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THEO 206 Final: theo206FinalAnswers

Course Code
THEO 206
Sabi Hinkson
Study Guide

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Explain the orthodox Christology developed at the Councils of
Ephesus (431 CE) and Chalcedon (451 CE).
In 431 CE, the Emperor Theodosius summoned third Ecumenical
Council, held at Ephesus, in an attempt to settle the Nestorian
controversy. Nestorius objected to the term, 'Theotokos' (God-bearer,
Mother of God) applied to the Virgin Mary. From the Oxford
Dictionary of the Christian Church:
"Opinion is widely divided as to what the doctrine of Nestorius really
was and how far it was heretical. His sustained objection to the term,
'Theotokos' has traditionally been held to imply that he asserted not
only to two different natures, but also two different persons, in Christ,
the one the man, born of Mary. But we must not overlook that he
repeatedly affirmed the oneness of Christ, though he preferred to speak
of conjunction (synapheia) rather than of union (henosis). His fear of
the Monophysite tendencies, which were actually to come into the open
a few years later, led him to reject Cyril's conception of a hypostatic
union (henosis ksth'hypostasin), substituting for it a union of the will
(kat'eudokian). The latter term certainly savoured of Adoptionism, of
which he was actually, though unjustly, accused. Certainly his zeal for
upholding the integrity of the two natures, which he believed to be both
self-subsisting and therefore incapable of being physically united in the
Person of the God-man, caused him to fall into unguarded language,
and the fact that his own friends finally abandoned him supports the
view that, by trying to defend, he actually compromised the Antiochene
At the Council of Ephesus, St. Cyril of Alexandria took the chair and
began the proceedings before the arrival of the Syrian bishops or indeed
of the papal legates. Nestorius was deposed from his see of
Constantinople and excommunicated, his doctrines condemned, and the
Creed of Nicaea reaffirmed. Furthermore, the Council gave formal

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approval to the term, 'Theotokos.' This is usually rendered in the west
as 'Mother of God' and Catholics used it every day in the 'Hail Mary:'
'Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of
our death. Amen.'
Eutyches (378-454) was archimendrite of a large monastery at
Constantinople. His opposition to Nestorianism, which separates the
two natures of Christ so radically as to make him into two persons, led
him into the opposite heresy of monophysitism, teaching that Christ
had only one nature The monophysites held firmly to a phrase of St.
Cyril, 'one Incarnate Nature of the Word.' As with Arianism, so there
are various degrees or varieties of monophysitism. Eutyches himself
seems to have held that 'after the incarnation there was only one nature
in Christ, and that nature was not consubstantial with us;' i.e. Christ had
no human nature.
The phrase, 'one nature after the union' is commonly found in
monophysite writers. The process envisioned is that there is a pre-
existent Divine nature and a pre-existent human nature which are
united at the Incarnation, to make a new nature. This implies the belief
in a pre-existent, immortal human soul-a notion congenial to Platonic,
Origenist Alexandrians, but not at all to Antiochenes. It also seems to
be envisaged that these natures were changed by the union into
something else, that they were confused, confounded, or melted into
one another. As we shall see, these ideas were to be specifically refuted
at Chalcedon.
Eutyches was deposed in 448 by his archbishop, Flavian, patriarch of
Constantinople, who of course would have no sympathy at all with
such ideas. Eutyches appealed to Pope Leo for support, and through
influence at the inperial court secured a retrial at a council at Ephesus
in 449. This council was summoned by the Emperor Theodosius II and
was chaired by Dioscorus, Patriarch of Alexandria, a strong supporter
of Monophysitism and no friend of Flavian.
Pope Leo, far from supporting Eutyches, was entirely supportive of
Flavian, and sent

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delgates to the council armed with a letter to Flavian, known as the
'Tome' of Leo. These legates were insulted, and not allowed to read the
letter. Eutyches was acquitted of heresy and reinstated, whereas Flavian
and other bishops, including Ibas of Edessa and Theodoret of Cyrrhus,
were deposed. A spirited account of this council is given in "So the
great council ended with the deposition of Flavian of Constantinople,
Eusebius of Dorylaeum, Daniel of Carrae, Irenaeus of Tyre, Aquilinus
of Biblus, and Domnus of
Antioch as well as of Theodoret. One word of manly Latin had broken
in on the supple suffrages of the servile orientals, the 'Contrdicitur' of
Hilarius the representative of the Church of Rome."
Pope Leo (the 'Great') was not at all pleased. He wrote a remarkable
letter about the affair to the Empress Pulcheria
"For, as I have very often stated in letters from the beginning of this
matter, I have desired that such moderation should be observed in the
midst of discordant views and carnal jealousies that, whilst nothing
should be allowed to be wrested from or added to the purity of the
Faith, yet the remedy of pardon should be granted to those who return
to unity and peace. Because the works of the devil are then more
effectually destroyed when men's hearts are recalled to the love of God
and their neighbours. But how contrary to my warnings and entreaties
were their actions then, it is a long story to explain, nor is there need to
put down in the pages of a letter all that was allowed to be perpetrated
in that meeting, not of judges but of robbers ('non iudicium, sed
latrocinium') at Ephesus."
Following these depositions and condemnations, the aggrieved parties
appealed to Leo. Flavian, the deposed Patriarch of Constantinople, sent
an appeal by the hand of Hilary the deacon, papal legate at the council
and the utterer of the 'one word of manly Latin' to be heard among the
supple suffrages of the servile orientals. Flavian pleaded that the faith,
not of the Fathers, but of Eutyches was being preached by Dioscorus
and his associates; complaining that the Alexandrian had long been
seeking his humiliation; asking the Pope to be the first to rise up 'on
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