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The Relevance of Athanasius in Dogmatics

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This article deals with the reception of Athanasius in systematic theology. The first section focuses on quantitative data. It turns out that Athanasius, though often hailed as one of the greatest Church fathers, is not quoted very frequently when compared e.g. with Augustine. Major systematic works do not refer to him at all, or scarcely. The second part directs its attention to the content of the reception. The core of Athanasius’s importance is found in his Christology: God became human so that humans become God. Soteriology and Christology are one and the same and this can also get the face of pneumatology: participation in the Spirit of God. Other aspects of Athanasius work whereto is referred, are his list of canonical books and his view on theological epistemology. In the final section the author stresses once again the priority of Athanasius’s interpretation of the homoousios over any other Christological model.

Affiliations: 1: Professor extraordinarius in Systematic Theology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa Professor of the Christian Creeds, Faculty of Theology, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam


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