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Chalcedon, Council of

(952 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
1. Historical Importance The Council of Chalcedon (modern Kadiköy, a district of Istanbul on the eastern shore of the Bosporus) holds a place of preeminence among the imperial or ecumenical councils of the early church that dealt with Christological questions (Christology). Made possible by a change in the leadership of the Roman Empire, according to the plan of the new rulers (Marcian and Pulcheria), it had the main purpose of reversing the decisions of the Council of Ephesus of 449, which had pro…

Ephesus, Council of

(352 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
The Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus—the first of which we have records (published by the contending parties)—was called on Pentecost (June 7) 431 by Emperor Theodosius II (408–50), mainly to settle the doctrinal dispute between Nestorius (d. ca. 451) and Cyril of Alexandria (bishop 412–44; Christology 2). But it could not be opened either at the appointed time or even actually at all; there were simply separate sittings of the majority, which supported Cyril and which was later joined by the Roman delegates, and the minority,…

Theopaschitischer Streit

(305 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[English Version] . Seit dem Konzil von Chalcedon wurde es im Osten zunehmend üblich, in die Liturgie das Trishagion (: II.) als Huldigungs- und Bittruf an den dreieinigen Gott einzufügen: »Hl. Gott, Hl. Starker, Hl. Unsterblicher, erbarme dich unser«. Petrus Fullo, »monophysitischer« (Monophysiten) Patriarch von Antiochien (471.475–477) fügte bald darauf (nach »Unsterblicher«) den Zusatz ein: »der du für uns gekreuzigt wardst«, um so der Überlegenheit des Göttlichen im Fleischgewordenen (Joh 1,14…


(258 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[English Version] von Massilia (um 400–480). Als vielbeachteter Zeitzeuge der Völkerwanderung, als der er u.a. eine von vier Zerstörungen Triers miterlebte, floh er aus seiner (nord-)gallischen Heimat vor den Barbaren in den Süden, gelobte dort im Einverständnis mit seiner Frau (Palladia) Enthaltsamkeit, wurde Mönch in Lerinum und schließlich Presbyter in Marseille. Von seiner (von Gennadius von Marseille, vir.ill. 68 bezeugten) Schriftstellerei sind erhalten: neun Briefe, eine Schrift »Ad ecclesia…


(195 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[English Version] von Cordoba (ca.256–357/58), wurde um 295 zum Bischof geweiht, litt in der Verfolgung von 303 (daher u.a. bei Athanasius »Bekenner« geheißen [vgl. de Clercq 129–134]), besuchte die (rein span.) Synode von Elvira (um 300 oder 310) und war seit 313 bis in die Zeit unmittelbar nach Nicaea (325) Konstantins kirchl. Berater (Arius/Arianismus). Auf den Synoden von Antiochien (Anfang 325) und Nicaea führte er den Vorsitz, ebenso in Serdika (342/43), wo er u.a. die Kanones (3 und 5 griech…

Maximus the Confessor (Saint)

(369 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (579/580 [whether in Constantinople or in the Palestinian village of Hesfin is disputed] – Aug 13, 662, Lazika), one of the most prominent Byzantine theologians, being equally important for the history of Monotheletism's dogmatic theology as well as for exegesis (esp. of the Bible, but also of Gregory of Nazianzus and of Dionysius Areopagita) and for the further development of theoretical mysticism (on the basis of a [critically received] Origenism and of the system of Evagrius Po…

John of Scythopolis

(146 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (John Scholasticus), Greek theologian in the first half of the 6th century, ultimately (between 536 and 553) bishop of Palestinian Scythopolis. Of the writings of this comprehensively educated man, which include a defense of the Chalcedonian definition (in accordance with neo-Chalcedonism) and a document against Severus of Antioch, only a few fragments have been preserved, except for his commentary on the Corpus Areopagiticum (Dionysius Areopagita), which contributed fundamentally to the latter's reputation in both the East and the West, and…

Theopaschite Controversy

(339 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] After the Council of Chalcedon, it became increasingly common in the East to interpolate the Trisagion (II) into the liturgy as an acclamation and petition to the triune God: “Holy God, holy and mighty, holy immortal one, have mercy upon us.” Shortly afterwards Peter Fullo, the “Monophysite” patriarch of Antioch (471, 475–477) added “crucified for us” (after “immortal one”), to give further expression to the superiority of the divine in the incarnate Lord ( John 1:14). When Severu…

Salvian of Massilia

(290 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (c. 400–480). A prominent contemporary witness to the Völkerwanderung (Migration period), during which he survived one of four destructions of Trier. As the barbarians advanced, he fled south from his home in northern Gaul; there with the consent of his wife Palladia he took a vow of continence, became a monk at Lérins, and finally a presbyter in Marseille. Of his writings (mentioned by Gennadius of Marseille, Vir. ill. 68), nine letters have survived, as well as a treatise Ad ecclesiam (“Four Books of Timothy to the Church”), in which he calls on priests esp…

Melitius of Lycopolis / Melitian Schism

(350 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] According to the oldest Alexandrian sources (Kettler, 159–163), Melitius is said to have conducted visitations on his own authority in the leaderless dioceses of Lower and Middle Egypt during the persecutions of Christians (I) under Diocletian and to have appropriated the supervision rights of the fugitive Peter of Alexandria. Epiphanius of Salamis ( Haer. 68.1–3), on the other hand, apparently draws on sources sympathetic to Melitius and attributes the conflict to an early manifested antagonism between a lenient (Peter) and a rigor…

