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Title: Christological Insights in Jacob of Serugh's Typology as Reflected in his Memre
Author(s): KONAT, J.A.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 77    Issue: 1   Date: April 2001   
Pages: 46-72
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.77.1.561

Abstract :
Jacob of Serugh († 521) lived during a period of intense Christological controversy. Born around the year of the council of Chalcedon (451), he was to witness the painful division that followed. The Chalcedonians, who supported the Antiochian “in two natures” Christology, accused their opponents of being Eutychians and Monophysites. The non-Chalcedonians, influenced by Alexandrian Christology, maintained the Cyrillian formula of “one incarnate nature”. They insisted that once the union of natures takes place, it is impossible to speak of two natures in Christ. They were ready to accept the formula “from two natures”. The insistence that no change occurred in Christ in the incarnation can be considered as one of the bases of non-Chalcedonian Christology. This assertion was considered as a denial of the real humanity in Christ, by their enemies. Even though modern research and ecumenical dialogues have shown that these two positions are not irreconcilable, to the contemporary ecclesiastical leaders, certain words and expressions were very important. The changing policies of Roman emperors added more fuel to this burning theological dispute. The emperors shifted religious policies as the situation demanded6. Jacob lived and wrote during the periods of Anastasius I (491-518), a staunch non-Chalcedonian, and Justin I (518-527), who favoured the opposite side. In such a tumultuous situation it was difficult for a Church leader not to identify himself with one of these groups and Jacob's adherence to either of the two sides (Chalcedonian or non-Chalcedonian) was a disputed question. Each of the Christian denominations in Asia, except the “Nestorians”, claimed his allegiance to its side. After years of intense research and discussion among theologians, the question of Jacob's adherence is now considered settled. Researchers agree that he was a non-Chalcedonian and remained such until his death. We do not intend to reopen the discussion. The aim of the present work is different.

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