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Monogram of Christ

(505 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
The oldest MSS tradition offers contractions of the divine names, especially ĪC̄ for Jesus (= IHCOYC) and X̄C̄ or X̄P̄C̄ for Christ (= XPICTOC). These contractions, which might be understood as ciphers for the salvation achieved in Christ (Christology), are also found to some extent in monogrammatic form (e.g., as the chrismon, or Chi-Rho) in the Middle Ages in introductions to letters and documents. From around 200 we also find the common symbol ⳨, the staurogram (Cross 3), which is made up of the superimposed letters tau (T) and rho (P) as an abbreviation for stauros / stauroō (cross …

Arianism

(1,169 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
Arianism is the teaching of the Alexandrian presbyter Arius (ca. 280–336) and his supporters. It arose originally in reaction to the Christology of the apologists. To preserve both monotheism and the deity of Christ, the apologists had adopted the philosophical idea of the Logos, and Origen (ca. 185-ca. 254), making use of ontological Platonic categories, had attributed autonomy to the Logos/Christ as a hypostasis, or ousia, subordinate to God (Ontology). Rejecting the Monarchian views of the Trinity of which he accused his bishop Alexand…

Stylite

(333 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Stylitism was a special form of early Christian asceticism, in which the stylite stood for long periods, usually for life, on a platform atop a pillar (Gk στῦλος/ stýlos, hence “stylite”), which often was raised in stages, sometimes to a height of more than 20 m, as a visible expression of the ascetic ideal of extreme homelessness and immobility. It was the duty of monks to provide the stylite with sustenance and communion. As motivation the sources speak of total separation from the world and proximity to heaven. Proposed non-Christian models have been ruled out. ¶ This rad…

Moschus, John

(158 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (Eukratas; c. 540/550, Aigai in Cilicia? – 634, Rome?), monk of the monastery of St. Theodosius in Jerusalem and of the laura of Pharan; after 578, he set off with his disciple Sophronius to visit monasteries and ascetic communities in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. A journey to Rome in 614 in the face of the impending threat of Persian invasion remains unclear. In the tradition of the Apophthegmata Patrum , Moschus collected his travel experiences in the ¶ form of edifying anecdotes, gathered from monks and ascetics, in a compilation dedicated to Sophronius …

Papacy

(20,018 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Zimmermann, Harald | Mörschel, Tobias | Wassilowsky, Günther | Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Early Church – II. Middle Ages and Reformation – III. Modern Period and Today – IV. Chronological List of the Popes I. Early Church 1. Definition. If papacy is defined as the claim (based on Matt 16:16–19; 28:20; Luke 22:31f.; John 21:15–19) of the bishops of Rome as successors and heirs to Peter to leadership along with jurisdictional and magisterial primacy (I) within the universal church, papacy in the strict sense dates only from the Middle Ages in the Latin West. In the Early Church, the point at iss…

Silvester I, Pope

(194 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] ( Jan 31, 314 – Dec 31, 335). According to the Liber pontificalis and hagiographic tradition, Silvester was a Roman presbyter under Bishop Miltiades and a confessor in the Diocletian persecution (Persecutions of Christians: I). He did not come forward as bishop of Rome in succession to Miltiades during the reign of Constantine the Great. ¶ He was informed of the results of the Synod of Arles (Donatism), which he probably did not attend out of fear of endangering his episcopate; he played no role in the conflict with Arius and Arianis…

Erlangen, University of

(1,222 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] I. History – II. Theological Faculty I. History In the early modern period, as territorial states were being formed on the soil of the Holy Roman Empire, Brandenburg-Ansbach/Bayreuth took the side of the Reformation in 1526. In 1529, at Luther's suggestion, it set out to establish a territorial university, but this hope was never realized, not least because …

Gelasius I, Pope

(185 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (pontificate Mar 1, 492 – Nov 21, 496). According to the Liber pontificalis , Gelasius was an African. Entrusted with the papal correspondence under Simplicius and especially Felix III, in the context of the Acacian Schism, Gelasius maintained the schism with the East even after the death of Acacius of Constantinople. In a dispute with the emperor Anastasius, Gelasius developed the “two powers” doctrine, building on the doctrine of papal primacy stated by Leo I, in a situati…

George of Laodicea

(193 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] (died c. 360), a presbyter in Alexandria, was deposed and expelled because of his support for Arius. In the context of the reversal of church policy after the Council of Nicea (325), he was bishop of Syrian Laodicea after around 335. As one of the leading Eusebians, he was deposed and excommunicated in absentia in 342/43 at the (Western) Synod of Sardica, actions that remained without effect in the East. Through his protest in 358 against the usurpation of the Antiochene episcopacy by Eudoxius of Constantinople and his support by Ge…

Primacy, Papal

(1,811 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof | Weitlauff, Manfred | Wolf, Hubert
[German Version] I. Definition The expression papal primacy denotes the juridical supremacy in the universal church of the pope as bishop of Rome, i.e. his supreme and immediate administrative authority as head of the College of Bishops, pastor of the universal church, and vicar of Christ on earth ( CIC/1983, c. 331: “The Bishop of the Church of Rome . . . is the head of the College of Bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the Pastor of the universal Church here on earth; consequently, by virtue of his office, he has supreme, full, immediate, and…

Theban Legion

(177 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] according to the Passio Acaunensium martyrum of Eucherius of Lyon (before 450), a group of soldiers under the leadership of Mauritius, who were executed as Christians in the early 4th century under Emperor Maximian (Persecutions of Christians: I). The cult of the martyrs described by Eucherius goes back to the collection of their relics by Bishop Theodore of Octodunum (Sion, Switzerland) at the end of the 4th century. Especially in the early Middle Ages, the cult of the Theban Legion e…

Servatius, Saint

(185 words)

Author(s): Brennecke, Hanns Christof
[German Version] Servatius, Saint, the first verifiable bishop of Tongeren ( civitas Tungrorum) in the Roman province of Germania II; by the 6th century, nothing more was known of him. According to Athanasius ( Apol. sec. 49.1, where he is called Sarbatios), he signed the decrees of the Synod of Serdica (342/343). His signature on the forged decrees of a purported Synod of Cologne in 346 must be ruled out as a source. In 350 he was on a diplomatic mission in the East on behalf of the usurper Magnentius, which included Athanasius ( Apol. Const. 9); at the Synod of Rimini in 359, he was amo…

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…

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…
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