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Author Topic: OO Monophysite or Miaphysite?  (Read 3502 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #135 on: February 16, 2013, 11:20:16 AM »


Translation: "I'd rather condemn the entire OO communion than admit someone I like was wrong."

You just summed up the all anti-miaphysite rhetorics in one sentence.

And the anti-Chalcedonian ones, too.
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« Reply #136 on: February 16, 2013, 11:22:15 AM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.
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« Reply #137 on: February 16, 2013, 11:25:47 AM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.

I greatly like Met. Hierotheos myself (he has mastered the Orthodox virtue of repetition like none I've read before) yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.
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« Reply #138 on: February 16, 2013, 11:26:28 AM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

For instance, there are at least two passages in Leo's Tome OOs won't agree with on the basis that it compromises what they have learned from St. Cyril.  Therefore, technically, we would say that the Tome of Leo was at odds with St. Cyril's theology (or at the very least terminology), despite the fact that Chalcedon claims to say that it is consonant with him.

As for St. Maximus, I always got the sense he wrote against the Chalcedonian Monothelites, and assuming that by extension, this is the type of Monotheletism anti-Chalcedonians held to.  When I read the disputation with Pyrrhus however, I can't help but think that there are some things Pyrrhus said that St. Severus himself wouldn't agree to, or at the very least, would have made better arguments.

According to Father John Meyendorff, the Fathers at Chalcedon did not take St. Leo's Tome on its own merits, but only in that they found it to agree with the totality of St. Cyril of Alexandria's writings. Therefore, for the Fathers at Chalcedon, St. Cyril remained the standard of Orthodoxy. The rift appears to be the result of a different understanding of St. Cyril, to me at least.
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« Reply #139 on: February 16, 2013, 06:22:04 PM »


Not agreeing with St. Leo and St. Maximus - OO miaphysite, Eutychian monophysite or monothelite.   


You have to be careful what you're saying here.  Are you bunching OO theology and placing it in one and the same category with Eutychianism and Monotheletism?

For instance, there are at least two passages in Leo's Tome OOs won't agree with on the basis that it compromises what they have learned from St. Cyril.  Therefore, technically, we would say that the Tome of Leo was at odds with St. Cyril's theology (or at the very least terminology), despite the fact that Chalcedon claims to say that it is consonant with him.

As for St. Maximus, I always got the sense he wrote against the Chalcedonian Monothelites, and assuming that by extension, this is the type of Monotheletism anti-Chalcedonians held to.  When I read the disputation with Pyrrhus however, I can't help but think that there are some things Pyrrhus said that St. Severus himself wouldn't agree to, or at the very least, would have made better arguments.

According to Father John Meyendorff, the Fathers at Chalcedon did not take St. Leo's Tome on its own merits, but only in that they found it to agree with the totality of St. Cyril of Alexandria's writings. Therefore, for the Fathers at Chalcedon, St. Cyril remained the standard of Orthodoxy. The rift appears to be the result of a different understanding of St. Cyril, to me at least.

Yes...I believe Fr. John Romanides said something similar and went a bit further with it, indicating that the Tome of Leo is of inferior importance, as opposed to the definition of Chalcedon, which should be understood in the light of St. Cyril.

I think it's important to understand that the rift may indeed be a different understanding, but the consultations seem to also show that despite the different understandings, it still lead to the same faith.  Price and Gaddis in their introductory pages before the minutes of Chalcedon writes, as best as possible, as objective an account they can to present to us two different St. Cyrils, which also probably was the crux of the situation at Chalcedon.  I think that's part of the issue.  Nevertheless, I doubt we will resolve to agree which interpretation of St. Cyril is the right one.

So then what happened at the consultations?  This happened, in Geneva 1990 in the official agreed statements:

Quote
8. Both families  accept the first  three  ecumenical councils, which form our
common  heritage.   In relation  to the four  later councils of  the  Orthodox
Church,  the Orthodox   state that  for  them the   above  points 1-7  are the
teachings also of the four later  councils of the  Orthodox  Church, while the
Oriental  Orthodox   consider this  statement  of    the  Orthodox   as  their
interpretation.  With this understanding, the Oriental  Orthodox respond to it
positively.


