2.7. Athanasius

Athanasius (c. 296-373) was born in Alexandria, Egypt where he was later to become a bishop in 328. Much of his energy was devoted to defending the decisions of the Council of Nicea against Arius. His strong stance against Arianism led to his first exile, something he experienced numerous times during his life. His times of exile among hermits (monks) while living an ascetic lifestyle provided opportunity for his various writings, such as Against Arius, Against the Heathen, and On the Incarnation. Athanasius reasoned that only God Himself was righteous enough to satisfy the demands of His own justice—hence the Son must be fully God.1


1 Gerald L. Bray, “Athanasius: A Pillar of Orthodoxy,” in John D. Woodbridge, ed., Great Leaders of the Christian Church (Chicago, IL: Houghton Mifflin, 1993), 63-68.