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Seven Icons of Christ


An Introduction to the Oikoumenical Councils


This volume sets out an exposition of the seven key iconic moments of Christian intellectual history that formulate the classical profession of Jesus Christ as the Word of God Incarnate.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0572-0
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Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: May 2,2016
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 426
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0572-0
$107.90
$64.74

The Mystery of Christ has been a major focus, and a source of contention, for Christian theological discourse since the very beginning. It remains so even to this day. The very notion of “mystery” directs our thoughts to that which lies just beyond the range of discourse. Indeed, the truth of Christian faith consists in the confession that the mystery of Christ cannot be exhausted by processes of discursive reasoning. Even so, discursive reason facilitates the ascent to faith in the Incarnate Christ. In other words, discourse relates to faith as an icon to its paradigm. The chief thesis of this book is that the Seven Great Councils represent such integral “discursive icons” of high intellectual and historical moment in Christian thought. Such events, therefore, stand as milestones in the Christian epistemic assent to the mystery of God the Word Incarnate.

The critical essays in this book, prepared by advanced scholars of the Early Church, set out an exposition of the proceedings of the Seven Oikocumenical Councils; a review of the chief works of the major protagonists associated with the councils; the immediate intellectual aftermath; as well as a considered reflection or commentary on the theological ekthesis (theological profession) of each council. The end result is a book whose critical value should make it required reading by specialists, but also will allow it to serve as a solid and scholarly introduction to the subject for both undergraduate and graduate level students.

The Mystery of Christ has been a major focus, and a source of contention, for Christian theological discourse since the very beginning. It remains so even to this day. The very notion of “mystery” directs our thoughts to that which lies just beyond the range of discourse. Indeed, the truth of Christian faith consists in the confession that the mystery of Christ cannot be exhausted by processes of discursive reasoning. Even so, discursive reason facilitates the ascent to faith in the Incarnate Christ. In other words, discourse relates to faith as an icon to its paradigm. The chief thesis of this book is that the Seven Great Councils represent such integral “discursive icons” of high intellectual and historical moment in Christian thought. Such events, therefore, stand as milestones in the Christian epistemic assent to the mystery of God the Word Incarnate.

The critical essays in this book, prepared by advanced scholars of the Early Church, set out an exposition of the proceedings of the Seven Oikocumenical Councils; a review of the chief works of the major protagonists associated with the councils; the immediate intellectual aftermath; as well as a considered reflection or commentary on the theological ekthesis (theological profession) of each council. The end result is a book whose critical value should make it required reading by specialists, but also will allow it to serve as a solid and scholarly introduction to the subject for both undergraduate and graduate level students.

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Contributor Biography

Sergey Trostyanskiy

Sergey Trostyanskiy is currently a Research Fellow of the Sophia Institute of Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox studies, New York and Union Theological Seminary, New York. He holds a PhD from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. His research interests include Byzantine history and philosophy. His monograph on St. Cyril of Alexandria is appearing in the Studies in Church History Series of Peter Lang Press.

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Acknowledgments (page 7)
  • Abbreviations (page 9)
  • Timeline of Events (page 13)
  • Preface: Moments in the Shaping of Christian Tradition (John A. McGuckin) (page 19)
  • Introduction: The Oikoumenical Councils as Icons of Christ (Sergey Trostyanskiy) (page 21)
  • Chapter 1: The Divine Christ oft he Council of Nicaea: 325 (John A. McGuckin) (page 29)
  • Chapter 2: The Council of Constantinople I: 381. Christ's Divine Majesty and the Impartiality of his Humility (Todd E. French) (page 67)
  • Chapter 3: The Council of Ephesus: 431. The Ontological Status of the Personal Unity of God and Humanity (Sergey Trostyanskiy) (page 119)
  • Chapter 4: The Council of Chalcedon: 451. In Search of a Nuanced and Balanced Christology (Matthew J. Pereira) (page 179)
  • Chapter 5: The Council of Constantinople II: 553. A Christology Seeking Refinement and Subtlety (Anna Zhyrkova) (page 243)
  • Chapter 6: The Council of Constantinople III: 681. The Moral Dynamism of Christ and the Significance of Freedom (Gregory Tucker) (page 297)
  • Chapter 7: The Council of Nicaea II: 787. The Power and Sacramentality of Christ's Icon (Will Bellamy) (page 343)
  • Epilogue (John A. McGuckin) (page 393)
  • Bibliography (page 395)
    • Primary Sources (page 395)
    • Translations of Primary Sources (page 400)
    • Secondary Literature (page 403)
  • List of Contributors (page 417)
  • Index (page 419)
    • Names (page 419)
    • Subjects (page 422)
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