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The Byzantine ChristPerson, Nature, and Will in the Christology of Saint Maximus the Confessor$
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Demetrios Bathrellos

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199258642

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199258643.001.0001

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From the Fourth To the Seventh Century

From the Fourth To the Seventh Century

(p.9) 1 From the Fourth To the Seventh Century
The Byzantine Christ

Demetrios Bathrellos

Oxford University Press

Provides the necessary historical and theological background for understanding the monothelite controversy of the 7th century and the Christology of St Maximus the Confessor. It presents the Christological positions of Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, Cyril, and the Council of Chalcedon. It also presents the views of the Council’s critics, and of the Council’s defenders, including John the Grammarian and, in particular, Leontius of Byzantium and Leontius of Jerusalem. It argues that Apollinarism, Nestorianism, and monophysitism put forward unsatisfactory suggestions regarding the doctrine of the person of Christ. By contrast, the Council of Chalcedon (ad 451) put forward a very balanced view of Christ’s unity of person and distinction of natures. The Leontioi, in countering objections to Chalcedon, explained the Chalcedonian distinction between person/hypostasis and nature/essence in detail and in doing so paved the way for Maximus’ Christology. This chapter challenges the view that post-Chalcedonian Christology was strongly asymmetrical and thus undermined the Christological balance achieved by Chalcedon and thus led to the emergence of monothelitism.

Keywords:   anti-Chalcedonian Christology, Apollinarism, Chalcedon, John the Grammarian, Leontius of Byzantium, Leontius of Jerusalem, monophysitism, nature/essence, neo-Chalcedonism, Nestorianism, person/hypostasis

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