Byzantine church and state relationship

Church and state |

byzantine church and state relationship

The Eastern Orthodox churches conceive of the relationship between church and state as a symphony. The state defends the church by. With the Edict of Thessalonica in AD, Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the Empire's state religion. The Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, and the Catholic Church Early Christianity in relation to the state ; Establishment and early controversies. Debates within Christianity. What unifies the different cases of church-state relationship in the Orthodox world , and allows us to examine them under the same label, is not political.

The last group, though small in number, monopolized the instruments and opportunities of culture, and ruled with almost unlimited sway half of the most powerful continent on the globe. The clergy, like Plato's guardians, were placed in authority In the latter half of the period in which they ruled [ AD onwards], the clergy were as free from family cares as even Plato could desire [for such guardians] In the latter half of the period in which they ruled, the clergy were as free from family cares as even Plato could desire.

This authority was also used by local Inquisitions to root out divergent elements and create a religiously uniform community. The conflict between Church and state was in many ways a uniquely Western phenomenon originating in Late Antiquity see Saint Augustine's masterpiece City of God Before the Age of Absolutisminstitutions, such as the Church, legislatures, or social elites, [6] restrained monarchical power. The Eastern Orthodox churches sometimes refer to Constantine as the "13th Apostle" so great was his influence on the Church.

byzantine church and state relationship

The idea that the Emperor is head of the church as well as the state is known as Caesaropapism. Christianity became the official state religion under Theodosius I in the early fifth century C. The later Roman Empire under Christianity repressed non-Christian religions and Christian heresies alike. Jewstoo, suffered under the influence of Christian bishops such as Ambrose of Milanwho prevailed in his opinion that a Christian emperor must not compel a local bishop to pay for the rebuilding of a synagogue he had led his parishioners to destroy.

This precedent was also an important one for asserting the independence of the Western church from the state. Under the influence of Saint Augustine of Hippothe Western church viewed the state as a "secular" power whose role was to uphold Christian law and order and to punish those who do evil. Augustine's teaching is the origin of the term "secular," by which he referred to the period prior to Christ's second advent.

The Eastern church took a different view, seeing a positive role for the state as God's agent in society. A third course would be adopted in lands affected by the rise of Islamwhich recognized no distinction between religion and the state. In the eastern Byzantine Empirethe emperors, although sometimes deferring to powerful bishops and monks on matters of theology, considered themselves to be the "supreme pontiff" of the Church, as well as head of state.

Justinian I promulgated the doctrine of harmonia, which asserted that the Christian state and the Church should work together for God's will on earth under the emperor's leadership. A strong supporter of Orthodoxy and opponent of heresy, Justinian secured from the bishops in attendance at the Second Council of Constantinople inan affirmation that nothing could be done in the Church contrary to the emperor's will.

This doctrine remained in effect until the Ottomans conquered Constantinople now Istanbul in the fifteenth century. In the West the Bishop of Rome emerged as the central figure of the Roman Catholic Church and often asserted his spiritual authority over various kings, on both theological and political matters. There are two powers, august Emperor, by which this world is chiefly ruled, namely, the sacred authority of the priests and the royal power.

Of these that of the priests is the more weighty, since they have to render an account for even the kings of men in the divine judgment.

byzantine church and state relationship

You are also aware, dear son, that while you are permitted honorably to rule over humankind, yet in things divine you bow your head humbly before the leaders of the clergy and await from their hands the means of your salvation.

On the basis of this document the Pope and his representatives claimed the authority to appoint and crown kings suggesting that all temporal authority had to be legitimized by the Church.

byzantine church and state relationship

The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla proved inthat the Donation was a fake by analyzing its language, and showing that certain phrases were anachronistic and that the purported date of the document was inconsistent with the content of the document itself. However, the Vatican placed Valla's work on the list of prohibited books, and defended the document's authenticity. It continued to be used as genuine until Baronius in his "Annales Ecclesiastici" published admitted that the "Donation" was a forgery, and eventually the church conceded its illegitimacy.

The precise purpose of the forgery is not entirely certain, but it was clearly a defense of papal interests, perhaps against the claims of either the Byzantine Empireor the Frankish king Charlemagnewho had assumed the former imperial dignity in the West and with it the title "Emperor of the Romans.

It has been suggested that an early draft was made shortly after the middle of the eighth century in order to assist Pope Stephen II in his negotiations with Pepin the Shortthe Frankish Mayor of the Palace. In return for Stephen's support, Pepin apparently gave the Pope the lands in Italy which the Lombards had taken from the Byzantine Empire. These lands would become the Papal States and would be the basis of the Papacy's secular power for the next eleven centuries.

Inserted among the twelfth-century compilation known as the Decretum Gratiani, the document continued to be used by medieval popes to bolster their territorial and secular power in Italy. It was widely accepted as authentic, although the Emperor Otto III did denounce the document as a forgery. Nationalism and the Renaissance In Europe, the supremacy of the pope faced challenges from kings and western emperors on a number of matters, leading to power struggles and crises of leadership, notably in the Investiture Controversy of the eleventh century over the question of who had the authority to appoint local bishops.

The reason the kings wanted to be involved was that the church owned and controlled vast areas of land and so the bishops had great economic and thus political power. A see-saw battle ensured during the succeeding centuries as kings sought to assert their independence from Rome while the papacy engaged in various programs of reform on the one hand and the exercise of considerable power against rebellious kings on the other, through such methods as excommunication and interdicts.

In England there was a clash between church and state over the legal jurisdiction. King Henry II wanted the clergy to be tried in civil courts and not church courts on the basis that everyone should be judged by the same law and receive the same punishment.

