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ecumenical councils


Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


There are seven councils acknowledged as ecumenical by the eastern orthodox, roman catholic and eastern catholic churches, but not all are accepted by the church of the east and the Oriental Orthodox. The seven councils were all convoked by the emperor and took place in the East; none the less, their decisions were widely received as authoritative in both East and West. The Arians, however, continued to exist as a separate church long after their condemnation at Nicaea I. The Church of the East, already autocephalous before Ephesus, rejected it and consequently later councils. The Oriental Orthodox churches do not accept the authority of Chalcedon and councils thereafter. The main dogmatic pronouncements of the seven councils are: (1)   nicaea I (325): that the Son is ‘of the substance of the Father’; that is, the Son is consubstantial, homoousios , with the Father. This council condemned Arianism. (2)   constantinople I (381): that the Holy Spirit is fully God. The restatement of the Nicene faith attributed to this council declares the Spirit to be ‘Lord and Life-giver, proceeding from the Father, worshipped and glorified together with the Father and the Son’. (3)   ephesus (431): that Mary is theotokos , the one who gave birth to God. This council condemned Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople. (4)   chalcedon (451): that Jesus Christ is fully divine and fully human, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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