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Canon and Criterion in Christian TheologyFrom the Fathers to Feminism$
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William J. Abraham

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250035

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250030.001.0001

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Canonical Division Between East and West

Canonical Division Between East and West

(p.57) 3 Canonical Division Between East and West
Canon and Criterion in Christian Theology

William J. Abraham (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The long, drawn‐out‐division between Eastern and Western Christianity, the Great Schism, arose, in part, because of the addition of the filioque clause to the Nicene Creed. In and around this, the Western Church introduced radical changes in the status of the bishop of Rome and in the list of Fathers. Both these developments represent a move to bring epistemology into the very heart of the Church. Thus the division between East and West was more than a political operation; it involved subtle changes in the way the canonical heritage of the Church was identified and construed. In particular, the informal adoption of papal infallibility marked a radical shift in perspective within the life of the Church as a whole.

Keywords:   Eastern Christianity, Filioque clause, Nicene Creed, papal infallibility, The Great Schism

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