Saving St. Cyril by Mike Aquilina

Saving St. Cyril

Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy
by John McGuckin
St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2004
(433 pages; $22.95, paperback)

reviewed by Mike Aquilina

St. Cyril of Alexandria ranks high among the “bad boys” of the patristic era, at least in the view of many modern scholars. He was famously intolerant of doctrinal dissent. He steadfastly refused to celebrate religious diversity in his home city. And it was he who brought the Nestorian controversy to its crisis, sniffing out the heresy even before it had been stated explicitly. For a couple of centuries, hostile historians have portrayed Cyril as an operator, manipulating the imperial court and ignoring popular opinion for the sake of his own power. If anything bad happened in fifth-century Alexandria, you can bet that the blame for it has been laid on Cyril.

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Mike Aquilina is vice president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (www.salvationhistory.com) and a general editor of The Catholic Vision of Love catechetical series.

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