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Title: Ordination and episcopacy in the Severan-Jacobite church AD 518-c. 588
Author: Ford, Simon Samuel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6497 4517
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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On 29 September 518, the patriarch Severus of Antioch, faced with a change in imperial religious policy following the elevation of the emperor Justin I, fled into exile in Egypt. Between 518 and 522, the remaining anti-Chalcedonian bishops in Oriens either defected or followed their patriarch into exile. From this watershed descended a new, exilic church and with it an episcopate, outside of the jurisdictional structures of the imperial church. Although the persistence of an anti-Chalcedonian communion during this period has been the subject of previous study, modern scholars have tended uncritically to accept the testimony of the extant narrative tradition, without paying adequate attention to its rhetorical methods and objectives. This study aims to redress this problem. By incorporating a detailed examination of the documentary and canon legal evidence, it offers a reinterpretation of both the consecratory practices and apologetic program of the Severan-Jacobite church. In doing so, this study makes two principal conclusions. First, the process of adaptation undergone by the Severan-Jacobite episcopate, in the period after 518-522, was marked by its progressive alienation from the jurisdictional framework, which circumscribed and defined the consecratory role of the episcopate within the imperial church. In response to this, the church developed an increasingly sophisticated series of compensatory mechanisms; these, though largely successful, nevertheless remained in tension with the territorial expectations underlying existing canon law, and thus were open to contestation. Second, concurrent with these procedural developments, the Severan-Jacobite church produced a discursive response - typified by the works of John of Ephesus -, which sought apologetically to rationalize its own consecratory practices, while delegitimizing and invalidating those adopted by rival anti-Chalcedonian sects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations ; Koç University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available