In this quite dense monograph Lewis Ayres traces the development of pro-Nicene theology. Rather than being definitive and universal the credal statement of Nicaea was more of a specific rebuttal to Arius, according to the author. Indeed it is made clear here that for some considerable while afterwards there was notable avoidance of 'ousia' terminology with much fear that it might lead to a modalist point of view. Lewis in particular looks at the role of Basil of Caesarea in the gradual process of the creation of pro-Nicene theology over the following half-century.
Following on from the first two-thirds of the book giving consideration to a narrative treatment of these developments, the remainder of the work is a more thematic approach, which in particular seeks to demolish the idea of distinct Western versus Eastern Trinitarian viewpoints, with specific appeal to the Trinitarian theologies of Gregory of Nyssa and Augustine.
A dense and hard going work, but excellent scholarship and an invaluable contribution to the study of 4th century theological development.
A vivid and well documented account of a difficult and exciting period for the Christian religion. The problems are tackled with real expertise and the book is pleasurable despite the difficult issues it describes