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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #76 
Judaism is today, though it wasn't always aniconistic. The use of images in synagogues in late antiquity is one source of the Christian tradition of the use of idols. The Bible shows that the Israelites used religious imagery at God's insistence. I'm not sure of the relevance of Judaism, though. From a Christian perspective, Rabbinic Judaism is not a true interpretation and continuation of the Old Testament faith of the Israelites.

Anyway, I think it depends on what is meant by aniconism. If it's a prudential matter - a worry about the misuse of images, then that is one thing. If the aniconism is deeper - an argument that the use of images themselves is wrong - I think that's at least theologically problematic to the Christian, who believes that matter is sanctified by the incarnation and that God verily became man. But I don't think it's quite the issue to make someone not fundamentally a Christian.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #77 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
Judaism is today, though it wasn't always aniconistic. The use of images in synagogues in late antiquity is one source of the Christian tradition of the use of idols. The Bible shows that the Israelites used religious imagery at God's insistence. I'm not sure of the relevance of Judaism, though. From a Christian perspective, Rabbinic Judaism is not a true interpretation and continuation of the Old Testament faith of the Israelites.

Anyway, I think it depends on what is meant by aniconism. If it's a prudential matter - a worry about the misuse of images, then that is one thing. If the aniconism is deeper - an argument that the use of images themselves is wrong - I think that's at least theologically problematic to the Christian, who believes that matter is sanctified by the incarnation and that God verily became man. But I don't think it's quite the issue to make someone not fundamentally a Christian.

I believe in the Old Covenant remaining valid after the resurrection of Jesus. Rabbinic Judaism is a true interpretation and continuation of the Old Testament faith of the Israelites. Jews ought to remain Jews, and gentiles ought to be Christians. We Kurds are descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. According to the Old Testament, the northern Israelites were deported to Media (present-day Kurdistan). 
azadi

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Reply with quote  #78 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
You are equivocating on the word aniconism. The second commandment is about idols, not icons. It's not relevant to an aniconism aimed at icons rather than idols. There are, in fact, scriptural passages that affirm the use of holy images, understood as icons and not images; for example, Exodus 36:35-37:9.

The current Church of the East may accept the Chalcedonian definition, though it is not completely certain they understand it as the Eastern Orthodox and Catholics do, and the Oriental Orthodox don't. But that doesn't mean that historically the Church of the East was closer to the Eastern Orthodox or the Catholic Church than the Oriental Orthodox Church was. Anyway, what we are dealing here is words, and words hard to interpret precisely. The fact is that the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox have held and do hold the Christology of St. Cyril is truer expression than that of Nestorius or Babai the Great. If we take both the Fathers of Chalcedon and St. Cyril to be fundamentally orthodox, as the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox do, then the dispute between the Oriental Orthodox and the Chalcedonian definition must be purely verbal (unless we have reason to think that the Oriental Orthodox have deviated from St. Cyril's teaching) or one of emphasis. And the Oriental Orthodox would say that the fact the Nestorian Church can subscribe to the Chalcedonian definition suggests it's flawed.

Why do you claim, that the Church of the East has abandoned the Christology of Nestorius and Babai the Great? The Church of the East still affirms the Christology of Nestorius and Babai the Great. A qnoma is more individuated than a nature, but it's not a separate being, unlike a hypostasis. That's why the Church of the East accepts the Chalcedonian Definition. The Catholic Church recognized Christotokos as being valid and accepted, that Nestorian Christology isn't heretical, in 1994, while the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church still refuses to accept Christotokos.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #79 
I only claimed that it isn't clear that just because the current Church of the East can accept the Chalcedonian Definition, it means that the earlier Church of the East could. The Catholic Church affirms that St. Cyril of Alexandria is not just a Saint and a Father, but a Doctor of the Church, the Doctor of the Incarnation. Whether or not they accept the Church of the East as now equally this, it suggests that the fundamental Christology of the Oriental Orthodox is not too far from the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox in substance. I don't believe they offered such status to Nestorius or Babai.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Wessexman
I only claimed that it isn't clear that just because the current Church of the East can accept the Chalcedonian Definition, it means that the earlier Church of the East could. The Catholic Church affirms that St. Cyril of Alexandria is not just a Saint and a Father, but a Doctor of the Church, the Doctor of the Incarnation. Whether or not they accept the Church of the East as now equally this, it suggests that the fundamental Christology of the Oriental Orthodox is not too far from the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox in substance. I don't believe they offered suck status to Nestorius or Babai.

