Justinian Religious Policy Essay

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The reign of Emperor Justinian is often characterized by the innovative approach taken towards imperial policies, especially in regards to the ecclesiastical and legislative issues of the eastern Roman Empire. The results of Justinian's policies are still apparent in modern times, as can notably be seen in Coptic Churches. During the sixth century, the ideological rift caused by the Council of Chalcedon continued to grow with little lasting or effective effort on Justinian's part to repair or extinguish the problem. The lack of action can be attributed to a variety of personal, economic, and ecclesiastical factors. Regardless of the reasoning, Justinian inadvertently altered the relationship between the emperor and religious groups. Despite Justinian's reconciliation attempts, the rift between the anti-Chalcedonians and Chalcedonians remained irreparable while simultaneously shifting religious authority and control from the emperor and the Pope, to religious laity. The Christian world was changing in a myriad of ways by the 6th century. The most…show more content…
One considerable influence was that of Theodora. "On the subject, therefore, of the community of blessed men which was gathered together in the royal city by the believing queen during the persecution…." Despite Justinian having officially proclaimed the Council of Chalcedon an important aspect of imperial religious policy in 518, the empress not only sympathized with the anti-Chalcedonians, but provided a safe community for them in the capitol. Simultaneously, anti-Chalcedonians were persecuted in Syria. This imperially sponsored community near to the imperial pair was incredibly important for the monophysite cause. It is also important to note that, at least in John of Epheseus' The Lives of Saints, Justinian did not quarrel with Theodora on this point, raising questions about Justinian's actual stance regarding the

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