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The term '''''Oriental Orthodox''''' refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keep the faith of only the first three [[Ecumenical Council]]s of the [[Orthodox Church]]
—the councils of [[First Ecumenical Council|Nicea I]], [[Second Ecumenical Council|Constantinople I]] and [[Third Ecumenical Council|Ephesus]]. The Oriental Orthodox churches rejected the [[dogma|dogmatic definition]]s of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]].
Thus, despite potentially confusing nomenclature, Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from the churches that collectively are referred to as ''[[Orthodox Church|Eastern Orthodoxy]]''.
The Oriental Orthodox churches came to a [[schism|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 [[Christology|Christological]] [[dogma]]s promulgated by the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]], which held that [[Jesus Christ]] has two [[physis|nature]]s
— one divine and one human, although these were inseparable and only act as one [[hypostasis]]. To the [[hierarch]]s 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. The Oriental Orthodox churches are therefore often called "[[Monophysite]]" churches, although they reject this label, which is associated with [[Eutychianism|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 suggest 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
conjuction with the [[Roman Catholic Church]] and the Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) family (Ecumenical Patriarchate and official representatives of other Eastern Orthodox Churches) [http://www.monachos.net/mb/messages/4225/ORIENT3-20256.doc].
==Oriental Orthodox Communion==
The Oriental Orthodox Communion is a group of churches within Oriental Orthodoxy which are in [[full communion]] with each other [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/arbible/message/25751]. The communion includes:
* The [[Church of Armenia]] (Armenian Apostolic Church)
* The [[Church of Antioch (Syriac)]] (Syriac Orthodox, "Jacobite")
* The [[Church of India]] (Malankara, Indian Orthodox, Orthodox Syrian Church of the East)
==Assyrian Church of the East==
The [[Assyrian Church of the East]] ([[Nestorianism|Nestorian]] Church) is sometimes considered an Oriental Orthodox Church, although it is not in communion with Oriental Orthodox churches and they have a [[Nestorianism|Nestorian]] or Nestorian-like [[Christology]] that differs from the declaration of the [[Fourth Ecumenical Council|Council of Chalcedon]] in an opposite way from the Monophysites. By the time of the Monophysite controversy, the Assyrians had already separated from the Orthodox Church with the [[Third Ecumenical Council|Council of Ephesus]].
* [http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/indexoriental.htm Oriental Orthodox Churches]
* [http://www.armenianchurch.org The Armenian Apostolic Church]
* [http://www.copticchurch.org/Texts/Spirituals/Natofchr.pdf ''The Nature of Christ''] (PDF) by Pope [[Shenouda III (Gayyid) of Alexandria]]
* [http://www.orthodoxunity.org/statements.html Eastern-Oriental Orthodox Unity - Official Satements]
* A case against reunion is made by this article: [http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/ea_mono.aspx Opposition to Union with the Oriental Churches and the Unresolved Theological Differences Between the Two]
* [http://www.orthodox-library.org/ Oriental Orthodox Library]
* [http://www.orthodox-icons-olympia.blogspot.com/ Oriental Orthodox Iconographer]