Nicene Christianity refers to
Christian doctrinal traditions that adhere to the
Nicene Creed, which was originally formulated at the
First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD and finished at the
First Council of Constantinople in AD 381.
The main rival doctrine of Nicene Christianity at the time was
Arian Christianity, which ceased to exist during the 7th century AD with the conversion of the
Gothic kingdoms to Nicene Christianity. The main points of dissent centered on
Christology. Nicene Christianity considers Christ to be divine and co-eternal with God the Father, while Arian Christianity considered Christ to be the first created being, and inferior to God the Father. Other non-Nicene currents have been considered
heresies since the
early medieval period.
Christian Churches, including all of the
Anglican churches, together with most
denominations, adhere to the Nicene Creed and are thus examples of Nicene Christianity.
Chalcedonian Christianity is a large
subset of Nicene Christianity. In addition to subscribing to the Nicene Creed, Chalcedonian Christians also subscribe to the decisions of the
First Council of Ephesus in 431 AD and of the
Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD. The great majority of Nicene Christians are also Chalcedonian Christians. However, some portions of
Eastern Christianity, such as the Oriental Orthodox Churches, adhere to the Nicene Creed, but not the
Chalcedonian Definition, and are therefore part of Nicene Christianity but non-Chalcedonian.
Examples of non-Nicene Christianity today include the various
non-trinitarian groups, such as
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
Jehovah's Witnesses, the
Unitarian Church of Transylvania, and the