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Author Topic: West - East Fathers of the Church  (Read 1811 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jakub
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« on: June 13, 2003, 05:25:55 PM »

Need a little help, which "Western Father of the Church" is closest to Eastern thought ?

Thanx,

james
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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2003, 09:33:06 AM »

Need a little help, which "Western Father of the Church" is closest to Eastern thought ?

Thanx,

james

Probably St. John Cassian, James, but the West doesn't even recognize his Sainthood.  St. Benedict of Nursia borrowed heavily from St. Basil the Great in forming his monastic rule, so he's a prime candidate, and how can we forget Saints Cyril and Methodius, Evangelizers of the Slavs--East and West?

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Jakub
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2003, 12:04:03 PM »

Brother John,

Thank you, and I will place your suggestions on my need to read list which is 98% Orthodox.

james, a humble Latin seeking the Truth.
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Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2003, 12:13:06 PM »

Glory to Jesus Christ!

James, my good friend, your question was rather subjective, and you may receive different answers from other posters.  I would probably want to add St. Vincent of Lerins and St. Hilary of Poitiers to my list, as well, of course, St. Pope Gregory the Dialogist, whose writings are available in translation, and to whom most Orthodox attribute as the author of the beautiful Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which is served on the weekdays of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church.

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Hypo-Ortho
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« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2003, 10:26:36 AM »

James, my good friend, don't forget St. Irenaeus of Lyons!  I'm sorry that my mind went blank and I didn't include this venerable Holy Father!

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Jakub
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« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2003, 05:57:20 PM »

Thank you Brother John, added St. Irenaeus to the list.

Pokoj,
james
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Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
Saint Polycarp
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« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2003, 02:06:06 PM »

Thank you Brother John, added St. Irenaeus to the list.

Pokoj,
james

Hi James,

Add Saint Clement of Rome too! He wrote two very beautiful letters from the Church at Rome to he Church at Corinth around 80 AD.

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Polycarp
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Justin Kissel
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that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2003, 02:13:14 PM »

Just a note (which I'm sure you know Polycarp, just saying it for some of the lurkers), most would say that Saint Clement wrote one epistle, and that the second letter attributed to him was not written by him (there was a ton of stuff attributed to him, most of which he didn't write), and most scholars would put the date at around 96AD.


Jakub,

Saint John Cassian is about as close as you can get to eastern thought on salvation and grace, and Vincent of Lerins is as close as you can get on tradition. Ambrose also wrote beautifully, though I'm not sure he's exactly "eastern," and the same goes for Saint Hilary. Oddly, I find Jerome, who traveled and learned extensively in the East (even calling Gregory the Theologian his "teacher of exegesis") to be very uneastern. I don't mean he's "too western" (nothing wrong with the west), but I think he was corrupted by too many unorthodox influences, such as the Jewish fellows he debated with, and so for all his eastern learning he doesn't really totally reflect what the Eastern Church taught.
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Saint Polycarp
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2003, 02:36:54 PM »

Just a note (which I'm sure you know Polycarp, just saying it for some of the lurkers), most would say that Saint Clement wrote one epistle, and that the second letter attributed to him was not written by him (there was a ton of stuff attributed to him, most of which he didn't write), and most scholars would put the date at around 96AD.


Jakub,

Saint John Cassian is about as close as you can get to eastern thought on salvation and grace, and Vincent of Lerins is as close as you can get on tradition. Ambrose also wrote beautifully, though I'm not sure he's exactly "eastern," and the same goes for Saint Hilary. Oddly, I find Jerome, who traveled and learned extensively in the East (even calling Gregory the Theologian his "teacher of exegesis") to be very uneastern. I don't mean he's "too western" (nothing wrong with the west), but I think he was corrupted by too many unorthodox influences, such as the Jewish fellows he debated with, and so for all his eastern learning he doesn't really totally reflect what the Eastern Church taught.

Thanks for correcting me!  I forgot that the second letter was spurious.
my favorite ancient ECF's are Ignatius and Irenaeus and of coarse the letter of Polycarp and the epistle from the church at Smyrna telling of his maryterdom.
Peace,
Polycarp
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Seraphim Reeves
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2003, 09:18:36 PM »

One thing I've noticed is that as this list has gone on, it's appearing that all of the Fathers are, more or less "Eastern" like - for the reason that they all grounded themselves in the same Truth.  I really don't like the whole "eastern-western" distinction in this regard to begin with; it's too easy to fall into a chauvenistic attitude (usually regarding the "Western" Fathers).

Some people say that the "Western Fathers" had a different emphasis, but I take issue with that, since I don't see this strongly reflected.  I think what is fair to say is that some Western Fathers (like Augustine and Jerome) departed in key ways from the patristic consensus, and where they erred, we don't follow them, but that their errors are not blameworthy in the way that heresy is.  The same would be said of an "Eastern Father" like St.Gregory of Nyssa (who held "Origenesque" views regarding the salvation of the world), or the portion of those pre-Nicean Fathers who held quasi-"millenealist" eschatological views.

I think what happens is people think "St.Augustine", and impute the bad parts of his speculative teachings upon all of the Western Fathers, creating the impression that this is something true of all of them.  I think that situation exists, primarily because of the way later western Christians built their entire theology upon St.Augustine's less than correct speculations (particularly regarding the economy of grace and predestination).  However, I don't think it's appropriate for Orthodox Christians to anachronistically impute the situation of later western Christendom upon the earlier Orthodox Fathers of the West.

For example, when I read St.Ambrose, or Pope St.Gregory the Great, I don't get the latter Anslemian teaching on the Cross's significance, but that taught by the "Eastern" Fathers, and maintained today by the Orthodox Church.  The same goes for every other topic of importance.

Seraphim
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