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Author Topic: more ?'s about Manzikert  (Read 533 times) Average Rating: 0
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deusveritasest
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« on: August 08, 2010, 11:03:07 PM »

For one, I am wondering if what happened at the Council of Manzikert is generally understood as a restoration of full communion between the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church or if it is understood that full communion was never really broken and that it was rather a clarification and confirmation of full communion that existed despite lack of visible interaction (like what the Maronites claim with Rome). While in the past I had thought it was the former, I am beginning now to think that it was the latter. So far as I understand it, the Armenian church started out dependent on the Cappadocian/Pontian church, in 370 established autocephaly (which was probably rightfully theirs in the first place, not being part of the Roman Empire at the time), spent the next few centuries in conflict with the Byzantines, and then finally settled with communion with the West Syrians. Nowhere in this do I see a formal breach of communion between the two before Manzikert. Can someone explain if I've got the right understanding? Or is there something about the conflict hinted at at Manzikert that I'm not seeing?

The other thing I am wondering about is if the Armenians and Syrians actually had truly divergent understandings of the nature of Christ that they worked out at Manzikert, or if they had simply developed a misunderstanding of what the other believed because of using different language. Did the Armenians believe that Christ did not suffer the "blameless corruptions" that Severus wrote about, for what he meant by them? Was the understanding of what "corruption" meant fundamentally different? Was the Armenian conception of "corruption" inherently tied into sin, thus rendering "blameless corruptions" unintelligible?
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« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2010, 11:36:21 PM »

I don't think we had a breach of communion.  I think Manzikert was about the Armenians and Syriac Orthodox getting together and having a "meeting of the minds" over Christology and the issue of corruptibility.  I think they just wanted to clarify with each other what each Church believed and come up with a list of common statements, or anathemas.
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vasnTearn
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 04:24:46 AM »

The other thing I am wondering about is if the Armenians and Syrians actually had truly divergent understandings of the nature of Christ that they worked out at Manzikert, or if they had simply developed a misunderstanding of what the other believed because of using different language. Did the Armenians believe that Christ did not suffer the "blameless corruptions" that Severus wrote about, for what he meant by them? Was the understanding of what "corruption" meant fundamentally different? Was the Armenian conception of "corruption" inherently tied into sin, thus rendering "blameless corruptions" unintelligible?
Yes, you are right. The Armenians did not and do not call the "blameless PASSIONS" of the Lord "corruption". That is, hunger, thirst etc that our Lord experienced and experienced truly, not in semblance, were not corruption but voluntary acts of economy of salvation. Because, according to the Armenian Fathers, the term "corruption" is always negative and corruption is the result of sin, while in the Lord there was not sin. He took the sinful and corruptible nature of man and the mortal body but by uniting this fallen humanity to His incorruptible and immortal Divinity, he made his humanity incorruptible and immortal too, by this union already and not after the resurrection only, as most of others teach. The resurrection of the Lord brought incorruptibility to OUR bodies by grace and hope, not to the Lord's body which was the same both before and after death and resurrection. He experienced weaknesses and suffered death because He Himself wanted to, He did all those things VOLUNTARILY, not being subject to. That is, if it were His will not to experience those things, He would not allow His humanity to experience those things which were natural for it (the humanity). If He wanted not to die, He would not die. (One of the examples that the Armenian Fathers bring is Lord's feeling hunger after the 40 days and not earlier or later. He hungered only after 40 days, because it was His will to do so. Otherwise, it is not natural for us, simple humans, to feel hunger so late. They also quote John 10:18 ("No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."). Also the words of the Lord after the Resurrection, "Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself" (Luke 24:39), because the Classical Armenian translation of this verse translates the Greek "autos" here as the "same": "Behold... that I am the same".)
When considering the Lord's actions, the Armenian Fathers never allow any thought that could divide this union of the Lord's humanity and divinity.  They consider nothing outside this union. Every moment and every act of the Lord's life on earth had as its beginning and source this union and not separately His divinity or humanity. And the result of this understanding is the teaching of incorruptibility. Because we can't consider only His humanity, separating it from His divinity. Only in this latter case could we allow the thought of corruptibility ascribed to the Lord in any way. But this contradicts to the true "miaphysitism".
Writings on this issue by the Armenian Fathers were composed not only before the times of the Council of Manazkert ("Seal of Faith" comprised by Catholicos Komitas (VII century) is devoted mainly to this subject), but later too. What I wrote above is based on one of the treatises of Hovhannes Sarkavag (John the Deacon) who lived in the 11th-12th centuries. St Nerses the Grace-filled also had this teaching. Some centuries later St Gregory of Tathev taught the same. So this teaching of the Armenian Church is very stable and hasn't changed during centuries.



« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 04:28:54 AM by vasnTearn » Logged
deusveritasest
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 05:38:54 PM »

I don't think we had a breach of communion.  I think Manzikert was about the Armenians and Syriac Orthodox getting together and having a "meeting of the minds" over Christology and the issue of corruptibility.  I think they just wanted to clarify with each other what each Church believed and come up with a list of common statements, or anathemas.

I would imagine that given the origins of the Armenian church with the Cappadocian/Pontian church, which later went Chalcedonian, that it probably formed a particular partnership with the West Syrians that had not been in its origins?
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2010, 10:26:42 PM »

Another thing is that pretty much all the perspectives I have heard about Manzikert have been Armenian. Does anyone know of any resources for Syriac Orthodox explanations of Manzikert?
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