- State church of the Roman Empire
State church of the Roman Empire
Bust of Emperor Constantine at the Capitoline Museums. Constantine established imperial involvement in the Church.
The state church of the Roman Empire was a Christian institution organized within the Roman Empire during the 4th century that came to represent the Empire's sole authorized religion. This church emerged as Roman Emperor Constantine established tolerance for Christianity during his reign and established a precedent of imperial involvement in matters of the Christian faith. By the end of the 4th century Emperor Theodosius had established a single Christian doctrine (the details would be formalized by the first seven Ecumenical Councils) as the state's official religion. The officially sanctioned church would go on to become a key part of the empire and its identity throughout the Middle Ages. The emperor himself came to be seen as the church's defender and leader, along with the bishops.
The Christian religion, which emerged in the 1st century, had become a target of persecution in the Roman Empire during Christianity's early history, mostly in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Emperors Galerius and Constantine permanently ended the general persecution in the early 4th century with the Edict of Milan. As a result of the Donatist controversy Constantine convened councils of Christian bishops to define an orthodox, or correct, Christian faith, expanding on earlier Christian councils. Numerous councils were held during the 4th and 5th centuries leading to rifts and schisms including the Arian schism, the Nestorian schism, and the Miaphysite schism. Throughout this process emperors became increasingly involved in the church, funding construction of church buildings, presiding over church councils, and even becoming involved in the appointment of bishops. In 380 Emperor Theodosius issued the Edict of Thessalonica, which formally established the Christian doctrine established at the First Council of Nicaea as the Empire's sole recognized religion. The church hierarchy in the Empire would continue to evolve throughout its history. In the 6th century Emperor Justinian established the bishops of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem as the leadership of the imperial church, referred to as the Pentarchy.
While the Western Empire decayed as a polity, with Rome being sacked in 410, 455, and 546, and Romulus Augustus being forced by Odoacer to abdicate in 476, the church as an institution persisted in communion, if not without tension, between the east and west. While the Muslim conquests of the 7th century would begin a process of converting most of the Christian world in West Asia and North Africa to Islam severely weakening both the Byzantine Empire and its church, missionary activities throughout its history created a communion of churches that extended beyond the empire, as such a communion extending beyond the empire existed even before the establishment of the state church of the empire. In the west, the obliteration of the empire's boundaries by Germanic peoples and an outburst of missionary activity among these peoples, who had no direct links with the Byzantine Empire, and among Celtic peoples, who had never been part of the Roman Empire, fostered the idea of a universal church free from association with a particular polity. With the 25 December 800 AD crowning of Charlemagne as Imperator Romanorum by his ally, Pope Leo III, the de facto political split between east and west became irrevocable and the church in the west was clearly no longer part of the state church of the Byzantine Empire. Spiritually, the Chalcedonian Church, as a communion broader than the imperial state church, continued to persist as a unified entity, at least in theory, until the Great Schism and its formal division with the mutual excommunication in 1054 of Rome and Constantinople.
Modern authors refer to this state church in a variety of ways: as the catholic church, the orthodox church, the imperial church, the imperial Roman church, or the Byzantine church, some of which terms they use also of wider communions extending outside the Roman Empire. Its legacy carries on, directly or indirectly, in today's Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church and in others, such as the Anglican Communion.
Early Christianity in relation to the state
The first Christians were all Jewish or Jewish proselytes, either by birth or conversion, referred to by historians as the Jewish Christians. An evangelical movement developed as Christian Apostles, including Paul of Tarsus, Simon Peter, and Didymus Thomas, spread the religion outside Judea, both inside and outside of the Jewish community, presumably following the Great Commission to spread Jesus' teachings to "all nations". By the end of the 1st century, Christianity began to be recognized as a separate religion from Rabbinic Judaism. Within the Roman Empire the primary language through which the religion was transmitted was Greek, whereas to the east Aramaic and other languages played at least as large a role. Church Fathers further developed Christian theology and laid the groundwork for the doctrine of the Trinity.
The spread of the faith in the western Mediterranean and western Europe was relatively limited in the first few centuries though some significant Christian communities emerged in Rome, Carthage, and other urban centers. Nevertheless, by the end of the 3rd century Christianity had become the dominant faith in some urban centers. Christians accounted for approximately 10% of the Roman population by 300, according to some estimates. In 301, the Kingdom of Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity.
