The original Nicene Creed (381 AD) said that the Holy Spirit 'proceeds from the Father' and the Eastern Orthodox churches follow that wording to this day. However, in the West the growing tradition was to think of the Spirit as 'proceeding from the Father and the Son' (Latin: filioque) and eventually in 589 AD the ecumenical creed of Nicea was modified by the Catholic Church to include the word 'filioque' ('and the Son'). This controversial move was the sole doctrinal cause of the Great Schism that divided the Orthodox and Catholic Churches (1054 AD) and it remains a dividing issue with the Christian Church to this day.
This study examines the defense of the filioque clause by four medieval theologians
in the Catholic Church and seeks to show why it mattered so much to them:
- Anselm (1033-1109) - Thomas Aquinas (1224-1275)
- Richard of St Victor (d. 1173) - Bonaventure (1217-1274)
Opening with a history of the filioque, Ngien places each theologian's rational defence within the broader context, making this book much more than a discussion of the one contentious clause, but also a general introduction to medieval conceptions of the Trinity.