The Cappadocians’ Stress on the Monarchia of the Father in Metropolitan John D. Zizioulas

  • Krzysztof Leśniewski
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)


The Holy Trinity is the central and most important content of the Christian doctrine of God. This crucial basis of all theological endeavors to present this mystery has been the most difficult to explain and vulnerable to various types of heresies throughout the centuries. It has been necessary for the Church to defend the mystery of the Holy Trinity against the natural tendencies of human reason.1 One has to distinguish the two main reductionist tendencies of the rational faculty of the human mind. The first consists in reducing the Holy Trinity to unity by stressing that there is one God’s essence with three modes of manifestation (the modalism of Sabellius).2 The second was created by Arius, who distinguished God as three separate beings.3 How did the Church respond in order to preserve the constitutive and substantial part of her doctrine? As Vladimir Lossky writes, “The Church has expressed by the homousios the consubstantiality of the Three, the mysterious identity of the monad and of the triad; identity of the one nature and distinction of the three hypostases.”4


Fourth Century Christian Theology Christian Doctrine Divine Nature Theological Reflection 
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© Krzysztof Leśniewski 2016

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  • Krzysztof Leśniewski

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