You see that throughout the whole time, after all these years and research, they actually agree on the faith.  We agree that Christ was fully human and fully divine.  We agree that the divine nature, with its natural will and energy was united with the human nature, with its will and energy, without mingling, without confusion, without alteration, without division.  We agreed on the veneration of icons.  We agreed on ecclesiology, on the Church, etc. etc. etc.  We agreed on all of that....EXCEPT on history.  We disagreed on history, BUT based on the EO interpretation of it, despite our disagreements, it seems that it didn't matter for us that the historical interpretation is different, so long as the faith is one, and so we responded positively to it.
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« Reply #140 on: February 16, 2013, 06:51:08 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.
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« Reply #141 on: February 16, 2013, 07:52:49 PM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.
Is that the take of the Metropolitan?
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« Reply #142 on: February 16, 2013, 08:36:24 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

Exact same feeling/thought I have.
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« Reply #143 on: February 16, 2013, 09:05:02 PM »

How could we not expect attempts at reunion to fail? They don't seem to have ever been predicated on understanding the other, just to get them to accept a particular position in light of what their detractors saw as lacking in their faith. And I don't really see how it could have been otherwise. If you are convinced that OO are monophysites, then it is probably high on your list that they confess Christ as both human and divine. This completely ignores the fact that we already do that (just not that two natures remain separable after the union), in favor of continuing to believe a lie. And to satisfy this non-problem, all sorts of interesting things have been proposed, but they don't seem to stick because they're predicated on the Chalcedonians being right in their polemical characterizations of the faith of the non-Chalcedonians. The same can work the other way around, too: If the Chalcedonians are crypto-Nestorians, then obviously we shouldn't unite unless or until they ditch all of that nonsense. If, however, they are not... (I should add to this that, at least from what little I've observed, the doctrinal problem seems on the OO side to be with the Tome itself; I have not yet found anyone who is learned in these matters who looks down on subsequent councils.)


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« Reply #144 on: February 16, 2013, 10:23:52 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

Too many people are dedicated to their historical fiction to actually unite without the other side submitting to said fiction.
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« Reply #145 on: February 16, 2013, 11:22:35 PM »

I greatly revere St. Gregory of Nyssa myself yet I know that some things he said aren't all true or orthodox.

Hmmm. Have you read Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos' take on that? A lot of people throw around your statement, but it's rather meaningless.
Is that the take of the Metropolitan?

I did not get the impression from Metropolitan Hierotheos' writing about St. Gregory that St. Gregory taught anything contrary to the teaching of the Church. The metropolitan writes about it for awhile in "Life after Death."
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« Reply #146 on: February 16, 2013, 11:32:36 PM »

How could we not expect attempts at reunion to fail? They don't seem to have ever been predicated on understanding the other, just to get them to accept a particular position in light of what their detractors saw as lacking in their faith. And I don't really see how it could have been otherwise.

I don't know that enough material from the many attempts at reunion over the centuries is available for you or anyone to make such a convicted judgment.


If you are convinced that OO are monophysites, then it is probably high on your list that they confess Christ as both human and divine. This completely ignores the fact that we already do that (just not that two natures remain separable after the union), in favor of continuing to believe a lie. And to satisfy this non-problem, all sorts of interesting things have been proposed, but they don't seem to stick because they're predicated on the Chalcedonians being right in their polemical characterizations of the faith of the non-Chalcedonians.

I, personally, do not follow that line, and I think it doesn't behoove you to make a generalization. You have studied the history and the theology. Surely you know there are many finer points. After all, we do not believe in a separation of the two natures after the hypostatic union either, but rather that the properties and essence of each nature remain intact without confusion, without mixture, and without alteration.


