Organization of the Christian Church at the Synod of Chalcedon 451 CE


Map Code: Ax00108

In 451 CE, the fourth ecumenical council of the Christian Church convened in Chalcedon, Turkey. It was here that over 520 bishops met to agree on the doctrinal canons of Christianity. These included the Nicene Creed: God is the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost, a view accepted by the entire Christian Church. However, the Chalcedonian definition of Jesus Christ as two separate natures, with two wills, divine and human, was rejected by the Churches known as the Oriental Orthodox, under Alexander, Antiochia and Hierosolyma, who refused to repudiate their belief that Jesus Christ was two natures but one will. The creed that Jesus Christ is two distinct wills was driven by the Church under Constantinople and accepted as doctrine by the Churches of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church. This schism created dangerous tensions within the Byzantine Empire, with each side considering the other to be heretics.

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