term meaning “of like substance” and used by many who were caught between the extremes of the Nicene party (HOMOOUSION, “of the same substance”) and the radical Arians who had emerged about 355. The great majority of moderates rallied under Basil of Ancyra around the compromise homoiousion, among them Melitius of Antioch and CYRIL OF JERUSALEM.
Through the statesmanship of such orthodox leaders as Athanasius and Hilary of Poitiers, the Homoiousions, who were not far removed from the orthodox position and were increasingly apprehensive of the threat of ARIANISM, were brought into the camp of the Homoousions by the Council of Constantinople in 381. Earlier concerns about the Nicene party, which had to be overcome in the process, were a dislike of the term homoousion and distrust of some of its advocates.
Once their fears that the Nicene party was really Sabellian (“modalist” MONARCHIANISM) had been calmed, fear of increasingly radical Arianism made the Homoousions more acceptable to the Homoiousions.
- Kelly, J. N. D. Early Christian Doctrines, 4th ed. Edinburgh, 1968.
C. WILFRED GRIGGS