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Author Topic: The Byzantine Thomism of Gennadios Scholarios  (Read 11179 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #225 on: July 21, 2011, 10:25:46 PM »

A great deal of the Scholasticism after Aquinas were sorry attempts to "go beyond" Aquinas and to "correctly" understand Aquinas.  The 20th century is marked by a number of priests and monk/scholars who have begun the process of sorting through these various and variously bungled attempts at improving on the work of Aquinas.  

Henri de Lubac

Etienne Gilson

Bernard Lonergan

And also layman Jacques Maritan

There are others who have addressed the work of Aquinas but I find these four to have taken the lead and all four have written extensively from primary sources and with an eye to presenting Aquinas rather than re-presenting him.

Mary, all of these interpreters have departed in significant ways from the orthodox Thomism. The truest representative of authentically Thomist thought in the twentieth century would have to be Fr Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, who spearheaded the revival, but remained staunchly faithful to Aquinas' traditional metaphysics -- he saw no need to tinker with it. As you have written above, such attempts at "improvement" tend to be bungled anyway.

You can read a brief history of the various Thomistic schools here:

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2009/10/thomistic-tradition-part-ii.html
I agree, Lagrange has remained most faithful to the actual Thomistic view of metaphysics. That being said, Maritain has did amazing work in Thomistic thought. While not all of Maritains work is perfect, he did help to further the discussion.
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« Reply #226 on: July 21, 2011, 10:25:46 PM »


Now, I am not an apologist for murder -- I am not saying that I personally agree with Aquinas, but I am at least willing to consider his point of view without caricaturing it, even if only for the sake of argument -- and no, you needn't agree with him on this point, either, but please, take the time to try and understand exactly why he writes what he does, and don't attribute to him motives that he does not in fact have.


I would be interested in your views as to

1. How I have caricatured Aquinas' teaching on the treatment of religious dissidents

2.  In what ways I have failed to understand exactly what he writes

3.  What motives I am wrongly attributing to him.

Thank you for your attention and response.

As I understand it, you said

How many know that Aquinas ordered that even repentant heretics must be killed!  Don't believe me?  Read the Summa.

but Aquinas said this, not about repentant heretics in general, but only about heretics who went through the process a second time, as it were, i.e. fell again and then repented again:

Quote
For this reason the Church not only admits to Penance those who return from heresy for the first time, but also safeguards their lives, and sometimes by dispensation, restores them to the ecclesiastical dignities which they may have had before, should their conversion appear to be sincere: we read of this as having frequently been done for the good of peace. But when they fall again, after having been received, this seems to prove them to be inconstant in faith, wherefore when they return again, they are admitted to Penance, but are not delivered from the pain of death."

I don't find this distinction between first offenders and second offenders worthy of much note.  Two strikes and you burn!  Is this concession to repentant first offenders found in the teachings of Christ?   You really think it is in order to kill a man who falls into the same sin twice?  Or only Thomists believe that?

I'm not at all sure that the "put second-time heretics to death after they repent a second time" idea is an acceptable one. I'm kind of waiting to see what Fripod has to say in its defense (now that we're all agree on what Aquinas said exactly).

Peter J,

I don't think it is the number of times one has fallen away into heresy per se that concerns Aquinas. It is the fact that they prove themselves inconstant in faith that is key here. Maybe Aquinas would argue something like this:

If man habitually turns away from God, then gradually he loses the power over his will to cooperate with God's Grace in conversion. Once this reaches a certain point, conversion is no longer possible for him, for his heart has been hardened -- we see this phenomenon in the Holy Scriptures (with Pharaoh, the Pharisees etc.). I think that what Aquinas is looking to do is to prevent the persistent heretic from reaching this point of no return. So in the end, Aquinas is earnestly trying to save their souls -- I think he really does mean well, even if we might consider him mistaken in how he goes about it.

I'm don't know if this is totally accurate, but I think it's a pretty good approximation of what Aquinas is trying to get at.

Sorry, Fripod, but this makes me want to vomit.  We saw the same reasoning at work with the murder of millions of people by the Communists.  First, they exterminated all those they judged to be incapable of liberation from the heresies of capitalism, private ownership and general bourgeois principles.

Then they took those they thought capable of being re-educated to live as Communists and placed them in camps.  Here they either learnt to believe in the Communist faith system or, like the first group, they too were killed.

