Peter of Syunik (Petros Syunetsi) and a problem of reconstructing theology in the Armenian Church of the 6th century
Panteleev Sergey (2020)
"Peter of Syunik (Petros Syunetsi) and a problem of reconstructing theology in the Armenian Church of the 6th century ",
Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta.
Seriia III : Filologiia
pp. 58-69 (in Russian).
DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIII202065.58-69
If one disregards the earliest times, the development of an independent philosophical and theological tradition in the Armenian Church was parallel to the development in that Church of a negative attitude towards the doctrine of Christology as formulated by the Council of Chalcedon. The refutation of Chalcedonian heritage necessitated an alternative doctrine, which found its expression in works of Severus of Antioch (if one goes beyond the boundaries of the Armenian Church). But this “father of Monophysite Christology” was anathematised for a long period by the Armenian Church at an offi cial level. How then did the Armenian theology develop under these circumstances, and who were its principal creators? Peter, the Bishop of Syunik (late 5th — fi rst half of the 6th cc.), may well be acknowledged as one of them. His works extend to many fi elds of theology, but his main interest was in Christology. This is evidenced by his lost work Against the Chalcedonites, a Christmas sermon, the extant Laudation of Theotokos, and fragments of Christological texts. In a work entitled “On Faith”, he lays out a history of church councils, but also considers in some detail the active phase of Christological disputes in the second quarter of the 5th century. Besides, the answers to questions on the Incarnation posed by Vachagan, the ruler of Caucasian Albania, have survived under the name of Peter of Syunik. Regardless of who this text was written by, it is an important testimony to the conceptualisation in the Armenian Church of the mystery of the unity of the divine and the human in the Christ. A comprehensive study of the literary heritage of Bishop Peter is beyond the scope of this article. Its aim is to invite attention to this nearly forgotten theologian of the Armenian Church and provide a brief description of his works. The study of his heritage needs to be continued because otherwise it is impossible to properly reconstruct the Armenian theology in the first centuries after the Council of Chalcedon.
veneration of Theotokos, Council of Dvin, Peter of Syunik (Petros Syunetsi), martyr Yazidbouzid (Astvatsatur), Severus of Antioch, Armenian literature, Armenian classical authors, Christology, homilies
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Information about the author
Panteleev Sergey, диакон Academic Degree:
Candidate of Sciences*
in Theology; Academic Rank:
Associate Professor; Place of work:
Moscow Theological Academy; Sergiev Posad, 141300, Russian Federation; ORCID: 0000-0003-0376-1270
*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.