 1618 he was appointed superior in Aleppo and in 1619 president of the Custody of the Holy Land. He was then appointed apostolic nuncio to the Chaldeans (Chaldea) ( Itinerarium di Chaldaea [with Thomas of Milan], 1625; Apparatus pro reductione Chaldaeorum ad catholicam fidem, 1647; the union conversations on behalf of Pope Urban VIII remained fruitless). His magnum opus, the Historica theologica et moralis Te…

Reland, Hadrian

(179 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] ( Relandus, Reelant; Hadrianus, Adriaan; Jul 17, 1676, Rijp – Feb 5, 1718, Utrecht) was appointed professor in Harderwijk in 1699 and professor of oriental languages in Utrecht in 1701, from 1703 also for Hebrew antiquities. The works Analecta Rabbinica (1702) and Antiquitates sacrae veterum Hebraeorum (1705) were followed by his main work Palaestina ex monumentis veteribus illustrata (1716), which was compiled almost entirely from ancient sources (part 1: onomastics and geography; patr 2: distances; part 3: lexicon of all place names). De religione Mohammedica (…

Holy Scriptures

(1,139 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Veltri, Giuseppe | Drecoll, Volker Henning | Graham, William A.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. Christianity – IV. Islam I. Religious Studies Any kind of written document relating to a religious symbol system (Symbols/symbol theory) can be considered a holy Scripture. The existence of a written text as a criterion is a convenient starting point for a systematic orientation within the variety of religious texts produced throughout history. The process of reducing something to written form always implies more or less distanced reflection on what …

Nicene Creed

(564 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] The Nicene Creed, produced by the first Council of Nicea in 325, is the earliest surviving conciliar creed (Articles of faith: III, 1). It is Trinitarian in structure, with five added anathemas. Its focus is on Christology, emphasizing the begetting of the Son, the Incarnation, and Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit is mentioned only in passing. The Creed’s origin is obscure. It probably does not embody a preexisting confessional formula, for example from t…

Carthage, Synod of

(212 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] On May 1, 418, guided by Augustine and Aurelius of Carthage, more than 200 North African bishops meeting in Carthage passed nine canons against Pelagianism (Pelagius; CChr.SL 149, 69–78; DH, 222–230, misnumbered after canon 2). The canons emphasized inherited original sin ( originale peccatum) on the basis of Rom 5:12, infant baptism (cc. 1–3), grace as the infusion of love (not simply forgiveness, revelation, or relief; cc. 4–6), and the impossibility of a sinless life (canons 7–9). The bishops were reacting…

Vitalis of Carthage

(94 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] (dates unknown, 426/427 or earlier, certainly after 416; possibly a monk) is mentioned only in Ep. 217 of Augustine of Hippo, occasioned by rumors that Vitalis was a Pelagian (Pelagius/Pelagians), primarily for his emphasis on free will in the context of faith. Aug. Ep. 217 speaks of prayer and infant baptism and demands that Vitalis assent to 12 theses regarding the correct doctrine of grace. Vitalis’s theology was probably close to what came to be called Semi-Pelagianism in the 16th century. Volker Henning Drecoll Bibliography PAC Vitalis 8, 1222f.

Nicea, Council of (325)

(1,778 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] The council was held in Nicea (in Bithynia; modern Iznik, in northwestern Turkey) in June and July of the year 325. Eusebius of Caesarea ( Vita Const. III 6.1) and Athanasius ( Apol. sec. 7.2; Ad Afros 2.1) already called it an ecumenical council. From the 6th century at the latest (cf. DH 444 from the years 557), the Western tradition, including the Decretum Gelasianum (DH 352), considered it one of the four ecumenical councils of the Early Church, along with the councils of Constantinople (IV, 1) in 381, Ephesus in 431, an…

Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed

(778 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] The creed known since the 17th century as the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (Confession [of faith]: III, 1) appears in liturgies since the 6th century (Creed: I), where it is called the Nicene Creed. It is first attested in 451 (together with the earlier Nicene creed) in the acts of the Council of Chalcedon, which call it the sym-¶ bol or creed of the 150 fathers of the Council of Constantinople (IV, 1) in 381 (ACO 2, 1.2, Actio III, 14, p. 276; Actio V, 33, p. 324). It differs from the Nicene Creed primarily in its Christology and pneumatology, as well as i…

