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Apollinarius

(c. 310—390) bishop of Laodicea in Asia Minor


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The heresy which denied the completeness of Christ's humanity. Apollinarius (or Apollinaris) (c.310–c.390),

who was an upholder of orthodoxy against the Arians, became Bp. of Laodicea c.360. His Christological teaching does not appear to have been the object of criticism until late in his career, but it was condemned by synods in Rome in 374–80 and by the Council of Constantinople in 381. He seceded from the Church c.375. Most of his extensive writings have been lost and those that survive have been preserved under the names of other authors or in a fragmentary state.

Convinced that only the unchangeable Divine Logos could be the saviour of human beings with their inherently changeable and fallible minds or souls, Apollinarius denied the presence of a human mind or soul in Christ. While this enabled him to stress the unity of Godhead and flesh in the person of Christ and to repudiate any conception of moral development in His life, it carried the implication that Christ's humanity was not complete. The fundamental objection raised by Catholic orthodoxy is that if there is no complete humanity in Christ, He could not redeem the whole of human nature, but only its physical elements.

Subjects: Christianity.


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