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The Orthodox Nationalist: Hincmar of Rheims and the Rise of Gallican Orthodoxy – TON 030420


Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson talks about church politics of the 9th century and rising disagreements with the papacy, which would eventually led to the schism of 1054.

Outside of a few medievalists, the great metropolitan of Rheims is not generally known. From the Orthodox point of view, Hincmar (806-882) is a western father of the church. His writings lay out a sophisticated metaphysics and politics that squarely place him in the pantheon of patristic writings of the west and his rejection of the claims of the papacy put him in the Orthodox camp.

Reposing in 882, Hincmar lived and wrote long before the schism, but wrote in a manner that places him in what might be called the truly traditional, conciliar and royalist “Old Catholic” tradition. Yet, he is ignored even by them. This is a problem that needs to be rectified.

Given the time in which he lived, in the midst of the destabilization of the Carolingian empire, Hincmar is admirable in his ambitious and successful connection between Realist metaphysics and practical politics. He defended local, Gallican synodal independence against the papacy, and confronted new papal claims with the national monarchy.  It was Hincmar's resistance that led to Rome forging the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals to buttress papal power.  This would soon be joined with the conspiracy of Carloman to overthrow the legitimate Carolingian dynasty. Hincmar's metaphysical Platonism dominated his thinking from the Trinity to the family and from the Eucharist to nationalism.  For the western Orthodox church, its time for Hincmar to be rescued from obscurity.

Presented by Matt Johnson


The Orthodox Nationalist: Hincmar of Rheims and the Rise of Gallican Orthodoxy – TON 030420




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