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On the Unity of Christ Paperback – 1 Jan 1995

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unity of Christ The Monogenis 14 July 2002
By Didaskalex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Only if it is one and the same Christ who is consubstantial with the Father and with men can He save us, for the meeting ground between God and man is Flesh and Christ. ... Because the Son is God from God, in some mysterious way he passes this honor on to us." St Cyril of Alexandria, Pillar of Faith

Alexandrian versus Antiochene Theology :
The Alexandrines based their Christology on john 1:14 amending it mystically with 1 Tim 3:16. They explained the Logos-sarx union with the soul-body analogy to illustrate the substantial union, an ontological oneness, between divinity and humanity in Christ. The rival theology of the Antiochenes employed the soul-body analogy to explain how the Divinity and humanity united in Christ without loosing their full integrity.

Cyril of Alexandria:
Cyril of Alexandria, the Christological champion for Orthodoxy, developed and exalted the theology of the famous school of Alexandria (Catechetical Didaskalia) He was trained by his uncle Theophilus of Alexandria, followed faithfully the Tradition of Alexandria from Clement, and Origen to Athanasius and Didymus, the blind. He was a great biblical expositor, and his christology is Bible based.Thomas Weinandy, debates that Cyril is the first, if not the only patristic theologian to employ the soul-body analogy properly, for different Church fathers conceive the union in Christ depending on their carrier philosophy, Aristotelian or neo- platonic. Every party, after Chalcedon, claimed to express what Cyril expounded and defended, one nature of the incarnate Logos, fully divine and genuinely human, which expressed the dual aspects in a harmonius and coordinated way. He builds on Athanasius theological defence of the divinity of the Son, and accordingly perfected the orthodox doctrine of theopesis, salvation by participation in the divine nature.

On The unity of Christ:
Fr. john McGukin, a patristic scholar, who teaches Early Church History, has revisited the controversial debate on one of the turning doctrines of the early Church. The translation is in a lucid language, with an elaborate introduction on Cyril's life and Christology. An in depth treatment of Cyril dogmatic theology, which has been revived in the last decades. Fr. McGukin made a great job in reintroducing the historical and theological debate.
"This book is the last of Cyrils theological essays discrediting Nestorius and his Antiochene christology, and contains his most mature teaching on the mystery of union that baffled the theologians since the fourth century. It was written in the form of a dialogue, to explain the Hypostatic Union in Christ."(R. Yanney: Coptic Church review)

Fr. john McGukin, is professor of Early Church History, Union Theological Seminary, NY. He is a patristic scholar, and theologian. He wrote seven books and numerous articles, and is an expert on Cyril's soteriology and Alexandrine theology.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a little difficult, but very much worth ithe reading. 11 Dec. 2003
By Mel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
St. Cyril is one of the main pillars of faith in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches and one of the Popes (Patriarchs) of Alexandria. After successfully defending the Faith against Nestorius at Ephesus in 431, he spent much of his time combating what was left of Nestorianism inside of his jurisdiction which was Egypt and did so until his repose in 444. He wrote "On the Unity of Christ" long after Nestorius was deposed and exiled as a way of combating the Nestorianism within the monastic ranks who seemed to be the most heavily effected by it in Egypt.
He is definitely verbose in areas, some much more so than others, which makes this work difficult to read at times and rather trying on the patience. When one can penetrate through that, though, then they see the full value of the work and the theology expressed in it.
He explains why Mary can be called the "Mother of God" or "God Bearer" ("Theotokos" in Greek) while illuminating, as many authors before him had, on how Christ prayed in the Garden while not comprimising His unity of divine and human in one being (OUSIA), how Christ can be called a prophet in His humanity while that not comprimising His divinity, and many more topics.
It is important when reading St. Cyril to take into account the letter of reunion between John of Antioch and himself in 433 in which Cyril validates and counts as equal to his "One Nature in the Incarnate Logos" The Antiochian and Greek "In Two Natures." This is precisely needed since in the Alexandrian school of theology PHYSIS (nature) is associated with OUSIA (substance) whereas in the Eastern Orthodox, particularly Antiochian and Greek at the time (Russia and the other Slaves hadn't been converted yet) HYPOSTASIS (person) is assoiated with OUSIA (substance).
Both schools are saying and were saying the same thing just in different words. In the latter it is considered that action is needed to define true personhood and in the other (the Coptic/Oriental Orthodox) it is considered simply being a person (Hypostasis) is enough with one composite physis out of two with Christ being in two Hypostasis in the Incarnate Logos (Christ). Whereas the Eastern Orthodox say in two physis and out of two Hypostasis both recognize the difference and terminology now. This MUST be taken into account when reading St. Cyril's works.
I would also recommend reading the Tome of Pope St. Leo the Great which was written not even two decades after Ephesus in 431, it gives an excellent view using the Greek and Antiochian terminology on who Christ is in regards to His divinity and humanity and the letter from St. Cyril to St. John of Antioch (it's only about five pages long if even that). You might also want to read Fr. John Romanides papers on St. Cyril and the Tome of Pope St. Leo the Great (another five or six page one, very short but informative) in addition, they are very well rounded and informative, they even include conversations he has with Oriental Orthodox bishops concerning his paper(s). All four go together VERY nicely and each serves to express the other three more clearly.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cyril of Alexandria's mystical understanding of Christ was holistic and non-dual! 3 Oct. 2014
By Amos Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't say enough about this book. It was the inspiration behind my book! It showed me that the West has settled for a static dualistic interpretation of the person of Christ. Cyril of Alexandria opened the mystical door to a wholly other approach. Cyril of Alexandria's mystical understanding of Christ was holistic and non-dual. For Cyril Jesus is undivided: "at once God and human." Jesus, according to Cyril, is about creative tension, paradox, and complex dynamism. It is the dynamic unity of Christ espoused in this book that gave me the hope of a holistic vision taking hold of the Church once again. It gave me the hope for a core mystical theology that has the power to unite a divided Church. Cyril's holistic Christology is preserved today in the Oriental Orthodox Church's Miaphysite theology, which I attempted to make vital and contemporary in my book.
-Amos Smith (author of Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity's Mystic Roots)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 28 Dec. 2014
By D. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved reading what the early church fathers had to say.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was invaluable and should be read with On ... 23 Jan. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was invaluable and should be read with On the Holy Spirit - St Basil. Comforting to hear the voices of those much closer to the time of Christ
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