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Patristic Citations in the Filioque Controversy of the Middle Byzantine Period

Brian Matz, Carroll College, Summer Fellow 2015–2016

The eventual break in communion between Greek- and Latin-speaking Christians was due in no small measure to the debate over the propriety of the Latins inserting filioque into the Nicene Creed’s statement regarding the Holy Spirit’s procession. Regional use of an interpolated creed by Latins had definitively begun as early as the Council of Toledo VIII (653), though likely even earlier, and evidence suggests it was in common use among the Franks by the mid-eighth century. My work at Dumbarton Oaks focused on the literature of the late eighth through the late ninth centuries. Prior to the fellowship, I had focused on the use of patristic sources in twelve texts composed during the later part of this period (867–890). Due to Photius’s role at that time, I had treated this as a separable group of literature. But during the fellowship, I traced the use of patristic sources in the literature across the entire time period (790–890). This study has revealed a greater dependency of the later Latin sources on the earlier ones than previously recognized. Consequently, I have expanded the list of relevant literature from twelve to thirty-two texts. In the coming year, I expect to complete a translation of these thirty-two texts and a study of the role of patristic literature within them.