Oleg Davydenkov, archpriest

Theodore abu Qurrah As a polemicist with Monophysites

Oleg Davydenkov (2017) "Theodore abu Qurrah As a polemicist with Monophysites ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia I : Bogoslovie. Filosofiia. Religiovedenie, 2017, vol. 72, pp. 28-47 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturI201772.28-47


Theodore Abu Qurrah c. 750 — c. 830 A. D., Bishop of Harran, the founder of the Melkite theological tradition, is mainly known in modern patrology as an apologist for Christianity in the face of Islam, Judaism and Manichaeism. However, researchers often overlook the fact that Abu Qurrah was primarily an Orthodox theologian who saw the main purpose of his activities in the positive exposition of the Orthodox faith, as well as in polemics with heterodox Christians Monophysites, Nestorians, Maronites. Of all heresies, Theodore considered the most dangerous the moderate Monophysitism of Severus of Antioch. This article discusses the argument of the Bishop of Harran against the Severian doctrine of one composite nature of the incarnated God the Word. We come to a conclusion that Theodore was not only aware of the patristic tradition of criticising the Severian concept of the composite nature, but also enriched it. Of the ten arguments that he presented against this doctrine fi ve do not occur, at least explicitly, in the Byzantine Chalcedonian tradition. Abu Qurrah complements the argument against the concept of the composite nature with a criticism of the Severian use of the anthropological paradigm and tries to establish the limits of its use in the Orthodox Christology.


Monophysitism, Chalcedonians, Severians, Melkites, Christology, one composite nature, anthropological paradigm


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Information about the author

Oleg Davydenkov, archpriest

Academic Degree: Doctor of Theology;
Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in Philosophy;
Academic Rank: Professor;
Place of work: St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University for the Humanities, 6/1 Likhov pereulok, Moscow 127051, Russian Federation;
Email: odavydenkov@yandex.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.