Christianity to 843
#12 Antioch and Alexandria

Published by Professor Alan L. Hayes, Wycliffe College

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Some references

Antioch and Alexandria

Gerald Bray, a Canadian and British theologian with positions at Knox Theological Seminary (Fort Lauderdale), Besson Divinity School (Birmingham), and Oak Hill Theological College (London), writes on Antioch and Alexandria.

An Orthodox layperson with a master's degree in theological studies gives a good introduction to the overlaps and differences between and schools of Antioch and Alexandria./p>

Wikipedia on the catechetical school of Antioch and the catechetical school of Alexandria.

Two Approaches to Scripture

It's pedagogically helpful to introduce the fourth-century debates about Scriptural interpretation and the doctrine of Christ as an oftentimes tense dialogue between two theological tendencies, represented by Antioch and Alexandria. For our purposes, these two cities represent "types"; in practice we can never presume that any particular Scriptural commentator will fit neatly into a category.

Here's a table of the general differences between these two tendencies.

  Antioch Alexandria
Anagoge (spiritual ascent)
Literal / historical
Allegorical / typological
Dominant view of Christ
Jesus of history
Eternal logos
Heretical tendencies
Adoptionism, Arianism
Docetism, Apollinarianism
Orthodox examples
Cappadocian fathers
Cyril of Alexandria
Reputed heretics
Conciliar correction
Ephesus 431
Chalcedon 451
View of life & faith
Ascent into mystery
Christmas carols Away in a manger Of the Father's love begotten
Modern representatives
Society for Biblical Literature
Northrop Frye