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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Contents

Byzantine Theology After Chalcedon
19
The Christological Issue
32
The Iconoclastic Crisis
42
Monks and Humanists
54
Monastic Theology
66
Ecclesiology Canonical Sources
79
The Schism Between East and West
91
Encounter with the West
103
Man
138
Jesus Christ
151
The Holy Spirit
168
The Triune God
180
Sacramental Theology The Cycle of Life
191
The Eucharist
201
The Church in the World
212
Antinomies
224

Lex Orandi
115
Doctrinal Themes
127
Creation
129

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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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