IMC 2008: Sessions

Session 124: A Church Dividing: East and West in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Monday 7 July 2008, 11.15-12.45

Paper 124-aStarting over: John Cassian between the Eastern and the Western Cenobitic Life
(Language: English)
Cristina-Elena Ciubotaru, Department of Classics, University of Bucharest
Index terms: Ecclesiastical History, Monasticism, Religious Life
Paper 124-bChurch Councils in Support of and against Monothelism during the Reign of Emperor Heraclius (610-641)
(Language: English)
Zahari Nikolov Konkyov, Facoltà di Storia, Pontificia Università Gregoriana, Roma
Index terms: Byzantine Studies, Ecclesiastical History
Paper 124-c(Pseudo) Dionysius the Areopagite's Texts as a Source of Differentiation between East and West: Eastern and Western Mysticism in the Early Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Constantinos Athanasopoulos, School of Philosophy, Religion & History of Science, University of Leeds

Paper -a:
At the beginning of the 5th century, naming the monasticism Oriental was rather redundant. The anti-Origenist context, however, forced some individuals with oriental monastic training to relocate in the West. Perhaps the most important of them, John Cassian, moved to the Southern Gaul, and started two monasteries at Marseilles, striving to implement here the monastic way he lived back in the East. My paper will present and analyze the differences in cenobitic rules from Eastern to Western monasticism to be found in Cassian’s works, differences needed to be assumed in order to comply with – and starting from – the new and considerably different social and cultural milieu.
Paper -b:
Emperor Heraclius (610-641) and Patriarch Sergius (610-638) created Monothelism formula concerning the one will of Christ as an alternative to the Monophysite formula of one body of Christ. Through their new dogmatic formula, which was pronounced for an heresy, they wished to stop theological debates in the Empire. I would like to study chronologically the Councils held in favor and against new dogmatic formula during the reign of Emperor Heraclius. I would like also to explore its historical and theological development from Monoenergism into Monothelism. My paper will focus on main heroes who are for and against that change: Patriarch Sergius, Patriarch Kir, Patriarch Pirus, Patriarch Sofronius. These persons are central to the initiating and the organization of church councils in favour of and against Monothelism. I shall also discuss the first stage of theological difference between Constantinople and Rome, which later led to a couple of divisions between the two church centers.
Abstract Mysticism in the East was developed quite independently from the way mysticism was developed in the West. Of primary importance for this differentiation was the influence of the Areopagitica texts and their incorporation in the ecclesiastical and monastic practices in the East from the early Middle Ages. My primary focus will be the texts of two chief mystics in the early middle ages: Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) and St. Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022). Through an analysis of chief passages from the two thinkers this differentiation will be discussed in the context of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and anthropology as well.