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Christianity / Ecumenical council /
Council of Chalcedon



Artistic representation of the Council of Chalcedon.
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Artistic representation of the Council of Chalcedon.

In Christianity, 4th ecumenical council held in Chalcedon 451. It had 17 sessions through most of October.
The council was convened by Byzantine Emperor Marcian, by the command of Pope Leo 1 of Rome. The aim of the council was to overturn the decisions of the so-called Robber Synod of Ephesus, two years earlier, and to deal with the Monophysite controversy.
It was attended by 520 bishops or their representatives.
The council approved of the creed of Nicaea from 325, of Constantinople from 381, the unity of a divine and a human nature in Christ.
The definition on Christ's nature defined at Chalcedon was a compromise between Monophysitism and Nestorianism, but it caused lasting schisms. The church in Egypt was Monophysite, and breaks with this from the churches in Rome and Constantinople. The Nestorian Church also emerges from this schism.
The council dealt with a large number of other issues, among which Jerusalem and Constantinople were declared patriarchates and church institutions, structures and rules of discipline were defined.
It was 20 years since the last council (Ephesus) and it would be 102 years until the next (Second of Constantinople).




By Tore Kjeilen