Leontius of Jerusalem

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Sixth-century monk and theologian. Leontius belonged to the party of Neochalcedonians, or Cyrillian Chalcedonians. He is known only from two works, composed probably during the reign of justinian i, before the outbreak of the controversy over the three chapters (c. 544), Contra Monophysitas, and Adversus Nestorianos. Leontius insisted that the Christological formula of the Council of chalcedon (451), stating that Jesus Christ is one person (hypostasis) in two natures, could be interpreted only by means of the Christology of cyril of alexandria. Therefore he identified the one hypostasis of Jesus Christ with one hypostasis of the Trinity, that is, with the Word of God, who was incarnate in Jesus Christ. His Contra Monophysitas defends this position against the Monophysites and against severus of antioch, whereas the longer Adversus Nestorianos defends it against his orthodox Chalcedonian critics: the strict Dyophysites of the tradition of the school of Antioch, as well as, it seems, the Origenistic Chalcedonians (see leontius of byzantium).

Because Justinian I was a Cyrillian Chalcedonian, it has been suggested that Leontius was the emperor's theological adviser and that he, and not Leontius of Byzantium, was the Leontius present at the colloquy of 532 between the orthodox and the Monophysites and at the council of 536. Although as a Cyrillian Chalcedonian Leontius stood in the mainstream of the development of Eastern orthodox Christology, his work seems to have been little used in later times.

Bibliography: Patrologia Graeca 86:13951902. m. richard, Mélanges de science religieuse (1944) 3588. c. moeller, in a. grillmeier and h. bacht, Das Konzil von Chalkedon: Geschichte und Gegenwart, 3 v. (Würzburg 195154) 1:686687, 701704. Ephemerides theologicae Lovanienses 27 (1951): 467482.

[d. b. evans]