MapIt! Week 1

This map shows the geographical location of four important ecumenical councils, including Constantinople, Chalcedon, Nicaea, and Ephesus. The first three are very close to each other geographically, which is not something that I was previously aware of. Ephesus is also not too far from these other cities. Notably, these are all reasonably within distance to Jerusalem, and perhaps a bit further from Rome but still manageable. Being geographically close to both each other and these other holy sites makes it an ideal location to have these councils. 


WhatsIt! Definitions Week 1

Apostle: Christian missionary, especially in reference to the first ones. 

Gnostic: Esoteric knowledge pertaining to mystical and spiritual experiences. 

Codex Sinaiticus: Greek and latin text written in uncial letters, containing the new testament and other writings of the Bible. 

Bishop: Supervises local groups such as churches or diocese; important members of the Christian clergy. 

Pentarchy: Proposed form of government in early Christianity represented by five patriarchal sees. 

Eremitic Monasticism: Characterized by complete withdrawal from society. 

Cenobitic Monasticism: Religious life characterized by communal living. 

Council of Nicaea: Took place in 324 AD. Christian bishops convened in response to the Arian heresy that denies the divinity of Christ. 

Council of Ephesus: Took place in 431 AD. Christian bishops convened in response to Nestorius, who questioned whether Mary was properly named the theotokos or the christotokos. Concluded that she is theotokos. Also confirmed the Nicene Creed. 

Council of Chalcedon: Took place in 451 AD. Declared Christ had two natures, which is of both God and Man. 

Council of Constantinople: Took place in 381 AD. In response to the Macedonians, who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Summoned emperor Theodosius I, and declared that the Holy Spirit is equal to the Father and the Son, in line with Trinitarian doctrine. 

Miaphysite: The belief that Christ has only one nature, which is divine. 

Theotokos: Mother of God, or God Bearer (In Greek). 

Patriarchate: Where an ecclesiastical patriarch resides, and what he is in charge of. 

Creed: A formal statement of belief, especially in Christianity. 

Oecumenical: Pertaining to the unification of the church and religious belief. 

Basilica: Certain churches granted special privileges by the Pope, marked by a specific architectural style originating from Rome. 

Holy Sepulchre: A church built on the site of Jesus’ death and resurrection in Jerusalem. 

Ousia: Greek for “essence” or “substance.” Became important in the context of the “divine essence” of Christ in Christianity. 

Homoousia: Affirmed at the Council of Nicaea in 325, God the Son and God the Father are of the same substance. 

Proposon: “Person” in greek. Originally used to mean “face” or “mask.” 

Physis: “Nature” in Greek.

Hypostasis: An underlying essence or reality that supports all else.  

Canon: General laws, rules, or criteria by which something is judged. Can also be in reference to the Bible, which refers to the list of sacred books accepted in Christianity. 

Trinity: One God in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 

Christology: Theology relating to the person, nature, and role of Christ, as well as how he relates to us. 


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