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Striving For Unity After Chalcedon

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Chapter Summary

In the months and years following the Council of Chalcedon, dissension among its adversaries extended from the faction in Constantinople, which consisted of Eutyches and his followers, to the monks and clergy in Palestine, Egypt, and Syria. That Marcian had passed a law making it a secular crime to dispute the council's doctrinal and disciplinary decrees made little difference to such opponents. Strategically, they used Leo's failure one year later to ratify the council in order to support the legitimacy of their theological views. To what extent Leo failed or succeeded should be measured not only in the light of the eventual secession of the non-Chalcedonian churches, but in the light of the deepening sense of self-understanding that developed among the churches that subscribed to Chalcedon. His ideology of Christian unity was, in other words, the lasting outcome of this failed attempt to build a consensus.

Keywords: Christian unity; churches; Constantinople; Council of Chalcedon; Egypt; Eutyches; Leo's failure; Marcian; Palestine; Syria



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