Category Archives: Christology-Patristic

Christological Terms

[This will be old hat to some, no doubt, but since I’m trying to work through Christological issues for a class at UD, I thought I’d put up some notes on terminology. My apologies for the lack of accenting on … Continue reading

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Monoenergism and Monothelitism (II): Course and End of the Controversy

As the Monothelite controversy intensified, a new religious factor entered the world: Islam. Born in the year of the Lord’s incarnation 622, by 647 it had conquered much of the Byzantine Empire. The East shrank in on itself, becoming a … Continue reading

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The Christology of Theodore of Mopsuestia

Theodore, Bishop of Mopsuestia, lived from 350-428. A friend of John Chrysostom, he was a proponent of the Antiochene school of biblical exegesis, which focused heavily on what might today be called the “grammatical-historical” interpretation of the text. Theodore was … Continue reading

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Apollinarianism

Associated with Apollinaris of Laodicea (c. 310-390), this heresy was an Alexandrian “Word-Flesh” theory of Christology. That is, it held that “the Logos took the place in the man Jesus of the human rational soul.”[1] Rejecting all “dyophysite” views of … Continue reading

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Notes on Monophysitism (III): “The Three Chapters”

In the spring of the year of grace 527 Justinian became emperor, having been handed the crown by his uncle Justin who was too ill to continue governing. Justin died in the fall of that year, leaving his nephew ruler. … Continue reading

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Notes on Monophysitism (II): The Acacian Schism

The Acacian Schism, so named for Acacius, Patriarch of Constantinople from 471-489, was a major negative result in the East of the Council of Chalcedon (451). As outlined in earlier, a great deal of antipathy to Chalcedon existed in the … Continue reading

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Notes on Monophysitism (I): Origins

In the aftermath of the Council of Chalcedon (451), theological turmoil in the East actually intensified. For the followers of Cyril of Alexandria in particular, the Definition of Chalcedon, for all its subtlety, left critical questions about the hypostatic union … Continue reading

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Alexandria, the East, and Hellenism

J.N.D. Kelly gives two striking examples of the tendency within the ancient Alexandrian school to syncretize Christian theology with elements of Hellenism. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) allowed his Christology “to be coloured by the Greek ascetical ideal of apatheia, … Continue reading

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One Bible; Two Christological Schools

As others have pointed out regarding the multiplicity of theories of the atonement, the biblical content is so rich that it often allows for entirely different starting points on the same subject, which then entails the development of different theoretical … Continue reading

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Christotokos

Leo Donald Davis [The Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1983)] summarizes the Christology of Nestorius with admirable balance. His is probably the best treatment of the issues at work in Nestorius’ heresy … Continue reading

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