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The Fatherhood of God from Origen to Athanasius (Oxford Theological Monographs) Paperback – January 18, 2001

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Theological Monographs
  • Paperback: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (January 18, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199242488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199242481
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,859,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[A] very readable work....Widdicombe's thoroughness gives the book a synthetic dimension that some other treatments of Origen and Athanasius lack: the reader has a clear sense of both Origen's and Athansius' theologies of God over-all, and how the specific doctrine of the fatherhood of God figures in each of those theologies....[A] work of first-class scholarship."--Theological Studies

"The author must be thanked for his clarity of style and his determination not to `wear his learning heavily'....The work is well crafted, accurate and useful at the right level of study."--Regent's Review

"A technical but eminently lucid investigation....This book should be required reading for those who seek to dismiss traditional Christian language about God as Father and Son without first understanding what its classic formulations meant to those who articulated them."--Religious Studies Review

"I would highly recommend this book."--Pro Ecclesia

"Subtly, this is a very good book. It is a good book because of its clear, sure-handed scholarship."--Church History

About the Author

Peter Widdicombe is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
This work traces the image of divine fatherhood in the Alexandrian tradition from Origen to Athanasius. While devoting five chapters to the former and four to the latter, Widdicombe also deals in two intervening chapters with the significant Alexandrians in the generations separating them: Dionysius, Theognostus, and, more importantly, Arius. Following Rowan Williams, Widdicombe believes that Methodius sets the stage for Arius by sharpening of the distinction between God and the created order in his criticism of the Origen's doctrine of creation. Looking to the present theological concern for gender-specific language related to God, Widdicombe argues in a postscript that Father-Son language is integral to the Christian understanding of God as historically developed and that the figures with whom he is concerned "avoid drawing on the biological or the psychological and sociological dimensions of human fatherhood" in a way that would tie their theology of divine father to the Patriarchal institutions of their society.
Widdicombe states that "For Athanasius, the word Father signified that the divine nature was both inherently generative, giving life to the Son and through him to all other things, and inherently relational, a relation of Father and Son in which mutual love is eternally both given and received" (3). In giving divine fatherhood this importance, Athanasius evidences his indebtedness to Origen. Indeed, a thread of continuity linking the two is their insistence that, since fatherhood, an essential aspect of the godhead, is a correlative term, it implies an eternal generative relationship to the divine Son. Both men also taught that human salvation is fundamentally a process of being brought into the inner life of the Trinity through adoption as sons.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ZF on February 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read to book to trace the doctrine of eternal generation from Origen through Athanasius. In that respect it was quite helpful.
The book is also very enlightening on its actual topic the "Fatherhood" of God. I never realized in what ways the Fatherhood of God was developed and what this development meant esp. as regards to the Son.
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