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Firmilian of Caesarea

(1,416 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
Firmilian (d. 268 CE), a well-known bishop of the Cappadocian metropolis Caesarea (from c. 230 CE), appears according to Eusebius of Caesarea ( Hist. eccl. 6.7) to have taken part in almost all of the significant debates in the formation of una sancta et catholica ecclesia (one holy and catholic church) and its standardized structures in the middle of the 3rd century CE as a representative of an episcopally organized church. The institution of synods and intensive epistolary communication between the churches appear to be for him a fundamental element in the structure of the ecclesia cath…
Date: 2020-09-21

Arianism

(7,347 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
In the literary tradition of late antiquity, there is only a single piece of evidence for the word Ἀρειανισμός, in Gregory of Nazianzus ( Or. 21.22). The derivative neo-Latin term “Arianism” was constructed during the early modern period and subsequently adopted in the modern European languages (Fr. Arianisme; Ital. Arianesimo; Ger. Arianismus).“Arianism,” in its proper sense, both in the history of theology and in the history of dogma, refers to the theological positions or teachings of the Alexandrian presbyter Arius (Ἄρειος), which brought hi…
Date: 2020-09-21

Aërius

(616 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
According to Epiphanius of Salamis ( Haer. 75; see Epiph. Anc. 6) Aërius was an ascetic in the circle around Eustathius of Sebaste. He was still alive when Epiphanius wrote the Panarion at the end of the 370s CE ( Haer. 75.1.3); Filastrius, on the other hand ( Haer. 72), appears to take his death for granted, so he must have died before 390 CE.Epiphanius places Aërius among the followers of Eustathius of Sebaste. It is not known if he could already be counted among these disciples before the Synod of Gangra (c. 340 CE), where Eustathius or rather his radical…
Date: 2020-09-21

Dedication, Council of the

(1,645 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
In 338 CE a short time after the death of Emperor Constantine, the new emperor of the West, Constantine II permitted Athanasius of Alexandria to return from his exile in Trier to Alexandria (DGAS no. 41.1 introduction).Having returned from exile, Athanasius assembled a synod of 80 Egyptian bishops in Alexandria. This synod voted for Athanasius. This synod sent a circular to all bishops with many documents (Athan. Apol. sec. 3–19).The eastern bishops around Eusebius of Constantinople, who had deposed and excommunicated Athanasius at the Synod of Tyre in 335 CE, a…
Date: 2020-09-21

Continentes

(1,952 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
The heresiologists of the early church call “Continentes” (Gk ἐγκρατῖται; Lat. continentes/ encratitae; Eng. Encratites [continents]) some ascetics or groups living an ascetic life who are considered to be heretics because they demand from all Christians that they follow an ascetic way of life, particularly that they renounce marriage, the eating of certain foods (particularly meat), and the consuming of intoxicating drinks (whereby “continentes” in the Latin tradition can stand generally and in a positive …
Date: 2020-09-21

Aberglaube

(1,849 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
1. Begriff und antike-mittelalterliche Grundlegung 1.1. Die deutsche WortbildungDer Begriff A. (spätmhd.: abergloube) ist eine gelehrte und künstliche Wortschöpfung (eine Zusammensetzung aus ›aber‹ im Sinne von ›verkehrt‹ oder ›falsch‹ und ›Glaube‹), welche seit ihrem Auftreten an der Schwelle zur Nz. inhaltlichen Veränderungen unterworfen war (der bisher früheste Beleg ist eine in das 15. Jh. zu datierende Glosse der Wiener Handschrift des sog. St. Trudpert-Kommentars zum Hohelied des Alten Testaments); di…
Date: 2019-11-19

Church History/Church Historiography

(14,105 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Beutel, Albrecht | Koschorke, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept, Presuppositions – II. Development – III. Middle Eastern Church History and Historiography – IV. Religious Education I. Concept, Presuppositions 1. Concept The concept of church history has not yet been studied sufficiently, but it is already clear that since antiquity extraordinarily different conceptions of Christian historiography have been in simultaneous competition over the interpretation of past, present, and future. Often the different methodological option…

Dioscorus of Alexandria

(476 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] was a deacon of Cyril of Alexandria who became his successor as bishop of Alexandria following the latter's death in 444. In spite of the extant hagiographic vita (CPG 3, 5470) from the Monophysite milieu, hardly anything is known about his life. Unlike Cyril, whose theology was his absolute norm, Dioscorus cannot be regarded as an independent or prominent theolo…

Simeon Stylites the Elder

(208 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 390 in Cilician Sis – Jul 24 [Sep 1], 459). Without education, Simeon entered a monastery early in the 5th century; he was forced to leave on account of his extreme asceticism. He lived as a hermit in Telanissus (some 60 km east of Antioch). From the early 420s, he lived on a hill atop a pillar that gradually reached a height of over 20 m (Stylite); visited by countless pilgrims, he gave political counsel to several emperors and appeared as a savior to the persecuted Christian…

Ulfilas

(329 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (or Wulfila; early 4th cent. – 383), Gothic descendant of Cappadocian Christians kidnapped in the 3rd century. According to his biographer Auxentius of Durostorum, he was a trilingual lector in the Gothic Christian community, probably consecrated to the episcopate by Eusebius of Nicomedia when a Gothic delegation was sent to Constantine the Great, to serve as bishop of the Christians in the region controlled by the Goths. In the 340s, he and a group of Gothic Christians entered th…

