The Early Eastern Orthodox Church

A History, AD 60–1453


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About the Book

“It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us,” the apostles declared at the conclusion of their council described in Acts 15. This apostolic council was the first of many councils to come as Christians sought to discern the will of God in the midst of historic challenges.
The faithful continued to struggle to express their new apostolic faith in new words, new languages, new places and new times. Many issues—the interaction of science and faith, divinity and humanity, Church and State—continue to be pertinent today.
This book tells the story of these struggles from the days of the New Testament to the fall of the city of Constantinople in AD 1453. It focuses on the Christian community in the eastern Mediterranean which became known as the Byzantine Empire. Each chapter examines the personalities and theologies entwined at the heart of conflicts that shaped the medieval world as well as the modern cultures of Greece, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Morris is an independent scholar who lives in New York City. He has studied Byzantine and medieval history and theology at Yale and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Academy and has written on patristic preaching and exegesis as well as medieval and Byzantine hagiography.

Bibliographic Details

Stephen Morris
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 191
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7481-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3422-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction 1
1. Before Nicea 5
2. Nicea 24
3. The Pneumatomachoi and the Second Ecumenical Council 47
4. Constantinople, Alexandria and the Mother of God 67
5. Chalcedon 87
6. Justinian and Theodora 99
7. Maximus the Confessor and the “One-Will” (Monothelite) Controversy 110
8. Icons and Iconoclasm 121
9. Iconoclasm, Part 2 131
10. Constantinople, Rome and Leo VI 139
11. Divisions, the Crusades and Reunion 151
12. Gregory Palamas, the Council of ­Ferrara-Florence and the Fall of the City 162
Conclusion 172
Chapter Notes 175
Bibliography 177
Index 181

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Exceptional, informative, impressively well written…very highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review