Zakharov Georgy

St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Damasus of Rome: comparative analysis of theological and church-political positions

Zakharov Georgy (2017) "St. Gregory the Theologian and St. Damasus of Rome: comparative analysis of theological and church-political positions ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2017, vol. 74, pp. 11-24 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201774.11-24


This article gives a comparative analysis of theological and political views of two most important representatives of the Nicene party at the fi nal stage of the Arian controversy, namely St. Damasus of Rome and St. Gregory the Theologian. The article points out the coincidence of views of the two bishops on the problem of the Antiochian schism, but takes into account the fact that Rome did not acknowledge Gregory as the legitimate bishop of Constantinople because of his violation of the 15th rule of the Council of Nicaea, prohibiting the transfer of bishops from one episcopal chair to another. At the same time, Damasus refrained from direct criticism of St. Gregory, sharply condemning his opponent in the struggle for the Constantinople see, Maximus the Cynic. From the theological point of view, we can clearly see the coincidence of positions and even of the arguments of the two saints as to the christological heresy of Apollinaris, which can easily be explained by the acquaintance of St. Gregory with the decisions of the Roman council (378). In the fi eld of triadology, both bishops demonstrate certain terminological flexibility within the framework of the Nicene tradition, but their interpretations of the Nicene faith diff er in details: for St. Gregory the unity of the Trinity is due to hypostatic properties, namely to the monarchy of Father, whereas St. Damasus concentrates his attention on the possession by the Persons of the Trinity of one Deity which is associated primarily with Father.


Early Christianity, Patristics, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Damasus of Rome, church councils, the Antiochian schism, Apollinaris, triadology, Arian controversy


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Information about the author

Zakharov Georgy

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University; 23b, Novokuznetskaya st., Moscow 115184, Russian Federation;
Post: Head of the Department of Systematical Theology and Patrologу;
ORCID: 0000-0002-3406-2088;
Email: g.e.zakharov@gmail.com.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.


The article is written within the framework of the project "The relationship of the Eastern and Western Churches in the era of the Arian disputes" supported by supported by St.Tikhon's University Development Foundation