What it Means to be Human: Christian Anthropology, East and West
Before the 5th century, there was a general consensus amongst all five Patriarchates of the united Christian Church (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, and Jerusalem) on what it means to be human (anthropology). So, before AD 400 there was no significant variation in Christian Anthropology.
I will present a brief summary of that common doctrine as a baseline to explain and contrast the alternative anthropology developed mainly by Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, of the Roman Patriarchate, around the beginning of the 5th century. Augustine’s unique views on anthropology became dogma in the Roman Patriarchate and later Roman Catholic Church after the Great Schism divided the united Christian Church in 1054. Augustine’s doctrines continue to dominate Roman Catholic and Protestant theology to this day.
For simplicity, I will refer to the original anthropology of the Christian Church as the Eastern Greek doctrine and the 5th century Roman alternative anthropology as the Western Latin doctrine.
In the next post in this series, we will discuss Eastern Greek Anthropology.