Chalcedonians and Monophysites: Do We Share the Same Beliefs?
In this short paper I am not going to try to give a comprehensive overview of the
Christological controversies of the 5th-7th centuries; rather, I am merely trying to bring
out a few points which are important for anyone who wants to approach the present
discussions of reunion between the Chalcedonian church and the non-Chalcedonians with an
informed understanding of the issues involved.
At the present time, it is being claimed that the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church and the
non-Chalcedonians (monophysites) actually believe the same things with regard to the
Incarnation of Christ, but that we express our common belief in different words. To
understand clearly whether this is in fact true, we must be aware of the meanings of four
key terms as they were used in the 4th and 5th centuries, at the time of the Trinitarian
controversy (4th century) and the Christological controversy (5th century). These four
terms are prosopon, hypostasis, physis, and ousia.
Four Key Terms
Prosopon, (plural: prosopa) had the basic meaning of face or
countenance. Thus, it was also used to mean a character (in a play), mask, outward
appearance or expression, role, an individual self or person, a particular individual, or
a person in the legal sense.
Hypostasis (plural: hypostaseis) comes from the Greek verb uphistemi,
which is a compound of upo (under) and istemi (stand); thus the basic
meaning of uphistemi is to stand (or be placed) under as a support or foundation.
Etymologically, hypostasis is the equivalent of the Latin substantio (substance).
In my dictionary of Patristic Greek, the definitions of hypostasis go on for 7
pages, but in general we can say that the range of meanings included the substance, stuff
or material (out of which something is made); the foundation (of a building or of a line
of reasoning); the substantive existence of a being, or also the one who has this
substantive existence (approximating the meaning of person); it could be used as an
equivalent to ousia (essence), or it could refer to a concrete instance of an
abstract essence, that is, nature realized in a particular individual. As you will note,
in this paper I use the Greek word hypostasis rather than the word
"person"; it is only after Chalcedon that "person" becomes a reliable
translation for hypostasis.
Physis (plural: physeis) could refer to nature as manifest in the
physical world; theologically, it signified "nature" with the meaning of an
essence with the attributes proper to it; thus it referred to a concrete reality,
whether a specific kind or species of being (such as the race of men) or, more
specifically, to a particular being with its attributesas we might, in English, on
the one hand speak of "the nature of men" or "the nature of God," and
on the other hand say, "He is of a shy nature, while she is of an outgoing
nature." It is helpful to keep in mind that, before Chalcedon, many people felt that
"to be anything more than a mental abstraction a physis must be realized in a
concrete, independent entity, a hypostasis" (Lampe, A Patristic
Greek Lexicon, p. 1500). Thus, to many people, speaking of two physeis necessarily
implied the existence of two hypostaseis.
Ousia (plural: ousiai) is a participle of the verb "to
be"; it could be translated "substance" (as in homoousiosconsubstantial),
but still with a wide range of meanings: one's property, possessions or substance; the
material substance out of which a thing is made; immutable, stable being, ultimate
reality; a real thing as opposed to a name or symbol of the thing; the true nature of a
thing or the possession of such a nature; the primary real which underlies all change and
process in nature.
As we have seen, each of these terms could be used in many ways (think of all the ways
we use the word "nature" in English). This could, and did, cause difficulties
when the Church tried to express in human language the fullness of truth which had been
given to Her on the day of Pentecost. For example, the word prosopon had a rather
weak meaning for the idea of "person" to say that the one God had three prosopa
could be interpreted in an Orthodox way, but it could also be intrepreted in a
Sabellian or modalistic way: one God with three faces, one God Who played the three
"roles" of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Likewise, to say that Jesus Christ had
one prosopon could be interpreted in an Orthodox way, but it was also the way in
which the Nestorians expressed their heretical idea that in Jesus Christ the Word of God
was united to a specific man in a kind of moral union.
Another problem arose in the use of the three terms hypostasis, physis, and ousia.
