The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the communion of Eastern Christian Churches that recognize only the first three ecumenical councils — the First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the Council of Ephesus — and reject the dogmatic definitions of the Council of Chalcedon. Hence, these Churches are also called Old Oriental Churches. Despite potentially confusing nomenclature, Oriental Orthodox churches are distinct from the churches that collectively refer to themselves as Eastern Orthodox. The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria is considered the spiritual leader of the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
The schism between Oriental Orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches occurred 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 natures — one divine and one human, although these were inseparable and only act as one hypostasis.
Oriental Orthodox Communion
The Oriental Orthodox Communion is a group of churches within Oriental Orthodoxy which are all in full communion with each other. The communion includes:
- The Oriental Orthodox Communion
- The Armenian Apostolic Church of All Armenians
- The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
- The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
- The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church
- The Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch (also known as the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch)
- The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
- Oriental Orthodox by OrthodoxWiki