Skip to main content
Select Source:

Nestorianism

Nestorianism, Christian heresy that held Jesus to be two distinct persons, closely and inseparably united. In 428, Emperor Theodosius II named an abbot of Antioch, Nestorius (d. 451?), as patriarch of Constantinople. In that year Nestorius, who had been a pupil of Theodore of Mopsuestia, outraged the Christian world by opposing the use of the title Mother of God for the Virgin on the grounds that, while the Father begot Jesus as God, Mary bore him as a man. This view was contradicted by Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, and both sides appealed to Pope Celestine I. The Council of Ephesus (see Ephesus, Council of) was convened in 431 to settle the matter. This council (reinforced by the Council of Chalcedon in 451) clarified orthodox Catholic doctrine, pronouncing that Jesus, true God and true man, has two distinct natures that are inseparably joined in one person and partake of the one divine substance. Nestorius, deposed after the Council of Ephesus, was sent to Antioch, to Arabia, and finally to Egypt. A work believed to be by Nestorius, Bazaar of Heraclides, discovered c.1895, gives an account of the controversy. The patriarch of Antioch and his bishops, accusing Cyril of unscrupulous action, stayed out of communion with Alexandria until a compromise was reached in 433, but though the subject was discussed in 553 at the Second Council of Constantinople (see Constantinople, Second Council of), Nestorianism was practically dead in the empire after 451. Nestorianism survived outside the Roman Empire through missionary expansion into Arabia, China, and India from the 6th cent., but declined after 1300. The doctrines that continued in the Nestorian Church had diminishing connections with those of Nestorius. The teachings of Eutyches and Monophysitism developed partially in reaction to Nestorianism. J. Pelikan, The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (1971); and R. Norris, ed. and tr., The Christological Controversy (1980).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Nestorianism." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Nestorianism." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nestorianism

"Nestorianism." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nestorianism

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Nestorianism

Nestorianism Christian heresy according to which Jesus Christ, the incarnate God, possesses two separate natures, one divine and the other human, as opposed to the orthodox belief that Christ is one person who is at once both God and man. The heresy was associated with Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, who died in c.451. It was condemned by the Councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451). Nestorius was deposed and banished. His supporters gradually organized themselves into a separate church, which had its centre in Persia (Iran).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Nestorianism." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Nestorianism." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nestorianism

"Nestorianism." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/nestorianism

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Nestorianism

Nestorianism. The Christian heresy that within the incarnate Christ there were two separate persons, the one divine, the other human. It is named for Nestorius (d. c.451), patriarch of Constantinople from 428, who rejected the title Theotokos (‘God-bearer’) for the Virgin Mary as suggesting Apollinarianism.

The so-called Nestorian Church is the ancient church of the Persian empire, now most properly called the Church of the East.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Nestorianism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Nestorianism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nestorianism

"Nestorianism." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/nestorianism

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.