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The Three Chapters

The Three Chapters is the title of Justinian's anathemas, issued 543/544, against the writings and the person of Theodore of Mopsuestia; against the writings of Theodoret of Cyrrhus against Cyril of Alexandria; and the letter of Ibas of Edessa to Maris. The emperor saw in these works the seeds of Nestorianism and sought to condemn them to conciliate the Monophysites who saw the established church as Nestorian and rejected the Council of Chaldedon (451) on that basis. Some in the church, in particular Vigilius of Rome and John of Antioch, refused to condemn men who had died at peace with the church. The emperor failed to reconcile the Monophysites to the church; the Second Council of Constantinople (553), the Fifth Oecumenical Council, endorsed The Three Chapters. The name, the Three Chapters, came to apply later to the works condemned, rather than to the anathema.

Karen Rae Keck


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