The Byzantine Forum
Newest Members
RusFrog, JanSorman, Icons, George, SJ, kaleb
5652 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 156 guests, and 109 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Latest Photos
Byzantine Nebraska
Church of the Holy Trinity (UGCC) - Brazil
Papal Audience 10 November 2017
Upgraded Russian icon corner
Russian Greek Catholic Global Congress
Forum Statistics
Forums26
Topics34,865
Posts412,698
Members5,652
Most Online3,380
Dec 29th, 2019
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy #404211 03/15/14 11:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
Xristoforos Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
I have found a very interesting study contrasting palamism with thomism. Most likely it is more biased that say, Rev. Dr. Andrew Louth's presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqa74WEj03s

I felt that posting it here was warranted as I trust my esteemed colleagues lifelong knowledge to clarify the complex statements it makes. If it has wisdom or if it has ignorance, or if it is pure rubbish, please express your view. While I sympathize with what Richard Larson writes further below, I also sympathize with this statement written on an Orthodox forum long ago:

Quote
But, when you're asking about a specific work like the Summa, you're dealing with a work composed in a context different, if not sometime antithetical to, the Orthodox mindset which existed in the West prior to the schism, and also in the East at the time Aquinas wrote. So, you will not just find teachings out of step, but constructs and understandings. Not only are the answers wrong, but also the questions. Now, I'm not trying to rip on non-Orthodox works, or scholasticism in particular. But this is just what we're dealing with in the West in general from 1100 on--thesis, antithesis, back and forth and getting nowhere, creating problems intentionally, and then solving them by creating new problems. It's nuts. It represents humanism--at first with Aquinas it is human reason to understand and expound upon Divine revelation, and then it is human reason glorified to be on par with divine revelation, until eventually it becomes human reason surpassing divine revelation. While you won't find an ecumenical council dogmatizing on this, the aspect and understanding of divine revelation over and confounding human reasoning is key in Orthodoxy. So, the value of works like the summa becomes quite peripheral.

Surely, somewhere between the positions above, and the positions below there is can be truth? Is there a way to compromise. While I think the thomist influence in the west is generally harmless, it does strike me as distinctly unnecessary to the faith. If the latins survived without it for a millenia, surely they can survive without it in the future.

Could both of these statements be true?

Here is Richard Larsons study of "the Radical Divide" :

http://www.waragainstbeing.com/partiii

Quote
Few Catholics realize that Eastern Orthodoxy, especially as represented by Palamite theology, represents a systematic and comprehensive attack upon Catholic doctrine. Catholic and Orthodox theology are not only in opposition to one another in their understanding of God (theology), but also in the various disciplines of philosophy – in Cosmology, Psychology, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Theodicy, and Ethics. They posit radically different views of God, of man, and of the relationship between God and His creation. Finally, and very crucially, they embrace radically different views of the final destiny of man. In this respect they both employ the concept of "deification", but possess very different understandings of what this term signifies.

Over the past 2,000 years there have been many heresies, schisms, and systems of thought comprehensively opposed to Catholicism. But none has carried the potential threat for corruption of all of Catholic dogma which Eastern Orthodoxy represents. Because of the validity of its sacramental system, the validity of its episcopate and priesthood, and because of the seemingly incurable blindness of Catholics to its extensive doctrinal aberrations, Eastern Orthodoxy is able to make incursions into the life of the Catholic Church which are not possible to other systems. Union with Eastern Orthodoxy is the premier goal of Catholic ecumenism. The achievement of such union without full conversion of the Eastern Orthodox would therefore amount to a massive ingestion of error into the interior of Christ's Mystical Body.

There is no question in my mind but that Palamism, derived from the theology of Gregory Palamas, and endorsed by a series of Eastern Councils in the 14th century, is the dominant system of thought in Eastern Orthodoxy, and has been for centuries. Therefore, while not denying that there have always existed counter-currents, I will feel free to consider the terms Palamism and Eastern Orthodox theology and mysticism as interchangeable.

