Chapter

Patriarchs, Councils, and Controversies: 300–451

William, S.J. Harmless

in Desert Christians

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780195162233
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835645 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195162234.003.0002
 Patriarchs, Councils, and Controversies: 300–451

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The patriarchs of Alexandria would cast long shadows over the history of Egyptian monasticism. This chapter focuses on the five most influential: Alexander, Athanasius, Theophilus, Cyril, and Dioscorus. It surveys both their careers and their theological controversies, especially their doctrine-defining clashes at the ecumenical Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. This chapter provides critical historical and theological background, since the politics and theologies of the bishops of Alexandria figure prominently in early monastic literature, and their international prominence would help draw the world’s attention to Egypt and its monks.

Keywords: patriarch (of Alexandria); Alexander of Alexandria; Arius; Nicaea, Council of; Athanasius; Theophilus; Cyril of Alexandria; Ephesus, Council of; Dioscorus; Chalcedon, Council of

Chapter.  12461 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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