Orthodox Church of the Mother of God

Joy of all the Sorrowful - Mays Landing, NJ (f. 1966)

Church History 2 - The Establishment of the Imperial Church (312 AD)

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7. Nicea - The Victory of the Iconophiles and the Final Triumph of Orthodoxy

The conclusion of the Iconoclast dispute, the meeting of the seventh Ecumenical Council, the Triumph of Orthodoxy in 843 - these mark the end of the second period in Orthodox history, the period of the seven councils. These seven councils are of immense importance to Orthodoxy. For members of the Orthodox Church, their interest is not merely historical but contemporary; they are the concern not only of scholars and clergy, but of all the faithful. 'Even illiterate peasants,' said Dean Stanley, 'to whom, in the corresponding class of life in Spain and Italy, the names of Constance and Trent would probably be quite unknown, are well aware that their Church reposes on the basis of the seven councils, and retain a hope that they may yet live to see an eighth general council, in which the evils of the time will be set straight.' Orthodox often call themselves 'the Church of the Seven Councils'. By this they do not mean that the Orthodox Church has ceased to think creatively since 787. But they see in the period of the councils the great age of theology; and, next to the Bible, it is the seven councils which the Orthodox Church takes as its standard and guide in seeking solutions to new problems which arise in every generation.

 


 From the book The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware (Now  Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia)

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