Monophysites


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Related to Monophysites: Dyophysitism, Council of Chalcedon, Nestorians

Monophysites

 

advocates of a Christian religiophilosophical doctrine propounded in Byzantium (the Eastern Roman Empire) in the fifth century by the archimandrite of Constantinople, Eutyches, as a reaction against Nestorianism. The term “Monophysite” is not encountered until the end of the seventh century.

The Monophysites put forward the problem of the union of the divine and human natures in Christ. Rejecting (in accordance with Stoic principles) the possibility of a blending of the two natures, they treated the union as the absorption of the human element by the divine in Christ. Thus, according to Monophysite doctrine, it was not the god-man who suffered for humanity (as the orthodox theologians asserted) but god.

The Monophysite doctrine spread widely throughout the eastern provinces of Byzantium (Egypt, Syria, and Armenia), where the traditions of a cult of a god who dies were still alive, and it became the banner of a separatist movement. At the Council of Ephesus in 449 the Monophysites triumphed, but their doctrine was condemned by the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This led to an intense religiopolitical struggle. In the late fifth century the Monophysites occupied patriarchal thrones in Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; in the sixth century their teaching spread to Nubia and Arabia. During this period purely theological disputes receded into the background and a rapprochement was attempted between Monophysite doctrine and orthodox Christianity. At the same time, the political side of the Monophysite movement came to the fore—the drive of the eastern provinces to separate from the empire. The tendency of the Byzantine emperors to compromise with the Monophysites contributed to the formation of the Monophelite doctrine in the seventh century. When the Arabs conquered the empire’s eastern provinces, the Monophysites lost their base in Byzantium but became established in Armenia (the Armenian Apostolic Church), Syria (the Jacobite Church), Egypt, and Ethiopia.

A. P. KAZHDAN

Monophysites

heretical Christian sect who questioned the divine and human nature of Jesus. [Christian Hist.: EB, VI: 1003]
References in periodicals archive ?
Her survey of these figures shows how the Monophysites at this time were interested in issues of authority and leadership, which were most pressing considering that key monks were not persuaded of the authority of bishops, and how persecution contributed to the group's general state of urgency.
The Alexandrians, who were Monophysites, said Nestorius leaned too far toward two-nature thinking, though later Nestorius agreed to what we today would call orthodox Catholic doctrine.
59) Its purposed was to reunited the orthodox and Monophysites by putting the two-natures-in Christ problem into words that both sides could agree upon -- a fantastically impossible task.
After the Council of Chalcedon in 451, the Orthodox church (ch = 2, one Person "in two Natures") persecuted the Monophysites of Egypt (Copts), Syria Jacobites), and Armenia (ch = 1 and wholly divine).
Sophia (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople; supervised the restructuring of Roman law, producing the Codex (a collection of existing laws), the Digest (a collation of jurists' opinions), and the Institutes (a handbook for use in law schools), which together presented a Christianized and more humane body of Roman civil law for the empire; his attempts to bring the Monophysites of the Levant and Egypt back into the Orthodox fold (540-560) were unsuccessful; repelled a serious incursion by the Bulgars and their allies only by calling Belisarius out of retirement (559); jailed Belisarius on unfounded charges of treason (562) but rehabilitated him (563); died in Constantinople (November 14, 565) and was succeeded by his nephew Justin II.
Those Familiar with the Newman's life know all about that apocalyptic analogy (described so dramatically in the Apologia) which propelled Newman toward Catholicism, the analogy between the Monophysites of the fifth century and the Anglicans of the nineteenth (Apologia, 9597).
The Chalcedonian decree condemned the Christological belief of the monophysites who believed that only the immutable divine nature of Christ defined his person to the exclusion of his full humanity.
49) Sebastian Brock, "Iconoclasm and the Monophysites," from Anthony Rryer and Judith Herrin, eds.
For example, in their region of Oriens, there were towns with theaters such as in Bostra (Busra) and in the cities of the Decapolis, including Gerasa (Jarash); but as good Monophysites, the Ghassanids viewed the mime and the theater as un-Christian but embraced the odeion as a venue for poetry recitals, oratory, and music (p.
Antioch defended the church against the Monophysites for whom the human character of Christ was swallowed up in divinity and who also gave rise to numerous magical and superstitious ideas.
Here I would stress in particular the viewpoints of other Christians--Orthodox and Middle Eastern Armenians, Monophysites, Melkites and others who have kept the faith for over a thousand years in a heavily Muslim society--and the Jews.