Well, yesterday I sat my third and final MTh exam on 4th Century Trinitarian theology. I still have a few more posts that I'd like to wrap up in my PTT series, but they may take a little while longer to come out. The exam was fairly good I think, it's hard to judge these things sometimes. The questions weren't quite the kind of questions where one thinks, "Yes! This is what I'm looking for", but they were reasonable and decent questions. Here's the 4 I answered:
- To what extent was the Arian controversy about reading the Bible as much as the being of God?
- How much do Augustine's Ep.11 and Quest.69 provide support against claims that his doctrine of God was effectively modalist?
- How might the Western tradition have been different if we only had Hilary of Poitiers' De Trinitate?
- "They indeed use also the word hypostasis; but they intend to put a difference, I know not what, between ousia and hypostasis: so that most of ourselves who treat these things in the Greek language are accustomed to say, μιαν οὐσιαν, τρεις ὐποστασεις, or in Latin, one essence, three substances." (Augustine of Hippo, De Trinitate, V.10). To what extent might such a comment actually mark a turning point between the development of Greek and Latin descriptions of God's Triune Nature?
I think my not-quite-joyousness at the questions was that I didn't feel the freedom to shine in terms of bringing enough of my knowledge to bear on them. Anyway, now I have to wait for the marker to do their work.
The next stage is a 30,000 word thesis, looking at Chrysostom's Homilies on John. I feel like all this 4th century reading has put me on solid foundations for coming to that, as I now have a much more nuanced historical context to read them against.