The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God

The Arian Controversy, 318–381

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"[This book] has been the standard English scholarly treatment of the trinitarian controversies of the fourth century and the triumph of Nicene theology. For scholars and students of this period, the book is and will remain an essential resource."--Lewis Ayres, Emory University

 

This work examines the extant primary sources of the Christian doctrine of God from the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea to the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople.

 


Endorsements

"Hanson has produced a truly useful book--the first new English-language history of the Arian controversy in more than a hundred years. The book can be read as an intriguing narrative, but it is also a handy work of reference. Not all will agree with every judgment Hanson makes, but The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God is an excellent starting point for further study. The paperback edition is a boon: everyone interested in historical theology can--and should--have a copy at hand."--Joseph T. Lienhard, SJ, Fordham University

"For almost twenty years, Hanson's work has provided the standard narrative description of the doctrine and dynamics of the fourth-century trinitarian conflicts. His synthesis of a vast amount of primary and secondary literature, along with valuable insights into the gradual development of so many particulars into points of consensus, makes The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God a necessary tool for all future studies of the Nicene-Arian controversies."--D. H. Williams, Baylor University

"Hanson's work on the trinitarian controversies of the fourth century combines meticulous and thorough scholarship with lucid prose and even a flair for the drama of this tumultuous time. Already a classic, it is still the most comprehensive account of the subject in modern English scholarship."--Khaled Anatolios, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry

"Hanson makes his case with a thoroughness and clarity that readers familiar with his numerous earlier works will recognize and welcome, and there can be little doubt that his painstaking work will provide the next generation of scholars with an invaluable resource." --Trevor Hart, University of St. Andrews

"This book will be an indispensable tool for future researchers, as well as for students in search of a clear introduction to vast numbers of otherwise shady characters; it translates or summarises quantities of primary texts; and above all, it makes of a complex period (and a morass of modern research) something like a single and intelligible story."--Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury

"Hanson's book is important, for, while remaining anchored in the historico-critical methodology, it marked a subtle move away from treating the emergence of Christian doctrine as a matter of 'development' or 'evolution' to recognising that argument and debate about how to understand Scripture and tradition lay at its heart."--Frances Young, University of Birmingham

"Since its first appearance in 1988, Hanson's Search for the Christian Doctrine of God has been the standard English scholarly treatment of the trinitarian controversies of the fourth century and the triumph of Nicene theology. For scholars and students of this period, the book is and will remain an essential resource. The Search is also a monument to the long tradition of Anglican patristic study, standing alongside the masterpieces of such scholars as Henry Chadwick and J. N. D. Kelly. Hanson was incredibly learned in both original sources and secondary scholarship. At the same time, Hanson's prose is marked by a dry humor and is wonderfully opinionated about those aspects of patristic theology (and especially exegesis) that seemed simply ridiculous in his version of the modern world. Baker Academic has done us all a great service in making this volume available in paper."--Lewis Ayres, Durham University


The Author

  1. R. P. C. Hanson

    R. P. C. Hanson

    R. P. C. Hanson (1916-88) was Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, University of Durham; professor of theology, University of Nottingham; and professor of historical and contemporary theology, University of Manchester. His numerous scholarly publications include...

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Reviews

"As a resource book, this study of Arianism could not be bettered. It is thorough and comprehensive, a lasting work of scholarship and as such a fitting memorial to its author."--W. H. C. Frend, Expository Times

"Standard and seminal for subsequent studies of the period. . . . [Hanson] offers a narrative account that is at once comprehensive, detailed, and quite readable. . . . [An] important and ambitious work. . . . Profoundly valuable and helpful."--Michael Heintz, Religious Studies Review

"Hanson interacts with the breadth of scholarship in a meticulous and methodical manner. His engagement with primary and secondary sources is a model of excellent historiography. His historical-critical approach to Scripture means that he needs to be read carefully and critically. Yet this volume is worth one's investment of time and effort. Students of church history, pastors, and Christian leaders who desire to understand the development of Trinitarianism will find it enlightening and informative."--Glenn R. Kreider, Bibliotheca Sacra