Although physis and hypostasis were usually used to refer to a concrete
reality, while ousia usually had a more general and abstract sense, yet all three
could be used interchangeably in many cases. Thus, in the First Council of Nicea, hypostasis
and ousia were used more-or-less synonymously. In the theological language
available to the Church in the 4th-5th centuries, there were simply no clear and obvious
terms to express the theological ideas of "person" and "nature."
In the course of the Trinitarian controversies of the fourth century, it became clear
that the Church needed more precise language with which to express the unity and
distinction within the Trinity, and the three Cappadocian Fathers brilliantly solved this
problem by narrowing and clarifying the meaning of these terms, expressing the unity of
God by speaking of one ousia and the distinctions between the Father, Son and Holy
Spirit by speaking of three hypostasis. It was not, however, immediately clear how
the terms used by the Cappadocians in Trinitarian theology could or should be applied in
Christologyfor example, to speak of the divine ousia united with the human ousia
in Christ could sound as though the entire Trinity had become incarnate. A clear and
Orthodox way to apply these terms to the Incarnation still had to be worked out. And thus
we enter the Christological controversies of the fifth century.
The Christological Controversies of the Fifth Century
At the time of these controversies, there were two main theological schools of thought
within the eastern section of the Roman empire: the "Antiochene" and the
"Alexandrian" schools. There were a number of differences between them, such as
their methods of interpreting Scripture. For our purposes, it is most important to
consider their different understandings of how our salvation was accomplished.
The Antiochene school was characterized by an insistence on the full humanity of
Christ. Against Apollinaris, who said that the Word of God had assumed only human flesh,
the Antiochene theologians were concerned to preserve the entire human nature, including
freedom of will, of the Incarnate Christ. For them, it was the union and cooperation of
the human with the divine in Christ which brought about our salvation if Christ
were not fully human, we would not be saved. Their shortcoming was in a weak or poorly
expressed understanding of the union between the human and divine natures; taken to its
logical extreme (and most or all heresies are an attempt to make the Christian Revelation
fit human logic in one way or another), this led to the heresy of Nestorius.
The Alexandrian school, on the other hand, was characterized by a deep opposition to
the heresy of Arius, who had held that the Logos was not God but a created being, although
superior to humans. Thus the Alexandrians especially insisted on the divinity of Christ
if the Son of God had not united our humanity to Himself so completely that He made
it fully His own, we would not have been saved. The weakness of this school of thought was
a tendency to reduce the humanity of Christ to a purely passive element which seems to
lose its distinctive humanness and to be absorbed into the divinity; the logical extreme
of this is monophysitism.
St. Cyril of Alexandria, although fully Orthodox, nevertheless stood within the
Alexandrian theological tradition. Because of this, and also because of his intense
opposition to the heresy of Nestorius, he was especially concerned to assert the unity of
the Incarnate Word. To do this, he picked up the phrase, "one nature (physis)
of the Word of God Incarnate" out of a writing which was being circulated under the
name of St. Athanasius the Great. As it happens, in the 6th century this was discovered to
be a fraud the work had actually been written by Apollinaris. To the Antiochenes,
the phrase used by St. Cyril sounded Apollinarian, and in a way they were right; at the
same time, St. Cyril (who believed that this phrase carried the authority of St.
