Volume 60, Issue 2, December 2020

Emanuela Prinzivalli
Pages 341-377

Haereticorum baptisma. Aspetti della controversia battesimale tra Occidente e Oriente nel III secolo

The present essay, starting from a close examination of the available sources, intends to retrace the historical dynamics of the controversy between Stephen of Rome and Cyprian of Carthage about single baptism. The analysis highlights more clearly than other studies the need to justify, because of the urgent context of the schism of Novatian, the legitimacy of the different traditions of the Churches, something previously taken for granted. The difficulty of this enterprise, combined with the imponderable human factor, represented by the personalities of the protagonists, generates misunderstandings. A further factor is the decisive role played by Dionysius of Alexandria in resolving the conflict, which confirmed the preferential relationship between Rome and Alexandria.