Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries

By Everett Ferguson | Go to book overview

44. Egypt: Cyril of Alexandria
and the Coptic Rite

As was done for the fourth century, in this unit we begin a circuit around the Mediterranean, beginning with Egypt.


Cyril of Alexandria

Cyril was bishop of Alexandria from 412 to 444. Much indebted to the theology of Athanasius, Cyril is best known for his role in the Christological controversies of the fifth century. He had some important things to say about the doctrine of baptism.

The baptism of Christ was a major event in salvation history for Cyril.1 His commentary on the event is the longest in patristic literature, and he sees it as of central importance in the divine economy of salvation.2 Cyril defends the baptism of Jesus against Adoptionistic and Arian arguments.

As does the Gospel of John, Cyril focuses not on the baptism itself but on the descent of the Spirit on Jesus. The divine inbreathing in Genesis 2:7 imparted the Holy Spirit and the divine characteristics in Adam. Adam’s sin not only brought death but also began a process of the progressive loss of the divine Spirit by human beings. “For Cyril, the recovery of the divine image in us is not simply the recasting

1. His view is summarized in chap. 7 in the context of patristic interpretations of the baptism of Jesus. Robert L. Wilken, Judaism and the Early Christian Mind: A Study of Cyril of Alexandria’s Exegesis and Theology (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971), pp. 132–141; Daniel A. Keating, “The Baptism of Jesus in Cyril of Alexandria: The Re-creation of the Human Race,” Pro Ecclesia 8 (1999): 201–222, where the main interest is not baptism itself but the theological and soteriological aspects; Daniel A. Keating, The Appropriation of Divine Life in Cyril of Alexandria (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), esp. pp. 20–39, which I follow in this section.

2. Commentary on John 1:32-33. English translation by P. E. Pusey and Thomas Randell, Commentary on the Gospel according to St. John by S. Cyril, Archbishop of Alexandria, 2 vols. (Oxford: James Parker, 1874; London: Walter Smith, 1885).

-687-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Baptism in the Early Church: History, Theology, and Liturgy in the First Five Centuries
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 953

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.