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THE EASTERN CHRISTIANITY PORTAL

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00058 christ pantocrator mosaic hagia sophia 656x800
Eastern Christianity refers collectively to the Christian traditions and churches which developed in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Asia Minor, the Middle East, Northeastern Africa and southern India over several centuries of religious antiquity. Eastern Christians have a shared tradition, but they became divided (SEE: SCHISM) during the early centuries of Christianity in disputes about christology and fundamental theology. In general terms, one can identify four branches or families of Eastern Christianity, each of which has distinct theology and dogma. They are: the Assyrian Church of the East, the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Eastern Catholic Churches - the latter being in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

All of the Eastern branches, as well as the Western churches, share a common Christian tradition and most of the same Christian Biblical canon. The Eastern branches also share traditional practices in common which are not shared by the Western churches. The Eastern churches' differences from Western Christianity have as much, if not more, to do with culture, language, and politics as theology. The Assyrian Church of the East became estranged from the church of the Roman Empire in the years following the Council of Ephesus (431), Oriental Orthodoxy separated after the Council of Chalcedon (451), and the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church is usually dated to 1054. This event is referred to as the Great Schism.

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Stpaulandpetertemplon
A templon (from Greek τέμπλον meaning "temple", plural templa) is a feature of Byzantine architecture that first appeared in Christian churches around the fifth century AD and is still found in some Eastern Christian churches. Initially it was a low barrier probably not much different from the altar rails of many Western churches. It eventually evolved into the modern iconostasis, still found in Orthodox churches today. It separates the laity in the nave from the priests preparing the sacraments at the altar. It is usually composed of carved wood or marble colonnettes supporting an architrave (a beam resting on top of columns). Three doors, a large central one and two smaller flanking ones, lead into the sanctuary. The templon did not originally obscure the view of the altar, but as time passed, icons were hung from the beams, curtains were placed in between the colonnettes, and the templon became more and more opaque. Sometime between the 11th and 14th centuries, icons and proskynetaria began to be placed in the intercolumnar openings on the templon. After the reconquest in 1261, carving on the medieval templon approached sculpture in the round. The first ceiling-high, five-leveled Russian iconostasis was designed for the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Moscow Kremlin by Theophanes the Greek in 1405, and soon copied by his assistant Andrey Rublyov in the Cathedral of the Dormition in Vladimir in 1408.

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Byzantine Constantinople eng
Credit: Cplakidas

Constantinople was the imperial capital of the Roman Empire (330–395) and the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453).

Did you know...

Saint mammes and Duke Alexander

  • ... that Mammes of Caesarea is said to have been breast-fed by his father?
  • ...that it is unclear whether Church of St Abamūn in 13th century Busiris was dedicated to Abamun of Tarnut or Abāmūn of Tukh?
  • ...that legend has it that Benjamin I of Alexandria was escorted to heaven by Athanasius of Alexandria, Severus of Antioch, and Theodosius I?
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    This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Portal:Eastern Christianity. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
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    JovanVladimirSlika
    Jovan Vladimir in English texts often John Vladimir, (died May 22, 1016 in Prespa, today in the Republic of Macedonia) was the ruler of Duklja between the years ca. 990 and 1016, during the protracted war between Byzantium and the First Bulgarian Empire. He tried to protect Duklja from the expansionist Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria by making alliance with Byzantium; Samuil, however, conquered Duklja in 997 and took Jovan Vladimir prisoner. Samuil’s daughter Theodora Kosara fell in love with the captive, and begged her father for his hand. He obliged, returning Duklja to his new son-in-law and giving him the territory of Dyrrhachium besides, to rule them as his vassal. Vladimir ruled in peace, evading involvement in the major conflict. The war culminated with Samuil’s defeat by the Byzantines in 1014, shortly after which the Tsar died. Jovan Vladimir finally fell victim in 1016 to a plot by Ivan Vladislav, the last ruler of the First Bulgarian empire. He was beheaded in front of a church in Prespa. Jovan Vladimir was buried in Prespa, and shortly after his death he was recognized as a martyr and saint, being celebrated on May 22; he is chronologically the first Serbian saint. To the present day, the relics of Saint Jovan Vladimir attract many believers, especially on his feast day. One relic connected with the saint is the cross that he held in his hands when he was beheaded. Saint Jovan Vladimir is the patron saint of the town Bar, Montenegro.

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