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Doctrine and PowerTheological Controversy and Christian Leadership in the Later Roman Empire$
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Carlos R. Galvão-Sobrinho

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257399

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257399.001.0001

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Precision, Devotion, and Controversy in Alexandria

Precision, Devotion, and Controversy in Alexandria

Chapter:
(p.35) 3 Precision, Devotion, and Controversy in Alexandria
Source:
Doctrine and Power
Author(s):

Carlos R. Galvão-Sobrinho

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520257399.003.0004

This chapter demonstrates how, in the early Arian controversy in Alexandria, there was a subtle but fundamental change in the nature of church leaders' response to theological disagreement. Challenged by their rivals and driven by a new certainty that they possessed the truth, church leaders embarked on a disruptive quest to prove their orthodoxy and discredit their opponents. Persistent confrontation, combined with a determination to undermine fellow churchmen, replaced the former attempts to find consensus. The chapter argues that this change resulted from the need to achieve greater precision in defining the truth about God, which altered one's relationship with one's belief and encouraged a deeper sense of devotion to rival conceptions of the deity. These developments hindered efforts to reach compromise.

Keywords:   religious conflict, Christian history early church, ca. 30-600, bishops Rome, leadership (sociology), doctrine history Christian, heresy, Christian history early church, Arian controversy, worship Christian, Alexandria, Arius of Alexandria, Alexander of Alexandria

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