Four Discourses Against The Arians
By: Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 297-373)
In spite of Nicea's condemnation of Arius in 325, Arianism was far from dead. For decades after Nicea, political intrigue and personality clashes continued to confuse the doctrinal issues. Additionally, the line separating othodoxy from Arianism was blurred by a number of "semi-Arians" who agreed with the theology of orthodoxy but continued to object to the "homoousios" of the Nicene Formula. In this milieu, Athanasius of Alexandria tirelessly worked to cut through the confusion and restore unity. Sometimes alone against the world, Athanasius rejected all attempts at unity through ambiguity and strove for unity through clarity. His Four Discourses Against the Arians are the culmination of these efforts. By these, Athanasius successfully defended the theology of the Nicene Formula and united the orthodox Church. For doing so, Athanasius holds an honored place in Church history.