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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article describes the shape of modern scholarship; polemic and development; the fourth-century controversies; Gnosticism; Judaism and Christianity; the influence of post-classical philosophical traditions; the shape of Trinitarian orthodoxy; negative theology and mysticism; feminist scholarship; and divine suffering. Adolf von Harnack and Walter Bauer profoundly shaped the scholarly study of the early Christian doctrine of God, even though their views no longer carry the day. The trends in recent scholarship outlined here represent in broad strokes the current state of the question; but just as the pro-Nicene figures believed that one never stops growing in knowledge of God, so too will scholarship on their contributions in this area continue to evolve. Current scholarship on the early Christian doctrine of God occurs in a context in which many older narratives about the development of doctrine have come under significant question.

Keywords: doctrine of God, pro-Nicene figures, Adolf von Harnack, Gnosticism, Judaism, Christianity, Trinitarian orthodoxy, negative theology

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