Info

Against Marcellus ofAncyra

In distancing himself from Marcellus, however, Apollinarius went beyond Athanasius. Athanasius never considered in detail the divine and the human union in the incarnate One; for him this was not an issue in the Arian controversy. In this respect he agreed with Eustathius of Antioch (he probably died before 337, though other dates have been suggested: 343/5, or 370), who established the anti-Arian exegesis that led to the Antiochene confession of Christ's two natures. Apollinarius' situation was different. For him Nicaea's confession and Athanasius' viewpoint regarding the appropriation 'of the flesh' by the Logos were irreconcilable with Marcellus' teaching. For the Alexandrian, the one Son of God was 'God and human being, both as one', 'both at the same time'. Athanasius' anti-Arian exegesis excludes any Christology that confesses two separate subjects (i.e., the God Logos and the human being Jesus) and, instead of stressing the one unique person (prosopon), nature (physis) and hypostasis, confesses a duality of them. For Apollinarius, such a Christology cannot claim to remain faithful to the creed of Nicaea; it is a 'Christology from below'. Instead of confessing the incarnate God, it understands the human being Jesus as one inspired by God (entheos), in whom the Logos acts, without being ontologically present, and thus incarnate. Like pagans and Jews, these Christians do not acknowledge the divinity of him 'who was born of a woman' (Galatians 4.4).

Early on, perhaps before 341, Apollinarius attacked Marcellus and his disciple, Photinus, the bishop of Sirmium. Following a line of argument first developed by Eusebius of Caesarea (d. 339) Apollinaris identifies the third-century bishop of Antioch, Paul of Samosata (finally excommunicated as a heretic by a synod in 268) as the father of this Christology. Eusebius' critique, in turn, had its precursor in the polemic against a monarchianism, or Sabellianism, that formulated a Logos-theology in terms of an ontological difference in the one God. Tertullian, Hippolytus and, it would seem, Novatian articulated this position, even if in the latter's case the older conception remains.

For Marcellus, the Logos, eternally present in the one God as his power (dynamis), proceeded from God first in creation and then in the incarnation. He is in both cases the active force (energeia). The one God expanded and extended his monad to a duality, a dyad, of Father and Son. The difference exists in the extension of the monad, and thus God is a dyad 'only in activity (energeia)'. According to 1 Corinthians 15.28 ('When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all'), the dyad will be nullified at the end of the

0 0

Post a comment