In similar fashion, I equate Catholic philosophy and theology with the teaching of St. Thomas. From the standpoint of many contemporary Catholics this equation may seem to be unwarranted. Since Vatican II, Thomism has suffered severely. It has been virtually excluded from the training of priests in most seminaries. However, this is to be seen as an historical aberration, which must change if the Church is to be restored to its glory. The following passages are given as evidence of the degree to which Thomistic philosophy and theology are to be identified with official Catholic teaching. In his encyclical Studiorum Ducem, Pope Pius XI writes:

We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own."

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404212 03/16/14 12:32 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
Xristoforos Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
As for myself, after further reading, I am concluding that I seem to be in the same position of these "Nouvelle Théologie" folks. HYet somehow, in my instance I adhere to a more orthodox, less experiemental (pseudo-humanist/protestant) position than some of those described as promoting "Nouvelle Théologie". What is this fundamental difference... ? Why is the abandonment of thomism harmless for some and harmful for others?

Quote

In the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century (especially after the issuing of the encyclical Aeterni Patris by Pope Leo XIII in 1879), Roman Catholic thought was dominated by neo-Scholastic forms of thought. This, in reaction against "modernist" theology, insisted on a rigid adherence to the thought, methods and principles of the thirteenth-century thinker Thomas Aquinas. This dominance became particularly pronounced in the early twentieth century, as exemplified by the issuing of the Anti-Modernist Oath by Pope Pius X in 1910, and the publication in 1914 of 24 allegedly Thomist propositions which had to be taught in all colleges as fundamental elements of theology.

The roots of a questioning of the dominance of neo-Scholasticism may be traced to work done from the 1920s onwards. Some French Jesuit studies made in exile at Ore Place, Hastings in 1906-26 might be seen as forerunners of the nouvelle théologie.[1] However, the nouvelle théologie movement itself is generally associated with the period between c 1935 and 1960.[2] The movement in its early stages (i.e. the 1930s and early 1940s) is also particularly associated with the French language – a contrast with the Latin used in seminary teaching at the time.[3]

Theologians who are nowadays identified as early forerunners of the nouvelle théologie sought a return of Catholic theology to (what they perceived was) its original purity of thought and expression. To accomplish this, they advocated a "return to the sources" of the Christian faith: namely, scripture and the writings of the Church Fathers. This methodological move is known by its French name, ressourcement ("return to the sources"). Along with this, the movement adopted a systemic openness to dialogue with the contemporary world on issues of theology. They developed also a renewed interest in biblical exegesis, typology, art, literature and mysticism.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouvelle_Th%C3%A9ologie

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404286 03/18/14 12:10 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 53
S
Sean Forristal Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 53
To All:

The Roman Catholic Church took St. Thomas's thoughts very seriously that she placed his works on the Altar with Sacred Writ , the Church Fathers, and the writings of Popes during the Council of Trent. This act was made due to the Protestant revolutionaries who hated the works of the scholastic period, especially the works of St. Thomas. Nor, was this act to completely restrict the Roman Church to Thomistic philosophy and theology, rather it brought a starting point to systematic theology.

When one reads the Summa there is great reverence to the works of the Church Fathers (East and West), other influential church thinkers (Origen, Turtulian, Boethius etc.), and especially to Sacred Writ. Thus, I do not think St. Thomas' intention was to make the Summa the most authoritative volume of theology for the church. Also, St. Thomas in his own opinion meant for the Summa to be of great aid to young students of theology, to be a text book of reference, and to open the student to studying the great theological patrimony of the Church (East and West). In other words he did not intend to close all theological controversies, but to give a point of reference in how to engage them. Also, St. Thomas made use of the works of Aristotle, Jewish Rabbi's, and numerous theologians of his time. There is much genius to his work.

As this relates to the difference between East-West theology, understanding St. Thomas on his own term seems best to me. As I am unfamiliar to Palamite theology I cannot say anything about it. Some even say that St. Thomas had access to works we no longer have. What is true is that St. Thomas had great reverence to the theological patrimony of the Church. He started systematic theology in which one article of faith or reason builds upon another.

