Cyril of Jerusalem

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'''Cyril of Jerusalem''' was a distinguished theologian of the early Church (315-386). He is venerated as a saint by both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
+
Our Father Among the Saints '''Cyril of Jerusalem''' (315-386) was a distinguished [[theologian]] and [[archbishop]] of [[Church of Jerusalem|Jerusalem]] in the early Church. He is celebrated by the [[Orthodox Church]] on [[March 18]].
  
<H2>Life and Character.</h2>
+
== Life and Character ==
 +
Little is known of his life before he became [[bishop]]; the assignment of the year 315 for his birth rests on mere conjecture.  He seems to have been ordained [[deacon]] by Bishop [[Macarius of Jerusalem]] about 335, and priest some ten years later by Maximus.  Naturally inclined to peace and conciliation, he took at first a rather moderate position, distinctly averse from [[Arianism]],
 +
but (like not a few of his undoubtedly orthodox contemporaries) by no means eager to accept the uncompromising term ''[[homoousios]]''.  Separating from his [[metropolitan]], [[Acacius of
 +
Caesarea]], a partisan of [[Arius]], Cyril took the side of the Eusebians, the "right wing" of the
 +
post-[[First Ecumenical Council|Nicene]] conciliation party, and thus got into difficulties with his superior, which were increased by Acacius's jealousy of the importance assigned to Cyril's see by the [[First Ecumenical Council|First Council of Nicaea]]. A council held under Acacius's influence in 358 deposed Cyril and forced him to retire to Tarsus. At that time he was officially charged with selling church property to help the poor, although the actual motivation appears to be that Cyril was teaching Nicene and not Arian doctrine in his catechism. On the other hand, the conciliatory Council of Seleucia in the following year, at which Cyril was present, deposed Acacias. In 360 the process was reversed through the metropolitan's court influence, and Cyril
 +
suffered another year's exile from Jerusalem, until [[Julian the Apostate]]'s accession allowed him to return. The Arian emperor [[Valens]] banished him once more in 367, after which he remained undisturbed until his death, his jurisdiction being expressly confirmed by the [[Second Ecumenical Council|First Council of Constantinople]] (381), at which he was present. At that council, he voted for acceptance of the term ''homoousios'', having been finally convinced that there was no better alternative.
  
Little is known
+
== Theological Position ==
of his life before he became bishop; the assignment
+
Though his theology was at first somewhat indefinite in phraseology, he undoubtedly gave a
of the year 315 for his birth rests on mere
+
thorough adhesion to the Nicene orthodoxy. Even if he does avoid the debatable term ''homoousios'',
conjecture.  He seems to have been ordained deacon by
+
he expresses its sense in many passages, which  exclude equally [[Patripassianism]], [[Sabellianism]], and the Arian formula "There was a time when the Son was not." In other points he takes the ordinary ground of the Eastern Fathers, as in the emphasis he lays on the freedom of the will, the ''autexousion'', and his imperfect realization of the factor so much more strongly brought out in the West -- sin. To him sin is the consequence of freedom, not a natural condition. The body is not the cause, but the instrument of sin. The remedy for it is repentance, on which he insists. Like many of the Eastern Fathers, he has an essentially moralistic conception of Christianity. His doctrine of the [[Resurrection]] is not quite so realistic as that of other
Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem about 335, and priest
+
Fathers; but his [[ecclesiology|conception of the Church]] is decidedly empirical -- the existing catholic Church form is the true one, intended by Christ, the completion of the Church of the [[Old Testament]]. His doctrine on the [[Eucharist]] is noteworthy. If he sometimes seems to approach the symbolical view, at other times he comes very close to a strong realistic doctrine. The bread and wine are not mere elements, but the body and blood of [[Christ]].
some ten years later by Maximus. Naturally
+
inclined to peace and conciliation, he
+
took at first a rather moderate
+
position, distinctly averse from Arianism,
+
but (like not a few of his undoubtedly
+
orthodox contemporaries) by no means eager
+
to accept the uncompromising term ''homooussios''.
+
Separating from his metropolitan, Acacius of
+
Caesarea (q.v.), a partizan of Arius, Cyril took the
+
side of the Eusebians, the "right wing" of the
+
post-Nicene conciliation party, and thus got into
+
difficulties with his superior, which were increased
+
by Acacius's jealousy of the importance assigned
+
to Cyril's see by the First Council of Nicaea. A council
+
held under Acacius's influence in 358 deposed Cyril
+
and forced him to retire to Tarsus. At that time he was officially charged with selling church property to help the poor, although the actual motivation appears to be that Cyril was teaching Nicene and not Arian doctrine in his catechism. On the other
+
hand, the conciliatory Council of Seleucia in the
+
following year, at which Cyril was present, deposed
+
Acacias. In 360 the process was reversed through
+
the metropolitan's court influence, and Cyril
+
suffered another year's exile from Jerusalem, until
+
Julian the Apostate's accession allowed him to return. The
+
Arian emperor Valens banished him once more in
+
367, after which he remained undisturbed until his
+
death, his jurisdiction being expressly confirmed
+
by the [[Second Ecumenical Council|First Council of Constantinople]] (381), at which he
+
was present. At that council, he voted for acceptance of the term ''homooussios'', having been finally convinced that there was no better alternative.
+
  
