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Church History/Church Historiography

(14,105 words)

Author(s): Markschies, Christoph | Plümacher, Eckhard | Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Beutel, Albrecht | Koschorke, Klaus | Et al.
[German Version] I. Concept, Presuppositions – II. Development – III. Middle Eastern Church History and Historiography – IV. Religious Education I. Concept, Presuppositions 1. Concept The concept of church history has not yet been studied sufficiently, but it is already clear that since antiquity extraordinarily different conceptions of Christian historiography have been in simultaneous competition over the interpretation of past, present, and future. Often the different methodological option…

Dioscorus of Alexandria

(476 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] was a deacon of Cyril of Alexandria who became his successor as bishop of Alexandria following the latter's death in 444. In spite of the extant hagiographic vita (CPG 3, 5470) from the Monophysite milieu, hardly anything is known about his life. Unlike Cyril, whose theology was his absolute norm, Dioscorus cannot be regarded as an independent or prominent theolo…

Simeon Stylites the Elder

(208 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 390 in Cilician Sis – Jul 24 [Sep 1], 459). Without education, Simeon entered a monastery early in the 5th century; he was forced to leave on account of his extreme asceticism. He lived as a hermit in Telanissus (some 60 km east of Antioch). From the early 420s, he lived on a hill atop a pillar that gradually reached a height of over 20 m (Stylite); visited by countless pilgrims, he gave political counsel to several emperors and appeared as a savior to the persecuted Christian…

Ulfilas

(329 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (or Wulfila; early 4th cent. – 383), Gothic descendant of Cappadocian Christians kidnapped in the 3rd century. According to his biographer Auxentius of Durostorum, he was a trilingual lector in the Gothic Christian community, probably consecrated to the episcopate by Eusebius of Nicomedia when a Gothic delegation was sent to Constantine the Great, to serve as bishop of the Christians in the region controlled by the Goths. In the 340s, he and a group of Gothic Christians entered th…

Martin of Tours (Saint)

(374 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 316–397; feast day Nov 11). The writings of Sulpicius Severus about Martin are the only contemporary sources ( Epistulae et dialogae [CSEL 1]; Vita Martini [SC 133–135]). In the Vita, written c. 395/397, the various episodes are only loosely linked. They are continued after Martin's death in three letters and three (or two) Dialogues, in which Sulpicius depicts Martin according to his monastic ideals. Martin was born c. 316/317 (conflicting chronology) as the son of a tribune in Pannonian Sabaria. He grew up in Pavia, and at the …

Dionysius of Rome

(185 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] was a Roman presbyter who became bishop of Rome after the execution of Sixtus II in 259. He was able to reorganize the church, which had suffered greatly from the persecution by Licinius Valerianus. He died in 267/268. Almost nothing of him is recorded in the Liber pontificalis ; an exchange of letters with Dionysius of Alexandria and the congregation in Cappadocian Caesarea is attested. The authenticity of the fragment against the Origenistic theology of Dionysius of Alexandria (preserved in Athanasius, De decretis Nicaenae symboli [decr.…

Simeon Stylites the Younger

(206 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (521 Antioch – May 24 [or Sep 3?], 592), son of St. Martha and a father from Edessa, became a stylite and miracle worker (Simeon Thaumaturgus) at the age of six. Located after c. 540/541 on the mons mirabilis near Antioch, he was ordained to the diaconate and later to the priesthood as a stylite; he was sought out by pilgrims as a thaumaturge. He wrote works on asceticism, hymns, prayers, and letters (to Justinian I and Justin II). The pilgrimage activity associated with his pillar, as well as his contact relics and p…

John I, Pope (Saint)

(141 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] 523–526. At the command of Theodoric the Great, John I, of whom almost nothing is known, had to travel in 525 to Constantinople with a delegation of Roman senators and bishops and intervene there for the religious freedom of the homoean Goths, who were affected by the heresy laws. The triumphal reception of the pope in Constantinople must be regarded as a political demonstration against Theoderic, who, for that reason, had John held in Ravenna after his return; shortly afterward John died there. In ¶ the hagiographic tradition, he is therefore regarded as a victim…

Eutychian Controversy

(509 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] The so-called Eutychian Controversy was an episode in the christological controversy (Christology: II, 1), that forced the Roman and Latin West to take a dogmatic position and led directly to the christological formula of Chalcedon (Monophysites/Monophysitism). The unstable equilibrium of the Union of 433 between moderate Antiochenes and Alexandrians ( DH 272) was always in danger. Dioscorus of Alexandria, the successor of Cyril of Alexandria, was not prepared to accept a signif…

Eudoxius of Antioch

(205 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (died 370) first appears as bishop of Germanicia at the Council of Antioch in 341. He was one of the leading supporters of the ecclesiastical policies of Constantius II and participated in almost all the important councils of the Eastern church as an opponent of Athanasius; he nevertheless played a role in the unsuccessful attempts to frame a theological compromise with the West ( formula macrostichus, Hahn, BSGR, §159). After he became bishop of Antioch in 357, his support of Aetius and Eunomius led to a breach with the…

