Sabellianism


Sabellianism
Sa·bel·li·an·ism (sə-bĕlʹē-ə-nĭz'əm) n.
A version of Monarchianism holding that the Godhead was differentiated only into a succession of modes or operations and that the Father suffered as much as the Son.
  [AfterSabellius (fl. 3rd cent. A.D.), Monarchian theologian.]

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▪ Christian heresy
      Christian heresy that was a more developed and less naive form of Modalistic Monarchianism (see Monarchianism); it was propounded by Sabellius (fl. c. 217–c. 220), who was possibly a presbyter in Rome. Little is actually known of his life because the most detailed information about him was contained in the prejudiced reports of his contemporary, Hippolytus, an anti-Monarchian Roman theologian. In Rome there was an active struggle between the Monarchians, or Modalists, and those who affirmed permanent distinctions (“Persons”) within the Godhead. The Monarchians, in their concern for the divine monarchy (the absolute unity and indivisibility of God), denied that such distinctions were ultimate or permanent. Sabellius evidently taught that the Godhead is a monad, expressing itself in three operations: as Father, in creation; as Son, in redemption; and as Holy Spirit, in sanctification. Pope Calixtus (Calixtus I, Saint) was at first inclined to be sympathetic to Sabellius' teaching but later condemned it and excommunicated Sabellius.

      The heresy broke out again 30 years later in Libya and was opposed by Dionysius of Alexandria. In the 4th century, Arius accused his bishop of Sabellianism, and throughout the Arian controversy this charge was levelled at the supporters of Nicene orthodoxy (those who accepted the doctrine of the Trinity set forth in the Nicene Creed), whose emphasis on the unity of substance of Father and Son was interpreted by Arians to mean that the orthodox denied any personal distinctions within the Godhead. About 375 the heresy was renewed at Neocaesarea and was attacked by Basil the Great. In Spain Priscillian seems to have enunciated a doctrine of the divine unity in Sabellian terms.

      At the time of the Reformation, Sabellianism was reformulated by Michael Servetus (Servetus, Michael), a Spanish theologian and physician, to the effect that Christ and the Holy Spirit are merely representative forms of the one Godhead, the Father. In the 18th century, Emanuel Swedenborg (Swedenborg, Emanuel), a Swedish mystical philosopher and scientist, also taught this doctrine, as did his disciples, who founded the New Church.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sabellianism — Sa*bel li*an*ism, n. (Eccl.) The doctrines or tenets of Sabellius. See {Sabellian}, n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sabellianism — For other uses, see Sabellian (disambiguation). In Christianity, Sabellianism, (also known as modalism, modalistic monarchianism, or modal monarchism) is the nontrinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son and Holy Spirit are… …   Wikipedia

  • Sabellianism — noun The practices of Sabellians; see sabellianism …   Wiktionary

  • sabellianism — noun A Christian belief which holds that God the Father and God the Son are one in the same, the latter often being termed patripassionism in that it implies God the Father personally suffered on the Cross …   Wiktionary

  • SABELLIANISM —    the doctrine of one Sabellius, who, in the third century, denied that there were three persons in the Godhead, and maintained that there was only one person in three functions, aspects, or manifestations, at least this was the form his… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Sabellianism —    See Eustathios of Antioch …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • SABELLIANISM —    an early CHRISTIAN HERESY which insisted on the unity of the Godhead by arguing that the persons of the TRINITY were actually different modes or operations of GOD …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • sabellianism — sa·bel·li·an·ism …   English syllables

  • Sabellianism —  Савеллианизм …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • Sabellianism — /səˈbɛliənɪzəm/ (say suh beleeuhnizuhm) noun the Christian theological teaching that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not distinct persons within the Godhead (the orthodox doctrine), but only different manifestations under which God… …   Australian English dictionary


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