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  • Sarah Morgan


Doctrinal position on the nature of Jesus Christ followed by the Nestorian or Assyrian Church, more properly known as the Ancient Church of the East. The name is derived from Nestorius ( 381–c. 451), who was Patriarch of Constantinople (now Istanbul) between 428 and 431. The theological views that came to be associated with him had arisen in the late 4th century among Christian thinkers of the Antioch school, who rejected the Orthodox dogma as established at the Council of Nicaea in 325. The Antiochenes taught that Christ had two distinct natures, human and divine, whereas the Nicene formula maintained that these two natures were perfectly united in Christ. The Christological debate intensified when Nestorius, a follower of the Antioch school, succeeded to the patriarchate. After he was deposed, the doctrine he represented was declared heretical. By the mid-5th century the Nestorians had split away from the Orthodox Church and controlled the see of Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Iraq, later spreading into Iran. For the next 800 years the Nestorian Church flourished, establishing important missionary communities in Central Asia, India and China, where inscribed stelae commemorating its expansion have been found. Converts were also made among the Turks and Mongols. From the 11th century the Nestorian Church began to decline under the attacks of the Mongols (now converted to Islam), until in the 14th century it was forced to remove itself into Kurdistan, where it survived into the 20th century....

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