The Lineage of Alexandrian Mystics 02-04-2018

The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers/Alexandrian bishops) during the period listed below are rightly considered the lineage holders of Miaphysite Theology (The Jesus Paradox). But let’s not forget that this lineage was also embodied by many of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the same period, living in various monastic enclaves in the deserts of Egypt. The following lineage is all male, due to the cultural context, but this in no way diminishes the relevance of their message today.

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After the Council of Chalcedon (451), the Alexandrian Mystics experienced a diaspora, accompanied by constant theological and political struggle with Rome. During this period, representation of authentic Miaphysite theology (The Jesus Paradox) was spotty. But there was one champion for Miaphysite theology during the diaspora: Severus of Antioch. In my estimation Severus was the last authentic Alexandrian Mystic lineage holder.

If you want to research authentic Miaphysite theology, don’t get lost in the byways of the diaspora (455 on up through the present day), with its tangled web of theological and political struggles. Stick to the authentic lineage sketched here, especially Athanasius and Cyril. My book, Healing The Divide, tries to make the Jesus Paradox, as taught by the Alexandrian Mystics, accessible today[1] 

The lineage of Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers/Alexandrian bishops), who championed Miaphysite (The Jesus Paradox):

  • Alexander I (312-328 CE)
  • Athanasius I (Primary author of Nicene Creed) (328-373)
  • Peter II (373-380)
  • Timothy I (380-385)
  • Theophilus (385-412)
  • Cyril I (412-444)
  • Dioscorus I (444-454) 


  • Severus of Antioch (not an Alexandrian bishop) (465-542)

[1] Before the recent clarity that the Oriental Orthodox Church has offered us through books such as Gebru’s Miaphysite Christology, there was a lot of confusion about the term monophysite (Latin). Like the Oriental Orthodox Church, I steer clear of the term monophysite because of the distortions and confusion surrounding it. Miaphysite (Greek) clarifies the distortions and accurately reflects the spirit and legacy of Athanasius, Cyril, and The Alexandrian Mystics.

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