The term Oriental Orthodox refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keep the faith of only the first three Ecumenical Councils of the Orthodox Church—the councils of Nicea I, Constantinople I and Ephesus. The Oriental Orthodox churches rejected the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon (A.D. 451).
Thus, despite potentially confusing nomenclature, Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from the churches that collectively are referred to as Eastern Orthodoxy.
The Oriental Orthodox churches came to a parting of the ways with the remainder of Christianity in the 5th century. The separation resulted in part from the Oriental Orthodox churches' refusal to accept the Christological dogmas promulgated by the Council of Chalcedon, which held that Jesus Christ is in two natures — one divine and one human, although these were inseparable. To the hierarchs who would lead the Oriental Orthodox, this was tantamount to accepting Nestorianism. In response, they advocated a formula that stressed unity of the Incarnation over all other considerations, that being "one nature of God the Word Incarnate", "of/from two natures" in and after the union. The Oriental Orthodox churches are therefore often called "Monophysite" churches, although they reject this label, which is associated with Eutychian Monophysitism, preferring the term non-Chalcedonian or Miaphysite churches. Oriental Orthodox Christians anathematize the Monophysite teachings of Eutyches. They are sometimes also known as anti-Chalcedonians.
In the 20th century, a number of dialogues have occurred between the Oriental Orthodox and the Chalcedonian Orthodox which revealed that both communions now share a common Christology with differing terminology. As yet, full communion has not been restored. There have also been some agreed Christological statements issued in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) family (Ecumenical Patriarchate and official representatives of other Eastern Orthodox Churches) .
Oriental Orthodox Churches
|Armenia | Alexandria | Ethiopia | Antioch | India | Eritrea|
|Armenia: Cilicia | Jerusalem | Constantinople|
Antioch: Jacobite Indian
The Oriental Orthodox communion is a group of churches within Oriental Orthodoxy which are in full communion directly and indirectly with one another . The communion includes:
- The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
- The British Orthodox Church, canonically part of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria since 1994
- The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (sometimes called 'Jacobite')
- Malankara Syriac Orthodox Church, a branch and integral part of the Syriac Orthodox Church with the Oriental Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch as its supreme head.
- The Church of Armenia (sometimes called the Armenian Apostolic Church)
- The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (sometimes called the Indian Orthodox Church)
- The Ethiopian Orthodox Church
- The Eritrean Orthodox Church
Assyrian Church of the East
The Assyrian Church of the East is sometimes considered an Oriental Orthodox Church, although it is not in communion with Oriental Orthodox churches and they have a Nestorian or Nestorian-like Christology that differs from the declaration of the Council of Chalcedon in an opposite way from the Miaphysites. By the time of the Monophysite controversy, the Assyrians had already separated from the Orthodox Church with the Council of Ephesus. The Church follows the East Syrian rite.
- Coptic Orthodox Church (Official Website of the Patriarchate of Alexandria)
- Syriac Orthodox Church (Official Website of the Patriarchate of Antioch)
- Armenian Orthodox Church of Echmiadzin (Official Website)
- Armenian Orthodox Church of Cilicia (Official Website)
- Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church (Official Website)
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Official Website)
- Common Declaration of Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I
- Coptic Orthodox Church in the Diaspora
- The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
- Saint Takla Haymanot Coptic Orthodox Church in Alexandria, Egypt
- Oriental Orthodoxy - St. Mary's Malankara Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA
- Orthodox Unity
- Collection of Sermons on Orthodoxy (Coptic)
- Oriental Orthodox Churches
- Shroro - The Syriac Orthodox Christian Digest
- The Nature of Christ (PDF) by Pope Shenouda III (Gayyid) of Alexandria
- Eastern-Oriental Orthodox Unity - Official Satements
- Opposition to Union with the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Unresolved Theological Differences Between the Two (Eastern Orthodox Article Against Reunion)
- Oriental Orthodox Iconographer