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The Lineage of Alexandrian Mystics 02-04-2018

The Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers/Alexandrian bishops) during the period listed below are rightly considered the lineage holders of Miaphysite Theology (The Jesus Paradox). But let’s not forget that this lineage was also embodied by many of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the same period, living in various monastic enclaves in the deserts of Egypt. The following lineage is all male, due to the cultural context, but this in no way diminishes the relevance of their message today.

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After the Council of Chalcedon (451), the Alexandrian Mystics experienced a diaspora, accompanied by constant theological and political struggle with Rome. During this period, representation of authentic Miaphysite theology (The Jesus Paradox) was spotty. But there was one champion for Miaphysite theology during the diaspora: Severus of Antioch. In my estimation Severus was the last authentic Alexandrian Mystic lineage holder.

If you want to research authentic Miaphysite theology, don’t get lost in the byways of the diaspora (455 on up through the present day), with its tangled web of theological and political struggles. Stick to the authentic lineage sketched here, especially Athanasius and Cyril. My book, Healing The Divide, tries to make the Jesus Paradox, as taught by the Alexandrian Mystics, accessible today[1] 

The lineage of Alexandrian Mystics (Alexandrian Fathers/Alexandrian bishops), who championed Miaphysite (The Jesus Paradox):

  • Alexander I (312-328 CE)
  • Athanasius I (Primary author of Nicene Creed) (328-373)
  • Peter II (373-380)
  • Timothy I (380-385)
  • Theophilus (385-412)
  • Cyril I (412-444)
  • Dioscorus I (444-454) 


  • Severus of Antioch (not an Alexandrian bishop) (465-542)

[1] Before the recent clarity that the Oriental Orthodox Church has offered us through books such as Gebru’s Miaphysite Christology, there was a lot of confusion about the term monophysite (Latin). Like the Oriental Orthodox Church, I steer clear of the term monophysite because of the distortions and confusion surrounding it. Miaphysite (Greek) clarifies the distortions and accurately reflects the spirit and legacy of Athanasius, Cyril, and The Alexandrian Mystics.

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Enjoy Rich’s post, How I Use My Prayer Bracelet.

Be sure to check out Nicholas Amato’s second book, Moving from Stress to Joy.

Be sure to check out Diana Butler Bass’ newest book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks

The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.  Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Simply Good News is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world.

The Power of the Jesus Prayer: Learn a method practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within.

Contemplative Practices: 5 Ways of Consenting to the Divine:  Learn methods practiced by Christian mystics for centuries to consent to the action and presence of God within, including Centering Prayer, The Examen, Lectio Divina, Christian Meditation, and the Jesus Prayer.

BE STILL AND LISTEN: Experience the Presence of God in Your Life

ISBN: 978-1612618654
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Number of pages: 160
Publication Date: June 12th, 2018

Where to Buy

BE STILL AND LISTEN books are available at
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Audio Book:


Healing The Divide: Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots

ISBN: 978-1-62032-365-6
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Number of pages: 316
Publication Date: March 29, 2013

Where to Buy

Healing The Divide books are available at
many fine bookstores including. . .