Greatest theologian: St. Maximos the Confessor
Best theologian: St. Gregory of Nazianzus<
Worst theologian: St. Augustine
Smartest theologian: St. Augustine
Care to explain briefly reasons for these nominations?
Well, first let me say that I approach the topic fairly casually. I doubt many of us have studied the various theologians through the ages enough to really be able to give even a half-educated guess as to who the "greatest theologian" is. I'm pretty sure not many of us have read most of the works of the theologians who might be possible choices, let alone studied them and the larger context in which they wrote. Heck, I would wager that most people haven't even read all the works of the theologian they claim to be the greatest. So in the end these threads are more like "Who's your favorite saint?" type things. Which I think is great, and these kinds of conversations have been going on since ancient times.
But as for the ones I chose (the ones you quoted, anyway), I chose St. Maximus as the greatest because I think, from what little I've read of/about him, that he took what had been said by the Fathers before him, and elevated things a bit. Leaving Origen out of the picture, he seems to be the closest thing we have to a theological mind the caliber of St. Augustine. I chose St. Gregory the "best" because he's my favorite, and "my favorite theologian" didn't sound as level-headed and objective.
After all, we're keeping up the pretence that this is somewhat serious, right?
St. Augustine was the worst theologian because of some of the mistakes he made, most of which I know nothing about. He was also the smartest from what I can tell. These things generally go together... smart people think they make fewer mistakes, but it's often the opposite: they make more mistakes, if they are truly smart, because their mind is so fertile with thought, so creative, that it goes spinning in 20 different directions. And at least some of those spins are going to end up going down the wrong path. Also, when I say that St. Augustine was the worst I am taking into account how influential he was... as with Origen, what his followers did with his theology does play a part in his reputation. Let me also say though that pretty much any time St. Augustine is criticized on this forum I defend him, and I do not by any means wish to attack him on this thread.
Of course this gets back to the original point. How much of the theologians so far mentioned in this thread have I read? In most cases not a whole lot. That I can't read Greek/Latin/etc. doesn't help.