2007 Archive Edition - See the Archive Notice on the Project Homepage for more information.
Monophysitism was a movement originating out of the Christological disputes of the fifth century. It affirmed that the divine person of Christ took over his human nature so that the human nature no longer existed. This belief, eventually condemned as heresy, finds its origin in the ideas of the Syrian bishop Apollinaris of Laodicea (c 310-390 CE). Cyril of Alexandria (412-444) and his successor Dioscorus (444-451) helped to spread this belief in one-nature Christology. The "Robber Synod" of Ephesus (449), under Dioscorus, upheld the belief in "one nature after the union." However, the Council of Chalcedon (451) reversed almost all of the decisions made at Ephesus. The Monophysites rejected Chalcedon's decision and for the next century, imperial rulers, like Zeno (474-491) and Justinian I (527-565) tried in vain to pacify them. At the same time leaders of the movement, of which Severus of Antioch (465-538) was the most important, were building a solid foundation. The final stand against the Monophysites was probably the Second Council of Constantinople (533). Yet, this council did not foresee future problems, for example, seventh century Monothelititism, which proposed that Christ had two natures but only a single divine will.
Elise M. Bender
including the header and this copyright notice, remain intact.