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Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorian Controversy

The Making of a Saint and of a Heretic

Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorian Controversy by Susan Wessel
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What were the historical and cultural processes by which Cyril of Alexandria was elevated to canonical status while his opponent, Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, was made into a heretic? In contrast to previous scholarship, Susan Wessel concludes that Cyril's success in being elevated to orthodox status was not simply a political accomplishment based on political alliances he had fashioned as opportunity arose. Nor was it a dogmatic victory, based on the clarityand orthodoxy of Cyril's doctrinal claims. Instead, it was his strategy in identifying himself with the orthodoxy of the former bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, in his victory over Arianism, in borrowing Athanasius' interpretive methods, and in skilfully using the tropes and figures of the secondsophistic that made Cyril a saint in the Greek and Coptic Orthodox Churches.
OUP Oxford; October 2004
380 pages; ISBN 9780191533273
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Title: Cyril of Alexandria and the Nestorian Controversy
Author: Susan Wessel
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