From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to several Eastern Christian traditions that diverged from their more "western" counterparts by the time of the Council of Chalcedon. Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from the churches that collectively refer to themselves as Eastern Orthodoxy, a distinction that is agreed upon by both the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox. Many Western scholars, however, including Roman Catholic Church lump them as a subgroup of "Eastern churches".
The Oriental Orthodox churches came to a parting of the ways with the remainder of Christianity in the 5th century. The separation resulted in part from the Oriental Orthodox churches' refusal to accept the Christological dogmas promulgated by the Council of Chalcedon, which held that Jesus has two substances -- one divine and one human, although these were inseperable and only act as one hypostasis. To the hierarchs who would lead the Oriental Orthodox, this was tantamount to accepting Nestorianism. In response, they advocated a formula that stressed unity of the Incarnation over all other considerations. The Oriental Orthodox churches are therefore often called Monophysite churches, although they reject this label, preferring the term "non-Chalcedonian" or "Miaphysite" churches.
Oriental Orthodox churches include:
- The Oriental Orthodox Communion
The Assyrian Church of the East is sometimes considered an Oriental Orthodox Church, although they left the Catholic and Apostolic Church in reaction against the Council of Ephesus and revere Saints anathemized by the previously mentioned Churches. In addition, they accept Christology that is rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Communion.