The Contribution of St. Basil the Great to Combating Pneumatomachism

  • Nicolae Chifăr
Part of the Pathways for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue book series (PEID)


Arian disputes, which troubled the life of the Church in the fourth century, gave birth to a new heresy, one that concerned the person of the Holy Ghost. In 359, St. Athanasius the Great (died 373) wrote to his friend, Bishop Serapion of Thmuis, that some of those who had abandoned Arianism were teaching that the Holy Ghost was just a creature, a subordinate spirit, similar to the angels in all respects but his rank. That was why, he concluded, this heresy (Pneumatomachism) had to be condemned, for “as the Son cannot be separated from the Father, the Holy Ghost cannot be separated from the Son, for this would break the unity of the Holy Trinity.” He was not only a defender of the Trinitarian unity; he also taught about the origin (causality) of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, and because He is characteristic of the Son, the Holy Ghost offers himself through the Son to the Apostles and to all those who believe in him.1


Fourth Century Divine Nature Holy Ghost True Religion Divine Person 
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© Nicolae Chifăr 2016

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  • Nicolae Chifăr

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