<H2>Theological Position.</h2>
 
  
Though his theology was at first somewhat
+
== Catechetical Lectures ==
indefinite in phraseology, he undoubtedly gave a
+
His famous twenty-three catechetical lectures (in Greek, ''Katecheseis''), which he delivered while still a [[presbyter]] in 347 or 348, contain instructions on the principal topics of Christian faith and practise, in rather a popular than a scientific manner, full of a warm pastoral love and care for the [[catechumens]] to whom they were delivered. Each lecture is based upon a text of [[Scripture]], and there is an abundance of Scriptural quotation throughout. After a general introduction, eighteen lectures follow for the ''competentes'', and the remaining five are addressed to the newly baptized, in preparation for the reception of [[Eucharist|Holy Communion]].
thorough adhesion to the Nicene orthodoxy. Even
+
Parallel with the exposition of the creed as it was then received in the church of Jerusalem are
if he does avoid the debatable term ''homoousios'',
+
vigorous polemics against pagan, Jewish, and heretical errors. They are of great importance for the light which they throw on the method of instruction usual in that age, as well as upon the liturgical practises of the period, of which they give the fullest account extant.
he expresses its sense in many passages, which
+
exclude equally Patripassianism, Sabellianism, and
+
the Arian formula "There was a time when the Son
+
was not." In other points he takes the ordinary
+
ground of the Eastern Fathers, as in the emphasis
+
he lays on the freedom of the will, the ''autexousion'',
+
and his imperfect realization of the
+
factor so much more strongly brought
+
out in the West--sin. To him sin is
+
the consequence of freedom, not a
+
natural condition. The body is not the cause, but
+
the instrument of sin. The remedy for it is
+
repentance, on which he insists. Like many of the
+
Eastern Fathers, he has an essentially moralistic
+
conception of Christianity. His doctrine of the
+
Resurrection is not quite so realistic as that of other
+
Fathers; but his conception of the Church is
+
decidedly empirical-- the existing catholic Church
+
form is the true one, intended by Christ, the
+
completion of the Church of the Old Testament. His
+
doctrine on the Eucharist is noteworthy. If he
+
sometimes seems to approach the symbolical view,
+
at other times he comes very close to a strong
+
realistic doctrine. The bread and wine are not
+
mere elements, but the body and blood of Christ.
+
  
<H2>Catechetical Lectures</h2>
+
== Sources ==
 +
Initial text from ''Schaff-Herzog Encyc of Religion''
  
His famous twenty-three catechetical lectures
+
[[Category:Bishops]]
(Gk. ''Katecheseis''), which he delivered while still a
+
[[Category:Church Fathers]]
presbyter in 347 or 348, contain instructions on
+
the principal topics of Christian faith and practise,
+
in rather a popular than a scientific manner, full
+
of a warm pastoral love and care for the
+
catechumens to whom they were delivered. Each lecture
+
is based upon a text of Scripture, and there is an
+
abundance of Scriptural quotation throughout.
+
After a general introduction, eighteen
+
lectures follow for the ''competentes'', and
+
the remaining five are addressed to
+
the newly baptized, in preparation
+
for the reception of the communion.
+
Parallel with the exposition of the creed as it was
+
then received in the church of Jerusalem are
+
vigorous polemics against pagan, Jewish, and heretical
+
errors. They are of great importance for the light
+
which they throw on the method of instruction
+
usual in that age, as well as upon the liturgical
+
practises of the period, of which they give the
+
fullest account extant. 
+
 
