Saturday, 11 April 2015

Silke-Petra Bergjan: The Tomus ad Antiochenos and its context: A document of religious conflict in Antiochia

The Tomus ad Antiochenos, usually ascribed to the year 362, is understood as the first document in which the decisive step towards the new interpretation of the Nicene Creed can be seen. Whereas only two years earlier the Homoian Church stood in the foreground, the received consensus holds that two years later, almost without transition, a new phase of trinitarian discussion had emerged from began the conflicts in Antioch. But it is precisely the connection with the Meletian schism that calls for caution. Two bishops, the controversial Meletius and the widely respected Paulinus, faced one another in conflict. As part of the conflict, the Paulinus group defended itself by establishing a narrative of its continuity with the past. The question is how the Tomus, one of the few sources, fits into the story of the conflicting parties. The lecture will address the question of dating, will compare the Tomus with texts of the early 360th and will work out a context into which the Tomus can plausibly be placed. The Tomus exhibits elements that suggest a placement in the 370’s rather than in the early 360’s; these will be discussed in the workshop. At the same time, the Tomus must be understood as a document of diplomacy. The question is how authority and the task of mediation is envisaged in the Tomus.

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