Zakharov Georgy

Church parties in the Arian controversy: problems of typologization

Zakharov Georgy (2017) "Church parties in the Arian controversy: problems of typologization ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2017, vol. 77, pp. 11-22 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201777.11-22


The article is devoted to the problems of typologization of the church parties of the 4th century. This historical phenomenon arises within the framework of a long church conflict, called the Arian crisis. The designations of the church parties used by contemporaries are polemical concepts and do not correspond to the self-consciousness of their supporters. In the early Christian heresiological tradition and in the modern historiography, the basis of church parties’ classification is their theological position. However, it is necessary to take into account other consolidating factors, such as Eucharistic communion and church-political activity. The formation of church parties, as a rule, was directly related to the development of the synodal institution. Analysis of sources in the 4th century allows us to distinguish, in addition to the extensive currents - macro-parties - claiming a universal or regional consensus based on the heritage of one of the representative and authoritative councils, some small consolidated groups - micro-parties, which gather for little councils and constantly coordinate their actions within the ecclesiastical confrontation. Micro-parties could exist both within the limits of macro-party, in many respects determining the trends of it’s development, and beyond it’s boundaries. In the latter case, it is actually a marginal church group rallied around one or more extraordinary theologian, sometimes even without the episcopal rank.


church party, Early Christianity, Arian controversy, bishops, theology, councils, church oganization


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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; Head of the department of Systematical theology and patrology, Associate Professor of the department of the World History;
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 in 2017 within the framework of the project "The relationship of the Eastern and Western Churches in the era of the Arian disputes" supported by PSTGU Development Foundation...