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Nicaea and its LegacyAn Approach to Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology$
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Lewis Ayres

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755067

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0198755066.001.0001

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On the Contours Of Mystery

On the Contours Of Mystery

Chapter:
11 On the Contours Of Mystery
Source:
Nicaea and its Legacy
Author(s):

Lewis Ayres (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198755066.003.0012

The first of three that offer a summary of the shared pro-Nicene theological culture. Begins by defining the author’s use of ‘culture’ and then sketches some of the fundamental shared principles in pro-Nicene Trinitarianism. God is one in nature, power, and activity while the three persons are irreducible. The persons act inseparably ad extra. God is distinct from the world, simple, and unique. The author argues, following David Burrell’s discussion of Aquinas, that simplicity here functions not as one among many divine attributes, but as a ‘formal feature’ defining the manner in which all attributes must be understood. The clarity of distinction between divine and created existence that follows forms the context for pro-Nicene understanding of analogy and of all attempts to distinguish persons and nature.

Keywords:   analogy, Augustine, culture, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, persons and essence, simplicity, Trinity

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