Philoxenus of Mabbugh

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Syrian bishop and influential Monophysite theologian; b. Tahal, Persia, c. 450; d. Philippopolis, Thrace, Dec. 10, 523. After studying in Edessa and rejecting the current Nestorianism of that school, Philoxenus was selected bishop of Mabbugh (Hierapolis in Syria) by Peter the Fuller, patriarch of Antioch, in 485. An ardent opponent of the doctrine of the Council of chalcedon, and a friend of the Emperor Anastasius I, he was humiliated at the Synod of Sidon (511); but in the following year he succeeded in having many of his orthodox enemies deposed from neighboring sees and had severus of antioch installed as patriarch (512518). Exiled to Philippopolis by the orthodox Emperor justin i in 519, he continued his polemical and ascetic writings despite the rigors of captivity.

A classical author in Syrian literature, Philoxenus is honored as a saint and doctor by the Jacobite (Monophy-site) Church. Among his 80 major exegetical, dogmatic, homiletic, and ascetical writings, 13 orations on Christian life, 5 tracts on the Incarnation and the Trinity, and a collection of letters have been edited. Although vehement, his monophysitism is more verbal than actual. He adhered to the pre-Chalcedonian, Cyrillian terminology and preached a dynamic Christology, which he opposed to a suppositious dualism of Chalcedon. Inspired by the Alexandrian theological school, his thinking was creative and original.

Bibliography: The Discourses of Philoxenus, ed. and tr. e. a. w. budge, 2 v. (London 1894). e. lemoine, ed. and tr., Sources Chrétiennes v. 44 (1956). r. lavenant, ed. and tr., Patrologia orientalis 30.5 (1963) 725894. i. ortiz de urbina, Patrologia syriaca (Rome 1958) 147150, complete bibliog. e. stein, Histoire de Bas-Empire. tr. j. r. palanque (Paris 194959) 2:157159, 171173, 232. a. de halleux, Philoxène de Mabboug, sa vie, ses écrits, sa théologie (Louvain 1963). e. tisserant, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 12.2:150932.

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Philoxenus of Mabbugh

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