Athanasius) was interpreting it in an Orthodox way. St. Cyril's shortcoming was simply a
certain imprecision in his way of expressing the union of God and man in the
Incarnationor rather, in his concern to emphasize the unity of divine and human in
Christ, he could find no clear way of expressing the reality of the full humanness of
Christ. His theology was Orthodox but his language was somewhat ambiguous. He did
understand that the Orthodox view of the Incarnation could be expressed in other terms; in
his letters he indicated that he also accepted speaking of Christ as having two natures,
as long as that was interpreted in an Orthodox way. His preference, however, remained with
the "one nature" formula, because he felt it was a better safeguard against
We must keep in mind that at this point the word "nature" (physis) still
had a rather broad range of meanings. All, both Alexandrians and Antiochenes, usually used
physis and hypostasis as equivalent. The Antiochenes tended to speak of two physeis
and two hypostaseis, in order to show clearly the fully-functioning humanity of
Christ, but in this way they only had the weak word prosopon to indicate the unity
of divine and human. The Alexandrians usually spoke of one physis and one hypostasis;
St. Cyril used the phrases "one nature (physis) of the Word of God
Incarnate" and "one hypostasis of the Word of God Incarnate"
interchangeably. Speaking of one physis and one hypostasis, the Alexandrian
theologians showed clearly the complete unity of divine and human in Christ, but they
found no satisfactory way of indicating Christ's full humanity. It remained for the
Council of Chalcedon to combine the insights of both these schools by separating the two
terms and using hypostasis to refer to the one Person of Christ and physis to
refer to the full divinity and the full humanity which were united in Him.
The Council of Chalcedon
As we have seen, the Antiochene and Alexandrian schools of thought each emphasized an
aspect of the Incarnation which was absolutely vital for our salvation: the Antiochenes
stressed the importance of a complete, fully-functioning humanity in Christ, freely and
perfectly cooperating with the divine. The Alexandrians insisted on the necessity of a
union between human and divine that was so intimate, so all-embracing, that the Word of
God truly made His own the humanity which He had assumed. The Fathers of the Council of
Chalcedon, avoiding the heretical extremes of each position, combined the best from both
schools in the Chalcedonian definition:
Following, then, the holy Fathers, we all with one voice teach that it should be
confessed that our Lord Jesus Christ is one and the same Son, the Same perfect in Godhead,
the Same perfect in manhood, truly God and truly man, the Same [consisting] of a rational
soul and a body; homoousios (consubstantial) with the Father as to His Godhead, and
the Same homoousios (consubstantial) with us as to His manhood; in all things like
unto us, sin only excepted; begotten of the Father before ages as to His Godhead, and in
the last days, the Same, for us and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin Theotokos as to
One and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, made known in two natures [which
exist] without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the
difference of the natures having been in no wise taken away by reason of the union, but
rather the properties of each being preserved, and [both] concurring into one prosopon and
one hypostasis not parted or divided into two prosopa, but one
and the Same Son and Only-begotten, the divine Logos, the Lord Jesus Christ; even as the
prophets from of old [have spoken] concerning Him, and as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself
has taught us, and as the Symbol of the Fathers (the Nicene Creed) has delivered to us
(quoted, with a few small changes of my own, from Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian
Tradition, vol. I, p. 524).
The "breakthrough" of Chalcedon was made possible at least partially by the
contribution of St. Leo the Great, Pope of Rome, who, in his Tome, drew a balanced and
harmonious picture of the Incarnate Christ as existing in two natures (substantiae in
the Latin original), united in one person (persona in Latin). The bishops assembled
at Chalcedon carefully compared the Tome of St. Leo with the writings of St. Cyril and
declared St. Leo's theology to be fully Orthodox. Dioscoros, however, refused to accept
the phrase "union of two natures" or "...in two natures." He insisted
on the phrase "union from two natures" or "...out of two natures" (ek
duo physeon). This formulation had been used widely in the decades leading up
to Chalcedon, but it had the drawback of being able to be interpreted in a monophysite
way, as it was by Eutyches, who declared that he accepted two natures before the union but
only one nature after the union that is, when the two natures of Godhead and manhood
were Joined in the Incarnation of Christ, they were united into one composite,
divine-human nature. Dioscoros, in maintaining that the Incarnation was a union from two
natures, not a union of two natures, denied that the two natures continued to
exist, each preserving its own characteristics, in the Incarnate Lord. His position was
decisively rejected by the Council.
