Chalcedon Differnce Firewall

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Alex Zetsu, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    In OTL, the Oriental Orthodox split from the parent church when the ecumenical council decided that Christ was in "one person in two complete natures. (what? No really, that's the Wikipedia wording)" I'm no theologist, but honestly this sounds like idea that was rejected earlier of him being a human and a divine being with one body. Maybe something got lost in translation. Anyways, so those who eventually became Oriental orthodox said "Wait, that makes no sense, this is almost like what we already said was wrong. Two natures is basically separating him" Oddly they were in on and off communion with the Patriarch of Alexandria and the Bishop of Rome for another three decades.

    Suppose that Chalcedon happens differently, but not with the Oriental Orthodox winning. I'm imagining the council coming up with the decision "Ok, adopt ritual X, Y, and Z. As for the main debate about Christ, he is one being and whether he is of one nature human and divine or two natures, we came to the agreement that we should look into that in another date"

    A branch much like OTL Oriental Orthodox has a dispute, claiming the Nestorians must have gotten some influence over the council since it's so obvious Jesus Christ can't be of two natures, since that is tantamount to claiming him to be two entities in the same body. Most of the church goes much like OTL Chalcedon Christianity (precursor to the Modern Catholic Church) despite not having desolved the theological debate.

    Despite being a POD in 450s, can history unfold very much like OTL?
     
  2. TC9078 Empire

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    What you describe (i.e. them shelving the debate on the natures) is what essentially happened at Nicaea and Ephesus.
     
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  3. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    OK, can we have history develop much like OTL with the Cha group (precursor to Catholic church) shelving the debate for a dozen more decades while the Oriental Orthodox group made a firm commitment to their OTL position?
     
  4. GauchoBadger Gang Weeder (in a society)

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    That thread name sounds like the title of an Aphex Twin song.

    Either way, i can't see such an important debate being delayed for so long.
     
  5. Philip One L only

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    As others have said, the debate had been delayed for some time. Various regional councils had come to a variety of decisions. It was time for an ecumenical council to address the issue.

    You might compare it to the history gay marriage in the US. Various lower courts had issued different rulings. It reached a point where the Supreme Court could not dodge the issue.
     
  6. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    It took more than 300 decades to have the debate in the first place (450s), what's another 90?
     
  7. Philip One L only

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    Not really. The question only arose in the mid to late 4th Century. By the mid 5th Century there were riots over the appointments of bishops.
     
  8. Spelf Habsburgs and Hot Dogs

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    They can't table the issue forever - they need an answer. That said, the dyophysite position of the Church and the oriental orthodox miaphysite positions are somewhat reconcilable. It took about 1500 years of rangling but a joint understanding, partially based on a misunderstanding of what a "nature" is, seems to have reconciled the positions.

    ITTL, I think you need a little more diplomacy and perhaps language manipulation that otherwise reaches the same conclusion; Nestorianism and Monophysitism are rebuked and what both sides consider to be orthodox is upheld
     
  9. Philip One L only

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    Agreed. Diplomacy is critical.

    Both sides agreed that Nestorianism and Monophysitism were heretical. The problem was each side misunderstood (or refused to understand) the other's position. The miaphysites insisted the dyophysites were Nestorian. The dyophysite insisted the miaphysites were monophysites. Language issues certainly exasperated the difference, but politics and human nature were also at play.

    The participants often seemed to take the approach of 'I'm right, therefore you must be wrong. Let me figure out why. Obviously you must be this thing that we both agree is heretical.' The idea that they might be saying the same thing differently seems to be neglected.

    Other issues would have to be resolved. For one, the matter of legitimacy of bishops would need to be addressed. Some cities had two bishops, one dyophysite and one miaphysite. If the council accepts that those positions are equivalent, then there is a canonical issue of who is the legitimate bishop. More politics.

    I'm not a big fan of Great Man history, but i often think this was a instanse when history could swing on a Great Man.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  10. TC9078 Empire

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    ...what's the difference? Monophysite and miaphysite mean the same thing (mono is greek for 'one', mia is greek for 'single')
     
  11. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    No it doesn't. The greek origins might suggest the same meaning, but in fact the words are different.
     
  12. TC9078 Empire

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    Explain it to this neophyte, then. I obviously don't know, but would like to.
     
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  13. SeaCambrian Well-Known Member

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    One is an endonym and the other an exonym. Miaphysites called themselves Miaphysites, while Chalcedonians called them Monophysites.
     
  14. Alex Zetsu Well-Known Member

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    No, one group of Christianity thought Jesus Christ was all divine. (I guess that means the carpenter/prophet/healer who was the son of Mary was just an avatar for the "real" jesus?) this is called monophysite. The Oriental Orthodox believe Jesus was of one nature, but that nature was divine as well as human. So miaphysite just to differentiate themselves from the other "one nature" theology. And the Catholic Church (tand probably the dozen of protestant ones that spawned from it) until recently lumped both groups as monophysites.
     
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  15. Philip One L only

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    Mono means unitary one. It only permits Christ to have one nature. In this context, it would be one divine nature. Some allowed that he had a human nature, but that it was dissolved in the infinite divine nature. A drop of vinegar dissolved in the ocean was a common metaphor. In effect the human nature ceased to exist (or at least matter).

    Mia means one but admits the possibility of a composite one. It allows Christ to have one nature that is a union of the divine nature and the human nature. Neither nuture overwhelms the other. This is close to the dyophysite position where the two natures were indivisibly united in the person of Christ, but that union did not create a new nature.