You are describing the same principles at work which you ascribe to Aquinas and you are inviting us to accept them as excusable.  That is, in my estimation, sickening.



So no Orthodox Christian every had a heretics killed, or harmed in anyway. I remembrer a story of an Orthodox King who had all of kingdom forced into baptism at the threat of death...
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« Reply #227 on: July 21, 2011, 11:19:42 PM »

The discussion has now come to a screeching halt.
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« Reply #228 on: July 22, 2011, 12:36:50 AM »

Speak of the devil.
Please, Fr Ambrose and Mary, take it elsewhere, you have already played this game many times -- there is no need for another action replay in this thread.

How many know that Aquinas ordered that even repentant heretics must be killed!  Don't believe me?  Read the Summa.

I believe you, but please, let's not interpret Aquinas' statement in such a crude sense.

If you read what he actually writes, it is as follows:

"For this reason the Church not only admits to Penance those who return from heresy for the first time, but also safeguards their lives, and sometimes by dispensation, restores them to the ecclesiastical dignities which they may have had before, should their conversion appear to be sincere: we read of this as having frequently been done for the good of peace. But when they fall again, after having been received, this seems to prove them to be inconstant in faith, wherefore when they return again, they are admitted to Penance, but are not delivered from the pain of death."

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3011.htm#article4

Notice that Aquinas writes that they "are not delivered from the pain of death" precisely because they "prove [themselves] to be inconstant in faith." It may help to make a comparison here. Why did God impose the sentence of death on Adam after his transgression? Is it not so that evil might not be immortal? Is it not so that Adam might repent of his sin, and thereby rightly dispose himself to accept the gift of salvation offered by our Lord Jesus Christ?

Now, if a man dies truly repentant, our Lord has promised to grant him eternal life. Therefore, the difference for Aquinas is between granting the penitent heretic, who has proved himself likely to fall away from faith again, the opportunity to die in the grace of God and in the peace of the Church, and thereby to attain to the assurance of his salvation, or, by allowing him to fall back into heresy, to possibly let him give himself over to everlasting destruction. Tell me, which of these two would you rather be -- the man who loses his life in this world, but gains it superabundantly in Heaven? Or the one who lives out his days upon the earth, but after his death will perish in unquenchable fire? I think we all know the answer to this question.

In other words, it is analogous to the difference between Adam and Lucifer. Both were sentenced to death as a result of their sin, but the difference is that while Lucifer cannot be restored because for him repentance is no longer possible, Adam on the other hand, though he did not escape the sentence himself, nevertheless saved his soul through turning to God in penitence.

Now, I am not an apologist for murder -- I am not saying that I personally agree with Aquinas, but I am at least willing to consider his point of view without caricaturing it, even if only for the sake of argument -- and no, you needn't agree with him on this point, either, but please, take the time to try and understand exactly why he writes what he does, and don't attribute to him motives that he does not in fact have.
Well stated. While Aquinas may have been in the wrong on matters such as this by our modern standards, we need to undstand that everyone, to some degree, is a product of their time. This does not mean that we should suggest that these people have nefarious motives. C.S. Lewis discusses the fact that people where once burned to death as witches.

[The error was not that people who might be casting spells, cursing others, controling their minds, and working for Satan deserve the death penalty. If anyone does, it would be such persons. The error was in believing that there was such thing as these witches in Medieval Europe.
Acutally, that was a mistake of the Renaissance.  The medieval folk knew better.

Similarly, we don't need to jump on the sophomoric "let's hate Aquinas" band wagon". For Aquinas, the most important thing in the world is the Salvation of the human person.

