Nestorianism: The Comeback Trail
Wednesday June 21st 2006, 8:59 am
Filed under: Patristics

St. Cyril of Alexandria, call your office.

N.S. Gill at About.com makes the startling (but true?) claim that “Probably a good number of devout Western Christians are Nestorians” — that is, that they unreflectively subscribe to the ancient heresy condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 431. Read it and let us know what you think.

Hat tip: Rogue Classicism.


2 Comments so far
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I think the claim is likely true. Very few people outside the academy have much of a grasp on pre hyper-realist metaphysical systems, so stumbling into some sort of error seems inevitable.

Simon.

Comment by Simon Crouch 06.21.06 @ 9:57 am

Well, I dunno. I think most Christians are either doketists or arians. Most people have difficulty appreciating both Christ’s humanity and his divinity.

Which is what the “Nestorian” heresy is all about… Well, first of all one has to separate between the ideas that were branded nestorian by the orthodox church (I.e. two son theology) and the Christology favoured by those branded Nestorians. The East Syrians, (who never have understood themselves to be Nestorians), learned primarily from Nestorius teacher (Chrysostoms friend) Theodore of Mopsuestia, probably one of the greatest exegetes of the ancient church. He certainly did not teach that there were two sons, but emphasized the distinction between human and divine, so as to make clear the immense mystery of divine and human coming together, not only in the incarnation and the person of Christ, but also in the Sacraments, and the faith of the believer.

It is among the truly great tragedies of the history of the Church that Theodore was branded heretical (100 years after his death! He was considered a great defender of orthodoxy during his lifetime). The church lost out on a great amount of no doubt wonderful texts, but also of some important perspectives, especially regarding the sacraments.

Comment by Patrik 06.22.06 @ 1:40 am



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