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Volume 58, Issue 1, June 2018

Ewa Wipszycka
Pages 155-180

The Canons of the Council of Chalcedon concerning Monks

The aim of the article is to propose new answers to four fundamental questions concerning those rulings of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 that aim to regulate the functioning of monastic communities: 1. Why did the authors of the canons in question (emperor Marcian and patriarch Anatolius) propose legal regulations for the key organizational aspects of the life of monastic communities? 2. Which monastic groups were to be subject to these regulations? 3. What were the chances of the regulations being implemented? 4. What role did the canons have in relations between monks and the Church after Chalcedon? In her conclusions, the author emphasizes the Constantinopolitan context of the canons. She sees them as an example of “declarative law”, important in the sphere of ideology but hardly usable in practice. She explains her disagreement with those scholars who hold that the canons’ impact on the life of the Churches in the Empire was significant.

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