Gregory of Neocaesarea’s Theology and Statement of Faith: A Seed of the Fourth Century Theological Debates

Graham Lovell, PhD
Alumnus, Macquarie University

Abstract: Upon taking office as bishop of Neocaesarea in Pontus, and in formulating his own theological position, Gregory of Neocaesarea (also known as Gregory the Wonder-worker) drew on what he had learnt under Origen in order to craft his own Statement of Faith. Sometime later, an alternative Statement of Faith was produced by Lucian of Antioch, premised on a different view of the relationships within the Trinity. Arius also responded to Gregory’s Statement of Faith, contradicting it, point by point, in his Thalia. Even though Eusebius of Palestinian Caesarea would have been aware of Gregory’s theology and Statement of Faith, he used Lucian’s Statement when preparing the creed he submitted to the Council of Nicaea, in this way aligning himself with Lucian’s theological perspective against Gregory’s. Nevertheless, we can deduce that Gregory’s theology lived on, serving as a background to the development of the theological positions of the famous Cappadocians, especially the brothers, Basil of Cappadocian Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa. Finally, we can say that there remains a parallel between the teachings of Cyril of Alexandria and Gregory of Neocaesarea, specifically in relation to their respective teachings on the sufferings of Christ.