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Nestorius (c.386 - c.451) was Patriarch of Constantinople (April 10, 428 - June 22, 431). He received his clerical training in Antioch, and gained a reputation for his sermons that led to his enthronement as Patriarch following the death of Sisinius I.

He started a theological debate by not recognizing the Virgin Mary as the mother of God, on the grounds that this status compromised Jesus Christ's divinity. His views were condemned by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria and the Council of Ephesus (431), who deposed him and labelled him a heretic. In the following months, seventeen bishops who supported his doctrine were removed from their sees, and his principal supporter, John, patriarch of Antioch succumbed to Imperial pressure around March, 433 and abandoned Nestorius. At the end, Theodosius II, who had supported Nestorius' appointment, bowed to the influence of his sister Pulcheria to issue an Imperial edict (August 3, 435) that exiled him to a monastery in the Great Egyptian Oasis.

This led to a split within the church and to the creation of separate Nestorian churches that flourished in the Middle East and central Asia. Ironically, a book written by Nestorius was discovered in 1895, known as the Book of Heracleides, in which he explicitly denies the heresy for which he was condemned, instead, affirming of Christ "the same one is twofold" - an expression similar to the formulation of the Council of Chalcedon.).

See also: Nestorianism, Christology

External Link

Writing of Nestorius

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List of Constantinople patriarchs Succeeded by: