Patrin V.G. Heresies in Early Egyptian Monasticism. Polemics Between Origenists and Anthropomorphites

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.3.5

Vyacheslav G. Patrin
Candidate of Sciences (Theology), PhD (Greek History and Culture), Director, Center for Training Church Specialists of the Volgograd Eparchy
Chapaeva St, 26, 400012 Volgograd, Russian Federation
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and Theory of Law, Volgograd State University
Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6376-5076


Abstract. The controversy between origenists and anthropomorphites is an obscure and debated topic in the history of the Church. At the turn of the fourth and fifth centuries, the monastic communities of Egypt were involved in this controversy, and the consequences of this controversy had a great influence on the subsequent history of the Church. The central question of the controversy was the "image of God" in man. Representatives of the opposing sides conceptualized this biblical concept in different ways. The views of the Origenists in this polemic can be reconstructed from the surviving texts. Significant problems in the study of this topic are related to the party of the "anthropomorphites" and their teaching, since most of the information about "anthropomorphites" comes from their opponents. This article attempts to define the position of the "anthropomorphites" in the context of this controversy. Recognizing the possibility of using the expression "anthropomorphites" as a polemical cliché, we argue that the existence of the ideas of anthropomorphism of God among Egyptian monks was quite natural. However, in our opinion, the anthropomorphites, like the Messalians, were not a homogeneous group. On the basis of information from the sources, we can distinguish two types of so-called "anthropomorphites": those who attributed a human form to God and those who, on the contrary, denied that the deity had a human form. Common to these currents was the idea that the image of God was also present in the human body, as well as a negative attitude toward Origen. The view that this dispute was a dispute between evangelical realism and origenistic symbolism seems to us to be too free an interpretation of this polemic. Nor can we accept the idea that the Egyptian anthropomorphite movement had its roots in Jewish mysticism.
Key words: heresy, origenism, anthropomorphism, image of God, Egyptian monasticism.

Citation. Patrin V.G. Heresies in Early Egyptian Monasticism. Polemics Between Origenists and Anthropomorphites. Logos et Praxis, 2023, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 43-48. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/lp.jvolsu.2023.3.5

Heresies in Early Egyptian Monasticism. Polemics Between Origenists and Anthropomorphites by Patrin V.G. is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International

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