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Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine

ISBN: 9781441253446
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Khaled Anatolios, a noted expert on the development of Nicene theology, offers a historically informed theological study of the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, showing its relevance to Christian life and thought today. According to Anatolios, the development of Trinitarian doctrine involved a global interpretation of Christian faith as a whole. Consequently, the meaning of Trinitarian doctrine is to be found in a reappropriation of the process of this development, such that the entirety of Christian existence is interpreted in a Trinitarian manner. The book provides essential resources for this reappropriation by identifying the network of theological issues that comprise the “systematic scope” of Nicene theology, focusing especially on the Trinitarian perspectives of three major theologians: Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine.

Essential for students, scholars, pastors, and laypeople, this informative volume brings fresh perspectives on theological matters. With the Logos Bible Software edition, searching by topic or Scripture references will further help your understanding—you’ll compare, for example, the systematic theologies of various scholars or denominations.

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Key Features

  • Provides a historical theological study of the doctrine of the Trinity
  • Examines developments of Trinitarian theology through history
  • Analyzes the Trinitarian perspectives of Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, and Augustine


  • Fourth-Century Trinitarian Theology: History and Interpretation
  • Development of Trinitarian Doctrine: A Model and Its Application
  • Athanasius: The Crucified Lord and Trinitarian Deification
  • Gregory of Nyssa: The Infinite Perfection of Trinitarian Life
  • Augustine’s De Trinitate: Trinitarian Contemplation as Christological Quest

Top Highlights

“First among these was an emerging clarity on the radical difference between God and the world.” (Page 39)

“Arius contended that the Son also is changeable by nature. Yet because of his foreseen merits, the Son was granted an unparalleled share of divine glory. Thus his divine status is a consequence of grace rather than nature.” (Page 17)

“With Origen, there is a pronounced emphasis on Father, Son, and Spirit as distinct subsistences (hypostaseis) and on the eternal generation of the Son from the Father.” (Page 16)

“Finally, Jesus’s work of salvation was universally conceived within a trinitarian grammar;” (Page 38)

“There was general consensus on the preexistence of Christ” (Page 37)

Praise for the Print Edition

Khaled Anatolios’ new book is a welcome addition to the flood of revisionary scholarship on patristic Trinitarian theology in the last 20 years. Anatolios’ treatment helps us to see the perennial importance of the key figures of the fourth and fifth centuries for all of our thought on this central mystery of the Christian faith. The clarity of his exposition and his constant desire to draw out the consequences of historical exposition mean that this book will find a treasured place on the bookshelves of theologians and theology students across the board.

—Lewis Ayres, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, Durham University

With this impressive book, Khaled Anatolios takes his place alongside luminaries like R.P.C. Hanson and Lewis Ayres as one of the most distinguished interpreters of Nicaea and its legacy. Especially important is his sympathetic interpretation of Athanasius. For anyone who wants to understand Nicene Christianity and its relevance for today, Anatolios is quite simply indispensable.

George Hunsinger, Hazel Thompson McCord Professor of Systematic Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary

Khaled Anatolios puts the ‘theology’ back into ‘historical theology,’ explaining how the doctrine of the Trinity emerged out of an effort to account for the full sweep of Christian scripture and worship. The result is a brilliant book of spiritual as well as scholarly significance.

R.R. Reno, professor of theological ethics, Creighton University

Undergraduates and seminary students often have difficulty grasping the arguments that led to the formation of the Christian doctrine of Trinity. This introduction . . . will make the job of teaching these crucial debates much easier. Dealing with sources of the Eastern and Western traditions, the book overcomes traditional divisions between history of exegesis, historical theology, and systematic theology. . . . Advanced undergraduates might well find the book a helpful companion to their reading of primary sources. . . . An important overall narrative of critical debates in Christian theology. Teachers and students of these debates and their connections to classical and contemporary Christian practice will find it both clarifying and edifying. . . . Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.


Product Details

  • Title: Retrieving Nicaea: The Development and Meaning of Trinitarian Doctrine
  • Author: Khaled Anatolios
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 400
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Topic: Trinity

Director of STD program and Associate Professor of Historical Theology. Khaled Anatolios was born in Madras, India, and has also lived in Egypt and Canada. He holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Boston College, Department of Theology. He is the author of Athanasius. The Coherence of his Thought (Routledtge: 1998 & 2004) and the Athanasius volume of the Routledge Early Church Fathers series (2004). He is currently completing a manuscript on 4th century Trinitarian theology and is editor of the forthcoming The Trinity in the Life of the Church (Baker Academic). He is a member of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.


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  1. Darren Bradley