Groups

Docetism

DOCETISM Docetism is derived from a Greek word that means “it seems.” In this context, it refers to the belief that Christ did not have the same flesh as we do, but only seemed to. Docetism, like Gnosticism, is of non-Christian origin, but it invaded Christianity. Tertullian, in his work entitled On the Flesh of …

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Homoeans

HOMOEANS In the controversy between Athanasius and the Arians, a group tried to find a middle solution. Instead of homoousios (from the same substance), which occurred more than 25 times in the Apology against Apollinarius, this group under Acacius of Caesarea preferred the term homeousios, or “like God.” They played an important role in the …

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International Association For Coptic Studies (Iacs)

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR COPTIC STUDIES (IACS) IACS was founded in Cairo during the First International Congress of Coptology (11-17 December 1976) under the auspices of the Egyptian Antiquities Organization. It is a nonprofit organization designed to promote Coptic studies. The IACS publishes a newsletter that provides information about Coptologists and their work. It sponsors congresses …

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Nitria

NITRIA It is one of the earliest monastic habitations in Egypt. The site is called by Greek and Latin writers Nitria or the mountain of Nitria. It has been confused with Kellia and Scetis and was correctly identified by Hugh G. Evelyn White as Gabal al-Barnoug, where the present village of al-Barnoug stands at the …

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Pelagianism

PELAGIANISM Pelagianism is not a doctrine about grace but an ascetic and reform movement. Pelagius was born in the early fourth century (ca. 350), perhaps in Britain. He came to Carthage in the late decades of the fourth century or the early decades of the fifth century. He adopted an ascetic life and gained a …

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Sabellianism

SABELLIANISM Sabellianism is named after its originator, Sabellius from Cyrenaica. The followers of this heresy believed that God was one substance but three activities. He manifested Himself as the Father in the Old Testament, as the Son in the New Testament, and as the Holy Spirit in Church life. Dionysius of Alexandria condemned this heresy …

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Semi-Arians

SEMI-ARIANS Semi-Arian is the name given to those who believed that Christ has a “like substance” of God (homeosius) but not the same substance (homoousius). The key figure of this group is Basil of Ancyra (356 a.d.). St. Athanasius, after his return from exile, was able to convince them that Christ is “like” substance, meaning …

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