The God-man: an engagement with the theology of Athanasius of Alexandria, its genesis and impact
By Andrew Robert Test
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham (2006)
Abstract: This dissertation sets the Christology of Athanasius of Alexandria in the context of its sources, and evaluates its reception up to the Council of Chalcedon. His well-known emphasis upon the Son’s divinity is shown to be underpinned and counterpointed by a theological integration of creatio ex nihilo into his Christology. Recognizing the lack of continuity between the soul and divine being, Athanasius insisted upon the need for an ontological understanding of mediation, a project opposed by Arius. This dissertation demonstrates that the influence of Contra Gentes / De Incarnatione’s dynamic emphasis upon the Logos’s divine identity, is evident in both miahypostatic and dyohypostatic Christological trajectories, and that different aspects of the Athanasian corpus are responsible for multi-dimensional Christological developments. The impact of Athanasius is shown by a re-evaluation of Apollinarius, and in an exploration of the development of Christological language in Antiochene and Alexandrian Christologies of the fifth century. The motif of ontological mediation and relation of both natures in the God-Man in these diverse contexts demonstrates that Athanasius’s resolution was pivotal in subsequent Christian theology.