Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorian Controversy
The Making of a Saint and of a Heretic
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 380
Width: 14.6 cm
Height: 22.4 cm
What were the historical and cultural processes by which Cyril of Alexandria was elevated to canonical status while his opponent, Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, was made into a heretic? In contrast to previous scholarship, Susan Wessel concludes that Cyril's success in being elevated to orthodox status was not simply a political accomplishment based on political alliances he had fashioned as opportunity arose. Nor was it a dogmatic victory, based on the clarity and orthodoxy of Cyril's doctrinal claims. Instead, it was his strategy in identifying himself with the orthodoxy of the former bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, in his victory over Arianism, in borrowing Athanasius' interpretive methods, and in skilfully using the tropes and figures of the second sophistic that made Cyril a saint in the Greek and Coptic Orthodox Churches.
Susan Wessel has produced a learned and exciting book, that adds much to our knowledge of the character and purpose of these significant theorists of the fifth century; and the volume is a worthy addition to the excellent series of Oxford Early Christian Studies. John McGuckin, Sobornost I do indeed admire her assiduity. The references to the original sources are a real bonus. L.R. Wickham, The Journal of Theological Studies