But some other developments supported the Alexandrian cause: 1) Already for a long time the Mary-legend – for which there is very little basis in the Bible – produced out of and against the Biblical reports legendary stories of a pious imagination. This figure of Mary attracted the novelistic mind of all those who talked about her, and so a whole Mary-legend developed.
2) The second reason for the predominance of Alexandria over Antioch was the high valuation placed on virginity, which came together with an ascetic trend which increased in strength 3) There was also a spiritual vacuum in the life of that time, an empty space which like all other empty spaces in the spiritual life soon are filled – namely, the desire to have a female element m the center of religion. This was the case in Egypt, in the myth of Isis and Osiris, the goddess and her son, but it was not in Christianity.
Following Judaism, every female element was thrown out. The Spirit could not replace the female element; first of all He appears, in the early reports of the birth of Jesus, as the male element, in respect to her as the female element. And beyond this the Spirit is an abstract concept. It was so even for those days” So the Divine Spirit never could replace, in the popular mind, the different forms of male-centered religion coming from the Old Testament.
4) The popular appeal of the transformation Christology, which was represented by Alexandria. Imagine a simple-minded human being: she wants to have God. Of course if you tell here: “There is God, on the altar. . ., go and have Him there,” then she will go – this fills the Catholic churches because there you have God on the altar. But how is this possible? Because of the Incarnation, for in the Incarnation God became something whom I can have, with whom I can walk, whom I can see, etc. All this is popular feeling, and this feeling was decisive against the Alexandrians.
What Cyril wanted was to show that the human nature is taken into the unity of the Logos, who remains what He was” Therefore he could say that the Logos Himself experienced death, since He has received His body, namely, in Jesus. In the formula “out of two natures, one,” he accepts the abstract distinction of the natures, but actually there is no difference between the natures This makes it possible for him to be the protagonist in the fight about the theotokos. The religious motive is: It is not a man who became king over us, but God, who has appeared in human form. If Nestorius were right, then only a man, not the Logos, would have died for us, (because the Logos cannot die.) Only if the natures were so united (as Cyril wanted), he could say they were united and that they can represent the duality. “If Nestorius is right, then we eat in the Lord’s Supper the flesh of a man,” What the people wanted was the physical presence of the Divine. This underlies the sacramental development, and was the whole Alexandrian theology.