Author Topic: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?  (Read 5407 times)

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Offline ignatius

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Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« on: April 01, 2008, 02:17:41 PM »
 ??? Unseen Warfare... Spiritual Combat  ???

Did the originals edited works by Theophan recognize their origins from the Latin Priest Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 02:22:19 PM by ignatius »
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2008, 02:39:36 PM »
Did the originals edited works by Theophan recognize their origins from the Latin Priest Fr. Lorenzo Scupoli?

It was actually originally St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain who first edited the work in the 16th century, and yes, he did recognise it as the work of Scupoli. St. Theophan then further edited the work and recognized both Scupoli and St. Nicodemos' work in the preface.
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Offline ignatius

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2008, 02:46:54 PM »
It was actually originally St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain who first edited the work in the 16th century, and yes, he did recognise it as the work of Scupoli. St. Theophan then further edited the work and recognized both Scupoli and St. Nicodemos' work in the preface.

Thank you very much ozgeorge for that clarification! You the Bomb!

BTW, why would a monk from the Holy Mountain be reading Latin Spiritual Treatises? Don't we have Spiritual Treatises of our own that are much better? Just asking...
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 02:57:01 PM by ignatius »
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2008, 10:21:28 PM »
Thank you very much ozgeorge for that clarification! You the Bomb!

BTW, why would a monk from the Holy Mountain be reading Latin Spiritual Treatises? Don't we have Spiritual Treatises of our own that are much better? Just asking...
Are they really much better merely because they're penned by Orthodox writers and the Latin treatises are not?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2008, 10:23:33 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Offline lubeltri

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2008, 11:42:03 PM »
The Spiritual Combat is amazing! Who cares who wrote it---it's required reading for any Christian.

Offline ozgeorge

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2008, 12:17:47 AM »
BTW, why would a monk from the Holy Mountain be reading Latin Spiritual Treatises? Don't we have Spiritual Treatises of our own that are much better? Just asking...
Yes, our spiritual library is immense: The Philokalia, the Evergetinos, the Ladder to name but a few.
However, Orthodox theologians do not simply read Orthodox sourced texts. There has never been an "Index Librorum Prohibitorum" ("List of Forbidden Books") in the Orthodox Church. Remember also that some Fathers of the Church held some ideas which later were seen to be heretical (for example, the Sts. Gregorys of Nyssa and Nazianzus appear to have held some Origenist views about apocastasis). While rejecting those teachings which are not Orthodox, the Church still recognizes the immensity of the rest of their teaching and even Glorifies them. The Church doesn't even reject the non-heretical teachings of those she has condemned as heretics (Origen for instance).
So what St. Nicodemus did was revise Scupoli's text by removing the non-Orthodox components and translating it into Greek. St. Theophan further revised the text adding marginal notes and translating it into Russian.
As the Fathers say, we should be like the bees who gather nectar from different flowers and leave what is not nectar.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 12:19:47 AM by ozgeorge »
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Offline Irenaeus07

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2008, 12:18:44 AM »
Thank you very much ozgeorge for that clarification! You the Bomb!

BTW, why would a monk from the Holy Mountain be reading Latin Spiritual Treatises? Don't we have Spiritual Treatises of our own that are much better? Just asking...

Interestingly enough I just got this book today.  Still in the introductory of the book, but to answer your first question.  it seems to me that St. Nicodemos lived in a time when the Greek Orthodox Church were being oppressed to a certain degree by Turkish rule.  Thus the Greeks were driven abroad to seek their Higher Education and Theological learning which was difficult in their country. Priest and Theologians went mainly to Italy thus they came under the infleunces of the Roman Cahtolics, that is probably where St. Nicodemos came across the book.

The fact that two great Saints, St. Nicodemos and St. Theophan, who were both well versed in the Orthodox tradition, saw value in the book to the extent that they wanted the Orthodox family to read it shows, it has something in it, that others writings may not touch upon this issue of "Purifying the heart" in such a manner.

It is not an issue of better, it is on this particular issue, the Latin Saint made some good points.  In the Philokalia, there is a text in it, that the translators felt was not originally Orthodox Christian but from Greek Philosophy.

The beauty that it shows, is that Orthodox Christians, or at least some of them are willing to recongize the truth regardless of where it comes from, which shows that Orthodox Christians are not closed minded. Another beauty that is shows, is that eventhough the Orthodox and the Catholics disagree on the some of the outward aspects of the religion, we seem to be united on spiritual matters. There is hope that one day we will be united with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters.





« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 12:39:27 AM by Irenaeus07 »

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2008, 12:22:10 AM »
the Greek Orthodox Church were being oppressed to a certain degree by Turkish rule.
To a certain degree, parts of her still are. :(
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Offline ignatius

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Re: Did Theophan the Recluse Plagiarize Dom Lorenzo Scupoli?
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2008, 07:16:39 PM »
Thank you all for your thoughts on this. Actually I have both the english translation of Fr. Scupoli's Spiritual Combat as well as St. Theophan's Unseen Warfare.
St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”