Students undertaking this unit will learn about the two schools of Christological teaching (Alexandria & Antioch) in the early church and the Christological controversies of the 5th century that arose as a result. Students will study the Christological teaching, canons and documents of the two Ecumenical councils Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451), focusing on the Christological debate. The Christological stand of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, particularly the position of the Coptic Church, will be explored, compared and contrasted to the definition adopted at the Council of Chalcedon. The unit will cover the efforts to reconcile the two views of the relationship of the Divinity and Humanity of the incarnated Christ from the 5th century till the modern dialogue in the 20th and 21ST centuries.

Unit Code: CT2709A

Points: 18.0

Unit Level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit Discipline: Systematic Theology

Delivery Mode: Online

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning Outcomes


Summarise the Christological teaching of the two schools of the early church


Outline the development of the Church's understanding of the person of Jesus Christ.


Describe the Christological teaching which arose out of Ecumenical councils in the 5TH century.


Identify the distinguishing features of the Christological understanding of Oriental Orthodox churches with the definition adapted at the Council of Chalcedon


Discuss the efforts to reconcile the two schools of Christological teaching made in past and modern times.

Unit sequence

Systematic Theology unit at level 1 or 2


Six fortnightly sessions, comprising guided reading from the set texts, additional reading resources and some notes, together with an online tutorial. Students will be expected to contribute to the discussions in each session.


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)

Essay 2500 Words

0 50.0

Essay 2500 Words

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-04-10 16:11:21 +1000