Eutyches’s resumption 448 of monophysite formulations a single nature of Christ resulting from the union reopened hostilities, which this time saw the active intervention of the West, in the person of Leo the Great, to support the Antiochene dyophysites: the pope’s Tomus ad Flavianum was the basis of the formula of Chalcedon 451, which affirmed two natures in Christ, united but not confused, whole and complete, so that Christ is homoousios with the Father according to his divinity and homoousios with human beings according to his humanity.
The union of the two natures is in a single prosopon and a single hypostasis. The formula met the demands of the Antiochenes to safeguard the integrity of the two natures in the union and of Cyril to bring out the unity of subject resulting from the union by the use of hypostasis and not just prosopon. As such it was accepted in the West and by the Antiochenes, but rejected by the monophysites, who considered the affirmation of two natures in Christ after the union to be Nestorian.
The progress of the conflict saw the monophysite doctrine articulated in variant forms, many of which effectively sacrificed the integrity of Christ’s human nature in the union. The most important Severus of Antioch recovered the radical aspects of Cyril’s doctrine, affirming that in Christ a single nature resulted from the union and that only in theory could one speak of two natures before the union; but in this one nature the characteristic properties of divinity and humanity continued to subsist without confusion, so that Christ is homoousios both with the Father and with human beings. This doctrine, essentially orthodox while refusing to admit two natures resulting from the union verbal monophysitism, brought out better than the Chalcedonian formula the presence of a single subject in Christ and therefore the participation of the Logos in his passion and death, without actually suffering and dying in the divine essence. In any case, the distance between the two formulations was not great, and if the dispute was not made up it was because it was by now too complicated by political, cultural and national factors.
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