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Against Eunomius (Fathers of the Church Patristic Series) Hardcover – March 28, 2011

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Mark DelCogliano is an adjunct professor of theology at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and author of Basil of Caesarea's Anti-Eunomian Theory of Names: Christian Theology and Late-Antique Philosophy in the Fourth-Century Trinitarian Controversy. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz is assistant professor of theology at Loyola University Chicago and author of Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity.

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Product Details

  • Series: Fathers of the Church Patristic Series (Book 122)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press (March 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813201225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813201221
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,974,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Students of Patristic theology and more specifically fourth-century Trinitarian theology are well aware of just how important a figure Basil of Caesarea was. Aside from being one of the great Cappadocians, he is arguably the most important of the three, since his influence can be seen in the writings of his younger brother Gregory of Nyssa and to a lesser (but still noticeable) extent Gregory of Nazianzus. These same students will also, undoubtedly, be familiar with Gregory of Nyssa's Against Eunomius, which has been available in English translation for more than 100 years, but it's much less likely that they'll be familiar with Basil's Against Eunomius unless they've had access to (and the ability to read) the Greek text.

Thankfully, Mark DelCogliano and Andrew Radde-Gallwitz have translated Basil's Against Eunomius into English for the interested student. The volume under review is relatively slim coming in at just over 200 pages (207 plus front matter to be exact). 75 of those pages (3-78) consist of an excellent introduction that details the significance of this work (both the original and this particular translation), a biographical overview of Basil's life, the historical context of the writing, as well as its polemical and theological content, an inquiry into Basil's sources, an extremely helpful and well produced glossary of technical vocabulary, and finally a note on the authors' text and translation. DelCogliano and Radde-Gallwitz went above and beyond the call of duty in this introduction.

Basil's work itself is divided into 3 books that span 115 pages. The Father is the focus of book 1 while the Son and Spirit are the focus of books 2 and 3 respectively. We're all familiar with the term "gross insubordination," right?
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Format: Hardcover
The five star rating goes mainly towards the work of the translators DelCogliano and Radde-Gallwitz. Hats off to these men for their excellent introduction which makes Basil, Eunomius and this book much more understandable and rewarding. After looking around at other books on the Cappodocians, it later became apparent to me that these two are both experts on the Cappodocians (seems esp. Basil), their writings and theology.
The book is divided into 3 books: Book 1 (50 pages) focusing on the Father, Book 2 (54 pages)focusing on the Son and Book 3 (11 pages) focusing on the Spirit.
Basil's argument against Eunomius is that we should use "Father" and "Son" as the names instead of "Begotten" and "Unbegotten", that they are of the same substance (thanks to the translators I learned that Basil uses homoousios only once in this letter) and they share in the one divinity but in this simplicity of only one divinity there are "distinguishing marks" that really differentiate the Father and the Son.
This oneness of substance and the distinction of the Father from the Son is doctrinally known as the "eternal generation". Since I'm researching this topic in 3rd and 4th century church history, focussing on the Cappodocians, that was my motivation for buying this book.
For anyone looking to see how the Trinitarian debate was shaped during the 360's onward would do well to read this work of Basils. As the authors note, there are many concepts which Basil writes down here (and also develops through his life) that shaped what became enshrined in the creed of 381.
Thanks Basil for your insights and thank you DelCogliano and Radde-Gallwitz for the translation.
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