Chalcedonian Definition

(681 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] The christological definition of the Council of Chalcedon, the Symbolum Chalcedonense, was achieved only after extensive resistance and under pressure from the imperial commissioners and the Roman legates. The text was solemnly read in the 6th session on Oct 25 and signed by all the bishops present. It began by repeating the creeds of Nicea and Constantinople (IV; 431), which actually should have sufficed, as had been decided at Ephesus. But to combat the…

Campenhausen, Hans von

(243 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (Dec 16, 1903 [Old Style, Dec 3, 1903], Rosenbeck, Livonia – Jan 6, 1989, Heidelberg), doctor of theology, Heidelberg 1926; 5 honorary doctorates in theology; Privatdozent in church history, Marburg, 1928; Göttingen 1930; 1935 temporary professorship in Gießen; 1936 appointed professor in Heidelberg; appointment withdrawn in 1937 on political grounds; 1938 Privatdozent in Greifswald; 1940 temporary professorship in Vienna; ordinary professor in Heidelberg from 1946. With the exception of A. v. Harnack, whose theory …

Gennadius I of Constantinople

(151 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (d. Nov 17, 471), patriarch 458–471; he was a strict adherent of the christology (II, 1.c) of Chalcedon, as attested both by his encomium to Pope Leo I, and by his polemic “Against the XII Chapters (= Anathemas; Anathema) of Cyril of Alexandria” (if the latter is authentic, which Schwartz [175f., n. 2] doubts, however). As an exegete, he was close to the Antiochene School (Antioch: II). Among the fragments preserved in Catena, the notes on Genesis and Romans are significant. Adolf Martin Ritter Bibliography CPG 5970–5986 (see suppl.) K. Staab, Pauluskommentare aus der g…

Chalcedon, Council of

(492 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] In Chalcedon (Kadiköy, on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, part of present-day Istanbul; Constantinople/Byzantium), what was probably the most illustrious assembly of bishops in antiquity met from Oct 8 to Nov 11, 451 (although the tradition of 600–630 participants is legendary). Church history came to know it as the fourth “ecumenical” council. Its primary significance lies unquestionably in the realm of the history of dogma (Two natures doctrine), although many of its disciplinary decrees also had important consequences. The council was made possible by a …

Dionysius Areopagita

(347 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (Pseudo-Dionysius; c. 500 ce), the name associated with a corpus of texts first attested c. 518/28 under the pseudonym of Dionysius the Areopagite, who was converted by Paul (Acts 17:34). Although the author refers to himself only as “Dionyius the Elder” (or “the Presbyter”), by introducing “historical” details, he gives the impression (probably intentionally) that he was a contemporary of the apostle: hence the identification with the “known” Dionysius the Areopagite. ¶ This identification became accepted with astonishing rapi…


(1,509 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] The terms Monophysitism and Monophysites (“one-nature” Christology and its advocates) used by historians of dogma have their roots in heresiology (Heresy: I); they were coined by the opponents of the theological positions so labeled and to this day are rejected as inappropriate by the churches involved. In the following discussion, therefore, they will always be set in quotation marks (see also D. Wendebourg, “Chalcedon in der ökumenischen Diskussion,” in: van Oort & Roldanus, 190–223). The roots of “Monophysite” doctrine go far back. The Christology of…


(990 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] Monotheletism (“one will”) is a christological doctrine from the period after Chalcedon, which – like the earlier Monenergism (“single activity”) – was intended to build a bridge to so-called Monophysites and provide a more satisfying explanation for the Chalcedonian Definition (see Christology: II, 1.c). Many of its Eastern supporters were terrified by the “idol with two faces” painted on the wall by Philoxenus of Mabbug (ACO IV/1, 240–242 = A.M. Ritter Alte Kirche, 72002, no. 93j), that is, the potential misunderstanding of the dogma of 451 as embody…

Flavian of Constantinople (Saint)

(175 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (died 449 or 450) was the successor of the patriarch Proclus, who died in 446. The protest of Eutyches against his condemnation by Flavian (Nov 448; Christology: II, 1) led to the Council of Ephesus in August 449, which deposed Flavian. His death on the way into exile made it possible for Leo I to recognize his successor, Anatolius, ¶ enabling him to summon the Council of Chalcedon. Flavian's creed, formulated in connection with the trial of Eutyches, influenced the Chalcedonian Definition, especially the expression coined as a conscious c…

Dionysius of Paris

(199 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin
[German Version] (died around 250). According to Gregory of Tours, Dionysius of Paris arrived in Gaul at the time of Decius as one of seven missionary bishops, worked in and near Paris, and suffered martyrdom there (Greg. T. Hist. I 30). According to other sources (first attested about 520: MGH.SRM 3.221), he immediately became the first bishop of Paris, apostle to Gaul, and eminent martyr. The cemeterial basilica that was erected over his grave as early as the …


(2,180 words)

Author(s): Ritter, Adolf Martin | Riedel-Spangenberger, Ilona | Felmy, Karl Christian
[English Version] I. Alte Kirche Der Titel Patriarch (P.) ist anscheinend zuerst vom antiken Judentum (: I.) verwendet worden, und zwar für die bibl. »Ur«- oder »Stammväter« (vgl.4Makk 7,19; 16,25; TestXII; Ber 16b) sowie für das rel. Oberhaupt (hebr.: Nasi) der jüd. Untertanen der Römer, seit und solange es dieses zentrale Leitungsamt gab (erster P. wohl Jehuda ha-Nasi, zur Zeit der Severischen Dynastie [193–235]; in Cod.Theod. XVI 8,29 [30.5.429] wird dann der excessus [das »Erlöschen«] des jüd. Pa…
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