Pope Bl. John Paul II was heavily Thomistic and had a remarkable statement that "Reason is the handmaid of Faith." Reason if very enriched can be of greater aid to the Faith, as a good and faithful handmaid is to her Queen. Without the work of St. Thomas I am sure that the Roman Church would not have found health during the tumult of the Protestant revolt.

God bless you and yours!

Your unworthy brother in Christ;
Sean Forristal

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404288 03/18/14 12:33 PM
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 53
S
Sean Forristal Offline
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 53
Here is an article I found interesting to the topic:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07301a.htm

It is a document on Hesychasm.

Your unworthy brother in Christ;
Sean Forristal

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404290 03/18/14 02:58 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
JBenedict Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 328
Quote
Without the work of St. Thomas I am sure that the Roman Church would not have found health during the tumult of the Protestant revolt.


Just FYI, as it is stated here, this is at least approaching a "propositio theologice erronea" (you can look that up in the old Catholic Encyclopedia smirk ). It seems opposed to the indefectibility of the Church to privilege Thomas this strongly. (And as people on this board go, I'm pretty pro-Thomas.)

Speaking of the old Catholic Encyclopedia, it has many virtues, but unbiased coverage of Eastern topics is not one of them. I wouldn't rely on that article on Hesychasm.

Even setting aside the bias of the old CE, the scholarship in English and other western languages on Eastern topics has radically advanced since it was written.

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404292 03/18/14 03:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Nelson Chase Offline
Member
Offline
Member
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 978
Quote
But none has carried the potential threat for corruption of all of Catholic dogma which Eastern Orthodoxy represents. Because of the validity of its sacramental system, the validity of its episcopate and priesthood, and because of the seemingly incurable blindness of Catholics to its extensive doctrinal aberrations, Eastern Orthodoxy is able to make incursions into the life of the Catholic Church which are not possible to other systems. Union with Eastern Orthodoxy is the premier goal of Catholic ecumenism. The achievement of such union without full conversion of the Eastern Orthodox would therefore amount to a massive ingestion of error into the interior of Christ's Mystical Body.


What utter rubbish.



Last edited by Nelson Chase; 03/18/14 03:33 PM.
Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Nelson Chase] #404293 03/18/14 03:36 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
D
DMD Offline
Member
Offline
Member
D
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
Quote
But none has carried the potential threat for corruption of all of Catholic dogma which Eastern Orthodoxy represents. Because of the validity of its sacramental system, the validity of its episcopate and priesthood, and because of the seemingly incurable blindness of Catholics to its extensive doctrinal aberrations, Eastern Orthodoxy is able to make incursions into the life of the Catholic Church which are not possible to other systems. Union with Eastern Orthodoxy is the premier goal of Catholic ecumenism. The achievement of such union without full conversion of the Eastern Orthodox would therefore amount to a massive ingestion of error into the interior of Christ's Mystical Body.


What utter rubbish.


I foresee two schisms if we ever were to reunite. There will be the schismatic "true" Catholics and schimatic "true" Orthodox and the One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Church. The schismatics will be vocal and sizeable, but in error.

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Nelson Chase] #404294 03/18/14 03:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 353
I
Irish_Ruthenian Online Content
Member
Online Content
Member
I
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 353
Originally Posted by Nelson Chase
Quote
But none has carried the potential threat for corruption of all of Catholic dogma which Eastern Orthodoxy represents. Because of the validity of its sacramental system, the validity of its episcopate and priesthood, and because of the seemingly incurable blindness of Catholics to its extensive doctrinal aberrations, Eastern Orthodoxy is able to make incursions into the life of the Catholic Church which are not possible to other systems. Union with Eastern Orthodoxy is the premier goal of Catholic ecumenism. The achievement of such union without full conversion of the Eastern Orthodox would therefore amount to a massive ingestion of error into the interior of Christ's Mystical Body.


What utter rubbish.


