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Lecture 7: Theological Developments 604-900. 1 March 2011. Introduction. Eastern Christianity Before 622 AD Islamic Beliefs Iconoclast Controversy, Second Council of Nicea Doctrinal Impact of Charlemagne’s Court Continued missionary work in Europe Readings. Eastern Christianity.

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Lecture 7 theological developments 604 900

Lecture 7: Theological Developments 604-900

1 March 2011

CH 500 ATO Rev.


  • Eastern Christianity Before 622 AD

  • Islamic Beliefs

  • Iconoclast Controversy, Second Council of Nicea

  • Doctrinal Impact of Charlemagne’s Court

  • Continued missionary work in Europe

  • Readings

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Eastern christianity
Eastern Christianity

  • Ruled by Byzantine Empire (they called themselves Romans)

  • Constantinople, ‘New Rome’

    • Politically and economically most important city in known world

    • Center for Christian and classical studies

  • Large minority of heretical Christians within Empire (they call themselves orthodox because they agreed with Nicea I)

    • Nestorians in Syria

    • Monophysites in Syria and Egypt

  • In western part of Byzantine Empire, Orthodox Christians and Catholics divided along the lines of the division established by Diocletian

CH 500 ATO Rev.


  • Recall Constantinople was founded by Constantine the Great

  • One of most beautiful and opulent cities

  • Most important basilica Hagia Sophia

    • Originally built by Constantine

    • Rebuilt in 532 by Justinian the Great after an earthquake

    • The largest most beautiful Christian basilica in Christendom

    • Convert to a mosque by Turks in 1453, mosaics plastered

    • Converted to museum 1935, mosaics start to be uncovered

    • Architectural influence

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Hagia sophia
Hagia Sophia

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Key points of islamic theology
Key Points of Islamic Theology

  • Qur’an is revealed word of God (must be in Arabic, a translation is not really the Qur’an)

  • Jews and Christians are considered people of The Book

  • Trace descent from Abraham through Ishmael

  • Mohammed is greatest prophet, although prophets of Old Testament and Jesus are also important

  • God is one, no Trinity

  • Images are an affront to God

    • Jesus not incarnate Word

  • Shari’a “Islamic Law”; based on Qur’an; rules for how the community of Muslims should live

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Five pillars of islam
Five Pillars of Islam

  • Faith (Shahada) Expressed through the fundamental statement of faith: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet.”

  • Prayer (Salat) Praying 5 times a day in a prescribed manner

  • Charity (Zakat) All things belong to God, and wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust.

  • Fasting (Sawm) Fasting is especially observed during the holy month of Ramadan.

  • The Pilgrimage to Mecca (The Hajj)

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Two major branches of islam
Two Major Branches of Islam

  • Sunni

    • Ruler should be by a virtuous Muslim who followed the sunna (practice) of Mohammed as recorded in the hadiths (traditions)

    • Authority was with ulama or imam, wise men but not infallible, who preached the Qur’an

    • Defense of Qur’an through rational argument

  • Shia

    • Rule should be through the family of Mohammed, especially through Mohammed’s son-in-law Ali who married Fatimah

    • Came to be known as Shia, or followers of Ali (killed at Karbala)

    • Authority was found in infallible imams as interpreters of the Qur’an

CH 500 ATO Rev.


  • Sufism is not a separate branch of Islam

    • A style of belief

    • Both Sunni and Shia practice Sufism

  • Established within a century of Mohammed’s death

  • Mystical spirituality, emphasizing detachment from the world

    • Whirling dervishes

  • Master-disciple relationships

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Dome of the rock mosque
Dome of the Rock Mosque

  • Built in 691 on site of Jewish Temple

  • According to Islamic belief location of ascension of Mohammed to heaven

    • Mosque enshrines the rock from which Mohammed ascended

    • Third most important shrine in Islam

  • Contains oldest written examples from Qur’an:

    • “O you People of the Book, overstep not bounds in your religion, and of God speak only the truth.  The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, is only an apostle of God, and his Word which he conveyed unto Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from him.  Believe therefore in God and his apostles, and say not Three.  It will be better for you.  God is only one God.  Far be it from his glory that he should have a son."

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Dome of the rock cont
Dome of the Rock (cont)

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Eastern theological response iconoclast controversy
Eastern Theological Response: Iconoclast Controversy

  • Emperors Leo III (717-741), Constantine V (741-763)

    • Supported “image breaking” iconoclasm as a way to attract Muslims to Christian orthodoxy

    • Historical Note: Emperor Leo III dropped all military support of Papacy against Lombards, forcing Pope Stephen II into an alliance with Pepin the Short

  • Eastern monks vehemently opposed iconoclasts

  • John Damascene (675-749)

    • Monk at St. Sabas near Jerusalem

    • Strong theological defense of icons

    • Differentiated types of worship and honor

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Second council of nicea 787
Second Council of Nicea, 787

  • Also known as Seventh Ecumenical Council

    • Called by Empress Irene, who supported icons (iconodule)

