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Byzantine Religion [Image source:

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1 Byzantine Religion [Image source:

2 [Image source Both Byzantine clergy (church officials such as bishops, priests, and deacons) and laity (church members) were intensely interested in religious matters.

3 Lively discussions dwelt on such topics as the exact relationship of Jesus the Son to God the Father.

4 These discussions often became political issues, sometimes erupting into fights and riots. Take that, you monophysite!

5 During the A.D. 700s a dispute broke out over the use of icons (religious images) in worship. [Image source: k.exe?ARTWORKID=446&ITEMID=446]

6 Iconoclasts (“image breakers”) - people who opposed the use of icons in worship - argued that the Ten Commandments prohibited such practices. [Image ssource:

7 [Image source Many theologians disagreed, and encouraged the continued practice of icon worship among their parishoners.

8 Emperor Leo III declared that icon worship was not legal.

9 In A. D. 726 he ordered all icons removed from the churches. [Image source: %5Cimgkorfoe%5CLeo%20III.jpg]

10 Many Byzantines, encouraged by their church leaders, resisted the order. [Image source: s.com/images/warrior.jpg]

11 The Roman pope strained relations between the Eastern and Western Churches when he weighed-in on the side of those advocating the use of icons. [Image source:

12 Leo III, feeling his authority was being challenged, asserted his power and suppressed the demonstrations in favour of icons.

13 In A. D. 787 a church council meeting at Nicaea approved the use of icons. [Image source:

14 The Empress Irene – the first woman to hold the throne in her own right – allowed the use of icons, provided they were not given the honour due to God. [Image source:

15 Ad Sanctos burial (“burial with the Saints”) was also debated. [Image source: e/Catacombs,%20Paris.jpg]

16 There was a belief that if you were buried near a Saint, then you would get to heaven first. [Image source:

17 [Image source: Hey! Where did everybody go?! They left me behind!

18 This created a market demand for Saints’ relics and bones. Churches often placed a Saint’s bone in the altar.

19 Justinian I believed that the Church should serve the State (Erastianism). He was also a Monophysite.

20 Justinian also passed several laws against pagans, Samaritans, Jews, and Manichaeans [Image source:

21 Manicheans believed that man has a good nature and an evil nature, and that he can choose one or the other. [Image source: m/files/thefateofanakinskywalker.jpg] ? Evil Good

22 Byzantine emperors were active in sending missionaries throughout the world. [Image source: Saint Cyril

23 Sometimes foreign rulers would ask the Byzantines to send a missionary. [Image source:

24 Ratislav of Moravia asked Emperor Michael III of Constantinople to send some missionaries to his country. [Image source:

25 Why did the Byzantine emperors and not the Church send out missionaries? 1. Control contact with foreigners. 2. Control the content of the message. 3. Select the missionaries. 4. Expression of imperial power over the Church.

26 As time has passed, we see that the Byzantine Empire was: 1. A major world culture. 2. The medieval continuation of the Greek and Roman states. 3. Culturally diverse. 4. Religiously active. 5. Strategically important.

27 The pope in Rome and the patriarch of Constantinople disagreed on their roles within the Christian Church. No, I am the true head of the Church! I am the true head of the church!

28 In addition to disagreement over doctrine, they challenged each other for control over the churches in the Balkans. [Image source:

29 Relations between Eastern and Western churches worsened following the invasion of Italy by the Lombards in the A.D. 700s. [Image source:

30 When the Byzantine emperor refused to give military aid to Rome, the pope turned to the Franks, a Germanic Catholic people in Western Europe. [Image source:

31 Relations further deteriorated when the pope crowned Charlemagne emperor – a title only the Byzantine ruler could grant. [Image source:

32 By A.D doctrinal, political, and geographical differences led to a great schism (separation) between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. [Image source:

33 Pope Leo IX [Image source: images/018LeoIX.jpg]

34 Patriarch Michael I Kerularios


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