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The Fatherhood of God from Origen to Athanasius$
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Peter Widdicombe

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199242481.001.0001

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God As Father

God As Father

(p.159) 9 God As Father
The Fatherhood of God from Origen to Athanasius

Peter Widdicombe

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the description of God as Father is for Athanasius, an irreducible given of the Christian faith. It was not as amenable to deliberate and abstract analysis for Athanasius as the more immediately problematical issue of the status of the Son, which is the primary focus of Contra Arianos and of his theology generally. His picture of the fatherhood of God must be built up both from explicit comments about the divine fatherhood and from his portrayal of the eternal generation of the Son and the Son's relation to the Father. Contra Arianos is not solely devoted to a negatively orientated polemic, and this is true of his other writings as well. In Contra Arianos Athanasius develops a positive conception of the divine nature as Father and Son, a conception of God that goes beyond mere refutation of errors.

Keywords:   Athanasius, God, Father, Contra Arianos, fatherhood, Son

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