Early Christians suffered sporadic persecution because they refused to worship the Roman gods or to pay homage to the emperor as divine. The Jews likewise objected to these Roman practices, but were granted an exemption so long as they paid the Fiscus Iudaicus. Christians in Rome may have been first distinguished from the Jews by their refusal to pay this tax. According to Will Durant, the Christian Church prevailed over Paganism because it offered a much more attractive doctrine and because the church leaders addressed human needs better than their rivals. The First Council of Nicaea generally marks the end of Early Christianity and the beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils (325 - 787).
Establishment and early controversies
Major communions of the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries Communion Major churches Primary centers Chalcedonian
Roman imperial church
Rome, Alexandria, Constantinople Nestorianism Persian church Syria,
Sassanid Empire (Persia)
Miaphysitism Armenian Church
Syriac Church, Ethiopian Church
Armenia, Syria, Egypt Donatism North Africa Arianism Gothic tribes
Diocletian's successors ended the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire. In 311 Emperor Galerius established religious tolerance and formally recognized the right of Christians to practice their faith. In 313 Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan reaffirming the tolerance of Christians and returning previously confiscated property to the churches. Constantine himself began to utilize Christian symbols early in his reign such as the Chi-Rho but still encouraged traditional Roman religious practices including sun worship. In 330 he established the city of Constantinople as the new capital of the Roman Empire. The city would gradually come to be seen as the intellectual and cultural center of the Christian world. Constantine is also associated with the topic of the Fifty Bibles of Constantine, but little is known about the details.
Over the course of the 4th century the Christian body became consumed by debates surrounding orthodoxy, i.e. which religious doctrines are the correct ones. By the early 4th century a group in North Africa, later called Donatists, who believed in a very rigid interpretation of Christianity that excluded many who had abandoned the faith during the Diocletian persecutions, created a crisis in the western Empire. A Church synod, or council, was called in Rome in 313 followed by another in Arles in 314. The latter was presided over by Constantine while he was still a junior emperor (see Tetrarchy). The councils ruled that the Donatist faith was heresy and, when the Donatists refused to recant, Constantine launched the first campaign of persecution by Christians against Christians. This was only the beginning of imperial involvement in the Christian theology. However, during the reign of Emperor Julian the Apostate, the Donatists, who formed the majority party in the Roman province of Africa for 30 years, were given official approval, a situation that has been described as making them a state church of the Roman Empire.[unreliable source?]
Christian scholars within the Empire were increasingly embroiled in debates regarding christology (i.e. debates regarding the nature of the Christ). Opinions were widespread, ranging from the belief that Jesus was entirely human to the belief that he was entirely divine. The most persistent debate was that between the homoousian, or Athanasian, view (the Father and the Son are one and the same, eternal) and the homoiousian, or Arian, view (the Father and the Son are similar, but the Father is greater than the Son). This controversy led to Constantine's calling a council meeting at Nicaea in 325. This council supported the Athanasian view and was later compared to the apostolic Council of Jerusalem which established the conditions under which gentiles (non-Jews) could join the Church.
Christological debates raged throughout the 4th century with emperors becoming ever more involved with the Church and the Church becoming ever more divided. The Council of Nicaea in 325 supported the Athanasian view. The Council of Rimini in 359 supported the Arian view. The Council of Constantinople in 360 supported a compromise that allowed for both views (see Semi-Arianism). The Council of Constantinople in 381 re-asserted the Athanasian view and rejected the Arian view. Emperor Constantine was of divided opinions (even as to whether he was Christian) but he largely backed the Athanasian faction (though he was baptized on his death bed by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia). His successor Constantius II supported a Semi-Arian position. Emperor Julian favored a return to the traditional (pagan) Roman/Greek religion but this trend was quickly quashed by his successor Jovian, a supporter of the Athanasian faction.
