Athanasius of Alexandria

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Athanasius of Alexandria (Greek: Ἀθανάσιος, Athanásios) (c. 293 – 2 May 373), also given the titles Athanasius the Great, Pope Athanasius I of Alexandria, and Athanasius the Apostolic, was a Christian theologian, bishop of Alexandria, Church Father, and a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century. He is best remembered for his role in the conflict with Arius and Arianism. At the First Council of Nicaea, Athanasius argued against Arius and his doctrine that Christ is of a distinct substance from the Father.[1]

Athanasius is counted as one of the four Great Doctors[2] in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition and is a Doctor of the Church in the Catholic Church. Athanasius is venerated as a Christian saint, whose feast day is 2 May in Western Christianity, 15 May in the Coptic Orthodox Church, and 18 January in the other Eastern Orthodox churches.

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Biography

Athanasius received his philosophical and theological training at Alexandria. He was ordained as a deacon by the contemporary patriarch, Alexander of Alexandria, in 319.[3] In 325, he served as Alexander's secretary at the First Council of Nicaea. Already a recognized theologian and ascetic, he was the obvious choice to replace Alexander as the Patriarch of Alexandria on the latter's death in 328,[4] despite the opposition of the followers of Arius and Meletius of Lycopolis.[3]

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