The same can work the other way around, too: If the Chalcedonians are crypto-Nestorians, then obviously we shouldn't unite unless or until they ditch all of that nonsense. If, however, they are not... (I should add to this that, at least from what little I've observed, the doctrinal problem seems on the OO side to be with the Tome itself; I have not yet found anyone who is learned in these matters who looks down on subsequent councils.)

What I was trying to say was that there have been many and great theologians on both sides over the centuries who understand all these things and more and yet we are in the same position. All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion. And I venture to say it is not a reason of history, culture, polemics, or even adherence to tradition, but something theological.
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« Reply #147 on: February 16, 2013, 11:33:13 PM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

Too many people are dedicated to their historical fiction to actually unite without the other side submitting to said fiction.

That's just silly.
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« Reply #148 on: February 16, 2013, 11:36:57 PM »

Too many people are dedicated to their historical fiction to actually unite without the other side submitting to said fiction.
That's just silly.

Of course they are.

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« Reply #149 on: February 17, 2013, 12:06:50 AM »

I struggle with whether we truly have the same exact faith given that a lot lies in the details. I don't have the theological acumen to sort it out, but it seems to me that if we really had the same faith and that history and misunderstanding was the actual problem, we'd have united by now. After all, there have been many prior attempts to do so.

These prior attempts should not be ignored, but they seem to stem from the same reasons some people presently are hesitant to accept a unity.  That is, how could we unite without showing that our forefathers were wrong?  Sounds easy to answer today, but not then, especially when much blood was spilt over this.  Because I don't really think it's primarily about their "they knew what they're talking about" as it is much about "they suffered for the faith".  If you want to latch on to the strongest reason why one shouldn't unite with the other, it is because, as one might imagine would say to the other, "You murdered our saints!"  It was said of St. Dioscorus concerning Flavian's beating (who as I understand, incidentally, his commemoration in the EO Church was yesterday) and turned it as an emotionally charged issue to try to cast him out.  It was said of Leo concerning St. Dioscorus' beating, and it became an emotionally charged issue of fighting tooth and nail against the council.  It was said of the anti-Chalcedonians killing Proterius, and it was said of the Chalcedonian emperors killing anti-Chalcedonians (we just celebrated the memory of a saint today, St. Barsouma, who was said to have been tortured for rejecting the council, and departed only 7 years after the council).  Monks were also involved in killings, whether in Palestine, Syria, or Egypt, Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian.  It was a sad time for Christianity.  Zeal became violent, and the clarity of rational discussions were stained with the blood of their loved ones.  Chalcedonian patriarch Timothy III Salophakiolus even seemed saddened at the whole prospect, seeing it as "Christians killing Christians".

We have a belief in Egypt:  The killing of sons by the government produces a need for a revenge by the mothers stronger than the need of religion.  (I think the saying goes:  A mother's vengeance for her son's death is her religion.) How much more true it is anywhere when the shedding of blood happens either way, causing a cycle of vengeance, and if no vengeance, a stubbornness to conform.

So, why exactly has the notion of unity became so strong today?  Because it probably took more than a millennium of Islamic oppression to put us back to our senses, to contemplate our past actions, and to came back in the age of world-connectedness, with full freedom, and no fear or pressure from cultural or political threats.  The past attempts showed us the wrong way to have discussions.  Today, there is a real chance to openly question each other with full respect and no verbal attacks what exactly our respective fathers believed and how this can be interpreted in light of today.
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« Reply #150 on: February 17, 2013, 12:32:55 AM »

All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion. And I venture to say it is not a reason of history, culture, polemics, or even adherence to tradition, but something theological.

You say "All polemics aside," but that is potentially a polemical question, especially when you presume to know the mind of the other party.

The reasons for the OO's not accepting Chalcedon, as well as the EO's reasons for insisting on Seven (or Eight, or Nine) Councils being accepted in order for reunion to take place, have been discussed ad nauseum, mostly in the private forum.  I'm not going to get out my fancy green ink, but I am informally warning everyone to keep this discussion friendly, non-accusatory (if that's a word,) and not even remotely polemical. 

