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(5th–6th century AD) Doctrine that emphasized the single nature (the term means literally of one nature) of Christ, as a wholly divine being rather than part-divine and part-human. Monophysitism began to appear in the 5th century; though condemned as a heresy at the Council of Chalcedon (451), it was tolerated by such Byzantine leaders as Justin II, Theodora, and Zeno, resulting in a full-fledged schism between East and West. Several Monophysite churches, including the Coptic Orthodox Church, were founded in the 6th century.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Monophysite heresy, visit Britannica.com.
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