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Chalcedonian Christianity is a term referring to the branches of Christianity that accept and uphold theological resolutions of the Council of Chalcedon, the fourth ecumenical council, held in 451.[1] Chalcedonian Christianity accepts the Christological Definition of Chalcedon, a Christian doctrine concerning the union of two natures (divine and human) in one hypostasis of Jesus Christ, who is thus acknowledged as a single person (prosopon).[2][3] Chalcedonian Christianity also accepts the Chalcedonian confirmation of the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, thus acknowledging the commitment of Chalcedonism to Nicene Christianity.[4][5]

Chalcedonian Christology is upheld by Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism, and thus comprises >95% of Christianity.[6]

Chalcedonian Christology

Main articles: Chalcedonian Creed and Hypostatic union

See also: Neo-Chalcedonism

Those present at the Council of Chalcedon accepted Trinitarianism and the concept of hypostatic union, and rejected Arianism, Modalism, and Ebionism as heresies (which had also been rejected at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325). Those present at the council also rejected the Christological doctrines of the Nestorians, Eutychians, and Monophysites.

The Chalcedonian doctrine of the Hypostatic Union states that Jesus Christ has two natures, divine and human, possessing a complete human nature while remaining one divine hypostasis. It asserts that the natures are unmixed and unconfused, with the human nature of Christ being assumed at the incarnation without any change to the divine nature. It also states that while Jesus Christ has assumed a true human nature, body and soul, which shall remain hypostatically united to his divine nature for all of eternity, he is nevertheless not a human person,[7][8][9][10] as human personhood would imply a second created hypostasis existing within Jesus Christ and violating the unity of the God-man.

The Hypostatic Union was also viewed as one nature in Roman Christianity by a minority around this time.[11] Single-nature ideas such as Apollinarism and Eutychianism were taught to explain some of the seeming contradictions in Chalcedonian Christianity.[citation needed]

Major denominational families in Christianity:
Western Christianity
Eastern Christianity
(Latin Church)
Catholic Church
(Eastern Catholic Churches)
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Church of the East
Schism (1552)
Assyrian Church of the East
Ancient Church of the East
Protestant Reformation
(16th century)
Great Schism
(11th century)
Council of Ephesus (431)
Council of Chalcedon (451)
Early Christianity
Great Church
(Full communion)
(Not shown are ante-Nicene, nontrinitarian, and restorationist denominations.)


  1. ^ Meyendorff 1989, p. 165-206.
  2. ^ Grillmeier 1975, p. 543-550.
  3. ^ Meyendorff 1989, p. 167-178.
  4. ^ Meyendorff 1989, p. 171-172.
  5. ^ Kelly 2006, p. 296-331.
  6. ^ "Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population". Pew Research Center. 19 December 2011. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Is Jesus a Human Person?". NCR. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 2023-02-05.
  8. ^ "Jesus Is Not a Human Person". Catholic Answers. Retrieved 2023-02-05.
  9. ^ "Was Christ a Divine-Human Person? | Reasonable Faith". Retrieved 2023-02-05.
  10. ^ "Person (in theology) |". Retrieved 2023-02-05.
  11. ^ Olupona, Jacob K. (2014). African Religions: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-19-979058-6. OCLC 839396781.


See also