• Ирена Љубомировић Филозофски факултет, Универзитет у Нишу – Србија Центар за византијско-словенске студије Универзитета у Нишу


After the Edict of Milan was issued in 313, the Christians were given the freedom to practice their religion, and with it, the possibility to discuss religious matters at ecclesiastical councils. Alexandrian presbyter Arius contributed greatly to church disunity and, we could say, the beginning of church schism. In the basis of Arius’ study was the non-recognition of the equivalence of the Father and the Son, and with it, the denial of the divine nature of Isus Christ. Constantine tried to solve the problem of Arianism by summoning the first ecumenical council, which was held in Nicea in 325. At the council, Arius and his followers were anathematized and excommunicated, whereas those who were Orthodox adopted the creed of Nicea, with which the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost were equal. Regardless of the adopted creed of Nicea which became the “symbol of faith,” Arianism continued to spread. Constantine was therefore forced to summon a few more councils which were held in Antioch (327.), Nicomedia (327/8.), Cesarea (334.) and Tyre (335.). It was not only Arianism that was discussed at the councils, but also personal disputes between the most influential Church Fathers of the time. Alexander, bishop of Alexandria and Athanasius who later succeeded him in his position didn’t want to bring back Arius to the community which is why the Arians united with the Melitians and invented a series of accusations on account of Athanasius. Church councils became places for Church Fathers’ mutual accusations and didn’t contribute to the harmonization of their contrary beliefs. Even though numerous church councils were summoned, Constantine and his followers didn’t contribute to solving the crisis and schism within the Christian church.


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