[St. Pachomius Library]


The heresy proclaimed by Arius, although some later Arians rejected the name on the grounds that Arius was too moderate. In its extreme form, holds that Jesus Christ was a human prophet; in its more moderate form, that he was a sort of demigod, the most important creature in the universe, but still a created being. This was official theology of the Roman Empire at several times, and almost destroyed Orthodoxy. The First and Second Councils were largely about the refutation of Arianism. Although it eventually died out in the Empire, it survived among barbarian tribes who saw it as a way to be Christian without being under Roman rule. Today, the Jehovah's Witnesses are the most significant neo-Arian group.

Norman Hugh Redington