+
----
+
Initial text from Schaff-Herzog Encyc of Religion
+
 
+
[[Category: Bishops]]
+
[[Category: Church Fathers]]
+
 
[[Category:Saints]]
 
[[Category:Saints]]

Revision as of 19:20, December 31, 2004

Our Father Among the Saints Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) was a distinguished theologian and archbishop of Jerusalem in the early Church. He is celebrated by the Orthodox Church on March 18.

Contents

Life and Character

Little is known of his life before he became bishop; the assignment of the year 315 for his birth rests on mere conjecture. He seems to have been ordained deacon by Bishop Macarius of Jerusalem about 335, and priest some ten years later by Maximus. Naturally inclined to peace and conciliation, he took at first a rather moderate position, distinctly averse from Arianism, but (like not a few of his undoubtedly orthodox contemporaries) by no means eager to accept the uncompromising term homoousios. Separating from his metropolitan, [[Acacius of Caesarea]], a partisan of Arius, Cyril took the side of the Eusebians, the "right wing" of the post-Nicene conciliation party, and thus got into difficulties with his superior, which were increased by Acacius's jealousy of the importance assigned to Cyril's see by the First Council of Nicaea. A council held under Acacius's influence in 358 deposed Cyril and forced him to retire to Tarsus. At that time he was officially charged with selling church property to help the poor, although the actual motivation appears to be that Cyril was teaching Nicene and not Arian doctrine in his catechism. On the other hand, the conciliatory Council of Seleucia in the following year, at which Cyril was present, deposed Acacias. In 360 the process was reversed through the metropolitan's court influence, and Cyril suffered another year's exile from Jerusalem, until Julian the Apostate's accession allowed him to return. The Arian emperor Valens banished him once more in 367, after which he remained undisturbed until his death, his jurisdiction being expressly confirmed by the First Council of Constantinople (381), at which he was present. At that council, he voted for acceptance of the term homoousios, having been finally convinced that there was no better alternative.

Theological Position

Though his theology was at first somewhat indefinite in phraseology, he undoubtedly gave a thorough adhesion to the Nicene orthodoxy. Even if he does avoid the debatable term homoousios, he expresses its sense in many passages, which exclude equally Patripassianism, Sabellianism, and the Arian formula "There was a time when the Son was not." In other points he takes the ordinary ground of the Eastern Fathers, as in the emphasis he lays on the freedom of the will, the autexousion, and his imperfect realization of the factor so much more strongly brought out in the West -- sin. To him sin is the consequence of freedom, not a natural condition. The body is not the cause, but the instrument of sin. The remedy for it is repentance, on which he insists. Like many of the Eastern Fathers, he has an essentially moralistic conception of Christianity. His doctrine of the Resurrection is not quite so realistic as that of other Fathers; but his conception of the Church is decidedly empirical -- the existing catholic Church form is the true one, intended by Christ, the completion of the Church of the Old Testament. His doctrine on the Eucharist is noteworthy. If he sometimes seems to approach the symbolical view, at other times he comes very close to a strong realistic doctrine. The bread and wine are not mere elements, but the body and blood of Christ.


Catechetical Lectures

His famous twenty-three catechetical lectures (in Greek, Katecheseis), which he delivered while still a presbyter in 347 or 348, contain instructions on the principal topics of Christian faith and practise, in rather a popular than a scientific manner, full of a warm pastoral love and care for the catechumens to whom they were delivered. Each lecture is based upon a text of Scripture, and there is an abundance of Scriptural quotation throughout. After a general introduction, eighteen lectures follow for the competentes, and the remaining five are addressed to the newly baptized, in preparation for the reception of Holy Communion. Parallel with the exposition of the creed as it was then received in the church of Jerusalem are vigorous polemics against pagan, Jewish, and heretical errors. They are of great importance for the light which they throw on the method of instruction usual in that age, as well as upon the liturgical practises of the period, of which they give the fullest account extant.

Sources

Initial text from Schaff-Herzog Encyc of Religion

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