Paschal

ABSTINENCE

ABSTINENCE Introduction.—The whole of morality on its negative side may be included under Abstinence. Christian moral progress (sanctification) includes a holding fast (κατέχεσθαι) of the good, and an abstaining from (ἀπέχεσθαι) every form of evil (1 Th 5:21f.). While Christianity has general laws to distinguish the good from the bad, yet for each individual Christian …

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Fasting

FASTING The first references concerning fasting in the Coptic Church are the paschal letters of St. Athanasius from the beginning of the fourth century, wherein Athanasius introduced the date of the Holy Lent. This tradition was continued by his successors such as Theophilus and Cyril. In all these documents, mention is made of Lent and …

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Anthropomorphism

ANTHROPOMORPHISM The followers of Anthropomorphism believed that God has a human (Anthropos) form or shape (morphe). This affair arose in the late fourth century and the beginning of the fifth century in Egypt, during the patriarchate of Theophilus of Alexandria. The three tall monks of Nitria followed the allegorical interpretation of Origen. Theophilus first supported …

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Patriarch Alexander I

PATRIARCH ALEXANDER I He was the 19th patriarch of the See of St. Mark (312-326). He succeeded Achillas in the year 312 a.d., just after the end of the great persecution. Alexander faced three problems during his episcopate. He was first troubled over the timing of the Easter observance by a schismatic faction led by …

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Gnosticism In Egypt

GNOSTICISM IN EGYPT The term “Gnosticism” was first coined in the 17th century to refer to an early Christian heresy described by the Church Father Irenaeus of Lyon in his five volumes Against Heresies (ca. 185). Historians of religions use the term to refer to a religion that probably developed around the turn of the …

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