Nestorius accepted Leo's Tome, and the Chalcedonian Definition is based on Leo's Tome.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #81 
But whether he accepted it in exactly the sense Leo meant is open to question. And, still, it is St. Cyril who is revered as Doctor Incarnationis. Equidistant sounds reasonable enough to me, though it is obviously very inexact. Certainly, there seems no reason to give preference to the Church of the East over the Oriental Orthodox.
azadi

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Originally Posted by Wessexman
But whether he accepted it in exactly the sense Leo meant is open to question. And, still, it is St. Cyril who is revered as Doctor Incarnationis. Equidistant sounds reasonable enough to me, though it is obviously very inexact. Certainly, there seems no reason to give preference to the Church of the East over the Oriental Orthodox.

You claim, that the Church of the East has changed its Christology, because it currently accepts the Chalcedonian Definition. That's wrong. The Church of the East has never changed its Christology. The Christology of the Church of the East is still based on the Book of Union by Babai the Great.
The Christology of the Book of Union is different from the Chalcedonian Definition, because a qnoma is more individuated than a physis (nature).The Church of the East emphasizes the distinction between the divine nature of Jesus Christ and the human nature of Jesus Christ. That's why Nestorius rejected Theotokos. The Church of the East rejects communicatio idiomatum.
The Church of the East doesn't affirm the Chalcedonian Definition, but the Church of the East accepts the Chalcedonian Definition, because it isn't incompatible with the Christology of Babai the Great. The Book of Union and the Chalcedonian Definition both affirm, that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures. A qnoma isn't a separate being, unlike a hypostasis. Even Nestorius affirmed in the Bazaar of Heracleides, that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #83 
I didn't say that the Church of the East has changed its Christology, simply, in effect, that it remains to be seen whether it has. You yourself outline the verbal disagreements between Nestorius and Babai and the Chalcedonian Definition. There have certainly been some Chalcedonians, even Catholics, aware of Nestorius' true (or at least later) teaching, and Babai's, who have at least quibbles about whether it is fully assimilable to Chalcedon:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10755a.htm

"It would seem that Babai means that "a man" (individuum vagum) is the hypostasis, but not the person, until we add the individual characteristics by which he is known to be Peter or Paul. This is not by any means the same as the distinction between nature and hypostasis, nor can it be asserted that by hypostasis Babai meant what we should call specific nature, and by person what we should call hypostasis. The theory seems to be an unsuccessful attempt to justify the traditional Nestorian formula: two hypostases in one person."

The Roman Church affirms St. Cyril as the Doctor Incarnationis.

But my point is simply that all this shows the complexities of the issue and that none of the three great branches of the Church deny Christ's full humanity and divinity, nor his complete unity. The rest is nuance and language, really. I think that's a fair point, and trying to score partisan points against the Oriental Orthodox isn't helpful.
azadi

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Reply with quote  #84 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
I didn't say that the Church of the East has changed its Christology, simply, in effect, that it remains to be seen whether it has. You yourself outline the verbal disagreements between Nestorius and Babai and the Chalcedonian Definition. There have certainly been some Chalcedonians, even Catholics, aware of Nestorius' true (or at least later) teaching, and Babai's, who have at least quibbles about whether it is fully assimilable to Chalcedon:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10755a.htm

"It would seem that Babai means that "a man" (individuum vagum) is the hypostasis, but not the person, until we add the individual characteristics by which he is known to be Peter or Paul. This is not by any means the same as the distinction between nature and hypostasis, nor can it be asserted that by hypostasis Babai meant what we should call specific nature, and by person what we should call hypostasis. The theory seems to be an unsuccessful attempt to justify the traditional Nestorian formula: two hypostases in one person."

