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Institutionalization: Clerical Offices, Synods, and Councils

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Chapter Summary

The Council of Nicea was beyond doubt a logistical feat that owed its success not only to the transportational support and organizational machinery of the imperial authorities but also to the tight structure of the clergy and the intact channels of communication that had developed into a tightly woven network since the early years of Christianity. Increasing institutionalization beginning in the 2nd century offered the churches of the Lycus Valley a basis for participating in the structures of the universal church. The bishops traveled to synods and councils; the surviving Acta provide some highlights: Ancyra, Nicea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon. At any rate, the metropolitan of Laodicea was an important enough figure to invite to a synod towards 380 involving colleagues from the entire diocese of Asia, which earned great respect in the course of efforts to give fixed and stable form to ecclesiastical law.

Keywords: Christianity; council of Nicea; ecclesiastical law; institutionalization; Laodicea; Lycus Valley



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