#372 – A History of the Catholic Church – Separation from the World

Amidst all the problems of the Trinitarian Controversy, we should not lose sight of the desire of all Christians to grow in holiness and closer to Christ. This week, we look at the advice of Basil of Caesarea for separating oneself from sin and joining oneself to Jesus.

Links:
Painting of Saint Basil dictating his rule by Francisco de Herrera

Life of Saint Theodora of Alexandria

Selections from the Rule of Saint Basil

Discussion of the different texts of Basil mentioned in this episode.

Joseph Ballan, “Basil of Caesarea on the Ascetic Craft: The Invention of the Ascetic Community and the Spiritualization of Work in the Asketikon,” The Heythrop Journal, LII (2011), pp. 559-568.

Charles A. Frazee, “Anatolian Asceticism in the Fourth Century,” The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Jan. 1980), pp. 16-33.

Anna M. Silvas, “Edessa to Cassino: The Passage of Basil’s Asketikon to the West”, Vigiliae Christianae, 56 (2002), 247-259.

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#372 – A History of the Catholic Church – Separation from the World

#371 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed

We look first at the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed that may have been adopted at the First Council of Constantinople and Emperor Theodosius’ moves against those deemed to be heretics. Then, we look at developments in the Western Church – especially at Bishop Damasus of Rome’s claims to greater authority.

Links:

Icon of Constantine and bishops holding Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed

Comparison between the Nicene and Constantinopolitan Creeds

Proceedings of the 381 Council of Aquileia

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#371 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed

#370 – A History of the Catholic Church – The First Council of Constantinople

Seeking to resolve the problems of the Churches of Constantinople and Antioch, Emperor Theodosius calls for a council. However, the results of the council reveal even greater tensions. Maximus the Cynic seeks to supplant Gregory Nazianzen as bishop of Constantinople.

Links:

Icon of the First Council of Constantinople

Letter of the Bishops at the First Council of Constantinople to the Bishops of the West

Canons of the First Council of Constantinople

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#370 – A History of the Catholic Church – The First Council of Constantinople

#369 – A History of the Catholic Church – Valens Falls/Theodosius Rises

Invading Goths cause chaos throughout the Eastern half of the Roman empire and cost the life of an emperor. But in Theodosius, the Nicene Christians find a new protector and there are signs of hope for a resolution of the Trinitarian Controversy.

Links:

Fr. Seraphim’s Amazon Wish List for Christmas

Image of emperors Valentian, Valens, Gratian and Theodosius

Map of Roman Empire between 376-378 showing Tervingi, Gruethungi, Huns and location of Adrianople.

Theodosius’ Cunctos Populos ordering all Christians to follow faith of Damasus of Rome and Peter of Alexandria.

John Lascaratos & Spyros Marketos, “Didymus the Blind: An unknown precursor of Louis Braille and Helen Keller”, Documenta Opthalmologica, 86, 1994, pp. 203-208.

Zeev Rubin, “The Conversion of the Visigoths to Christianity”, Museum Helveticum, 38 (1081), pp. 34-54.

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#369 – A History of the Catholic Church – Valens Falls/Theodosius Rises

#368 – A History of the Catholic Church – Divided Empire/Divided Church

While the Trinitarian Controversy focused on the relationship of the Son of God to the Father, the growing Christological Controversy will focus on the relationship of the Son of God to humanity. The rise of the Apollinarian Heresy brings with it the next major threat to Christian unity. In the West, Ambrose becomes bishop of Milan and Valentinian goes to his heavenly reward. In the East, Basil continues to struggle against Valens.

Links:

Fr. Seraphim’s Amazon Wish List for Christmas

Coin showing Valentinian and Valens from the Classical Numismatic Group, Inc

Writings of Apollinaris of Laodicea

Joseph T. Lienhard, “Two Friends of Athanasius: Marcellus of Ancrya and Apollinaris of Laodicea”, Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 10, no. 1: 56-66.

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#368 – A History of the Catholic Church – Divided Empire/Divided Church

#367 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Enemy of My Enemy

Basil tries to unite the homoousians and the homoiousians against Emperor Valens. However, despite Valens’ persecution of bishops and monks, Bishop Damasus of Rome and Paul II of Alexandria continue to mistrust Basil and his allies. Moreover, debates about the Holy Spirit compound the Trinitarian Controversy.

Links:

Fr. Seraphim’s Amazon Wish List for Christmas

Painting of The Mass of Saint Basil the Great by Pierre Subleyras – Emperor Valens is in attendance.

Statue of Athanasius in Saint Peter’s Basilica by Bernini – Athansius is second from left.