I think you're being rather gracious to call it "utter rubbish."

Does anyone see a problem with this quote:

Quote
“Thomas wrote under the inspiration of the supernatural spirit which animated his life and that his writings, which contain the principles of, and the laws governing, all sacred studies, must be said to possess a universal character.” (Studiorum Ducem)


I'll tell you what I think....but first tell me what you think.


Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Irish_Ruthenian] #404299 03/18/14 06:04 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 78
C
Cavaradossi Offline
Member
Offline
Member
C
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 78
Hah, "the war on being". What a great day that will be, when that last metaphysical idol has been cast down.

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404304 03/18/14 06:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
E
Epiphanius Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
E
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
Originally Posted by Xristoforos
Here is Richard Larsons study of "the Radical Divide" :
Quote
... I equate Catholic philosophy and theology with the teaching of St. Thomas. From the standpoint of many contemporary Catholics this equation may seem to be unwarranted. Since Vatican II, Thomism has suffered severely. It has been virtually excluded from the training of priests in most seminaries. However, this is to be seen as an historical aberration, which must change if the Church is to be restored to its glory. The following passages are given as evidence of the degree to which Thomistic philosophy and theology are to be identified with official Catholic teaching. In his encyclical Studiorum Ducem, Pope Pius XI writes:

We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own."

Well, for starters, there have long been *other* important theological schools in the West--notably Franciscan and Jesuit--that certainly didn't look to Aquinas as a "Common or Universal Doctor."

I can remember looking through the Summa Theologica one time and being simply amazed at how he used the terms "reason" and "rationality" as though man's entire spiritual and moral dimensions were completely subsumed under these headings. Upon further reflection, I concluded that he was addressing himself to the theological discussions of his day and deliberately limiting himself to what were generally-accepted categories.

As for Larsons' remark about Vatican II as "... an historical aberration, which must change if the Church is to be restored to its glory," I seriously question what that "glory" might have been. I would contend, rather, that the errors that beset our own age nearly all have their roots in Medieval Europe--even if it's only a rejection of some of the fallacies of that period (the "natural inferiority of the female" being only one example)--in most cases, merely replacing them with their logical opposites.

I started a thread on Scholasticism on this forum a couple of years ago, but it didn't generate much discussion at the time. Maybe now we can get some good exchange here.


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Epiphanius] #404310 03/19/14 01:04 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
Xristoforos Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 80
Perusing through this marvelous book:

The Reception of the Church Fathers in the West by Irena Dorata Backus (1997) I found mentioned another book titled "The Four Books of Sentences (Libri Quattuor Sententiarum)" by Peter Lombard, circa 1150, which was apparently the precursor to the Summa theologica of St. Thomas.

I will have to check these two books out at the library before I can make sense of anything.

All I know is I read the writings of Church Fathers and various Western saints from the past, especially late medieaval, and I see so much harmony, I tend to like all of it.

However, some of the deeply philosophical books relating to systematic theology" are very scientific in their approach. I tend to lose interest in these books. This is my weakness...

I am confused, I don't have anything much to contribute, thanks for your ideas.

A discussion of scholasticism is nice. I think that I like the earliest period of scholasticism, but I do not like the end of what it became as much. Perhaps that means I like most whatever came before it, which apparently is something like St. Jerome or St Venerable Bede (although Bede was very scientific too.. perhaps he foreshadows future trends):

Quote

The Book of Sentences had its precursor in the glosses (an explanation or interpretation of a text, such as, e.g. the Corpus Iuris Civilis or biblical) by the masters who lectured using Saint Jerome's Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate). A gloss might concern syntax or grammar, or it might be on some difficult point of doctrine. These glosses, however, were not continuous, rather being placed between the lines or in the margins of the biblical text itself.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentences

I love "De fide Orthodoxa" by St. John Damascus.