In a gnostic sort of way.
Nothing worse can happen to a person than for that person to go to hell. Thus, in the case of heretics, the death penalty is a very real possibility because it can lead to the eternal damnation of the the soul. If the heretic is leading others into soul-killing heresy, then there is nothing worse a person can do. If there is nothing worse that a person can do, then for Aquians, the death penalty seems appropriate. Similarly, I agree that Thomas' motives may further be found exactly where Fripod places them.
"you do not know the Spirit to which you belong.  For the Son of Man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them"
Now, I am not saying that I agree with Aquinas on this matter. In fact, I think that Aquinas is wrong. However, his motives are not about murder, and I don't think that there is any reason to suggest that Aquinas was a blood thirsty murderer. Keep in mind that when Aquinas made his final confession, his confessor left the confessional weeping and crying, "The sins of a child, the sins of a child."
would the hagiography say anything else?
What is more, I doubt that anyone would deny that there are some EO Saints that have done and said some things that EOs are less than proud of.
yeah, Pope St. Leo laying a foundation for the Vatican
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« Reply #229 on: July 22, 2011, 12:38:29 AM »

The question is if they adopted his system or if the points of agreement in methodology and content actually predated their encounter with Aquinas. The argument and evidence seem to be pushing for the latter, despite the rhetoric.

It does look as though Gennadios Scholarios also adopted Aquinas famous distinction between Essence and Existence (and even used it to defend the Palamite distinction!), a point which could not have predated Aquinas, given that (as far as I know) he was the originator of that doctrine. At the very least it could not be found in Aristotle. (see p. 55ff. "The Palamite Thomism of Gennadios Scholarios")
Wonder what Papist has to say about "Aquinas['] famous distinction between Essence and Existence."

In any case, that it cannot be found in Aristotle is irrelevant, as St. Gregory Palamas got it, despite what the Scholastics say, from the Fathers (Cappadocians, Alexandrian, (Pseudo-)Dionysius, etc.).
This shouldn't be surprising, since Gennadios accepted Aquinas general metaphysics as set forth in the De Ente et Essentia almost without comment.
Metaphysics, whether Aristotle's, Plato's, Aquinas', whoever, is not the basis of Orthodox dogma.
The Essence/Existence distinction in created beings and their identity in God are fundamental to Thomistic metaphysics, as well as the Latin understanding fo the transcendece of God.
and that has to do with Orthodox dogma how?
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« Reply #230 on: July 22, 2011, 06:26:22 AM »

The discussion has now come to a screeching halt.

Only just now?  Smiley
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« Reply #231 on: July 22, 2011, 09:09:57 AM »


So no Orthodox Christian every had a heretics killed, or harmed in anyway. I remembrer a story of an Orthodox King who had all of kingdom forced into baptism at the threat of death...

If you don't hear about it in any liturgy then it didn't happen!!

That's the rule!!
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« Reply #232 on: July 22, 2011, 09:33:01 AM »


So no Orthodox Christian every had a heretics killed, or harmed in anyway. I remembrer a story of an Orthodox King who had all of kingdom forced into baptism at the threat of death...

If you don't hear about it in any liturgy then it didn't happen!!

That's the rule!!

Josaphat the Malevolent

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Their wicked deeds commemorated in the readings at Mass?
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« Reply #233 on: July 22, 2011, 10:01:41 AM »


So no Orthodox Christian every had a heretics killed, or harmed in anyway. I remembrer a story of an Orthodox King who had all of kingdom forced into baptism at the threat of death...

If you don't hear about it in any liturgy then it didn't happen!!

That's the rule!!

Josaphat the Malevolent

Stepinac the Butcher

Their wicked deeds commemorated in the readings at Mass?

Absolutey!!  Because there's enough of a documentary record to the contrary to make lies of your assertions.  And it is absolutely necessary to correct the revisionism.

There is also sufficient documentation to record Baptisms by the sword.  Yet you gloss that in your "history"...and it makes one wonder why?

Well...not really.
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« Reply #234 on: July 22, 2011, 10:12:11 AM »


So no Orthodox Christian every had a heretics killed, or harmed in anyway. I remembrer a story of an Orthodox King who had all of kingdom forced into baptism at the threat of death...

If you don't hear about it in any liturgy then it didn't happen!!

That's the rule!!

Josaphat the Malevolent

Stepinac the Butcher

Their wicked deeds commemorated in the readings at Mass?

Absolutey!!  Because there's enough of a documentary record to the contrary to make lies of your assertions.  And it is absolutely necessary to correct the revisionism.

There is also sufficient documentation to record Baptisms by the sword.  Yet you gloss that in your "history"...and it makes one wonder why?


