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Sunday Seminar Series: Schism in the Church
February 12, 2023 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
An event every week that begins at 11:30 am on Sunday, repeating until February 19, 2023
Although we often think of faith as unifying, history has shown that the faithful community exhibits an inherent tendency toward division. Almost from its inception Christianity has been a religion that implicitly encourages demarcation between one group and another. This workshop offers a brief overview of some major problems that first divided Christians in about the first thousand years of the church.
- The Jewish-Christian Split: Several modern Christian denominations today claim to represent the original belief established by Jesus Christ in the first century. They see continuous controversy and schism as a result of innovation and hope to ‘restore’ a pristine Christian Church. Such efforts overlook the fact that division is inherent to the Christian experience. This is evident in how different Christian communities answered one of the earliest questions facing them: are we still Jews?
- Christological Controversy: What early Christians believed about the nature of Jesus Christ was a subject of intense debate. Was he human, divine, or some mix of the two? How different communities answered the question caused immediate tension with other groups who came to different conclusions, prompting intense theological debate, and even violence that would reverberate in new schisms throughout the following centuries.
- The Great Schism of East and West: While the dates of 1054 and 1204 weigh heavily on the narrative of the division between the Western Roman and Eastern Greek Churches, history shows that the schism between these two Christian communities was more ingrained than any singular event suggests. What provoked the initial hostility between these sibling churches, and how does their schism carry over into our modern world?
Presenter Jeff Brubaker received his PhD in history from the University of Birmingham in 2016. Since then he has taught at various schools in western New York, most recently Roberts Wesleyan University. He is the author of multiple articles on the history of the crusades, medieval diplomacy, and church schism. His book, The Disputatio of the Latins and the Greeks, 1234 has recently been published by Liverpool University Press.