The Roman Church affirms St. Cyril as the Doctor Incarnationis.

But my point is simply that all this shows the complexities of the issue and that none of the three great branches of the Church deny Christ's full humanity and divinity, nor his complete unity. The rest is nuance and language, really. I think that's a fair point, and trying to score partisan points against the Oriental Orthodox isn't helpful.

I apologize for having claimed, that Miaphysitism is a heresy, because the Miaphysite Church affirms the full humanity of Jesus Christ, unlike Eutyches. But I consider Miaphysitism to be an error, because the Miaphysites refuse to distinguish between the divine nature and the human nature of Jesus Christ. Claiming, that Nestorian Christology and Miaphysitism are equidistant from Chalcedonian Christianity is wrong, because the Nestorian Church accepts the Chalcedonian Definition, despite not affirming it, while the Miaphysite Church refuses to accept the Chalcedonian Definition.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #85 
And to this acceptance of the current Church of the East to the Definition can be opposed the fact the St. Cyril is revered by the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox, so your repetitions of that acceptance simply don't show they are not equidistant. Since at least the sixteenth century, dialogue between the Catholic Church and various divisions of the Church of the East often ended with the former rejecting the professions of faith of the latter. In fact, the very fact you acknowledge the Church of the East doesn't affirm the Definition shows the complexities of the issue and the role of language and naunce in it. The Church of the East maintains its Christology, as do the Oriental Orthodox, but they have both affirmed that they agree with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics about the primary issues. Yes, the Church of the East might have accepted the Definition, but they haven't dispensed with their traditional language, and the Oriental Orthodox have made it clear that they agree that Christ was fully and unconfusedly both man and God, yet united. This is the Christology of St. Cyril, whom the Catholic Church honours as the very Doctor of the Incarnation. The issue the Oriental Orthodox have is certain language in the Chalcedonian Definition - and there's a certain imprecision in the human,language used. So there's absolutely no reason to prefer the Church of the East from an Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic perspective (and, indeed, they don't, as St. Cyril's position suggests).
azadi

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Reply with quote  #86 
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Originally Posted by Wessexman
And to this acceptance of the current Church of the East to the Definition can be opposed the fact the St. Cyril is revered by the Roman Church and the Eastern Orthodox, so your repetitions of that acceptance simply don't show they are not equidistant. Since at least the sixteenth century, dialogue between the Catholic Church and various divisions of the Church of the East often ended with the former rejecting the professions of faith of the latter. In fact, the very fact you acknowledge the Church of the East doesn't affirm the Definition shows the complexities of the issue and the role of language and naunce in it. The Church of the East maintains its Christology, as do the Oriental Orthodox, but they have both affirmed that they agree with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics about the primary issues. Yes, the Church of the East might have accepted the Definition, but they haven't dispensed with their traditional language, and the Oriental Orthodox have made it clear that they agree that Christ was fully and unconfusedly both man and God, yet united. This is the Christology of St. Cyril, whom the Catholic Church honours as the very Doctor of the Incarnation. The issue the Oriental Orthodox have is certain language in the Chalcedonian Definition - and there's a certain imprecision in the human,language used. So there's absolutely no reason to prefer the Church of the East from an Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic perspective (and, indeed, they don't, as St. Cyril's position suggests).

