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date: 19 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on the interplay between the sacramental life of the fourth-century church and the doctrinal debates that raged for most of that period. These doctrinal debates revolved around the question of whether the Son and Spirit were co-eternal with the Father and possessed the same level of divinity. This question was directly applicable to Christian worship, which was either interpreted as directed most properly to the Father or as directed to Father, Son, and Spirit together. The development of liturgical practice in the fourth century included a greater prominence granted to invocation of the Holy Spirit, an understanding of baptism as a sharing in the death and Resurrection of Christ, and a sacrificial interpretation of the Eucharist. Nicene theology interpreted both baptism and Eucharist as effected by the Trinitarian divine agency and as enabling the deification of their human participants.

Keywords: baptism, Chrismation, Eucharist, Trinity, deification, epiclesis, Nicaea, mystagogy, Ambrose, Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom

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