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Nicaea, Councils of

(modern Iznik, NW Turkey in Asia). 1. The 1st Ecumenical Council (Nicaea I). Convened by Constantine* I; probably began May or June and ended ca. August 25, 325; ca. 300 bps. present; chief concern: doctrinal issues, esp. Christology. Arians (see Arianism) proposed a creed that was rejected. Eusebius* of Caesarea proposed a creed, probably that which was used at baptism in his ch.; it found gen. approval but was found to lack necessary precision against Arianism; clauses were added (ek tes ousias tou patros, “of the substance of the Father”; gennethenta, ou poiethenta, “begotten, not made”; homoousion to patri, “of one substance with the Father”). The 3d art. has the statement “and in the Holy Spirit” and then anathematizes those who hold Arian propositions. The “Nicene Creed” as we know it is a later modification of the creed adopted 325 at Nicaea; see Constantinople, Councils of, 1; Ecumenical Creeds, B See also Homoousios. The Council also fixed the date of Easter (see Easter Controversy). See also Agapetae.

2. The 7th Ecumenical Council (Nicaea II). Convened by Byzantine Empress Irene (ca. 752–803; b. Athens, Greece; wife of Emp. Leo IV [the Khazar; ca. 750–780; m. Irene 769; E Roman emp. 775–780]; coruler with her son Constantine VI 780–797; sole ruler 797–802; deposed) in the name of Constantine VI; met August 786–October 787; opened in the basilica of the Holy Apostles, Constantinople; disrupted by iconoclastic soldiers; transferred to Nicaea, where it met September 24–October 23, 787; est. legitimacy of veneration of images as opposed to latria*; declared belief in efficacy of prayers of saints. See also Mariology.

See also Councils and Synods; Doctrine, Christian, History of, 3.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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