With the Edict of Thessalonica of 27 February 380, Emperor Theodosius I established the Christianity of the First Council of Nicaea as the official state religion, reserving for its followers the title of Catholic Christians:It is our desire that all the various nations which are subject to our Clemency and Moderation, should continue to profess that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition, and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one deity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title of Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since, in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give to their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of the divine condemnation and in the second the punishment of our authority which in accordance with the will of Heaven we shall decide to inflict.—Edict of Thessalonica
Theodosius called the Council of Constantinople in 381 to further refine the definition of orthodoxy, and according to tradition, issue the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed. In 391 Theodosius closed all of the pagan (non-Christian/non-Jewish) temples and formally forbade pagan worship. The churches adhering to Theodosius' prescriptions had effectively become a department of the Roman state. Theodosius's 380 decree explicitly declared that those who were not followers of the religion taught in Rome (literally referring to their leader Pope Damasus I) and Alexandria (literally referring to their leader Pope Peter of Alexandria) were to be called heretics.
The 5th century would see further fracturing of the Roman Church. Emperor Theodosius II called two synods in Ephesus, one in 431 CE and one in 449 CE, that addressed the teachings of then-Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius and similar teachings. Nestorius had taught that Christ's divine and human nature were distinct persons, and hence Mary was the mother of Christ but not the mother of God. The Council rejected Nestorius' view causing many churches, centered around the School of Edessa, to break with the imperial church (see Nestorian schism). Persecuted within the Roman Empire many Nestorians fled to Persia and joined the Sassanid Church (the future Church of the East) thereby making it a center of Nestorianism. In 451 the Council of Chalcedon was held to clarify the issue further. The council ultimately stated that Christ's divine and human nature were separate but both part of a single entity, a viewpoint rejected by many churches who called themselves miaphysites. The resulting schism created a communion of churches, including the Armenian, Syrian, and Egyptian churches, that is today known as Oriental Orthodoxy. In spite of these schisms, however, the imperial church still came to represent the majority of Christians within the Roman Empire.
At the end of the 4th century the Roman Empire had effectively split into two states although its economy (and the Church) were still strongly tied. The two halves of the Empire had always had cultural differences, in particular exemplified by the widespread use of the Greek language in the Eastern Empire and the more limited use of Greek in the West (Greek was used in the West but Latin was the spoken vernacular). By the 5th century scholars in the West had begun to abandon Greek in favor of the use of Latin. The Church in Rome, in particular, began to encourage the use of Latin in the western provinces and published Jerome's Vulgate, the first authorized translation of the Bible in Latin.
At the same time as these changes were taking place the Western Empire was beginning to decay rapidly. Germanic tribes, particularly the Goths, gradually conquered the western provinces. Rome was sacked in 410, 455, and 546, and by 476 CE the Germanic chieftain Odoacer had conquered Italy and deposed the last western emperor, Romulus Augustus, though he nominally submitted to the authority of Constantinople. Thus, in theory Rome was re-united with the East, but in practice Rome was more remote from Constantinople than it had been. The Arian Germanic tribes established their own systems of churches and bishops in the western provinces but were generally tolerant of those who chose to remain loyal to the imperial church.
In 533 Roman Emperor Justinian in Constantinople launched a military campaign to reclaim the western provinces from the Arian Germans, starting with North Africa and proceeding to Italy. Though he was temporarily successful in recapturing much of the western Mediterranean he destroyed the urban centers and permanently ruined the economies in much of the West. Rome and other cities were abandoned. According to the entry in Liddell & Scott, the term orthodox first occurs in the Codex Justinian I.5.21 .
By the end of the 6th century the Roman Church had become firmly tied with the imperial government. The non-Christian religious traditions of the Germanic tribes that controlled many parts of the Empire and beyond greatly influenced the Church and changed many of its practices.
Rise of Islam
During the 7th century an Arabian religious leader named Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullāh began to evangelize a new faith based on Jewish and Christian teachings as well as his own visions. This new faith, called submission or الإسلام (al-’islām) in Arabic, would ultimately prove to be the greatest[peacock term] challenge that the Roman Church had faced. By the 630s Muhammad had united the entire Arabian peninsula under Islam including the formerly Christian kingdom of Yemen.
Following Muhammad's death a Muslim empire, or caliphate, emerged which began efforts to expand beyond Arabia. Shortly before Mohammad's death the Roman Empire and Sassanid Persian Empire had concluded decades of war leaving both empires crippled. By the late 8th century the Muslim empire had conquered all of Persia and much of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) territory including Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Suddenly much of the Christian world was under Muslim rule. Over the coming centuries the Muslim nations became some of the most powerful in the Mediterranean world.