    • Following St. John Damascene, distinguished types of devotions

  • Western Reaction

    • Problem: Eastern church did not invite anyone from West to participate

    • Another problem: poor translation from Greek into Latin

  • Result: Charlemagne did not accept Nicea II

    • Theodulf wrote Libri Carolini condemning worship of images

  • Nicea II was recognized by Pope Hadrian I

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Another language problem filioque
Another Language Problem: Filioque

  • Filioque means “and Son” in Latin

  • Starts with Augustine’s description of Trinity: Holy Spirit is mutual love of Father and Son

  • Gets incorporated in Latin Creed as Holy Spirit proceeds from Father and the Son

  • Greek Church (and original Greek Nicene Creed) states that Holy Spirit and Son proceed from the Godhead (Father)

  • This issue developed as a stumbling block between Eastern and Western theology in 8th C

  • See joint Catholic-Orthodox statement on this issue http://www.usccb.org/seia/filioque.shtml

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Charlemagne s court
Charlemagne’s Court

  • Aachen became, briefly, the center of learning in West

  • Charlemagne was very interested in scholarship (although he could not write, and may not have been able to read)

  • Theodulf (760-821), born in Spain,

    • wrote against Council Nicea II;

    • wrote in support of filioque;

    • wrote Libri Carolini;

    • famous then and now for his hymns

  • Alcuin of York; Head of School at Aachen;

    • brought Irish monastic learning with him;

    • encouraged Charlemagne to reform clerical education;

    • “Charter of Modern Thought” requiring all monasteries to educate boys in Psalms, music, grammar, arithmetic

    • established educational curriculum throughout the Middle Ages

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Northern christian scholarship and missionary activities
Northern Christian Scholarship and Missionary Activities

  • Bede the Venerable, 672-735

    • Orphan, raised in monastery in England

    • Wrote History of English People

    • Great influence on scholarship and school curriculum in Europe in Middle Ages

  • Boniface, aka Winifred, 672-755

    • Also born in England; influenced by Irish monasticism

    • Goes to Rome in 717 to get approval of Pope Gregory II; gets mission to preach north of Rhine

    • May have crowned Pepin the Short, Charlemagne’s father

    • Martyred in northern Holland, 755

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Review readings
Review Readings

  • Kallistos Ware, “Eastern Christianity” in Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity (Optional)

  • Joint Catholic-Orthodox statement on filioque, http://www.usccb.org/seia/filioque.shtml (Optional)

  • John of Damascus

    • Read all

    • Note different types of worship

CH 500 ATO Rev.

Midterm review exam structure
Midterm Review: Exam Structure

  • Exam on March 15

  • Closed book, closed notes

    • Geography (20 pts)

    • Match events with dates, more dates than events (20 pts)

    • Matching people with descriptions; more people than descriptions (20 pts)

    • Match quotes from readings to authors; more authors than quotes (20 pts)

    • Essay (20 pts)

Midterm review geography
Midterm Review: Geography

  • This is a free 40 points

  • You will be asked to find these places on the map attached as a pdf to the folder

    • Jerusalem, Rome, Athens, Antioch, Alexandria, Constantinople, Iona, Milan, Cordoba, Aachen, Medina, Carthage, Baghdad, Nile, Tigris, Euphrates, Rhine, Danube, Alps, Pyrenees

  • I am NOT looking for GPS accuracy; however, you must be close. For example: putting Milan south of Rome would be wrong. And both should be in Italy.


  • If I were you, I would know what key events in Church History are associated with these dates:

  • 70

  • 112,

  • 251,

  • 325,

  • 410,

  • 622,

  • 787,

  • 800


If I were you, I would know who these people are:



Gregory of Nyssa

Theodosius I


John of Damascus

Pope Leo III

Pope Gregory I


Benedict of Nursia





Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Kent



Empress Irene




  • Will not be tricky

  • Five quotes, 7 authors

  • If I were you, I would re-read this:

    • Ignatius, Letter to the Romans

    • Justin Martyr, First Apology

    • Irenaeus, Against Heresies

    • Origen, On First Principles

    • Rescript of Milan

    • Augustine, Confessions

    • Gregory of Nyssa, Homilies on Song of Songs

    • Benedict, Rule

    • Gelasius, Letter to Emperor on Two Powers

    • Einhardt, Life of Charlemagne


  • Write an essay on the changes in Church-State relations between 100 – 900 AD.

  • Your essay should include, at a minimum, the following

    • Martyrs and Lapsed

    • Libellus

    • Constantine the Great

    • Theodosius the Great

    • Church Councils

    • Monasticism

    • Changing role of bishops before and after Constantine

    • Effect of fall of Roman Empire in West

    • Relation between Church and Franks (Clovis, Pepin, Charlemagne)

Essay cont
Essay (cont.)

  • Our readings that you should reference in your essay

    • Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to Romans

    • Letters between Pliny and Trajan

    • Justin Martyr, Apology

    • Rescript of Milan

    • Eusebius, Life of Constantine

    • Augustine, City of God

    • Pope Gelasius on Two Powers

    • Einhard, Life of Charlemagne

    • Donation of Constantine

  • You must indicate at least what century events and people occurred in. You do not need to specify exact dates.

  • If I were you, I would study by making an outline of my answer with the above on it. Then first thing on the exam, replicate the outline and write from that.