Eustathius of Sebaste

(168 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] (bishop in Sebaste before 357; died after 377). The asceticism (V) he introduced was condemned at Gangra (341 or c. 355). His influence on Basil the Great cannot be more precisely determined. In 358, a synod attempted unsuccessfully to replace him with Meletius of Antioch. At the Synod of Ancyra in 358, Eustathius was one of the leading homoiousians; deposed by the homoeans in 360, ¶ he was nevertheless able to remain in Sebaste. His homoiousian theology subordinated the Spirit, locating it between deity and …

Symbolum Quicumque

(318 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] The Quicumque vult (from its opening words; often called the Athanasian Creed) is a Latin text probably written in the early 6th century (or before 500?), likely in Spain or southern Gaul. It was probably known by Caesarius of Arles (cf. CChr.SL 103, 20f.) and was in widespread use in the Western church from the 7th century on, as evidenced by manuscripts and its mention at the Synod of Autun (before 680). It may have been assumed at the Synod of Toledo in 633. It was used liturgically from the 8th century on. The creed defines the fides catholica, which is necessary for salva…


(188 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] (called the Syrian; dates unknown). Marius Mercator mentions a Rufinus natione Syrus who taught in Rome c. 400 ( Commonitorium adversus haeresim Pelagii, Praefatio). He is probably identical with the author of Liber de fide who rejected inheritance of Adam’s sin (Original Sin) and assigned a neutral place to children who die unbaptized. This position was discussed in Carthage c. 411 and opposed by Augustine of Hippo (in his De peccatorum meritis et remissione; his familiarity with Liber de fide is uncertain, but cf. Liber de fide 40, pagina 114.23–27 and De peccatorum m…

Eleusius of Cyzicus

(172 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] Consecrated bishop of Cyzicus by Macedonius I, Eleusius participated in the Synod of Seleucia in 359; against Acacius of Caesarea, he supported the second Antiochene Formula there. After the promulgation of the imperial homoean dogma, he was replaced by Eunomius, but was able to return under Julian the Apostate. Compelled in 365 by…

Marius Victorinus

(482 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] Marius Victorinus, Gaius (given the epithet Afer in the 16th cent.; prior to 300 [?] – after 363 and well before 386), a rhetorician and theologian of strong philosophical orientation who exerted considerable influence on Latin theology through his mediation of Greek thought (Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo). As a pagan rhetor urbis, he was probably granted senatorial rank and honored with a statue in the Forum of Trajan in Rome (354). It was probably also at this time that he authored his rhetorical works, which are indebted t…

Faustus of Riez

(440 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] (c. 405, Britain? – c. 490, Riez), abbot of Lérins (from 433) and (before 462) bishop of Riez (Reji). His renown is based primarily on his doctrine of grace. In 474, at the request of two synods in Arles (Homoeans) and Lyon, he wrote the essay De gratia and argued for a middle way between the predestinationism of a certain Lucidus, which was strongly influenced by Augustine, and Pelagianism (Pelagius). The anathemata with which Lucidus retracted also stemmed form Faustus (DH 330–342 = Ep. 2; see also Ep. 1). While Augustine considered “humanity after the fall” to be…

Regula fidei

(604 words)

Author(s): Drecoll, Volker Henning
[German Version] The expression regula fidei (Gk κανὼν τῆς πίστεως/ kanṓn tḗs písteōs) appeared as a technical Christian term shortly before 200 ce, in several contexts. ¶ (a) In the controversy over the date of Easter (Paschal/Easter calendrical controversies), it denoted the normative practice of the church (Eusebius of Caesarea Hist. eccl. V 24.6). (b) Although Irenaeus of Lyon did not use it in his Adversus haereses (which has eight occurrences of regula veritatis), it is assumed in his Epideixis 3. (c) In the work of Clement of Alexandria, it appears only in Stromata IV 98.3, whe…