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Update Summer 2017

July 2, 2017


Update on the podcast for Summer 2017.


From → Uncategorized

  1. mehmet permalink

    As for the “listener’s requests”, let me list whatever pops into my mind in no particular order 🙂

    I’d very much like if the logos christology is discussed to its full extent. What was its weak points, why it is abandoned, and by what it is replaced?

    There are two expressions which, in my opinion, describes the essence of christology
    1. He become man so that man can became god..
    2. What is unassumed is unsaved..
    If, at some point, we discuss what is meant by these expressions, it will be great..

    During the arian controversy, there is a very interesting guy with the name Marcellus of Ancyra.. He proposed a third model of trinity, in competition with Arius’s and Athanasius’s models.. But he is usually neglected in the standard histories of the period. It would be super nice if he is covered..

    Evagrius Ponticus and especially his book kephalaia gnostica.. This book is very hard, but it will be great if it is discussed..

    Nestorian controversy!!! Its theoretical background is extremely hard to understand. But as it made half of the late antique meditterranean attack to the other half, obviously something extremely important was at stake.. Something that eludes me.. If the podcast digs into its theology, rather than personalities&events, it will be of great service..

    One important point is that Nestorius is perceived as the “bad guy” and his theology is never fully discussed.. If Cyril is given 50 pages, Nestorius barely gets one.. And this one page is there only to make us understand Cyril better. A more even-handed approach in which Nestorian theology is investigated for its own sake will be appreciated.. Esp. the differences between Nestorius and his teacher Theodore of Mopsuestia will be great..

    BTW, I think AD 451 is extremely early to end the podcast. Aftermath of Chalcedon, with all its tremors, must also be covered.. I think the best date to stop is AD 787, ie, the end of the iconaclastic controversy..


    • Thank you Mehmet for your response. Aside from Logos Christology, the topics you listed will not be discussable in our narrative break as we will be looking at the Church up to c. 300 A.D. Nonetheless these topics will be discussed once we reach the 4th and 5th centuries. Marcellus of Ancyra is indeed a neglected by highly important figure in the Arian Controversy, especially the decades immediately following Nicaea. The two quotes you listed are from Athanasius and Gregory of Nazianzus respectively, as such they will be discussed when we get to those Church Fathers in our narrative. Evagrius Ponticus will also certainly be discussed.

      For Cyril and Nestorius, I will do my best to make sure both men receive their due attention and elucidation, trying to understand both independently first as thinkers in their own right before looking at the great conflict between them. The Nestorian controversy ignited a series of fractures which irrevocably split Eastern Christianity down to the present day. I definitely think that at the end of the day theology was (and is) at the heart of the issue.

      My reasons for ending the podcast at Chalcedon are as follows:

      1) After Chalcedon, Eastern Christianity becomes theologically and communally divided, while Western Christianity, with the fall of the Rome, become politically divided and fractured. Thus, keeping a comprehensive coherent narrative of a protagonist Great Church becomes all but impossible. Covering the diverse communities from the Celtic Christians in the British Isles to the Church of the East in China would destroy any sense of narrative coherence.
      2) Early Christian literature in English translation becomes far more scarce for texts written after the council of Chalcedon
      3) Many modern histories of the early Church also use Chalcedon as a convenient endpoint
      4) Chalcedon, as an Ecumenical Council, provides a suitable climax for our narrative

      As for continuing to 787, this would not truly be the end of the Iconoclastic controversy. That would instead be 843. Extending the narrative that far I think goes beyond the “Early Church” and belongs more so to Christianity in the Middle Ages. Of course it’s all artificially imposed periodization, but we have to draw the line somewhere.

      • mehmet permalink

        Dear Terry,

        I agree with all you have said, with just one exception: From the point of view of Christology, stopping the podcast at Chalcedon is like stopping a movie at its most exciting point.. Christological controversy only settled around 650’s with the monothelite/Monoenergist controversies.. And the full meaning of Chalcedon is only elucidated through these controversies. So I think that only for the topic of Christology, the podcast must end around 650. All the other developments between 451-650, ie, foundation of the celtic church, slavic missions, frankish church etc may be skipped. The theology of Maximus the Confessor must also be covered..

        I think the condemnation(s) of Origen and Evagrius, and reasons for these condemnations must also be discussed..

  2. Thanks again for the feedback Mehmet. I agree that the full significance of Chalcedon cannot be understood without discussing the 6th and 7th centuries. When we get to Chalcedon, I think I’ll add an epilogue episode to give a summation of the later Christological controversy.

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