Peter Mongo

(191 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (“Stammerer,” or “hoarse”; died 490). In 477 Peter was elected bishop (patriarch) of Alexandria by opponents of the decrees of Chalcedon, as successor to Timotheus Aelurus, but he was able to take office only after the death of Timothy Salophaciolus and the recognition of the Henotikon in 482; because of the intervention of John Talaia (Acacius of Constantinople), he was not recognized by the West. He was also opposed in Egypt by Monophysites because he had signed the Henotikon and refused to condemn Chalcedon. Theologically, Peter must be considered less a…

Miles Christi (Soldiers of Christ)

(1,391 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] I. Definition – II. Early Christianity and Military Service – III. The Militia Christi in Primitive Christianity and the Early Church – IV. Middle Ages – V. Modern Period I. Definition Latin militia Christi (“military service for Christ”; cf. the more common miles Christi/ dei, “soldier/warrior of Christ/God”) is a metaphorical description of the life and service of Christians in the world (cf. “the church militant”). Borrowing the language of apocalypticism and imagery common to antique philosophy, it interprets the C…

Eutyches,

(122 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] priest and archimandrite of the Monastery of Job in Constantinople, exercised great influence at the court so that Cyril of Alexandria sought his assistance as mediator as early as 432. As a radical proponent of the theology of one nature (Monophysites/Monophysitism) and an opponent of the union of 433, he was accused of Apollinarianism (Apollinaris of Laodicea) in 447/48 at over 70 …

Council

(4,467 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Schneider, Hans | Schneider, Bernd Christian | Puza, Richard | Neuner, Peter
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics I. Church History 1. Early Church Council (Lat. concilium, Gk σύνοδος [Lat. synodum]; the two terms were first differentiated in modern usage; see also synod) are meetings of bishops from various communities for binding clarification of disciplinary, organizational, or doctrinal questions, whose decisions, as inspired by the Holy Spirit, are not in principle revisable and claim validity for the whole church r…

Theophylactus of Ochrid

(176 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (c. 1050 – c. 1126), student of Michael (actually Constantine) Psellus, deacon of the Hagia Sophia and royal tutor at the court of Michael VII. Around 1090 he was made archbishop of Ochrid and Bulgaria, de facto the Byzantine metropolitan even though Bulgaria remained autocephalous de iure under Byzantine rule. The majority of his literary output consists of biblical commentaries in a traditional vein; in the conflict with the Latins, he took a moderate position. Other surviving works include homilies, encomia of martyrs, a m…

Leo of Ochrid

(199 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Leo of Ochrid, 11th-century Byzantine theologian, chartophylax of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, after 1025 in Achrida/Ochrid as autocephalous archbishop of Bulgaria under Byzantine rule. To support the anti-Western campaigns of the patriarch Michael Cerularius, in 1053 Leo composed an encyclical to “the Franks” ( RAPC 2, no. 862), addressed to the southern Italian bishop John of Trani, in which he attacked Western liturgical practices (Saturday fasting, unleavened bread in the Eucharist) as Judaizing heresy. Commissioned b…

Maximinus the Arian (Saint)

(216 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Maximinus the Arian (Saint), a Homoean. In 428/429, Maximinus belonged to the retinue of the Goth Sigisvult in Africa, where a disputation with Augustine of Hippo on the doctrine of the Trinity took place (Possidius, Vita Augustini, 17), the minutes of which are preserved in the Conlatio (CPL 699). Augustine subsequently authored Contra Maximinum ¶ Arrianum (CPL 700) against him. Invoking the Synod of Rimini (359), Maximinus argued in favor of a subordination theology with an explicit use of biblical language. A typical aspect of latt…

Homoiousians

(910 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Homoiousians, a term in use since the end of the 19th century to denote a theological group that arose from the Arian dispute while remaining particularly ¶ indebted to its Origenistic heritage. The name derives from the term ὁμοιούσιος/ homoiousios (= of similar substance, in contrast to ὁμοούσιος/ homoousios = of the same substance; Homoousios, Homoeans) as a description of the relation of God the Father to the Logos/Son in the Trinity. Today, the neutral “Homoiousian” has replaced such contemporary polemical terms as “Arians…

Julius I, Pope (Saint)

(229 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Julius I, Pope (Saint), bishop of Rome from 337 to 352. With Athanasius's and Marcellus of Ancyra's flight to Rome in 339/340, the West became involved in the (church-)political controversies that followed upon the death of Constantine the Great. After the Eastern bishops failed to comply with a summons to attend a synod in Rome, a Roman synod convened under Julius in 340/341 annulled the verdicts of the Eastern synods against Athanasius and Marcellus and rehabilitated both of the…

Erlangen School

(1,922 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Assel, Heinrich | Brandt, Hermann | Mittelstraß, Jürgen
[German Version] I. Erlangen School (Theology) – II. Erlangen School (Philosophy) I. Erlangen School (Theology) 1. History From the founding of the University of Erlangen (Erlangen, University of), the members of the theological faculty have been bound to the confessional statements of Lutheranism; a Lutheran Enlightenment theology largely dictated by Jena and Göttingen was predominant until …
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