The Chalcedonian Orthodox Church indeed prefers the Miaphysite Church to the Church of the East, and the Chalcedonian Orthodox Church refuses to accept the Church of the East not affirming Theotokos, while the Catholic Church accepts the Church of the East accepts the Church of the East not affirming Theotokos. 
Claiming that the Nestorian Christology and Miaphysitism are equidistant from Chalcedonian Christianity is wrong, because Miaphysitism is based on Alexandrian Christology, while Nestorian Christology and the Chalcedonian Definition are based on Antiochene Christology. Antiochene Christology emphasizes the distinction between the divine nature and the human nature of Jesus Christ, while Alexandrian Christology emphasizes the unity between the humanity and the divinity of Jesus Christ.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #87 
Nonsense. St. Cyril is Doctor Incarnationis. That tells us that the Roman Church didn't simply side with the Antiochenes, and neither did the Eastern Orthodox. There's no getting around this fact, which you simply ignore, as you do the fact Ephesus, as well Chalcedon and Second Constantinople, are part of the same Christology issues.

Chalcedonian Orthodoxy was not an embrace of Antiochenes over Alexandrians. It extended the same rejection of extremists on the latter side that Ephesus, rejected by the Nestorian Church, did to extremists on the former side. It tried to find a balanced and profound resolution. Chalcedon was meant to affirm both the proper distinctions in Christ and his proper unity. Non-extremists on all sides agree with this, though the language and emphasis differs.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #88 
As Chalcedon the Fathers heard from St. Cyril's letter to Nestorius and one of his letters to John of Antioch and pronounced:

"We all so believe: Pope Leo thus believes ... we all thus believe. As Cyril so believe we, all of us: eternal be the memory of Cyril: as the epistles of Cyril teach such is our mind, such has been our faith: such is our faith: this is the mind of Archbishop Leo, so he believes, so he has written."

It was repeatedly emphasised Leo agreed with the Christology of St. Cyril. Indeed, the parts of Leo's Tome that aroused debate were defended by reference to Cyril's teaching no less.

Do you and the Church of the East accept St. Cyril as a central authority on Christology, as the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Church, and Chalcedon, do/did?
azadi

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Reply with quote  #89 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
As Chalcedon the Fathers heard from St. Cyril's letter to Nestorius and one of his letters to John of Antioch and pronounced:

"We all so believe: Pope Leo thus believes ... we all thus believe. As Cyril so believe we, all of us: eternal be the memory of Cyril: as the epistles of Cyril teach such is our mind, such has been our faith: such is our faith: this is the mind of Archbishop Leo, so he believes, so he has written."

It was repeatedly emphasised Leo agreed with the Christology of St. Cyril. Indeed, the parts of Leo's Tome that aroused debate were defended by reference to Cyril's teaching no less.

Do you and the Church of the East accept St. Cyril as a central authority on Christology, as the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Church, and Chalcedon, do/did?

The Church of the East don't accept Cyril of Alexandria as a central authority on Christology. I dislike Cyril of Alexandria, because he slandered Nestorius. Cyril of Alexandria claimed that Nestorius rejected Theotokos, because he believed, that Jesus Christ is divided into two persons. In the Bazaar of Heracleides, Nestorius affirms, that Jesus Christ is one person with two natures. Nestorian extremists, who claimed, that Jesus Christ is divided into two persons, never existed in significant numbers, unlike Eutychians.  
Many Western scholars claim, that the Chalcedonian Definition is based on Antiochian Christology.


Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #90 
Nonsense. Leo and the Chalcedonian Fathers themselves affirm that they are in agreement with Cyril. They look to Cyril as a central Christological authority, not the Antiochenes. Cyril is still revered a Father, Saint, and Doctor Incarnationis. The extremely thin claims you keep putting forward simply do not touch this, not do they respond to the fact Ephesus and Second Constantinople explicitly rejected the Nestorians, whether entirely fairly or not. You have put forward no decent argument why the Church of the East is truly Christologically closer either to the Roman Church or the Eastern Orthodox. Simpmy saying your Church accepts the Definition without affirming it hardly overcomes all the other issues involved. And saying you don't like St. Cyril or vague allusions to Antiochene influence are laughable.

""We all so believe: Pope Leo thus believes ... we all thus believe. As Cyril so believe we, all of us: eternal be the memory of Cyril: as the epistles of Cyril teach such is our mind, such has been our faith: such is our faith: this is the mind of Archbishop Leo, so he believes, so he has written."

This is really the end of the story.
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