Church History: 600-700
Muhammad began writing the Koran around the year 610…a book he claimed was dictated to him by the angel Gabriel that became the sacred scriptures of the Muslim faith.
It laid out the “five pillars” of Islam which remain to this day.
First is the creed: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is the prophet of Allah”.
Second is prayer…Muslims pray five times every day,always facing Mecca.
Third is almsgiving, fourth, fasting, fifth, pilgrimage…once in every Muslims life he desires to go to Mecca.
Islam converted by conquest and by the end of the century they had taken most Arabic countries and North Africa.
It remains in conflict with Christianity and the non Muslim world to this day.
In these “Dark Ages” where society and culture were in such upheaval, the monastic system preserved the ancient truths and provided much of the advances in theology. This century and the one that followed would be more about preserving what was already known than about new theological insights. The western monasteries were often supported through payment for Masses to be held for the souls of departed loved ones of the wealthy.
These monasteries were the bases for the evangelization of much of Europe.
The Council of Constantinople convened to determine whether Christ had one will or two. The “monothelites” said one, the church said two, corresponding to His human and divine nature.
The Council at Toledo addressed the issue of whether Christ was the eternal son of God or if he had been “adopted” by the Father in His humanity. The adoptionists lost and Christ was recognized as being the eternal Son.
Names you should know
Isidore of Seville: Wrote his “Etymologies” a compilation of the teachings of earlier Christian leaders and classical learning which became a standard reference work for the later church.
Maximus the Confessor: Canonized by both the East and West, he is one of the most important theologians you’ve never heard of. He opposed the monothelites which eventually led to his exile and death. More importantly, he imported much Platonic and Neo-Platonic philosophy into the church and his teachings were foundational to the Eastern doctrine of “theosis“.
According this view, man was made in the image of God and the purpose of salvation is to restore that image fully and unite us with God completely. We will become as God, as God intended from the beginning..
He may also have believed in universalism, or universal reconciliation.
Much of the material here was taken from “Heroes and Heretics” by Iain D. Campbell