Category Archives: Imperial Church

#441 – A History of the Catholic Church – Twelve Anathemas

Nestorius finds himself condemned by synods in Rome and Alexandria, but just as things seem to be going Cyril’s way – his Twelve Anathemas drive a huge wedge into the Eastern Church

Links:
Painting of Cyril of Alexandria and the Mother of God. Photo taken by José Goncalves.

Pope Cyril of Alexandria’s Third Letter to Nestorius and the Twelve Anathemas

Pope Celestine of Rome’s letter to Nestorius

Bishop Theodoret of Cyrus’ responses to Cyril’s Anathemas

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#441 – A History of the Catholic Church – Twelve Anathemas

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#440 – A History of the Catholic Church – Hypostatic Union

Cyril of Alexandria asserts his own theology of Christ in response to the arguments of Nestorius and the Christological Controversy continues to intensify.

Links:
Icon of Christ treading the beasts by José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro.

Cyril of Alexandria – Scholia on the incarnation of the Only-Begotten and That Christ is One

Cyril of Alexandria’s Second Letter to Nestorius and Nestorius’ response

Raymond Brown on the importance of Christ’s humanity and divinity

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#440 – A History of the Catholic Church – Hypostatic Union

#439 – A History of the Catholic Church – Prosopon of Union

The controversy over using the term Theotokos intensifies and we examine the Christology of Nestorius in greater detail.

Links:
Icon of Jesus “Not Made By Human Hands”.

Proclus’ Homily on the Annunciation

Works by Nestorius

Additional material explaining Nestorius’ terminology and difference with Cyril of Alexandria

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#439 – A History of the Catholic Church – Prosopon of Union

#438 – A History of the Catholic Church – Christotokos

After looking at the Antiochene tradition in Christology, we see how tensions between the Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople heat up over the appropriateness of calling Mary the Mother of God.

Links:
Icon of Christ. The eyes are said to reflect Christ’s divinity and humanity.

On Theodore of Mopsuestia

More on Theodore of Mopsuestia’s Christology

Comparison between Alexandrine and Antiochine approaches to Christology

The Sub Tuum Praesidium hymn that makes reference to the Theotokos

Cassian’s Seven Books Against Nestorius

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#438 – A History of the Catholic Church – Christotokos

#437 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Oncoming Storm

Challenges face the Church in both the Western and Eastern halves of the Empire. The Vandals invade North Africa and lay siege to Augustine’s city of Hippo. Nestorius becomes bishop of Constantinople.

Links:
Portrait of Nestorius by Romeyn de Hooghe

Apollinaris on Christology

Alexandria and Antioch

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#437 – A History of the Catholic Church – The Oncoming Storm

#436 – A History of the Catholic Church – Cassian and Grace

As with the monks of Africa, the monks of Gaul also have problems with Augustine’s views on predestination. Two monks from Gaul, John Cassian and Vincent of Lérins, are often mentioned as critics of Augustine – indeed they are sometimes called Semipelagians. Plus, the problem of Pelagianism in Britain.

Links:
Icon of John Cassian

Augustine – On the Predestination of the Saints and On the Gift of Perseverence

Cassian’s Thirteenth Conference

Barrett, Anthony A. “Saint Germanus and the British Missions.” Britannia 40 (2009): 197-218.

Casiday, A. M. C. “Grace and the Humanity of Christ According to St Vincent of Lérins.” Vigiliae Christianae 59, no. 3 (2005): 298-314.

Casiday, Augustine. “Rehabilitating John Cassian: an Evaluation of Prosper of Aquitaine’s Polemic against the ‘Semipelagians.’” Scottish Journal of Theology 58, no. 3 (2005): 270–84.

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#436 – A History of the Catholic Church – Cassian and Grace

#435 – A History of the Catholic Church – Free Will and Monasticism

We return to the declining fortunes of the West as Emperor Honorius dies and leaves the throne in the hands of a child. Meanwhile, in North Africa, Augustine finds himself once more forced to explain his views on grace and predestination.

Links:
Painting of Saint Augustine in his study by Sandro Botticelli

Map of Praefecture of Illyricum

Letters of Augustine to Valentinus on free will and predeterminism

Augustine On Grace and Free Will

Augustine On Rebuke and Grace

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#435 – A History of the Catholic Church – Free Will and Monasticism

#434 – A History of the Catholic Church – Shenoute

Saint Shenoute of Atribe – one of the most famous monks in Egypt and one of the most controversial.

Links:
Icon of Saint Shenoute of Atribe

Life of Saint Shenoute and here

Shenoute’s Monastic Federation

3-D Panorama of Shenoute’s tomb

3-D tour of Shenoute’s Red Monastery

Emmel, Stephen. “Shenoute of Atripe and the christian destruction of temples in Egypt: rhetoric and reality”. From Temple to Church. 2008. pp. 162-203.

Layton, B. “Rules, Patterns, and the Exercise of Power in Shenoute’s Monastery: The Problem of World Replacement and Identity Maintenance.” Journal of Early Christian Studies, vol. 15 no. 1, 2007, pp. 45-73.

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#434 – A History of the Catholic Church – Shenoute

#433 – A History of the Catholic Church – Alexander the Sleepless

The Eastern Roman Empire finds itself challenged by Alexander and the Sleepless Ones. Meanwhile, in Armenia, Saint Mesrop invents a new alphabet.

Links:
Gravesite of Mesrop Mashtots by Perland1

On the Sleepless Ones/Acoemetae

Life of Mesrop Mashtots

On the Armenian Alphabet

Daniel Folger Caner. Wandering, Begging Monks: Spiritual Authority and the Promotion of Monasticism in Late Antiquity. 2002.

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#433 – A History of the Catholic Church – Alexander the Sleepless

#432 – A History of the Catholic Church – Rehabilitations and Persecutions

The process of rehabilitating the legacy of John Chrysostom begins and the Persian Church finds itself under persecution once again.

Links:
The Martyrdom of Saint James the Persian

Bishop Atticus of Constantinople on the adding of John’s name to the diptychs
Pope Cyril of Alexandria’s response

Theodoret’s Historia Ecclesiastica on the persecution of the Persian Christians [5:38]

The Synod of Mar Dadiso/Dadyeshu

Herman, Geoffrey. The last years of Yazdgird I and the Christians. Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians: Religious Dynamics in a Sasanian Context. (Judaism in Context 17) Gorgias Press: Piscataway, 2014, pp. 67-90.

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#432 – A History of the Catholic Church – Rehabilitations and Persecutions