Council of Chalcedon – 451

A Tragic Split
In 451 the Council of Chalcedon proclaimed that Christ is one person with two natures?fully God and fully man?and condemned the view of Eutyches who taught that Christ has only a divine nature.

Five eastern churches?Armenian, Coptic, Syrian, Ethiopian, and Indian Malabar?disagreed with both the council’s decision and with Eutyches’ teachings. These “Oriental” or “non-Chalcedonian” churches held that the incarnate Christ is “one Nature out of two.” They eventually separated from the rest of the church. More recently, however, the Oriental Orthodox are taking steps to reconcile with the Chalcedonian churches (Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox) and the two sides are discovering that their beliefs about Christ are much closer than they realized.

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