Athanasius of Alexandria also called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or, He was known as Athanasius Contra Mundum (Latin for Athanasius Against the World). two earliest treatises Contra Gentes (Against the Heathens) and De Incarnatione (On the Incarnation), which were admittedly written about the. LibriVox recording of Contra Gentes, by Athanasius of Alexandria. Read by Jonathan Lange. Contra Gentes is the first of a two volume work. ATHANASIUS: CONTRA GENTES. TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY CONTENTS OF THE ‘CONTRA GENTES’ Introduction (1). I. The origin of evil: man’s.

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Or who that sees the sun rising by day and the moon shining by night, and waning and waxing without variation exactly according to the same number of days, and some of the stars running their courses and with orbits various and manifold, while others move without wandering, can fail to perceive that they certainly have a creator to guide them?

Nor imagine that this is a mere statement of mine, nor that I am maligning them; for the verification of all this meets the eyes, and whoever wishes to do so may see the like.

The effects of this doctrine its main vindication. Or how, since the body lasts but for a time, does man imagine of things eternalso as to despise what lies before him, and desire what is beyond?

For being by nature mobile, even though she have turned away from what is goodyet she does not lose her mobility. In he convened a council at Alexandria, and presided over it with Eusebius of Vercelli.

Notes by Jean-Claude Larchet. Two years later, in a council of the Church, it was decreed that no Bishop should be consecrated unless he held the Creed of Nicea.

For left to themselves they could not subsist or ever be able to appear, on account of their mutual contrariety of nature.

Introduction to Contra Gentes (Against the Heathen) of St Athanasius the Great – 1

The case of Antinous, and of the deified Emperors. Constantius, after two years went to Rome to celebrate the twentieth year of his reign. For the vainglory of men they entered into the world, and therefore shall they come shortly to an end. Genttes were given that if the Saint attempt to re-enter his see, he should be put to death.

For if after the Cross all idolatry was overthrown, while every manifestation of demons is driven away by this Signand Christ alone is worshipped and the Father known through Him, and, while gainsayers are put to shame, He daily invisibly wins over the souls of these gainsayers — gentrs, one might fairly ask them, is it still open to us to regard the matter as humaninstead of confessing that He Who ascended the Cross is Word of God and Saviour of genes World?

The phenomena of dreams bear this out. He was most gented to accept the dignity, for he clearly foresaw the difficulties in which it would involve him.

Against the Heathen

Constantius was forced to reconsider his decision, owing to a threatening letter from his brother Constans and the uncertain conditions of affairs on the Persian border, and he accordingly made up his mind to yield. The accession of Valens gave a fresh lease of life to the Arian party. In like manner, the senses being gfntes in the body like a lyre, when the skilled intelligence presides over them, then too the soul distinguishes and knows what it cntra doing and how it is acting.


Their objections were overridden by the orthodox bishops, about a hundred were orthodox, who were the majority. Wikisource has the text of the Catholic Encyclopedia article St. For what sort of an universe would it be, if only the sun appeared, or only the moon went her course, or there were only night, or always day? Which very thing the Saviour declared and confirmed, when He said: Nor does it follow from the unity of the Maker that the Universe must be one, for God might have made others as well.

Things then of conflicting and opposite nature would not have reconciled themselves, were there not One higher and Lord over them to unite them, to Whom the elements themselves yield obedience as slaves that obey a master. And yet others, and even the Egyptians who worship the waters, use them to wash off the dirt from others and from themselves, and ignominiously throw away what is used.

If then they were gods, they ought not to be defeated and obscured by one another, but always to co-exist, and to discharge their respective functions simultaneously. Military saints Virtuous pagan.

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Thought is to sense as grntes musician to his instrument. And for so great a matter to be understood by an example, let what we are describing be compared to a great chorus.

By reason of Him all the sea, and the great ocean, move within their proper bounds, while, as we said above, the dry land grows grasses and is clothed with all manner of diverse plants. His first act was to convene a council which reaffirmed the terms of the Nicene Creed.

His parents were wealthy enough to afford giving him a fine secular education. For two years Liberius had been favourable to the cause of Athanasius; but driven at last into exile, he was induced to sign an ambiguous formula, from which the great Nicene text, the “homoousion”, had been studiously omitted. Why, is it fitting to regard as a god one who has perpetrated such deedsand who stands accused of things which not even the public laws of the Romans allow those to do who are merely men?

In Pope Liberius died and was succeeded by Pope Damasus, a man of strong character and holy life. Gilmartin, Manual of Church HistoryVol. The workman likewise settles to his craft, the sailor goes down to the sea, the carpenter to his workshop, the physician to his treatment, the architect to his building; and while one is going to the country, another is returning from the country, and while some walk about the town others are going out of the town and returning to it again: And this you must knowthat if the universe had been made by a plurality of gods, its movements would be diverse and inconsistent.


Shortly thereafter, however, Constantine’s son, the new Roman Emperor Constantius IIrenewed the order for Athanasius’s banishment in It will be impossible to determine, for it cannot be of the nature of both.

For even common parlance calls art an imitation of nature. Since then this is thus provedand the idolatry of the Greeks is shown to be full of all ungodliness, and that its introduction has been not for the goodbut for the ruin, of human life — come now, as our argument promised at the outset, let us, after having confuted errortravel the way of truthand behold the Leader and Artificer of the Universe, the Word of the Fatherin order that through Him we may apprehend the Fatherand that the Greeks may know how far they have separated themselves from the truth.

And the winds in their turn originate, not in themselves, but according to those who have written on the subject, in the air, from the burning heat and high temperature of the upper as compared with the lower air, and blow everywhere through the latter. For if the combination of the parts makes up the whole, and the whole is combined out of the parts, then the whole consists of the parts, and each of them is a portion of the whole.

But these men seem to me quite as bad as one who should traduce the sun when covered by clouds, while yet wondering at his light, seeing how the whole of creation is illumined by him.

For if one were sufficient, the many would not supplement each other’s deficiency. And every one, if he be a friend of truthperceives that the intelligence of mankind is distinct from the bodily senses. This shown at length.

Illumined by Him, the sun gives light to the world, and the moon has her measured period of shining. For their deeds must correspond to their natures, so that at once the actor may be made known by his act, and the action may be ascertainable from his nature. But the truth of this one may see from the man who was first made, according to what the holy Scriptures tell us of him.

A History of the Councils of the Church: By Constantius’ order, the sole ruler of The Roman Empire at the death of his brother Constans, the Council of Arles in athanasis, was held, which was presided over by Vincent, Bishop of Capuain the name of Pope Liberius. Then seeing, as I said before, and abusing her power, she has perceived that she can move the members of the body also in an opposite way: He seems, then, to conrta been about thirty years of age.

It was called according to Socrates, E.