Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Reformation. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Ch. 19, “Athanasius of Alexandria” Loc. 3622-3796.
Athanasius of Alexandria was present at Nicea as a clerk. He later became a pivotal figure in the fourth century discussion of Christology (Gonzalez 2010, Loc. 3624). He was well acquainted with the desert monks (Ibid., Loc. 3635). He was a formidable opponent to the Arians due to his “monastic discipline, his roots among the people, his fiery spirit, and his profound and unshakable conviction” (Ibid., Loc. 3646). Athanasius’ writing, even before the Arian controversy, was focused on the incarnation (Ibid., Loc. 3653). He became bishop of Alexandria in 328 (Ibid., Loc. 3666). He was attacked with various false accusations at different times in his life, sometimes resulting in exile (Ibid., Loc. 3688). Because of Athanasius’ consistent anti-Arian position he was normally at odds with the emperors, who were generally Arians (Ibid., Loc. 3713). The Arian arguments during this time were increasingly detailed and intricate. Athanasius’ defense was that Jesus as true God and true man is the only one who could save humanity (Ibid., Loc. 3749). By 362 there was some level of agreement that God is one substance in three persons (Loc. 3766), counter to the Arian point of view. Though Arianism was still a force to the end of Athanasius’ life, he was convinced it would soon be overcome.