The Aftermath of Chalcedon
Chalcedon remained true to the thought of St. Cyril of Alexandria, but in order to
express this thought clearly, it had to abandon his words ("one nature of the Word of
God Incarnate"). Large groups, however, refused this modification and insisted on
retaining the wording of St. Cyril; these were the monophysites (from "mono" and
"physis"). Because of their insistence on St. Cyril's exact words, some
historians call them "fundamentalist Cyrillians."
Because the regions where the monophysites were in the majority were at the fringes of
the Empire (Egypt, Palestine and Syria), and because the emperor tried to impose
acceptance of Chalcedon by brute force, some historians explain the division between the
Chalcedonians and non-Chalcedonians as being the result of political and cultural
tensions. This is overly simplistic, as we realize when we note that the Christians in
Syria were divided between Nestorians, Chalcedonians and monophysites.
It might seem more plausible, at least on the surface, to say that the difference
between Chalcedonians and monophysites is only a matter of language keeping in mind
also that some of the monophysites were Syriac speakers, which led to the problem of
finding adequate translations of subtle theological terms. Isn't it possible, some say,
that the Chalcedonians are using the word physis in one way, and the
non-Chalcedonians in another way that they are simply using different language to
express the incomprehensible mystery of the union of human and divine in the Incarnate
Christ? If this is so, then we all believe the same thing but we are simply expressing it
in different ways. This is the line of reasoning followed by the
Chalcedonian/non-Chalcedonian dialogues of recent years. It seems convincing, but it is
false, as we can see when we look further down the road to the monothelete controversy,
the theology of St. Maximos the Confessor, and the 6th Ecumenical Council, as we will do
in the final section of this paper.
Between the 4th and 6th Ecumenical Councils (451-680), there were many attempts at
reunion between the monophysites and Chalcedonians. Some were regional; others were the
official policy of the Empire. In some cases the attempt was made to blur the issues and
come up with a statement vague enough that everyone could accept it and interpret it as
they liked; in other cases the Emperor or the Patriarch of Constantinople simply forbade
discussion of the points of division. None of these attempted reunions lasted.
In the present attempt at reunion with the monophysites, we see the same tendencies to
blur the issues and to avoid mentioning points on which we disagree. Let us look, for
example, at a talk given at the third consultation between the
Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theologians in Geneva in 1970 by Fr. Paul
Verghese and printed in the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. XVI,
nos. 1 and 2, 1971, pp. 133-143 (This talk is also printed in Does Chalcedon Divide or
Unite?, pp. 127-137, under the name of Metropolitan Paulos Mar Gregorios, the name Fr.
Verghese took when he was consecrated a metropolitan). The author, a theologian of the
Syrian Orthodox Church of India, states that:
those who accept Chalcedon and those who reject that council agree that Christ is
consubstantial with us in his humanity and that the human nature with all its properties
and faculties remains distinct and unabsorbed in Christ.... We are happy that both those
Orthodox Churches in communion with Constantinople and even our Roman Catholic friends
accept this double consubstantiality. In this respect all of us adhere to the one
authentic tradition, even when some of us do not accept the council of Chalcedon. This
means that for us Chalcedon is not an essential element of the authentic tradition, and as
far as we are concerned, other churches can also reject Chalcedon and still be within the
authentic tradition (Review, pp. 134-135; Does Chalcedon, pp. 128-129).
The idea expressed in this passage that we hold the same faith although one
group accepts all seven Councils while the other group rejects the last four was
also stated in several discussions during the 1970 consultation (all quotes taken from the
Review, pp. 30-34):
Bishop Gregorios [Coptic]: We are asked why, if we accept the faith of Chalcedon, we do
not accept the council itself. The fact is the we have difficulties about the horos [definition]
of Chalcedon. Our fathers found Nestorianism in the horos of Chalcedon.... Even if
we accept the teaching of Chalcedon, we are not obliged to accept Chalcedon.
Liqe Seltanat Habte Mariam [Ethiopian]: By all means, you continue to believe in
Chalcedon; but do not expect us to accept Chalcedon.