Though the Roman Church had claimed religious authority over Christians in Egypt and the Levant, in reality the majority of Christians in these regions were miaphysites and other sects that had long been persecuted by Constantinople. The new Muslim rulers, in contrast, offered religious tolerance to Christians of all sects. Additionally subjects of the Muslim Empire could be accepted as Muslims simply by declaring a belief in a single deity and reverence for Muhammad (see Shahada). As a result the peoples of Egypt and Palestine largely accepted their new rulers and many declared themselves Muslims within a few generations. Muslim incursions later found success in parts of Europe, particularly Spain (see Al-Andalus).
During the 9th century, the Roman emperor encouraged missionary expeditions to nearby nations including the Muslim caliphate, the Turkic Khazars, and Slavic Moravia. The success of these missions in Moravia led to further missions in Slavic Bulgaria and among the Kievan Rus'. The Roman Church, specifically the branch loyal to Constantinople, would gradually come to be the official state religion for most nations in Eastern Europe.
Rise of the West / Decline of the East
By the 700s the Frankish Kingdom, a Germanic kingdom that had originated east of the Rhine, ruled much of western Europe, particularly in what is now France and Germany. The first Frankish king, Clovis had joined the Roman Church in 496 and since that time the Franks had been part of the Church. In 768 Charles, son of King Pepin the Short, succeeded to the Frankish throne. During the 770s Charles the conquered the Lombards in Italy extending the Frankish realm over almost all of Italy. On Christmas Day in 800, the Roman Patriarch Leo III coronated Charles as the Roman Emperor, in essence denying the status of the Roman (Byzantine) Empress Irene, reigning in Constantinople. This act caused a substantial diplomatic rift between the Franks and the Byzantine Empire, as well as between Rome and the other patriarchs in the East. Though the rifts were settled to some degree and the Church in Rome in theory remained united with Constantinople and the rest of the imperial church, from this point forward East and West followed largely independent paths cultimating in the Great Schism.
Charles followed a policy of forcible conversion of all Frankish subjects to the Roman Church, specifically declaring loyalty to Rome (as opposed to Constantinople). The strength of the Frankish armies helped repel further incursion of Muslim forces in Europe. Charles was seen in the West as having revived the Roman Empire and came to be known as Charles the Great (Charlemagne in French). The re-unification of Europe led to increased prosperity and a slow re-emergence of culture and learning in Western Europe. Charlemagne's empire came to be called the Holy Roman Empire by its inhabitants. The Church in Rome became a central defining symbol of this empire.
In 1054, following the death of the Patriach of Rome Leo IX, papal legates (representatives of the Pope) from Rome traveled to Constantinople to deny Michael Cerularius, the reigning Patriarch of Constantinople, the title of Ecumenical Patriarch and to insist that he recognize the Church of Rome's claim to be the head and mother of the churches. Cerularius refused resulting in the leader of the contingent from Rome excommunicating Cerularius and the legates in turn being excommunicated by Constantinople. Though the event, in and of itself, was relatively insignificant (and the authority of the legates in their actions was dubious) it ultimately marked the end of any pretense of a union between the eastern and western branches of the Church (see East–West Schism). Though efforts were made at reconciliation at various times, they remained divided, each claiming to be the true Roman Church.
The Eastern Roman or Byzantine imperial church headed by Constantinople continued to assert its universal authority. By the 1200s this assertion was becoming increasing irrelevant as the Eastern Roman Empire shrank and the Ottoman Turks took over most of what was left of the Empire (indirectly aided by an invasion from the West). The other Eastern European churches in communion with Constantinople were not part of its empire and were increasingly acting independently, achieving autocephalous status and only nominally acknowledging Constantinople's standing in the Church hierarchy. In Western Europe the Holy Roman Empire fragmented making it less of an empire as well.
