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Document Details :
Title: The Alexandrian Christology of Shenoute of Atripe
Author(s): KNECHT, Johannes J.
Journal: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
Volume: 70 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2018
Scholars in the last century have argued strongly for a reading of Shenoute of Atripe’s Christological thought as being primarily influenced by the work of Cyril of Alexandria and Dioscorus of Alexandria. A subsequent conviction that both Cyril and Dioscorus defended a ‘one nature Christology’ have led some to argue – e.g., Stephen J. Davis and Aloys Grillmeier – that Shenoute held this Christological position as well. This paper evaluates – in extensive dialogue with Stephen J. Davis – the textual grounds for these claims: is Shenoute demonstrably influenced in his Christological thought by the work of Cyril of Alexandria and is there evidence of Miaphysite tendencies in his writings? I argue against the majority view, based largely on Shenoute’s tractate Contra Origenistas, that there is no evidence in Shenoute’s work leading to a conclusion that he held Miaphysite convictions. Moreover, this paper aims to show that Shenoute is not more influenced by the thought of Cyril than by that of Athanasius and Theophilus. My argument, therefore, leads to the conclusion that what one encounters in work of Shenoute is a broadly Alexandrian Christology, reflecting a dependency on Alexandrian Christological positions held and defended by the Alexandrian patriarchs from Athanasius up to Cyril.