Bishop Zakka [Syrian]: When we say we accept the faith, we mean the faith that the
Church had before Chalcedon, formulated by the three ecumenical councils accepted by all.
Let us be quite clear; Chalcedon is not acceptable to us.
Verghese: When the faith is already there without Chalcedon why insist on Chalcedon
being accepted? There should be no misunderstanding of the position of the
non-Chalcedonian Churches; there will be no formal acceptance of Chalcedon.
Fr. Paul Verghese later made a statement in which he began by saying that, "In my
mind it is clear that we do agree on the substance of the teaching of not only the 4th,
but also the 5th, 6th, and 7th councils" and concluded, "I only wanted to
emphasize the fact it is a really big stumbling block for us if the Chalcedonians assert
that the 7 councils are inseparable."
The Importance of the Sixth Ecumenical Council
The vehement assertion by these non-Chalcedonian theologians that "Chalcedon is
not acceptable to us" raises the question of whether they do in fact accept the faith
of Chalcedon. The faith of Chalcedon was expressed in the definition of Chalcedon; if they
cannot accept the definition, it seems reasonable to conclude that they do not accept the
faith. Still, one might argue that they are only resisting a certain language which
seems, to them, to have Nestorian overtones. The question remains, do we have the same
belief about the Incarnation of Christ, simply expressing it in different words? To see if
this is so, let us look further at the paper presented by Fr. Verghese, where he considers
"the Sixth Council which appears to us badly muddled, not to say in grievous
error" (Review, p. 137; Does Chalcedon, p. 131). Regarding the
dogmatic definition of the 6th Council, he states:
Here, as earlier in the decree, the Tome of Leo is expressly affirmed. The decree
actually calls the Tome "the pillar of the right faith." You can perhaps
understand that all this is rather difficult for us to accept. For us Leo is still a
heretic. It may be possible for us to refrain from condemning him by name, in the
interests of restoring communion between us. But we cannot in good conscience accept the
Tome of Leo as "the pillar of the right faith" or accept a council which made
such a declaration. The council approves explicitly what I clearly regard as heresy in the
Tome of Leo: "Each form does in communion with the other what pertains properly to
it, the Word, namely doing that which pertains to the Word, and the flesh that which
pertains to the flesh." If one rightly understands the hypostatic union, it is not
possible to say that the flesh does something on its own, even if it is said to be in
union with the Word. The flesh does not have its own hypostasis. It is the hypostasis of
the Word which acts through the flesh. It is the same hypostasis of the Word which does
the actions of the Word and of his own flesh. The argument of the horos [dogmatic
definition] in this Sixth Council is basically unacceptable to us (Review, p. 139; Does
Chalcedon, p. 133).
We are unable to say what this council says when it affirms "two wills and two
operations concurring most fitly in him"....
To summarize: Acceptance of the Sixth Council is much more difficult for us than the
acceptance of Chalcedon. The following are the chief reasons:...
b) We are unable to accept the dithelete formula, attributing will and energy to the
natures rather than to the hypostasis. We can only affirm the one united and unconfused
divine-human nature, will and energy of Christ the incarnate Lord.
c) We find that this Sixth Council exalts as its standard mainly the teaching of Leo
and Agatho, popes of Rome, paying only lip-service to the teachings of the Blessed Cyril.
We regard Leo as a heretic for his teaching that the will and operation of Christ is to be
attributed to the two natures of Christ rather than to the one hypostasis. The human
nature is as "natural" to Christ the incarnate Word as is the divine. It is one
hypostasis who now is both divine and human, and all the activities come from the one
hypostasis (Review, pp. 140-141; Does Chalcedon, pp. 134-135).
