The Eranistes is written in the form of three dialogues between two characters: Orthodox, who represents Theodoret's thought, and Eranistes, who is presented as a heretic. In two dialogues Theodoret argues that the Word of God was immutable and impassible in his divine nature, and that Christ experienced change and passion only in his human nature. A third dialogue argues that, in the union of the divinity and humanity in the one person of the Word incarnate, the natures remained unmixed. To bolster his arguments Theodoret incorporates extensive citations, not only from orthodox ecclesiastical writers, but also from the heretic Apollinarius and the suspected Arian, Eusebius of Emesa. The texts of many of these citations are known only from the Eranistes and are therefore important witnesses to the development of patristic Christology.
Critical issues in Antiochene and Alexandrian Christology are broached by Theodoret in the text and are further discussed by the translator in the introduction and notes.
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447-451. Ettlinger, who published the critical edition of the Greek text in 1975, now enables us to feel the drama and passion of the text through a concise but thorough introduction, ample footnotes, and excellent scriptural and general indices... Ettlinger's translation adopts a tone of cordial conversation and joint investigation... which enlivens a complex subject and produces an intriguing and insightful debate that opens a window on this volatile drama in Christian doctrine."—Journal of Early Christian Studies
"The Eranistes is a unique text in early Christian literature not least because of the dialogue format that Theodoret employed for the presentation of his arguments. More important, it is one of the most significant collections of propositions from the 'fathers' of the church. Ettlinger's translation will make the text more accessible to those interested in the study not only of the Christological controversies of the mid-fifth century but also of the use of literary forms in early Christian literature... Ettlinger has made a welcome addition to the growing literature on one of the most prolific and important literary figures of the fifth century CE."—Religious Studies Review
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