Here is a biased quote about it from a 19th c. rc (or anglocatholic) book:

Quote
Some theologians are of opinion that traces of such a scientific treatment are to be found in the writings of Theophilus of Antioch Clement of Alexandria S Cyril of Jerusalem Lac tantius and others but in truth the first writer in whom anything of scientific arrangement or completeness of method is to be found is S John of Damascus in the eighth century And it may be said that his work De Orthodoxa Fide is both the first and the last to be found in the Oriental Church so stationary and unr effective it would seem has the Oriental mind become since its separation from the centre of spiritual and intellectual activity the Chair of S Peter Since S John of Damascus I hardly know what the Greek Church has produced except a few meagre Catenas of the Fathers upon certain books of Holy Scripture the works of Theophylact a body of miserable Erastian canon law a few still more meagre catechetical works and many virulent and schismatical attacks upon the Primacy of the Holy See.


Yes, there is some rubbish in that decription above..but I why do some people thhink that De fide orthodoxa is the last interesting theological book from the eastern church. What are they looking for???

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Xristoforos] #404433 03/22/14 10:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 82
F
Fr. John Morris Offline
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 82
The theology of St. Gregory Palamas was not formulated as an attack on Roman Catholic doctrine. I was forged in a life of prayer, and based on the heritage of the Fathers of the Church. St. Basil also wrote about the essences and energies of God. Therefore, St. Gregory Palamas did not advocate new doctrine, but simply systematized the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
If you find St Gregory difficult to understand, you must understand that most Eastern Orthodox find Scholasticism equally incomprehensible. I have tried to read Thomas Aquinas several times without success. I do not understand his writings. Even he realized in the end that he had relied too much on human reason. He had a mystical experience and never again picked up a pen to write. Thus in the end, even he realized the limitations of human reason.
The difference is that the discovery of Aristotle by the West caused an intellectual revolution that led theologians to try to reconcile Christian theology with Aristotle. Ironically, they first read Aristotle in Arabic texts found during the reconquest of Spain. In the East, we never lost Aristotle. Every educated person in the East was quite familiar with Aristotle. The difference is that the East considered Aristotle an authority on science and philosophy and never felt a need to reconcile Aristotle with Christianity.

Fr. John W. Morris

Re: A Study of the Radical Divide Between Catholicism & E Orthodoxy [Re: Fr. John Morris] #404477 03/24/14 12:45 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
E
Epiphanius Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
Offline
Za myr z'wysot ...
Member
E
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1,125
Originally Posted by Fr. John Morris
... the discovery of Aristotle by the West caused an intellectual revolution that led theologians to try to reconcile Christian theology with Aristotle.

Fr. John,

I have heard this affirmed numerous times, but I think it needs to be understood in the context of the long-standing "marriage" between Western Theology and Plato.

In other words, attempts to reconcile Christian theology with "Greek Philosophy"--Plato in particular--go back at least as far as Origen, and I have even heard it affirmed that St. Paul borrowed freely from Neo-Platonic categories when he spoke, for example, of the "war between flesh and spirit." The main shift in the 13th Century was from Plato to Aristotle.


Originally Posted by Fr. John Morris
The difference is that the East considered Aristotle an authority on science and philosophy and never felt a need to reconcile Aristotle with Christianity.

I am definitely with the East on this point!

We've all heard that Western adage, "philosophy is the handmaid of theology." I have even heard it affirmed that without a single underlying philosophy, it is impossible to produce a coherent theology. For my part, I don't see how rigorous adherence to the Sacred Texts, together with a deep respect for the opinions of the Fathers, would fail to qualify as a "single underlying philosophy."


Peace,
Deacon Richard


The Byzantine Forum provides message boards for discussions focusing on Eastern Christianity (though discussions of other topics are welcome). The views expressed herein are those of the participants and may or may not reflect the teachings of the Byzantine Catholic or any other Church. The Byzantine Forum and the www.byzcath.org site exist to help build up the Church but are unofficial, have no connection with any Church entity, and should not be looked to as a source for official information for any Church. All posts become property of byzcath.org. Contents copyright - 1996-2020 (Forum 1998-2020). All rights reserved.
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3