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Nicene Christianity

Icon depicting Emperor Constantine (center) and the Church Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 as holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Nicene Christianity is a set of Christian doctrinal traditions which reflect the Nicene Creed, which was formulated[1] at the First Council of Nicaea in AD 325 and amended at the First Council of Constantinople in AD 381.[2]


The main rival doctrine of Nicene Christianity at the time of Nicaea, Arianism, became eclipsed during the 7th century AD with the conversion of the Gothic kingdoms to Nicene Christianity. The main points of dissent centered on Christology. Nicene Christianity regards Christ as divine and co-eternal with God the Father, while Arian Christianity treated Christ as the first created being and inferior to God the Father. Other non-Nicene currents have been considered heresies since the early medieval period.[3][failed verification]

Present-day mainstream Christian Churches - including all of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Assyrian and Ancient Churches, Lutheran and Anglican churches, together with most Protestant denominations - adhere to the Nicene Creed and thus exemplify Nicene Christianity.

Chalcedonian Christianity forms a large subset of Nicene Christianity. In addition to subscribing to the Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Christians also subscribe to the decisions of the First Council of Ephesus in AD 431 and of the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451. The great majority of Nicene Christians are also Chalcedonian Christians. However, some portions of Eastern Christianity such as the Oriental Orthodox Churches and historically the Church of the East adhere to the Nicene Creed but not to the Chalcedonian Definition and are therefore part of Nicene Christianity but non-Chalcedonian. (The Church of the East also rejected the outcome of the 431 Council of Ephesus.[4])

Examples of non-Nicene Christianity today include the various either Protestant or non-Protestant non-trinitarian groups like most of the Latter Day Saint movement (with the exception of the Nicene Mormon group the Community of Christ - formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), the Unitarian Church of Transylvania and the Oneness Pentecostals.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Nicene Creed". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Our Statement of Faith: The Nicene Creed". St. Cyril of Jerusalem Orthodox Church. Retrieved 24 October 2015. The Creed was formally drawn up by the Church back in 325 AD and 381 AD after great controversies developed in Christendom about the nature of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit [...].World Encyclopaedia of Interfaith Studies: World religions. World Encyclopaedia of Interfaith Studies, Swami Anand Siddhartha, ISBN 8171392776, 9788171392773. 3. New Delhi: Jnanada Prakashan (P&D). 2009. p. 733. ISBN 9788171392803. Retrieved 16 Mar 2019. In the most common sense, 'mainstream' refers to Nicene Christianity, or rather the traditions which continue to claim adherence to the Nicene Creed.
  3. ^ "Nicene Creed". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  4. ^ Spinks, Bryan D. (2013). "6: The Syriac Liturgical Traditions". Do this in Remembrance of Me: The Eucharist from the Early Church to the Present Day. SCM Studies in Worship and Liturgy Series. London: SCM Press. p. 141. ISBN 9780334043768. Retrieved 16 Mar 2019. The Church of the East [...] did not accept the Councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451) [...]

Further readingEdit