It is surprising that the author of these statements could also say that "In my
mind it is clear that we do agree on the substance of the teaching of not only the 4th,
but also the 5th, 6th, and 7th councils" (Review, p. 34). The question
of whether the will is attributed to the nature or to the hypostasis was a major bone of
contention in the monothelete controversy and thus of central importance in the
considerations and final decision of the Sixth Council. Although Verghese, in the Forward
to the issue of The Greek Orthodox Theological Review we have been drawing on,
states that "The meeting at the University of Bristol, England in 1967... eliminated
the possibility that the Monothelete position was the one espoused by the Oriental
Orthodoxy" (Review, unnumbered page), here he has stated a central
tenet of the Monothelete position, namely, that the will belongs to the one hypostasis and
not to the two natures. But if, as he points out, the hypostasis of the Incarnate Christ
is the hypostasis of the Word, then there are two possibilities: First, that the
hypostasis (person) of the Second Hypostasis (Person) of the Holy Trinity changed at the
Incarnation and became a composite hypostasis with a composite will, as seems to be
implied by Fr. Verghese's reference to the "one hypostasis who is now both divine and
humane but this is unacceptable to us, as we cannot imagine the Second Person of
the Holy Trinity changing and becoming composite. Or, second, that if the will belongs to
the hypostasis, and the hypostasis is that of the Word of God, then the human nature of
Christ is entirely moved and controlled by the hypostasis (person) of the Word of God
in other words, the humanity of Christ is a purely passive instrument of His
divinity, completely lacking in freedom and having no operation (energy) of its own. In
this case, Christ's humanity is not, in fact, a freely and fully-functioning humanity; although
it is still possible for the non-Chalcedonians to say that Christ is consubstantial to us
with regard to His humanity, they clearly do not share the same beliefs as us with regard
to Christ as perfect God and perfect Man.
The Sixth Ecumenical Council, however, is "far more than the dogmatization of two
wills in Christ," as Dr. Joseph Farrell points out in his excellent study, Free
Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor (St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1989, p. 191). The
theology of St. Maximus is exceptionally broad, deep and subtle; in this short paper I
cannot hope to capture Dr. Farrell's analysis of St. Maximus, but I will briefly mention
some of his conclusions regarding the importance of St. Maximus and the acceptance of his
theology by the Orthodox Church in the Sixth Ecumenical Council. As he says, the Sixth
Council is the confession, not so much of two wills in Christ, but of His human will, and,
therefore, of the voluntary nature of His Passion; it is also the confession of human free
choice and of the necessity of the cooperation of the human will in our salvation (p.
191). Dr. Farrell also presents St. Maximus, and therefore the Sixth Ecumenical Council,
as a major link in the chain of Orthodox theological development from the Arian
controversy in the 4th century to the theology of St. Gregory Palamas and the hesychast
council of 1351:
The Sixth Ecumenical Council is thus far more important for the Orthodox than is the
Chalcedonian definition, because in its definition are hidden the responses of one of the
Eastern Church's most brilliant theologians to the vital issues of divine predestination
and human free will. Furthermore, it is important because in it is also hidden the
presupposition of a vast theological development, reaching back beyond the Triadology
[Trinitarian theology] of the Cappadocians to the Arian controversy, to the Origenist
Problematic and its underlying neoplatonic foundations. More than any other council, it
was called upon to reflect in a systematic way upon the relationships of Triadology,
Christology, and the divine and human wills. In a major way it confronts the issue of
revelation and reason, of theodicy [the problem of evil in a world created by a loving and
omnipotent God] and the possible use (or rejection) of the philosophical meanings of
philosophical terms...(p. 192).
Dr. Farrell goes on to contrast the monothelete understanding of the sinlessness of
Christ as a mere passive determination of the human nature by the divine nature with the
dithelete doctrine of St. Maximus which "takes as its starting point not fallen
humanity but the deified humanity of Christ and the saints in the eschaton" (p. 193),
and points out that:
St. Maximus has truly outlined a unique doctrine of free choice.... In so doing, he was
led to posit the existence of a real distinction between the category of the divine
essence and the divine energies, and of the divine energies amongst themselves.... By
doing this, he quite clearly pointed out the direction of subsequent development of the
formulation of doctrine to [St. Gregory] Palamas (p. 193).
