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Oriental Orthodoxy
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Oriental Orthodoxy

The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to several Eastern Christian traditions that diverged in the 5th century from the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church long before the East-West Schism of the 11th century in which that communion split into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. The Oriental Orthodox churches are those that reject the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon.

Thus, despite potentially confusing nomenclature, Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from the churches that collectively refer to themselves as Eastern Orthodoxy.

The Oriental Orthodox churches came to a parting of the ways with the remainder of Christianity in the 5th century. The separation resulted in part from the Oriental Orthodox churches' refusal to accept the Christological dogmas promulgated by the Council of Chalcedon, which held that Jesus has two substances — one divine and one human, although these were inseparable and only act as one hypostasis. To the hierarchs who would lead the Oriental Orthodox, this was tantamount to accepting Nestorianism. In response, they advocated a formula that stressed unity of the Incarnation over all other considerations. The Oriental Orthodox churches are therefore often called Monophysite churches, although they reject this label, preferring the term "non-Chalcedonian" or "Miaphysite" churches.

Oriental Orthodox Communion

The Oriental Orthodox Communion is a group of churches within Oriental Orthodoxy which are in full communion with each other. The communion includes:

Assyrian Church of the East

The Assyrian Church of the East is sometimes considered an Oriental Orthodox Church, although they left the Catholic and Apostolic Church in reaction against the Council of Ephesus 20 years earlier and revere Saints anathemized by the previously mentioned Churches. In addition, they accept a Nestorian or Nestorian-like Christology that is categorically rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Communion.