Apex Omnium: Religion in the Res Gestae of Ammianus by R. L. Rike

By R. L. Rike

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Additional info for Apex Omnium: Religion in the Res Gestae of Ammianus (Transformation of the Classical Heritage, 15)

Example text

Because of this threat, but even more because of Byzantine theology, Charlemagne commissioned Alcuin to undertake a thorough exposition of the faith of the church on this fundamental issue. Except for its presentation of the distinctive Western theologoumenon on the procession of the Holy Spirit from both the Father and the Son rather than from the Father only, Alcuin's summary was a thoroughly conventional recitation of what the Christians in the East as well as in the West taught about the Trinity.

And in other catholic synods, confirmed by the holy see," had carried it on. The missionary literature of the eighth century commended the symbol together with the Lord's Prayer (which continued to receive expositions of its own) as the content of what converts to Christianity were to learn. In the brief compass of these two texts "the entire breadth of the Scriptures is embraced," so that they sufficed for the children of the church as an epitome of the entire law of the gospel. One way to refer to the creed could therefore be "the symbol of catholic peace," as it was sung and confessed in the church.

Yet it would be a mistake to conclude from this that all the theologians of these centuries were content to do no more than simply to repeat and transmit the patristic consensus. " In the case of Bede, the creative element was permitted to make its presence more evident. " Ambrose Autpert, a Benedictine of the eighth century, while asserting that he was "following the faith and the ideas of catholics," also acknowledged that he had "added from my own resources, or rather from the gift of the grace of God, many things in which [the church fathers] seem to be deficient" in the interpretation of the Apocalypse of John.

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