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The Fatherhood of God from Origen to Athanasius

Peter Widdicombe

Published by OUP Oxford
ISBN 10: 0199242488 / ISBN 13: 9780199242481
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Title: The Fatherhood of God from Origen to ...

Publisher: OUP Oxford

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Book Type: Paperback

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Paperback. 316 pages. Dimensions: 8.7in. x 5.4in. x 0.9in.The fatherhood of God has had a central, if increasingly controversial, place in Christian thinking about God. Yet although Christians referred to God as Father from the earliest days of the faith, it was not until Athanasius in the fourth century that the idea of God as Father became a topic of sustained analysis. Looking at the genesis of Athanasius understanding of divine fatherhood against the background of Alexandrian tradition, Widdicombe demonstrates how the concept came to occupy such a prominent place in Christian theology. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780199242481

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Synopsis: The fatherhood of God has a central, if increasingly controversial, place in Christian thinking about God. Yet although Christians referred to God as Father from the earliest days of the faith, it was not until Athanasius in the fourth century that the idea of God as Father became a topic of sustained analysis. Looking at the genesis of Athansius' understanding of divine fatherhood against the background of the Alexandrian tradition, Dr Widdicombe demonstrates how the concept came to occupy such a prominent place in Christian theology. He argues that there is a continuity in the Alexandrian tradition which runs from Origen to Athanasius, and shows how in the detail of their language and in the structure of their arguments, the third and fourth century Alexandrians drew on Origen's portrayal of God as Father. For Origen, the fatherhood of God lay at the heart of the Christian faith: to know God fully and thus to be saved is to know God as Father. For Athanasius, the fatherhood of God was integral to the defence of the divinity of the Son against the Arian challenge: Fatherhood identified God as the loving and fruitful source of all things and as the one who has sought to meet us in his Son Jesus Christ. Arius, however, was an important exception, and for him it was logically possible to refer to God without calling him Father. In the context of modern debates about describing God as Father, this illuminating examination of early Christian thinking will help us to consider whether it is either desirable or possible to call God Father if we are to maintain an intelligible doctrine of God.

Review: valuable study ... His work is based on a painstaking analysis of the texts, and is lucidly written. ( Expository Times)

Peter Widdicombe has produced a clear and well argued study of the use of God's Fatherhood as a principle in early theological debate ... this is a useful and good book which can be thoroughly recommended. ( Reviews in Religion and Theology)

The author must be thanked for his clarity of style and his determinism not to "wear his learning heavily" ... The work is well crafted, accurate and useful at the right level of study. ( Theological Book Study)

It is a pleasure to welcome this book ... It is clearly and unfussily written; the argument is straightforward and the conclusions interesting ... It is to be hoped that this book will provide a much-needed account of certain basic themes in the thought of Origen and Athanasius. ( The Heythrop Journal)

It is a tribute to the excellence of this book ... that the familiarity of the sources on which it is based does not detract from its interest or its value to scholars. Such a thorough investigation of the theologies of Origen and Athanasius and such a clear depiction of the continuities discernible in the Alexandrian tradition which connects these two theologians has not been available before ... This absorbing and profound monograph will certainly rank as a major and as an attractive contribution to the literature on the formative period of Trinitarian thought. ( Journal of ncclesiastical History)

Widdicombe writes well, in a lucid, pleasant style, and displays a good grasp of the texts studied. His book provides a useful overview of certain aspects of the thought of Athanasius and others. ( J. Kevin Coyle, Saint Paul University, Église et Théologie / 27, 1996)

this is a very good book ... It is a good book because of its clear, sure-handed scholarship. ( Church History, December 1996)

thorough and honest interpretation of selected texts of Origen. ... This book is a readable study of a difficult topic. Widdicombe's principal contribution ... is his careful textual analysis. I found the Scripture index, the index of ancient authors and the general index very helpful. I highly recommend this book. ( Toronto Journal of Theology, 13/1, 1997)

This book has many strengths, especially its clear and thorough discussion of philosophical and theological issues in Origen and Athanasius...This book is a fine contribution to the history of ancient theology. ( The Journal of Religion)

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