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The Flesh Cannot See the Word: ‘Nestorianising’ Chalcedonians in the Seventh to Ninth Centuries AD

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Abstract Towards the end of the eighth century the Nestorian Patriarch Timothy convened a council, which condemned several mystics for having held the belief that Christ’s humanity could see his divinity. This article draws attention to a Chalcedonian sermon on the Annunciation whose author shared Patriarch Timothy’s views. Through comparison with the Questions and Answers of Pseudo-Athanasius and with Theodore of Stoudios’ sermon on the Angels it shows that the author of the sermon on the Annunciation participated in a wider Chalcedonian debate about the ability of human beings to see God and the equally invisible angels and souls. Having presented the evidence it makes the case that as regards this topic the Eastern Christian religious discourse had not yet fragmented along sectarian and political boundaries and that throughout the East Christians were experiencing the same anxieties and responding to them in remarkably similar ways.

Affiliations: 1: Mardin Artuklu University, History Department Mardin, 47000 Turkey


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