Athanasius: Father of Orthodoxy

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  • Topic: Athanasius of Alexandria, First Council of Nicaea, Arianism
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  • Published : January 24, 2013
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ATHANASIUS (296-373)
Athanasius is counted as one of the four great doctors of the church in the Roman Catholic church as well as one of the great doctors of the church in Eastern Orthodoxy where he is also labeled the Father of Orthodoxy. He is also celebrated by many Protestant who label him as Father of the Canon, Athanasius is venerated as Christian saint whose feast day is May 2 in western community. May 5 is the Coptic orthodox church and January 18 is the other Eastern orthodox churches.St. Athanasius was born in the city of Alexandria or possibly the nearby Nile delta town of Damanhur, California 296-298. It is speculated that his parents were wealthy enough to afford giving him an esteemed secular learning. He came from a Christian family despite accounts to the contrary as in his writings, he tells more than once of an aunt. who taught him some principles of the Christian faith, and a father who did the same as well as mentioning (once), his mother doing the same. He has a Christian brother and later in his life is one of his exiles, he hid in his father’s tomb in what appears to be describe as a Christian cemetery.He knew Greeks and he admits to not knowing Hebrew. The old testament he quotes frequently came from the Septuagint Greek translation his knowledge of the old testament is limited to the Septuagint. He was able to write a letter in exile with no access to a copy of the scriptures and quote from a memory verse in the old testament. The combination of scriptural study and a Greek learning was characteristic of the famous Alexandrian school of element, origin Dionysius and Theognostus. It was from St. Alexander of Alexandria.Bishop of Alexandria 312-328 himself an Origenist that St. Athanasius received his main instruction. His earliest work against heathens – on the Incarnation, bears traces of origenist, Alexandrian thought but in an orthodox way. The Alexandria of his boyhood was an epitome, intellectually, morally and politically of the ethnically diverse Greco Roman World. St. Athanasius seems to have been brought early in life under the immediate supervision of the ecclesiastical authorities of his native city.He was ordained deacon by the contemporary patriarch Alexandria. In 319-325, he served as a Alexander’s secretary at the first council of Nicaea, already recognized theologian and ascetic. He was the devious choice to replace alexander as the Patriarch of Alexandria on the latter’s dealth in 328. Despite the opposition of the followers of the Arius and Meletius of Lycopolis. Athanasius spent the first five years of his patriarchate visiting the churches of his territory which at that time included all of Egypt and Libya. During this period he established contacts with the hermits and monks of the dessert including Pachomius. Athanasius became occupied with the disputes with Byzantine Empire and Arians which occupy much of his life. Athanasius first problem lay with the meletians who had failed to abide by the terms of the decision made at the first council of Nicaea which had hoped to reunite them with the church. Athanasius himself was accused of mistreating Arians and the followers of Meletius of Lycopolis. On the death of Emperor Constantine I, Athanasius was allowed to return to his see of Alexandria shortly after Constantine son. The new Roman Emperor Constantius II renewed the order for Athanasius banishment in 338. Athanasius went to Rome where he was under the...
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