Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes

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Fordham Univ Press, 1979 - Philosophy - 243 pages
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For over a thousand years, Eastern Christendom had as its center the second capital of the Roman Empire--Constantinople, the "New Rome," or Byzantium. The geographical division between the Eastern and Western Churches was only one manifestation of deeper rifts, characterized by a long history of conflicts, suspicions, and misunderstandings. Although the art, monasticism, and spirituality of Byzantium have come to be recognized as inspirational and influential in the shaping of Eastern European civilization, and of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as well, the West has been in the main ignorant of the historical evolution and the doctrinal significance of Byzantine theology.

Here, for the first time in English, is presented a synthesis of Byzantine Christian thought. The reader is guided through its complexities to an understanding of Byzantium: its view of man and his destiny of "deification"; its ability to transcend the "Western captivity"; its survival under quite adverse historical circumstances. In the end, he may well find himself receptive to the basic positions of Byzantine thought, which have attained, in this time of need for the reintegration of Christianity itself, a surprising, contemporary relevance.


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Byzantine Theology After Chalcedon
The Christological Issue
The Iconoclastic Crisis
Monks and Humanists
Monastic Theology
Ecclesiology Canonical Sources
The Schism Between East and West
Encounter with the West
Jesus Christ
The Holy Spirit
The Triune God
Sacramental Theology The Cycle of Life
The Eucharist
The Church in the World

Lex Orandi
Doctrinal Themes

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Page 26 - For the contents of scripture are the outward forms of certain mysteries and the images of divine things. On this point the entire Church is unanimous, that while the whole law is spiritual, the inspired meaning is not recognized by all. but only by those who are gifted with the grace of the Holy Spirit in the word of wisdom and knowledge.
Page 15 - ... grace sufficed for the perfect knowledge and confirmation of religion; for it teaches the perfect [doctrine] concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and sets forth the Incarnation of the Lord to them that faithfully receive it.
Page 18 - In speaking of God, when there is question of His essence, then is the time to %eep silence. When, however, it is a question of His operation, a knowledge of which can come down even to us, that is the time to speal( of His omnipotence by telling of His works and explaining His deeds, and to use words to this extent.

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About the author (1979)

John Meyendorff, Professor Byzantine and Eastern European History at Fordham University, is an Orthodox priest, a holder of the D. es L. (Sorbonne), and the author of several books on Orthodoxy.

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