Basil’s “On the Holy Spirit”

Noel Lenski, “Valens and the Monks: Cudgeling and Conscription as a Means of Social Control”, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 58 (2004): 93-117.

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#367 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Enemy of My Enemy

#366 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Cappadocians

Saints Macrina the Younger, Basil the Great, Saint Gregory of Nyssa and Saint Gregory Nazianzen, the Cappadocians, were some of the most influential theologians in the history of the Church – especially in the development of the doctrine of the Trinity. There lives bring together many of the themes we have already explored – the Christinization of the Roman elite, monasticism, and the role of the bishops. We also learn the importance of staying awake during Liturgy.

Image comparing Cappadocian and Augustinian understandings of the Trinity

Links:

Fr. Seraphim’s Amazon Wish List for Christmas

Photo of icon of Saints Basil, Gregory Nazianzen and Gregory of Nyssa by Badly Drawn Dad

Saint Macrina the Younger
Life by Saint Gregory of Nyssa

Saint Basil the Great
Writings of Saint Basil the Great
Altar of Saint Basil in St. Peter’s in Rome

Saint Gregory of Nyssa
Writings of Gregory of Nyssa
On the Soul and the Resurrection
“On the Soul and the Resurrection commentary

Saint Gregory Nazianzen
Orations of Saint Gregory Nazianzen
Statue of Saint Gregory in colonnade at Saint Peter’s in Rome

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#366 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Cappadocians

#365 – A History of the Catholic Church – Bishop of a Divided City

The death of Jovian leads to the advent of the Valentinian Dynasty and the split of the empire between the pro-Nicene Valentinian in the West and his pro-Homoean brother Valens as ruler of the East. Divisions in the Church continue due to the Trinitarian Controversy. In Rome, Damasus and Ursinus struggle for power.

Links:

Image of conflict between supporters of Damasus and Ursinus by Jan Luyken in Tafereelen der eerste Christenen 1740.

Map of Roman Empire at time of Valentinian and Valens

Pages with images and information on Damasus’ Philocalian script

Damasus of Rome: The Epigraphic Poetry by Dennis Trout

Malcolm R. Green, “The Supporters of the Antipope Ursinus”, The Journal of Theological Studies, New Series, Vol. 22, No. 2 (October 1971), pp. 531-538.

Jacob A. Latham, “From Literal to Spiritual Soldiers of Christ: Disputed Episcopal Elections and the Advent of Christian Processions in Late Antique Rome”, Church History, 81:2 (June 2012), pp. 293-327.

Harry O. Maier, “The Topography of Heresy and Dissent in Late-Fourth-Century Rome”, Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geshichte, Bd. 44, H. 2 (2nd Qtr. 1995), pp. 232-249.

Marianne Sághy, “Scinditur in partes populous: Pope Damasus and the Martyrs of Rome”, Early Medieval Europe, 9 (3), 2000, pp. 273-287.

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#365 – A History of the Catholic Church – Bishop of a Divided City

#364 – A History of the Catholic Church – Living as Levites

Athanasius influences the spread of monasticism in the West. Eusebius of Vercelli and Martin of Tours establish the first monasteries. The Church continues to expand its understanding of sainthood while at the same time fighting against veneration of “false martyrs”.

Links:

Statue of Martin of Tours cutting his cloak in half by Eva Kröcher

Sulpicius Severus’ Life of Saint Martin of Tours

Website of the Abbey de Ligugé – the first monastery Martin of Tours established and oldest monastery in Europe

Information and images of the now destroyed monastery of Marmoutier – in French

Information and images of Christian gold-glass

Information and images about Christian gems that were also popular relics from pilgrimages

Matheus Coutinho Figuinha, “Martin of Tours’ Monasticism and Aristocracies in Fourth-Century Gaul”, Revista Brasileira de História, v. 36, no. 71, Jan-April 2016, pp. 1-22.

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#364 – A History of the Catholic Church – Living as Levites

#363 – A History of the Catholic Church – Bishop and Monk

The increasing influence of monastic leaders brought with it increasing concern from the bishops as to whether these monks would be friend or foe. One bishop, Pope Athanasius of Alexandria, worked to bring these monastics under greater episcopal control so that their power could be used for the benefit, and not to the detriment, of the Church – at least as Athanasius perceived it.

Links:

Image of Syncletica of Alexandria

Life and Sayings of Abba Pambo

Life of Amma Syncletica, reputedly by Athanasius.

Mary Forman, OSB – Amma Syncletica: A Spirituality of Experience

Sayings of Amma Syncletica

Synod of Gangra

Athanasius’ Life of Saint Anthony

David Brakke – Athanasius and the Politics of Asceticism

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#363 – A History of the Catholic Church – Bishop and Monk