These attributes present a clear relationship with Monarchianism
or Sabellianism (II and III centuries) (46), heresy that identified Jesus with the unique God and denied the true humanity of Christ (47).
Marxist ideology has its roots in a modern version of the ancient heresy of Monarchianism
as interpreted by Hegel and Schelling; following Erik Peterson, Ratzinger draws attention to the fact that, like its modern counterpart, Monarchianism
in the fourth century also gave rise to what is alien to Christianity, namely a political theology (cf.
Justin exploited this argument for his anti-Jewish and antidualistic polemical needs, just as a few decades later Tertullian and Hippolytus of Rome reused this argument against monarchianism
He suggests that contemporary hermeneutics could interpret trinitarian doctrine as a series of roles played by God--thereby affirming modalistic monarchianism
, which trinitarian thought explicitly repudiated.
Above all, the presentation would have benefited from a global, rethinking of the complex and problematical notion of Monarchianism
, which appears only in a footnote on page 138.
But even in its officially sanctioned forms, the trinitarianism of the classical tradition ruled out as plainly heretical the docetism, monarchianism
and monophysitism that would have justified any such bald statement of Christ's divinity as the slogan "Jesus is God".
was a widely accepted solution to this problem.(1) Hippolytus' Refutatio omnium haeresium (Ref.)(2) is a major source for our knowledge of this theology and the disputes related to it, and in the case of Callistus, it is our only source.
This heresy has a third name, Monarchianism
, sometimes called Modalistic, Monarchianism
, because it asserts the unity of God.
In the "trinitarian" chapter, on Against Praxeas, A.'s analysis displays how Tertullian does a more-than-adequate job in arguing for a distinction among Father, Son, and Spirit without abandoning his own "moderate" or "ordered" monarchianism
, defending him against "the common prejudice ...
Homoousios was used in the third century as a technical term of the identification-theology (that is, Christ and the Father are one and the same God) only by a small group of bishops of the Libyan Pentapolis, or members of the Church of Alexandria, who manifested a distinct inclination towards a kind of Sabellian monarchianism
. The conflict between them and the bishop of Alexandria reflected the radical clash of two opposite Christological patterns.