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The Christology of nestorius and the chalcedonian settlement

Fletcher, Stanley P. (1972) The Christology of nestorius and the chalcedonian settlement. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The assessment of Nestorius' Christology begins with a consideration of his indebtedness to Paul of Samosata, Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. The tradition of Alexandria is reviewed, referring primarily to Athanasius, Apollinarius and Cyril. The historico-political background is outlined and an account of the Theotokos affair given. The subsequent fall of Nestorius at Ephesus 431 is recounted. An examination of the christological vocabulary of the period, followed by a detailed study of the terminology and metaphysics of Nestorius, concludes that his foremost concern was the diagnosis of duality in the Incarnation but assesses him a moderate Dualist thinker. No conclusion is made on whether he provided satisfactorily for the unity of Christ's person. An account is given of the reconciliation of Cyril and John of Antioch on the basis of the Formulary of Concord. It is recounted how Dioscorus repudiated this and, following the affair of Eutyches, enforced his views at the Latrocinium only for the sudden death of the Bnperor to lead to another General Council : Chalcedon. The proceedings of Sessions 1-6 are recorded, describing the condemnation of Dioscorus and the promulgation of the Chalcedonian Definition. This composition is examined to show that, while defining little, it was the means of reconciling Cyril and Leo. Moreover, it rehabilitated moderate Eastern dualism and set guide-lines for future christological speculation. It is considered whether the Christology of Nestorius falls within the permitted limits of Chalcedon. The anti-Nestorian temper of Chalcedon is noted and the verdict is given against Nestorius. The conclusion examines the judgement passed on Nestorius' Christology by Loofs, Hodgson and Grillmeier. Cyril and Nestorius' are contrasted, showing how the former, despite shortcomings of character, had the sounder position theologically. Abramowski's critical analysis of the Treatise is discussed in the Appendix.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1972
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:33

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