2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
The Macedonians were a heretical sect thriving around Constantinople during the late fourth century. They were named after their founder, Macedonius, the bishop of Constantinople from 341 to 360, who would affirm the Semi-Arian doctrine that the Son shared a like substance (homoiousios) with the Father, but would not affirm the orthodox notion that the Son was "one in being with" (homoousios) with the Father. Though the Macedonians affirmed the divinity of the Son along Semi-Arian lines, they denied the divinity of the Spirit, which was, according to them, a creature in the service of the Son. This led some to call them Pneumatomachi, or "those who attack the Spirit." They are important in the development of the doctrine of the Trinity, because they prompted the Church to frame an orthodox position about the status of the Holy Spirit with regard to the Father and the Son. Gregory of Nazianzus' Fifth Theological Oration is directed against the Macedonians. Here, Gregory affirms the notion that the Spirit proceeds from the Godhead, and is therefore neither begotten nor created. Other Fathers to react against the Macedonians include Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus the Blind, Theodore of Mopsuestia and the noted heresiarch, Nestorius.
Anthony F. Beavers
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