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Anomeans also known as “Heterousians, Aetians, Eunomians” Alexopoulos, Lampros


The Anomoeans was a religious group of the 4th century that represented an extreme form of Arianism. Arius and his followers, who formed the heresy of Arianism, believed that the essential difference between God and Christ was that God had always existed, while Christ was created by God. The Anomeans distorted the phraseology of the Nicene Creed the “Son of God, the only begotten of the Father” to mean that the Father as unbegotten and the Son being begotten made God the Father the source of the Son; therefore Father and Son are unalike (ανόμοιοι). Founder of the Anomoeans was Aëtius of Antioch, a man of lowly origins who worked as a vine-dresser, a goldsmith and a traveling doctor, until the year 350, when he was ordained a deacon by Leontius of Antioch. Aëtius held that God and Christ could not be alike. Since ingenerateness consists a crucial part of the essence of God, Christ could not be like God because he lacked this essential quality. The second leader of the Anomeans was Eunomius. This latter studied theology at Alexandria under Aëtius, and afterwards came under the influence of Eudoxius of Antioch, who ordained him deacon. He became Bishop of Cyzicus in 360. His works have been recovered from Basil of Caesarea’s and Gregory of Nyssa’s Contra Eunomium. Eunomius’s principal belief was the ingenerateness (ἀγεννησία) of God the Father. Being ingenerated, the Father could never come into contact or communicate His nature to generated beings. Therefore the Son is generated (γεννητός), created by the power of the Ingenerated Father. After his exposition of faith to emperor Theodosius in 383 Eunomius was sent into exile in Caesarea until his death in 394. His followers, condemned at the Council of Constantinople in 381, were called Anomoeans for they denied any substantial similarity between the Father and the Son. Since 398 several imperial edicts forbade the possession of his writings and holders of their copies were advised to burn them.

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