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Author Topic: Need good source for history on OO/EO split  (Read 2810 times) Average Rating: 0
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_Seraphim_
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« on: November 06, 2007, 09:34:28 PM »

Anyone know of contemporary literature that offers a "friendly" perspective on the history of the events that led to the unfortunate split between Oriental and Eastern Orthodox?

Any help is much appreciated

God bless
« Last Edit: November 06, 2007, 09:35:20 PM by _Seraphim_ » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2007, 09:48:39 PM »

The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined, by Fr. V. C. Samuel (an Indian Orthodox priest).
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« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2007, 09:50:56 PM »

Anyone know of contemporary literature that offers a "friendly" perspective on the history of the events that led to the unfortunate split between Oriental and Eastern Orthodox?

Any help is much appreciated

God bless

It's hard to say one can find a "friendly" perspective.  Sometimes learning history can be distressing and hurtful, especially when what you read is the truth.  If you are looking for something objective, then that's different.  But friendly is not easy.  In order to read these things, I think one needs to be personally spiritually ready and have some sort of base of faith with Christ and an understanding of the love of Orthodox faith before seeing them in the people and Church fathers depicted in the controversy.

From an objective point of view describing mostly an OO perspective, although I think he does a great job trying to think it from an EO perspective as well, Fr. VC Samuel's "The Council of Chalcedon Re-Examined."  I'm sure there are others who will give you even better sources that I have not delved to read into.  Fr. John Romanides' articles available online are also another good source.

God bless.
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« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2007, 10:21:06 PM »

I also found Fr. Samuel's book to be really good.  It's the best I have read on the subject.  It's very long and I recall initially being intimidated by it when I first saw it, but I actually got through it in a couple of weeks.  It's well written and, as they say, "accessible."  For the EO point of view, I think there is a book written by the Monks of Mt. Athos, but I don't know if it goes into the history.

Fr. Samuel's book:

http://www.amazon.com/Council-Chalcedon-Re-Examined-V-Samuel/dp/1401016456/ref=ed_oe_h/103-4907599-9770265

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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2007, 11:54:19 PM »

The most comprehensive history, especially of the dogmatic issues, is Aloys Grillmeier's Christ in Christian Tradition. Of course, to get the full story, you're talking about several volumes. Can't be beat, though.

If you want only ONE source for an unfiltered look at the Council itself, there's the actual translation of The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon by Richard Price and Michael Gaddis. In addition to the primary sources, their introduction and notes are extremely thorough.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 12:25:46 AM »

Grillmeier's series is good as a reference source, but his theological views and historical interpretations are evidently pro-Chalcedonian and, from an OO perspective, flawed in many respects.

I highly second the recommendation of Fr. Samuel's Chalcedon Re-examined.
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 01:15:23 AM »

I should probably further qualify my above comments on Grillmeier's work, since it may seem that I have been a bit unjust. Other positive qualities of the work include, as already noted, its unique comprehensiveness, and the fact he engages with a uniquely wide range of primary source material. It's not harshly polemical, and does seem to be a genuine attempt to do justice to the OO position in some respects, but ultimately, it remains something of a Chalcedonian apologetic (which is what one would expect of a RC theologian).

I should also sress that I was not seconding a recommendation of Fr. Samuel's book in opposition to Grillmeier's series. The former work, however, does have the luxury of having being composed well after Grillmeier's series and hence in consideration of it. As such, Fr. Samuel had and used the opportunity to address many of the shortcomings of Grillmeier's approach, reasonings and conclusions.

Finally, I must add that I have yet to read the entire series of Grillmeier's work. I have, as of now, only read Volumes 1 and 2A, as these are the only ones available to me.
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007, 07:33:04 PM »

Thank you all for sharing  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 08:50:13 PM »

The Christ in Christian Tradition by Grillmeier is extremely comprehensive.  There is also Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions by Fr. John Meyendorff which covers from the council of Chalcedon up to the middle of the seventh century.  I recently ordered two books that I can't tell you much about because they are still on their way.  The Rise of The Monophysite Movement by WHC Frend and Three Monophysite Christologies by Roberta Chestnut. (I am currently writing a paper on the subject)
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 09:34:58 PM »

The Grillmeier book is discussed in replies 4-6, above, and Meyendorff's book is discussed here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,8554.0.html

The titles of the other two books give me the feeling they have an anti-OO bias, which is fine if that is what you are looking for.   Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2009, 12:07:00 AM »

No, I am not.  My understanding of them is that they accept the theology of the OO as orthodox.  I say this partly because there are a few reviewers on amazon.com who seem to be OO who have suggested them in lists.  I am also planning on using the book by VC Samuels and the writings of Severus of Antioch (the books I have are Christology After Chalcedon, Severus of Antioch, and Selected Letters of Severus of Antioch) along with a few letters of Philoxenus.  If I have the time I hope to read the history of Zachary of Mitylene.  I also would like to incorporate the recent ecumenical discussions with the agreements signed by Pope Paul VI and Pope Shenouda III.  It is a lot to cover for the amount of time I have but that is my goal.

Just because someone uses the term 'monophysite' doesn't mean they are anti-OO.  For 1500 years the Alexandrians were considered monophysites.  You can't expect a change of terms simply because there is a change of perceptions.  Simply because the word monophysite is in the title of the books doesn't mean there is an anti-OO view espoused by the author. 

If you have any suggestions of books or articles it would be much appreciated.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 12:11:07 AM by Jimmy » Logged
Salpy
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« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2009, 09:27:44 PM »

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you want to really get a feel for what the OO's believe, the best sources are those written by OO authors.

For example, when I want to know what the Catholics believe about something, I try to find Catholic sources explaining it, rather than relying on sources written by Protestants, or even Orthodox.  Similarly, when I want to know something about the EO's, I'll try to get a source written by an EO explaining it, rather than relying on a source from outside the EO Church, even a non-EO source who is sympathetic. 

That's just my perspective, and my own view of how best to research things.   Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2009, 10:21:58 PM »

I guess what I am trying to say is that if you want to really get a feel for what the OO's believe, the best sources are those written by OO authors.

For example, when I want to know what the Catholics believe about something, I try to find Catholic sources explaining it, rather than relying on sources written by Protestants, or even Orthodox.  Similarly, when I want to know something about the EO's, I'll try to get a source written by an EO explaining it, rather than relying on a source from outside the EO Church, even a non-EO source who is sympathetic. 

That's just my perspective, and my own view of how best to research things.   Smiley

Yes, I agree with that but the thing is that there aren't many OO sources out there.  I have the book by VC Samuels and some writings by Severus and Philoxenus and the book by Pope Shenouda and I plan on using them.  The thing about Grillmeier's books and the others I mentioned is that they give a lot of detail on the history that I haven't found anywhere else.  From what I have read of Grillmeier's books so far he doesn't seem to be anti-OO even though he does support Chalcedon. 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2009, 10:22:45 PM by Jimmy » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2009, 01:47:17 AM »

I understand.

If you want to get into some of the more obscure historical events surrounding Chalcedon, there is this book about the Georgian/Armenian split:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16969.0.html#top
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