Church councils after 300 Year Location Bishops in
Result 313 Rome no 314 Arles no Donatist schism 325 Nicea 318 yes 335 Tyre no 353 Arles no 357 Sirmium no 359 Rimini 400 no Supported
359 Seleucia no 359 Constantinople no Supported
381 Constantinople 150 yes Condemned all
382 Rome no 431 Ephesus 160 yes Nestorian schism 449 Ephesus 140 no 451 Chalcedon 370 yes Miaphysite schism 475 Ephesus no 553 Constantinople 558 yes 680 Constantinople 174 yes 692 Constantinople 215 no 754 Hieria/
338 no 787 Nicea 350 yes 869-870 Constantinople 102 west only 879-880 Constantinople 383 initially accepted by
both east and west,
later only by the east
Condemned the Filioque
addition to the Creed
The leaders of the Christian communities periodically gathered at synods, or councils, to organize the Church and establish doctrine, the very first being the Council of Jerusalem around the year 50. Early councils, including the Synods of Antioch, had taken place prior to Constantine's involvement in the Church. As the Roman emperors became involved, they commonly called and even presided over the councils within the empire. Separate councils, such as the Persian Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in 410 CE, the Council of Dvin in 506 CE, the Council of Orléans in 511, and the Synod of Whitby in 664, were held outside the Roman Empire and outside the Roman Church to formally organize non-Roman Christians.
Beginning with those called by Constantine, the most significant role of the councils of the 4th and 5th centuries was to define orthodoxy within the Empire and to brand competing philosophies as heresies. As a side effect of this process a tradition of persecution against unorthodox Christians was established that lasted in Europe long after the age of the Roman Empire. Successive councils frequently contradicted one another. Councils were often declared as ecumenical (i.e. general and binding) only to be declared heretical later.
The Council of Nicaea in 325 CE established a general statement of faith known as the Nicene Creed. Though this statement of faith would be debated and revised by future councils, it still remains a key statement of faith for many Christian sects today. This council and most of the other councils of the 4th century dealt with the debate between the Athanasian and Arian christological viewpoints. The Council of Nicaea backed the Athanasian view whereas the Council of Rimini backed the Arian view (Rimini actually had more attendees than Nicaea). Ultimately the Athanasian view with its formulation of the Holy Trinity became the official state religion.
During the 5th century the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Chalcedon in 451 led to the schism with the Church of the East and the schism with the Miaphysites. The latter schism established what is today known as Oriental Orthodoxy.
From the earliest times of the imperial church bishops sought to establish hierarchy within the Church structure. The First Council of Nicea in 325, in canon 6, recognized the already existing special authority of the sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, while canon 7 granted special recognition to Jerusalem. Debate followed even after Justinian I established a Pentarchy consisting of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem. The emperor's decree was given ecclesiastical sanction in the Quinisext Council of 692, whose decisions, however, were never fully accepted by the Western Church. In the East the pentarchy of these five patriarchates was recognized as the leadership of the state church, but not by the popes, who recognized as holding a real patriarchal function only the three "Petrine" sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch, in accordance with the canons of the First Council of Nicaea. In the East too, under the influence of the imperial model of governance of the state church, in which "the emperor becomes the actual executive organ of the universal Church", the pentarchy model of governance of the state church regressed to a monarchy of the Patriarch of Constantinople.
Following the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches various emperors and patriarchs at times sought to re-unite the Church. These efforts were not successful in any meaningful way. As the Eastern Roman Empire crumbled, the notion of Christian unity under the old imperial church would be invoked by Constantinople in an attempt to seek assistance from the Patriarch of Rome (the Pope) and Western Europe against the Muslims who had gradually conquered Roman territories. The result was the Crusades, centuries of warfare between Christians from all over Europe and Muslims in Asia and Africa. The effort did not unify the Christian world. Ironically it was the Western Crusaders who ultimately broke the back of the Eastern Roman Empire (see Fourth Crusade).
Throughout Europe, even after the fall of Constantinople to the Muslim Turks, an ideal of a never-ending imperial church connected to the old Roman Empire particularly in the Western Europe and the Russian Empire. Author Arthur Boak, in discussing the see of Rome, statesIt was the papacy also which kept alive in western Europe the ideal of a universal imperial Church, for the whole of western Christendom came to acknowledge the supremacy of the Roman see.—Arthur Edward Romilly Boak, A history of Rome to 565 A. D.
