Sophronius of Jerusalem and seventh-century heresy: The Synodical letter and other documents

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Sophronius was one of the most influential figures spanning the ecclesiastical troubles in East and West during the sixth to the seventh centuries. Poet, hagiographer, dogmatician, homilist, and liturgist, he was a widely-travelled monastic who had close ties with the see of Rome and an unrivalled knowledge of the workings of the anti-Chalcedonian churches, revealed in his Synodical Letter. Sophronius despatched this epistle to other church leaders when at an advanced age he became patriarch of Jerusalem in AD 634. The letter was read out at the Sixth Ecumenical Council in 680-1, and provided the only sustained rebuttal of the monoenergist doctrine which was used by eastern emperors and church leaders alike as a political strategy to unite Christians in the early Byzantine empire.
Pauline Allen provides the first complete annotated translation of the Synodical Letter into a modern language. A comprehensive introduction situates the work in the context of the aftermath of the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451). It is accompanied by a dossier of translated documents by other writers of the time which illustrate the progress of the debate and its political and ecclesiastical repercussions in the first half of the seventh century.

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