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Being Christian in Vandal AfricaThe Politics of Orthodoxy in the Post-Imperial West$
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Robin Whelan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520295957

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520295957.001.0001

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“What They Are to Us, We Are to Them”

“What They Are to Us, We Are to Them”

Homoian Orthodoxy and Homoousian Heresy

(p.85) 3 “What They Are to Us, We Are to Them”
Being Christian in Vandal Africa

Robin Whelan

University of California Press

This chapter argues that the balance of power in Vandal Africa’s ecclesiastical controversy has consistently been misunderstood. It reconstructs the self-presentation and heresiological polemic of African Homoian clerics. These authors appropriated the legitimizing standards of the late-antique Christian community to portray themselves as members of the one true Christian Church, while painting their Nicene opponents as Homoousian heretics, whose beliefs were similar to other heresies and tantamount to paganism. The sophistication of this heresiology, its effective use of legal precedent, and the furious Nicene responses it received should force contemporary perceptions of the African Christian community to be rethought. For at least some Christians in Vandal Africa, Homoian Christianity would have been orthodox; the Nicene Church, a heretical sect.

Keywords:   Arians, Nicene Christianity, law, dialogue, conciliar acts

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