Definition of homoiousian in English:



  • In the fourth-century Arian controversy, a person who held that God the Father and God the Son are of like but not identical substance.

    Compare with homoousian
    • ‘In the Council of Nicaea, for instance, the bishops had to choose between homoousian and homoiousian to describe Jesus' nature: Is He of ‘one’ substance with the Father, or is He of ‘like’ substance to the Father?’
    • ‘In 381, the Council of Constantinople reaffirmed the credo of Nicaea and condemned the semi-Arians, the homoiousians.’
    • ‘The arguments between the homoiousian and homoousians would be hysterically ridiculous if it weren't for the amount of blood shed over the letter ‘i’.’
    • ‘The Arian controversy was a Christological dispute that began in Alexandria between the followers of Arius, the Arians; the followers of St. Alexander of Alexandria, known as homoousians; and a third group, known as homoiousians.’
    • ‘Constantius at first supported these homoiousians but soon transferred his support to the homoousians, led by Acacius, who affirmed that the Son was ‘like’ the Father.’


Late 17th century (as an adjective in the sense of similar but not identical substance): via ecclesiastical Latin from Greek homoiousios, from homoios like + ousia essence, substance The noun dates from the mid 18th century.