This chapter introduces the reader to the filioque and its significance both for theology and ecumenical dialogue. It introduces the issues raised by the debate, both theological and ecclesiological, especially as it concerns the authority of the pope to alter the creed. Examined here is the role that patristic authorities plated in the debate (and the problems utilizing them), the unique contribution of Maximus the Confessor, the significance of the Council of Ferrara-Florence, and the shifting dynamic of the twentieth century that has allowed debate to morph into a genuine dialogue.
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