1. Religion & Spirituality
Send to a Friend via Email
Monophysites
<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>

 Related Terms
• Council of Chalcedon
• Monotheletism

 

Definition:
The monophysites were an early, post-Nicea heretical group which argued that Jesus had a single, divine nature and denied the more orthodox view that Jesus had a dual nature, fully human and fully divine. The earliest instances of monophysitism were not condemned and were, in fact, advocated by a number of prominent Church leaders, like Cyril.

The monophysite view that Jesus had a single nature was eventually condemned at the Council of Chalcedon (451) which asserted that Jesus had both a Divine and a Human nature combined in a single person. Some tried to avoid being condemned as heretics by asserting that Jesus may have had two natures technically, the Human nature was so subsumed by the Divine nature that the practical effect was a single nature.

A genuine schismatic movement of Monophysites did not appear until after the Second Council of Constantinople (553) which required acceptance of the formulation decided upon at Chalcedon and some simply refused. They were the precursors of the present-day Syrian and Armenian Orthodox churches. In 1984, the patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox church (Mar Ignatius Zakka II) met with Pope John Paul II and together they signed a new declaration which stated the difference in their dogmas were more apparent than real and ultimately based upon cultural and linguistic "inadequacies."

Also Known As: none

Alternate Spellings: none

Common Misspellings: none

Related Resources:

What is Christianity?
What are the various Christian groups, denominations, sects and heresies? What are some key concepts in Christian theology? What are some of the most important events in Christian history? All of this and more are covered in the Christianity FAQ.

What is the Philosophy of Religion?
Sometimes confused with theology, the Philosophy of Religion is the philosophical study of religious beliefs, religious doctrines, religious arguments and religious history. The line between theology and the philosophy of religion isn't always sharp, but the primary difference is that theology tends to be apologetical in nature, committed to the defense of particular religious positions, whereas Philosophy of Religion is committed to the investigation of religion itself, rather than the truth of any particular religion.

What is Theism?
What is the difference between monotheism and monolatry? Between pantheism and panentheism? How about between animism and shamanism? Or theism and deism? What the heck is henotheism?

What is Religion?
A system of human beliefs, ideals and practices which is harder to define than it may at first appear. Read more about how dictionaries, scholars and others have tried to define and explain religion.

<Back to Last Page >     <Glossary Index>
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.