The reference book Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, now in its ninth edition, with "its enhanced focus on religion and philosophy", presents western Europe as abandoning the idea of a single universal empire in favour of the idea of a single universal supranational church: "Membership in a universal church replaced citizenship in a universal empire. Across Europe, from Italy to Ireland, a new society centered on Christianity was forming."
As East and West continued to divide, the Western Church would come to emphasize the term Catholic in its identity, emphasizing its assertion of universality, whereas the Eastern Church would come, after the episode of Byzantine iconoclasm, to emphasize the term Orthodox in its identity, emphasizing its assertion as holding to the true teachings of Jesus. Both churches would claim to be the unique continuation of the Roman Church. Many of the churches that emerged from the Protestant Reformation, including the Lutheran Church and the Anglican Church, similarly claimed legitimacy, retaining the core doctrinal formulations of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils.
- Arian controversy
- Chalcedonian Christianity
- Christianity in Iran
- Early Christianity
- History of late ancient Christianity
- History of the Orthodox Church
- ^ McGrath (2006), p. 414.
Chaurasia (2001), p. 170.
Goodenough (1970), ch. 2.
Ruether (2008), p. 14.
- ^ Park (2008), p. 34.
Forster (2008), p. 41.
- ^ Bury (2009), p. 63.
McManners (2001), p. 127.
- ^ Gerland, Ernst. "The Byzantine Empire" in The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. Retrieved 19 July 2010
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Amory (), pp. 259–262.
- ^ Payton (2007), p. 29.
- ^ Irvin (2002), p. 164, ch. 15.
- ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, Facts about Julian: Donatists
- ^ George M. Ella, The Donatists and Their Relation to Church and State
- ^ Carroll (1987), p. 11.
- ^ Irvin (2002), p. 164, ch. 16.
- ^ Bettenson (1967), p. 22.
- ^ American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (1857), p. 89.
- ^ Bussell (1910), p. 346.
- ^ Latourette (1975), p. 183.
- ^ Code of Justinian: "We direct that all Catholic churches, throughout the entire world, shall be placed under the control of the orthodox bishops who have embraced the Nicene Creed."
- ^ Cairns (1996), p. 124. "By 590 the church had not only been freed from persecution by the Roman state but had become closely linked with that state."
- ^ Cairns (1996), p. 124.
- ^ Cardini (2001), p. 9.
- ^ a b c d Fortescue (1908), p. 73.
- ^ a b Pelikan (2005), p. 258.
- ^ Wordsworth (1887), p. 392.
- ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica "Quinisext Council"
- ^ Wilhelm de Fries, The College of Patriarchs from the Point of View of Rome
- ^ a b Joseph Ratzinger, Church, Ecumenism and Politics, p. 95
- ^ Milton V. Anastos, Constantinople and Rome
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- ^ Description of the book
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- Pelikan, Jaroslav Jan (2005). Creeds and confessions of faith in the Christian tradition. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300109740. http://books.google.com/books?id=QqrdwBEB0SsC.
- Price, Richard; Gaddis, Michael (2005). The acts of the Council of Chalcedon. 1. Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press. ISBN 9780853230397. http://books.google.com/books?id=6IUaOOT1G3UC.
- Ruether, Rosemary Radford (2008). Christianity and Social Systems: Historical Constructions and Ethical Challenges. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-0742546431. http://books.google.com/books?id=zMHJd2j1WtUC.
- Schaff, Philip; Schaff, David Schley (1910). History of the Christian church (9th ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. http://books.google.com/books?id=norYAAAAMAAJ.
- Teja, Ramon (15 September 2006). "El poder de la iglesia imperial : El mito de constantino y el papado romano". Stud, hist., Ha antig. 24: 63–81. ISSN 0213-2052. http://campus.usal.es/~revistas_trabajo/index.php/0213-2052/article/viewFile/5949/5977.
- Wordsworth, Christopher (1887). A church history. 1 (3rd ed.). New York: James Pott and Co.. http://books.google.com/books?id=-frXbxA9l-YC.
Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches of Eastern Orthodoxy Autocephalous Churches Autonomous Churches * Autocephaly or autonomy is not universally recognized.
** Semi-autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church whose autonomy is not universally recognized.
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