Monophysitism

MONOPHYSITISM

This word is derivate from the Cyrillian statement, ‘One nature of the incarnated Word of God.” It is used to designate those who, in opposition to the two-natures doctrine of Chalcedon, confess the formula of St. Cyril, which has been adopted by the Coptic Church: ‘One Nature for the Word God incarnated.” Hence, Christ has one nature, and out of it there is divinity and humanity without mingling, confusion, or alternation—while for the Chalcedonians, Christ is in two natures, divine and human. Some scholars assumed that the schism was mainly for nationalistic reason. However, some others rejected this idea.

The Coptic Church never accepted this title; it prefers the title “Miaphysite.” Monophy site means “one nature” and if Christ has one nature, it should only be divine; in the Coptic thinking, Christ has one nature from two natures. The title “Miaphysite” came from the definition of St. Cyril “Mia Physis”: “One nature for the incarnated Word of God.” The Fathers such as Cyril of Alexandria, Severus of Antioch, Timothy Aelurus, and Theodosius explained this definition. It is now admitted by Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian denominations that the formulation of this dogma is orthodox, according to a pioneer study conducted by Bishop Lebon. See also CHALCEDON, COUNCIL OF.

GAWDAT GABRA

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