George of Laodicea

George Of Laodicea, one of the Semi-Arian leaders in the theological controversies of the 4th century. He was born at Alexandria, and was presbyter of the church there before the Council of Nicaea in 325, when his Arian opinions caused him to be deposed. He then removed to Syria, where he became bishop of Laodicea. He attended the Council of Antioch in 329 or 330, and the Council of Tyre in 335. He failed to be present at the Council of Sardica in 347 (his enemies said through fear), and, while absent, was deposed and excommunicated, but the sentence was never carried into effect. He was in great favor during the reign of Constantius II, and took part in many matters of importance; among others, in the elevation of Miletius to the bishopric of Antioch. Basil of Ancyra (q.v.) and George of Laodicea were the heads of the so-called Semi-Arians, who adopted the Eusebian doctrine that the Son is of similar essence with the Father. They published, "in conjunction with other bishops assembled in a synod at Ancyra, A.D. 358, a long and copious document, of a doctrinal and polemical nature, in which the doctrines of this party concerning the resemblance of essence, as well in opposition to the Nicene as to the Eunomian articles, were fully unfolded; at the same time that the Church was warned against the artifices of those who, by expunging the term οὐσία, were seeking to suppress the doctrine of the resemblance of essence itself. It was here very clearly shown that true resemblance in all other things presupposed resemblance of essence, and that without this the notion of a Son of God, essentially different from created existences, could not be maintained" (Neander, Ch. History, 2:405). This creed was adopted by the emperor Constantius and by the Synod of Sirmium, A.D. 358. We know nothing of him after the death of Constantius. His works are, Letters to Alexander, bishop of Alexandria: — Ε᾿γκώμιον εἰς Εὐσέβιον τὸν Ε᾿μισηνόν: — A work against the Manicheeans, now lost. — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 20:116; Neander, Church History, Torrey's transl., 2:405; Baur, Trinitätslehre, 1:471; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 5:30; Lardner, Works, 3:596.

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