Period Ii The Church From The Pe

In the second period of the history of the Church under the Christian

Empire, the Church, although existing in two divisions of the Empire and

experiencing very different political fortunes, may still be regarded as

forming a whole. The theological controversies distracting the Church,

although different in the two halves of the Graeco-Roman world, were felt

to some extent in both divisions of the Empire and not merely in the one
in which they were principally fought out; and in the condemnation of

heresy, each half of the Church assisted the other. Though already marked

lines of cleavage are clearly perceptible, and in the West the dominating

personality of Augustine forwarded the development of the characteristic

theology of the West, setting aside the Greek influences exerted through

Hilary, Ambrose, Rufinus, and Jerome, and adding much that was never

appreciated in the East--yet the opponent of Augustine was condemned at the

general council of Ephesus, 431, held by Eastern bishops in the East; and

at the same time in the East the controversies regarding the union of the

divine and human natures in Christ, although of interest almost entirely

in the East and fought out by men of the East, found their preliminary

solution at Chalcedon in 451 upon a basis proposed by the West. On the

other hand, the attitudes of the two halves of the Church toward many

profound problems were radically different, and the emergence of the Roman

See as the great centre of the West amid the overturn of the Roman world

by the barbarians, and the steadily increasing ascendency of the State

over the Church in the East tended inevitably to separate ecclesiastically

as well as politically the two divisions of the Empire. As the emperors of

the East attempted to use dogmatic parties in the support of a political

policy, the differences between the Church of the East, under the Roman

Emperor, and the Church of the West, where the imperial authority had

ceased to be a reality, became manifest in a schism resulting from the

Monophysite controversy and the attempt to reconcile the Monophysites.