Martin of Tours (Saint)

(374 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 316–397; feast day Nov 11). The writings of Sulpicius Severus about Martin are the only contemporary sources ( Epistulae et dialogae [CSEL 1]; Vita Martini [SC 133–135]). In the Vita, written c. 395/397, the various episodes are only loosely linked. They are continued after Martin's death in three letters and three (or two) Dialogues, in which Sulpicius depicts Martin according to his monastic ideals. Martin was born c. 316/317 (conflicting chronology) as the son of a tribune in Pannonian Sabaria. He grew up in Pavia, and at the …

Dionysius of Rome

(185 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] was a Roman presbyter who became bishop of Rome after the execution of Sixtus II in 259. He was able to reorganize the church, which had suffered greatly from the persecution by Licinius Valerianus. He died in 267/268. Almost nothing of him is recorded in the Liber pontificalis ; an exchange of letters with Dionysius of Alexandria and the congregation in Cappadocian Caesarea is attested. The authenticity of the fragment against the Origenistic theology of Dionysius of Alexandria (preserved in Athanasius, De decretis Nicaenae symboli [decr.…

Simeon Stylites the Younger

(206 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (521 Antioch – May 24 [or Sep 3?], 592), son of St. Martha and a father from Edessa, became a stylite and miracle worker (Simeon Thaumaturgus) at the age of six. Located after c. 540/541 on the mons mirabilis near Antioch, he was ordained to the diaconate and later to the priesthood as a stylite; he was sought out by pilgrims as a thaumaturge. He wrote works on asceticism, hymns, prayers, and letters (to Justinian I and Justin II). The pilgrimage activity associated with his pillar, as well as his contact relics and p…

John I, Pope (Saint)

(141 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] 523–526. At the command of Theodoric the Great, John I, of whom almost nothing is known, had to travel in 525 to Constantinople with a delegation of Roman senators and bishops and intervene there for the religious freedom of the homoean Goths, who were affected by the heresy laws. The triumphal reception of the pope in Constantinople must be regarded as a political demonstration against Theoderic, who, for that reason, had John held in Ravenna after his return; shortly afterward John died there. In ¶ the hagiographic tradition, he is therefore regarded as a victim…

Eutychian Controversy

(509 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The so-called Eutychian Controversy was an episode in the christological controversy (Christology: II, 1), that forced the Roman and Latin West to take a dogmatic position and led directly to the christological formula of Chalcedon (Monophysites/Monophysitism). The unstable equilibrium of the Union of 433 between moderate Antiochenes and Alexandrians ( DH 272) was always in danger. Dioscorus of Alexandria, the successor of Cyril of Alexandria, was not prepared to accept a signif…

Eudoxius of Antioch

(205 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (died 370) first appears as bishop of Germanicia at the Council of Antioch in 341. He was one of the leading supporters of the ecclesiastical policies of Constantius II and participated in almost all the important councils of the Eastern church as an opponent of Athanasius; he nevertheless played a role in the unsuccessful attempts to frame a theological compromise with the West ( formula macrostichus, Hahn, BSGR, §159). After he became bishop of Antioch in 357, his support of Aetius and Eunomius led to a breach with the…

Peter Mongo

(191 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (“Stammerer,” or “hoarse”; died 490). In 477 Peter was elected bishop (patriarch) of Alexandria by opponents of the decrees of Chalcedon, as successor to Timotheus Aelurus, but he was able to take office only after the death of Timothy Salophaciolus and the recognition of the Henotikon in 482; because of the intervention of John Talaia (Acacius of Constantinople), he was not recognized by the West. He was also opposed in Egypt by Monophysites because he had signed the Henotikon and refused to condemn Chalcedon. Theologically, Peter must be considered less a…

Miles Christi (Soldiers of Christ)

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Early Christianity and Military Service – III. The Militia Christi in Primitive Christianity and the Early Church – IV. Middle Ages – V. Modern Period I. Definition Latin militia Christi (“military service for Christ”; cf. the more common miles Christi/ dei, “soldier/warrior of Christ/God”) is a metaphorical description of the life and service of Christians in the world (cf. “the church militant”). Borrowing the language of apocalypticism and imagery common to antique philosophy, it interprets the C…

Eutyches,

(122 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] priest and archimandrite of the Monastery of Job in Constantinople, exercised great influence at the court so that Cyril of Alexandria sought his assistance as mediator as early as 432. As a radical proponent of the theology of one nature (Monophysites/Monophysitism) and an opponent of the union of 433, he was accused of Apollinarianism (Apollinaris of Laodicea) in 447/48 at over 70 …

Council

(4,467 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Schneider, Hans | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Puza, Richard | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics I. Church History 1. Early Church Council (Lat. concilium, Gk σύνοδος [Lat. synodum]; the two terms were first differentiated in modern usage; see also synod) are meetings of bishops from various communities for binding clarification of disciplinary, organizational, or doctrinal questions, whose decisions, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, are not in principle revisable and claim validity for the whole church r…
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