Thanks ahead of time.

Anyway, there was a recent thread in this section addressing your question, and I posted this response here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,48152.msg839619.html#msg839619
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« Reply #151 on: February 17, 2013, 02:12:17 AM »

I, personally, do not follow that line, and I think it doesn't behoove you to make a generalization. You have studied the history and the theology. Surely you know there are many finer points. After all, we do not believe in a separation of the two natures after the hypostatic union either, but rather that the properties and essence of each nature remain intact without confusion, without mixture, and without alteration.

I used "seperable", not "separate" for a reason. I do not think Chalcedonians believe that the natures are separate, but rather that they may be considered separately (e.g., the word receives insults, while the flesh receives glory, etc).


Quote
All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion.

This is a joke, right? I could just as easily write "all polemics aside, the Chalcedonians refuse to disavow the Tome of Leo, and that's the real problem", but that wouldn't make that idea non-polemical. Do I ask you "Why is that"? No, because I know why. You believe it to be true, so why should you disavow it? Just like we believe Chalcedon is not acceptable, so your assumption (that the problem is that we refuse to accept the council, rather than the possibility that it is a problem that you accept the council) is a mystery to me. It is, however, a great illustration of exactly the point of my post, so thank you for that.
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« Reply #152 on: February 17, 2013, 03:02:17 AM »

Guys, cool it.
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« Reply #153 on: February 18, 2013, 01:25:49 PM »

How could we not expect attempts at reunion to fail? They don't seem to have ever been predicated on understanding the other, just to get them to accept a particular position in light of what their detractors saw as lacking in their faith. And I don't really see how it could have been otherwise.

I don't know that enough material from the many attempts at reunion over the centuries is available for you or anyone to make such a convicted judgment.
I don't think one needs to have a substantial amount of material on past attempts of reunion to make a justified generalization if you have enough substantial secondary material that speaks of such attempts of reunion in light of their own particular position without addressing the objections of the opposing party. We can at least adjudicate that reunion must be predicated on addressing the objections of both parties. This has been done in the highest episcopal arena. But the general population continues to reference many of those secondary material in opposition of the episcopal decisions. This is what Dzheremi was talking about.

Quote
What I was trying to say was that there have been many and great theologians on both sides over the centuries who understand all these things and more and yet we are in the same position.
Reunion will come at God's time. When we all submit to God's will as described in John 17:21, and when God chooses to soften the hearts of all parties, then reunion will happen.

Quote
All polemics aside, OOs refuse to accept the Council of Chalcedon. Why is this? Answer that, and you have the reason, I think, that there has been no reunion. And I venture to say it is not a reason of history, culture, polemics, or even adherence to tradition, but something theological.
I'll try explaining it non-polemically even though the following example is not perfect. Let's suppose your father was wrongfully convicted of murder by an American court based on one piece of circumstantial evidence. Let's say, a bloody glove fits your father's hand. Then multiple appeals declared the blood isn't even the victim's. But the Superior court said "Even in the absence of direct evidence, no superior court can nullify the original verdict." How would you respond if someone claimed "If you don't accept the original verdict by that American court, you're not American" or "The only way you can become American with us is if you unequivocally accept the original verdict"?

We know Chalcedon condemned St Dioscorus without any actual theological heresy. This topic started questioning the definition of monophysite vs. miaphysite.   This thread has showed that OO objects to any claims that the OO or St Dioscorus are monophysite. Then we are told that the OO must accept Chalcedonian to be Orthodox. Isn't this simply illogical?
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« Reply #154 on: February 18, 2013, 08:04:18 PM »

A polemical post was moved to the private forum:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,50076.msg884529.html#msg884529

Since one of our EO posters has decided to continue with the polemics, and since this thread has run its course with regard to the question posed by the original post, I'm locking it.
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