APOLLINARIS, "the Younger" (d. A.D. 390), bishop of Laodicea in Syria. He collaborated with his father Apollinaris the Elder in reproducing the Old Testament in the form of Homeric and Pindaric poetry, and the New after the fashion of Platonic dialogues, when the emperor Julian had forbidden Christians to teach the classics. He is best known, however, as a warm opponent of Arianism, whose eagerness to emphasize the deity of Christ and the unity of His person led him so far as a denial of the existence of a rational human soul in Christ's human nature, this being replaced in Him by a prevailing principle of holiness, to wit the Logos, so that His body was a glorified and spiritualized form of humanity. Over against this the orthodox or Catholic position maintained that Christ assumed human nature in its entirety including the , for only so could He be example and redeemer. It was held that the system of Apollinaris was really Docetism (see Docetae), that if the Godhood without constraint swayed the manhood there was no possibility of real human probation or of real advance in Christ's manhood. The position was accordingly condemned by several synods and in particular by that of Constantinople (A.D. 381). This did not prevent its having a considerable following, which after Apollinaris's death divided into two sects, the more conservative taking its name (Vitalians) from Vitalis, bishop of Antioch, the other (Polemeans) adding the further assertion that the two natures were so blended that even the body of Christ was a fit object of adoration. The whole Apollinarian type of thought persisted in what was later the Monophysite (q.v.) school.
Although Apollinaris was a prolific writer, scarcely anything has survived under his own name. But a number of his writings are concealed under the names of orthodox Fathers, e.g. , long ascribed to Gregory Thaumaturgus. These have been collected and edited by Hans Lietzmann.
He must be distinguished from the bishop of Hierapolis who bore the same name, and who wrote one of the early Christian "Apologies" (c.170). See A. Harnack, History of Dogma, vols. iii. and iv. passim; R.L. Ottley, The Doctrine of the Incarnation; G. Voisin, L'Apollinarisme (Louvain, 1901); H. Lietzmann, Apollinaris von Laodicea und seine Schule (Tubingen, 1905).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)