The problem was that clergy who committed even crimes such as murder were being judged very leniently by the ecclesiastical courts, which was seen as unfair. The Archbishop of CanterburyThomas Becket disagreed as he wanted to defend the independence of the church. During the Renaissancenationalist theorists began to affirm that kings had absolute authority within their realms to rule on spiritual matters as well as secular ones.

Church and state in medieval Europe - Wikipedia

Kings began, increasingly, to challenge papal authority on matters ranging from their own divorces to questions of international relations and the right to try clergy in secular courts. This climate was a crucial factor in the success of the Protestant Reformation.

He went on to dissolve the monasteries and confiscate much church land which he redistributed to his supporters. The result was the destruction of the country's welfare provision. Modern period Protestant churches were just as willing as the Catholic Church to use the authority of the state to repress their religious opponents, and Protestant princes often used state churches for their own political ends.

Years of religious wars eventually led to various affirmations of religious toleration in Europe, notably the Peace of Westphaliasigned in These seminal documents in the history of church and state played a significant role in both the Glorious Revolution of and later in the American Revolution. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religious opinion.

No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief… The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen likewise guaranteed that: In the French case, not only would the state reject the establishment of any particular religion, it would take a vigilant stance against religions involving themselves in the political arena.

The American tradition, on the other hand, welcomed religious arguments in public debate and allowed clergymen of various faiths to serve in public office as long as they adhered to the U. The French leadership, having suffered from centuries of religious wars, was also deeply suspicious of religious passion and tended to repress its public expression, while the Americans adopted a positive attitude toward newer and smaller faiths which fostered a lively religious pluralism.

These two approaches would set the tone for future debates about the nature and proper degree of separation between church and state in the coming centuries.

byzantine church and state relationship

Contemporary Many variations on relationship between church and state can be seen today. Some countries with high degrees of religious freedom and tolerance have still maintained state churches or financial ties with certain religious organizations into the twentieth century.

Englandfor example, has an established state religion but is very tolerant of other faiths as well. In Norwaysimilarly, the King is also the leader of the state church, and the twelfth article of the Constitution of Norway requires more than half of the members of the Norwegian Council of State to be members of the state church.

Yet, the country is generally recognized to have a high degree of religious freedom. In countries like these, the head of government or head of state or other high-ranking official figures may be legally required to be a member of a given faith. Powers to appoint high-ranking members of the state churches are also often still vested in the worldly governments. Several European countries such as GermanyAustriaand several Eastern European nations officially support large religions such as the Catholic ChurchLutheran Evangelical Church, or the Russian Orthodox Churchwhile officially recognizing other churches as legitimate, and refusing to register newer, smaller, or more controversial religions.

Some go so far as to prohibit unregistered groups from owning property or distributing religious literature. In most European countries churches are involved in education. In the UK religious education is compulsory in all state schools. There are many Church of England and Catholic schools which are funded by the state and recently Sikh and Hindu schools have received the same status.

In Germany Lutheran ministers and Catholic priests teach confessional religious education in public schools. Turkish women wearing head scarves Other countries maintain a more militant brand of separation church and state. Two prominent examples are France and Turkey.

byzantine church and state relationship

Turkey's policy has changed somewhat in recent years with the advent of a less-secularist government. This model of a secularist state protects the religious institutions from some types of state interference, but public expression by religious institutions and the clergy on political matters is limited.

Religious minorities are also limited from expressing themselves publicly by wearing distinctive clothing in the workplace or in public schools. A more liberal secularist philosophy is expressed in the American model, which allows a broad array of religious expression on public issues and goes out of its way to facilitate practices of religious minorities in the workplace, public schools, and even prisons.

Those who upheld the Council of Chalcedon became known in Syriac as Melkitesthe imperial group, followers of the emperor in Syriac, malka. In the 5th century, the Western Empire rapidly decayed and by the end of the century was no more. Within a few decades, Germanic tribesparticularly the Goths and Vandalsconquered the western provinces. Rome was sacked in andand was to be sacked again in the following century in The Arian Germanic tribes established their own systems of churches and bishops in the western provinces but were generally tolerant of the population who chose to remain in communion with the imperial church.

His success in recapturing much of the western Mediterranean was temporary. The empire soon lost most of these gains, but held Rome, as part of the Exarchate of Ravennauntil Justinian definitively established Caesaropapism[38] believing "he had the right and duty of regulating by his laws the minutest details of worship and discipline, and also of dictating the theological opinions to be held in the Church".

Patriarchate and Pentarchy A map of the five patriarchates in the Eastern Mediterranean as constituted by Justinian I. Rome is coloured in pink, Constantinople in green, Antioch in blue, Jerusalem in pink and Alexandria in yellow.

Church and state in medieval Europe

Leo III extended the jurisdiction of Constantinople to the territories bordered in pink. Emperor Justinian I assigned to five sees, those of RomeConstantinopleAlexandriaAntioch and Jerusalema superior ecclesial authority that covered the whole of his empire.

The First Council of Nicaea in reaffirmed that the bishop of a provincial capital, the metropolitan bishop, had a certain authority over the bishops of the province.

By a canon of contested validity, [47] the Council of Chalcedon placed Asia and Pontus[48] which together made up Anatoliaunder Constantinople, although their autonomy had been recognized at the council of It maintained that, in accordance with the First Council of Nicaea, only the three " Petrine " sees of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch had a real patriarchal function.

The Emperor reacted by transferring these dioceses to the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, thereby making Empire and Patriarchate of Constantinople coextensive see map. The Rashidun conquests began to expand the sway of Islam beyond Arabia in the 7th century, first clashing with the Roman Empire in That empire and the Sassanid Persian Empire were at that time crippled by decades of war between them.

It's a church. It's a mosque. It's Hagia Sophia. - Kelly Wall