Cyril of Alexandria: His Life and Impact

Daniel Hames



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Cyril of Alexandria: His Life and Impact by Daniel Hames, edited by Michael Haykin

A fascinating glimpse into the life of one of the Early Church Fathers, his defence of orthodox theology, and how his Christ–centredness has shaped the faith of the Church.

Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376 – 444 AD) was a towering figure in early Christianity, renowned for his theological prowess and leadership as the Patriarch of Alexandria. Born into a prominent Christian family, Cyril received a comprehensive education in theology and philosophy, which equipped him for his future role as a defender of orthodox Christian doctrine.

Daniel Hames unpacks Cyril’s tenure as Patriarch, marked by significant theological controversies, notably his fierce defense of the divinity of Christ against the teachings of Nestorius, culminating in the Council of Ephesus in 431 AD. Cyril played a pivotal role in condemning Nestorianism and affirming the doctrine of the hypostatic union – the belief in the union of Christ’s divine and human natures in one person.

Cyril’s legacy endures as one of the most influential figures in the development of the doctrine of Christ, shaping the theological landscape of Christianity for centuries to come.

Hames begins with some history and biography of Cyril before setting up the dynamics of the controversy with Nestorius. The chapters on Jesus, God and salvation are a look into Cyril’s theology, especially in the light of the battle he was fighting. The final chapter and afterword survey his influence on the church immediately after his lifetime and highlight some of the ways we might turn to Cyril today as we navigate the question and debates of our own time.

Coming September 2024


Daniel Hames

Daniel Hames (PhD Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) is Vice President and Lecturer in Theology at Union School of Theology. He is author, with Michael Reeves, of God Shines Forth: How the Nature of God Shapes and Drives the Mission of the Church.

Christian Focus
Publication Date
September 10, 2024
Table of Contents

Series Preface

A Chronology of Cyril’s Life


1.     The Man, the Myth, the Legend

2.     The Nestorian Controversy

3.     Who is Jesus?

4.     Who is God?

5.     What is Salvation?

6.     Chalcedon and Beyond