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Scythian Monks.

Four sixth-century monks who came from the region south of the mouth of the Danube. They advocated a christology* which was both Chalcedonian and Cyrillian as well as an Augustinian doctrine of grace*. See Augustine of Hippo; Chalcedon, Council of, Christ Jesus; Christology; Cyril of Alexandria; Grace. These monks made an important contribution to christology in the wake of Chalcedon by proposing the formula “one of the Trinity was crucified in the flesh.” This formula served to refute the tendency, seen by the Scythian monks as Nestorian, (see Nestorianism) to interpret Chalcedon as ascribing Christ's miracles to his divine nature while ascribing his suffering only to his human nature. Led by John Maxentius, the Scythian monks argued for this formula at Constantinople but were opposed by legates from Rome and by the Sleepless Monks. Failing to gain acceptance in Constantinople, they traveled to Rome in 519 in hopes of winning Pope Hormisdas' support. Despite an initial warm reception and supportive letters from Justinian* who had by then changed his mind about them, they were unable to win over the pope. In 520, the pope sent them away without giving his judgment on their position. Finally, they wrote a letter to the bishops of North Africa who at that time were exiled by the Vandals to Sardinia. Fulgentius of Ruspe composed the reply of the African bishops accepting the christological formula as well as the monks' Augustinian doctrine of grace (though Fulgentius preferred to refer to Christ as “one person of the Trinity” rather than “one of the Trinity”). Eventually the Scythian formula was approved by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553. See Constantinople, Councils of. DRM

See also Councils and Synods; Ecumenical Creeds; Fulgentius Claudius Gordianus; Titular Bishop; Trinity.

Patrick T. R. Gray, The Defense of Chalcedon in the East. Studies in the History of Christian Thought, ed. Heiko A. Oberman, v. 20 (Leiden, 1979); Aloys Grillmeier, S.J., Christ in Christian Tradition. Volume Two: From the Council of Chalcedon (451) to Gregory the Great (590–604). Trans. John Cawte and Pauline Allen (Louisville, 1995); John Maxentius, Libellus Fidei. Ed. François Glorie. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 85A (Turnholt, 1978) pp. 6–25; Edward Schwartz, Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum. Tome 4, vol. 2, Concilium Univerale Constantinopolitanum Sub lustiniano Habitum. Trübner, 1934, i–xxxii.

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

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