Cyril of Alexandria

Cyril of Alexandria
(d. 444)
   Saint, Patriarch and Theologian.
   Cyril was the nephew of Patriarch Theophilus and he succeeded his uncle as Patriarch of Alexandria in 412. He is primarily remembered as an indefatigable warrior for orthodoxy. He combated the teachings of nestorius by sending him twelve condemnations. In 431, at the Council of Ephesus, he orchestrated the deposition of Nestorius from the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This decision was supported by the Emperor and Nestorius was exiled in Antioch. However, the Antiochene delegates, in their turn, attempted to depose Cyril and a compromise was reached only after further imperial intervention. Many of Cyril’s theological works survive, including two anti-Arian treatises, a reply to the writings of julian the apostate, several sermons and biblical exegeses and certain anti- Nestorian works including That Christ is One. He was a determined defender of the hypostatic union of the divine and the human in the person of Jesus Christ. Although he has been accused of Apollinarianism and Monophysitism because he occasionally uses the Greek term phusis to mean person as well as nature, his teachings must be seen as anticipating the final Chalcedon definition of the Trinity.
   R.V. Sellers, Two Ancient Christologies (1940);
   J. McGuckin, Cyril of Alexandria (1993).

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