Contributors

LESLEY ABRAMs, Fellow ofBalliol College and Lecturer in the Faculty of History, University of Oxford BAT-SHEVA albert, Professor of Medieval History, Department of General History, Bar Ilan University Arnold angenendt, Emeritus Professor, Westf lische Wilhelms-Universit t M nster Julia barrow, Reader in Medieval Church History, School of History, University of Nottingham jane baun, Greyfriars Hall and Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford alain boureau, Centre de recherches historiques,...

The Christianity of the future

The correlation between the two processes - doctrinal estrangement and geopolitical instability - remains problematic. The course of Christian history in the seventh century and beyond is certainly unintelligible without attention to both, and each provides a context, if not an explanation, for the other. It remains to describe the characteristics of Christian life that were at once the product of that disruption and the legacy of a more distant past. The disruption undoubtedly affected the...

Christian communities during the last Sasanian conquest 60424

Followingthe deposition and murder of Emperor Maurice in 602, King of Kings Chosroes II (590-628) soon succeeded in regaining Persian territories lost to the Byzantines.13 Between 604 and 611, the Sasanian army directed successful 9 Dorfmann-Lazarev Armeniens et Byzantins, 96-129. 11 Cyril of Alexandria, Commentarii in lohannem 2, 10.15, 232. 12 Xosrovik T'argmaniC, Chapter I, 50, 54. 13 Dagron, L' glise, 13-24. campaigns in Armenia (thence proceeding to Georgia), Upper Mesopotamia, Syria, and...

Division and reconciliation

The Gregorian mission to the English made a huge difference to the position of the British Church. The latter had been successful in maintaining a Christian tradition across the violent centuries following the end of direct central Roman authority in Britain. Although the British Church was later condemnedby Bede because it had failed to preach to the English, its role in the conversion of the Irish demonstrates that it was not a church unconcerned with the salvation of neighboring peoples and...

Non Chalcedonian churches and the Church of the East two Christologies in synopsis

Divergent conceptions ofthe Incarnation, which were articulatedin opposition to the theology adopted by the empire, stood at the core of the distinctive doctrinal and cultural identities of the churches of Syria, Egypt, Persia, and Armenia and were to play a decisive role in their history during the seventh century. Christology of the Church of the East The Christology of the Church ofthe East derived from the Antiochene exeget-ical tradition. It had as its supporting structure the historical...

The rise of Islam and the status of Christians in Islamic society

As in the case of the Sasanian conquest a quarter of a century before, the persecutions of dissenters on the part of imperial authorities facilitated the swift Islamic takeover of the Byzantine East. In 634 the miaphysites were not inclined to resist the monotheist Arabs any more than the pagan, fire-worshiping Persians. In the earliest stage of Islam the affiliation of the new religious teaching to the texts of the Bible and Apocrypha was manifest to Christians, and some even placed their hope...

Theological identities regional differences

Under the heading identities, we must ask what gave late Roman Christian communities their specific characters. We are dealing with a plural Christianities. The late Roman period was, in religion as in much else, a fractured age. What lay at the root of the resulting variety Leaders of government and church pleaded for universal loyalty - to empire and orthodoxy above all. By 600 CE, Christians found themselves nevertheless divided geographically into four main blocs. The Latin West was...

Transcending space and time

Christians in this liminal age displayed a striking ability to stretch their imaginations beyond the limits not only of their late Roman world, but also of their individual lives and the temporal order. Their classical forebears had shown an interest, either scornful or intrigued, in the religions ofother peoples, and had some sense of an afterlife and an immaterial realm. Christianity, in its earliest centuries, developed more precise notions of salvation as a divine gift for the whole of...

Religion and literature

The Law of Adomnan was, as we have seen, in Irish, and thus exemplifies the extent to which a literacy which came to Ireland with Latin now embraced the native language of the Irish. Similarly among the Britons, although there is much less surviving evidence, the same transition from Latin to the vernacular occurred by the seventh century. Vernacular written literature first flourished in the British Isles for the understandable reason that Latin was, except vestigially among the Britons, a...

From the Byzantine reconquests to the battle of Mantzikert 9261071

The Byzantine army crossed the Euphrates between 873 and 883, and early in the tenth century the political influence of the empire was extended over the greater part of Armenia. Between the years 926 and 944, under the command of General John Courcouas Armenian Gurgen , the Byzantine army, which included an important number of Armenians, seized Melitene 934 and advanced northward beyond Lake Van and southward to Syria. In 949 it 31 Martin-Hisard, Christianisme et glise, 561. 32 Mah , L' glise...

Conclusion

At no moment after the Council of Chalcedon was the Christian church able to achieve its vision of unity. In this contested environment, the Persian and then Arab conquests perpetuated the extant divisions of doctrine and allegiance. Moreover the spread of Islam exercised lasting influence upon the character of the Christian cultures of the Near East. Throughout the eastern Mediterranean and Near East, conquest, conflict, and persecution gave the churches of this area the impulse to anchor...

Although it may not have a preacher it cannot but know of Christ from what it has heard from other nations26

In 578, the monks of a monastery perched in the Pharaonic ruins of Thebes in Upper Egypt wrote up a prayer for the empire sent to them, from Alexandria, by their patriarch, Damianus. They should pray for the prosperous life of the kings . . . and that every barbarian nation, unto the ends of the earth, may be in subjection under their hands, and that the whole world may become one body.27 It is revealing that the patriarch to whom the monks owed obedience was not even the patriarch recognized...

Illustrations

The orders of clergy, from the Sacramentary of Marmoutier Autun, Biblioth que municipale, ms. 19 bis, fol. ir. page 480 Fig. 2. Exultet roll Rome, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, ms. Barberini Lat. 592, Fig. 3. Adoration of the Magi Massacre of the Innocents Presentation of Christ in the Temple Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, ms. Gr. 510, fol. i37r. 565 Fig. 4. Gregory of Nazianzus holds his pen and opens his book to the text Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, ms. Gr....