The Sixth Council is inseparable from the Council of Chalcedon, which it clarifies and
interprets; it is my contention, therefore, that it is through their attitude towards the
Sixth Council, as well as the Fifth and Seventh, that we can see whether or not a
particular Christian communion truly accepts the teaching of Chalcedon.
Fr. Verghese concludes his paper by stating that if acceptance of the 4th, 5th, 6th and
7th Councils is necessary for reunion, there is little hope that that this will be
achieved in the near future. But if, as some of the Chalcedonian participants had
suggested, the last four Councils are not to be regarded as equal in importance to the
earlier ones, he suggests that the churches "begin formal conversations with a view
to restoring communion between our two families", with the first step being the
issuance of a common statement which "should state clearly that we share, between our
two families, substantially the same authentic tradition of the undivided Christian
The statement would also make clear that while it is not possible for the Chalcedonian
Churches to repudiate or reject any of the seven councils, it is equally difficult for the
non-Chalcedonians now to formally accept the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh councils
recognized by the Chalcedonian family. It could be made clear that the non-Chalcedonians
would refrain from formally condemning either the council of Chalcedon or Pope Leo. The
statement will also make clear that the Chalcedonian churches would refrain from
condemning Dioscurus and Severus as heretics" (Review;, pp. 141-142; Does
Chalcedon, pp. 135-136).
In this suggestion we see the inclination to seek a dishonest intercommunion both by
avoiding coming to terms with our points of difference for example, the offer that
the non-Chalcedonians would refrain from formally condemning St. Leo the Great,
although Fr. Verghese has repeatedly stated that they regard him as a heretic and
by coming up with a statement of "agreement" so broad that all parties can
subscribe to it, each interpreting it as they like. In response to this, we can say with
Fr. John Romanides (Church of Greece), one of the Chalcedonian participants, that
We strongly sense that... we have all along been the objects of an Ecumenical technique
which aims at the accomplishment of inter-communion or communion, or union without
agreement on Chalcedon and the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Ecumenical Councils.... The faith
confessed by the Fathers of Chalcedon is the true faith. If we accept that faith we must
also accept the Fathers who profess this true faith (Review, p. 30).
+ + +
Does Chalcedon Divide or Unite?, Gregorios, Lazareth and Nissiotis, eds., World
Council of Churches, Geneva, 1981.
Farrell, Joseph P., Free Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor, St.
Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1989.
Greek-English Lexicon, Liddell and Scott, eds., Oxford University Press,
Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Vol. XVI, nos. 1&2, Spring & Fall,
The following two volumes are very scholarly in tone, and thus although they contain
a tremendous amount of information, these would likely be difficult to read for someone
without training in Church history.
Grillmeier, Aloys, Christ in Christian Tradition, Volume One: From the
Apostolic Age to Chalcedon, John Knox Press, l975.
Grillmeier, Aloys, Christ in Christian Tradition, Volume Two, Part One: From
Chalcedon to Justinian I, John Knox Press, l987.
The following two books are useful, except for the authors statement in both
of them, that the theology of the moderate monophysites is the theology of St. Cyril; I
hope I have shown in this paper some of the reasons I believe this statement cannot be
supported and in fact I believe Meyendorff himself contradicts it.
Meyendorff, John, Christ in Eastern Christian Thought, Corpus Books,
Meyendorff, John, Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions, SVS Press,
Patristic Greek Lexicon, G. W. H. Lampe, ed., Oxford University Press,
Pelikan, Jaroslav, The Christian Tradition, Volume 2: The Spirit of Eastern
Christendom (600-1700), University of Chicago Press, 1974.
* Pelikans book is one of the most useful works I have listed here; although it
focuses on the period 600-1700, it gives a lot of background. The first volume of the
series, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600), would be even more useful
however I did not have access to it while working on this paper.