Yes, the holy Orthodox Saint Patrick of Ireland used this method of conversion most of all.  He befriended the local kings of Ireland's many small kingdoms and converted them because he knew that if he converted and baptized the local king the entire population would be obliged to be baptized.     He used this method to convert 100% of Ireland during his lifetime, a remarkable achievement.
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« Reply #235 on: July 22, 2011, 01:32:05 PM »

Orthonorm is right, it depends whether or not Luther's anti-semitism was an integral part of his thought, or whether it was just "tacked on," so to speak. In the latter case, it is clear that one could safely ignore it without compromising the integrity of his thought, but if the former, then we could not reject it without also rejecting everything else that he taught.

This is what I have been saying about Aquinas. What is most valuable is not so much his theological conclusions (as worthy as most of them are) as his method and general metaphysics. You cannot reject the metaphysics and method without rejecting his whole corpus of writings, for it grounds them all, but you can reject certain of his conclusions, without having to write him off altogether.
Actually I disagree.  I think someone could accept certain of Aquinas' conclusions (especially if they are based upon common Patristic tradition), while simultaneously rejecting his Aristotelian methodology and metaphysics.  In fact, St. Gregory of Nyssa went out of his way to belittle the pagan philosophy of the Greeks when it came to dealing with theology (see for example his treatise "The Life of Moses," and his "Commentaries on Ecclesiastes"), because for him the so-called "wisdom" of the Greeks cannot tell us anything about God, but it may be useful when looking at creation (see also the sections on philosophy by St. Gregory Palamas in "The Triads").  St. Thomas, as I see it, simply misapplied the philosophical categories of the Greek pagans to God, when he should have known that such things could never allow him to truly transcend the gap between the created and the uncreated. 

That said, is there a place for Aristotle in looking at the created world?  Sure, I do not see anything wrong with that. 

Is there a place for his philosophy when coming into contact with God?  No, I do not think so.
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« Reply #236 on: July 22, 2011, 01:40:34 PM »

As I said before, you needn't accept all of Aquinas' conclusions in order to adopt philosophical Thomism as a system. There are two ways in which one may reject his conclusions in this case. One can show either a) that one of the premises is false, or b) that the conclusion doesn't follow upon his premises.
I do not see anything wrong with adopting an Aristotelian approach when looking at the created world, but I would never use the metaphysical speculations of Aristotle as the basis for doing theology.  On this issue I agree with St. Gregory of Nyssa who called profane philosophy "barren," and who went on to say that it is "always in labor but never gives birth."
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« Reply #237 on: July 22, 2011, 05:56:00 PM »

The question is if they adopted his system or if the points of agreement in methodology and content actually predated their encounter with Aquinas. The argument and evidence seem to be pushing for the latter, despite the rhetoric.

It does look as though Gennadios Scholarios also adopted Aquinas famous distinction between Essence and Existence (and even used it to defend the Palamite distinction!), a point which could not have predated Aquinas, given that (as far as I know) he was the originator of that doctrine. At the very least it could not be found in Aristotle. (see p. 55ff. "The Palamite Thomism of Gennadios Scholarios")
Wonder what Papist has to say about "Aquinas['] famous distinction between Essence and Existence."

In any case, that it cannot be found in Aristotle is irrelevant, as St. Gregory Palamas got it, despite what the Scholastics say, from the Fathers (Cappadocians, Alexandrian, (Pseudo-)Dionysius, etc.).
This shouldn't be surprising, since Gennadios accepted Aquinas general metaphysics as set forth in the De Ente et Essentia almost without comment.
Metaphysics, whether Aristotle's, Plato's, Aquinas', whoever, is not the basis of Orthodox dogma.
The Essence/Existence distinction in created beings and their identity in God are fundamental to Thomistic metaphysics, as well as the Latin understanding fo the transcendece of God.
and that has to do with Orthodox dogma how?
Welll, if you reject the concept that God's essence and existence coincide, then you fall into several errors. 1) You fall into the error that suggests that God is composed, 2) You will deny that God is the source of all, because then he is posterior to the composition of his essence and existence 3) Because every being in which essence and existence are distinct need a cause, if you suggest that in God, his essence and existence are distinct, then you must conclude that God is caused. I am sure that you not would accept any of these errors... Well, at least I hope you would not.
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« Reply #238 on: July 22, 2011, 05:56:00 PM »

Orthonorm is right, it depends whether or not Luther's anti-semitism was an integral part of his thought, or whether it was just "tacked on," so to speak. In the latter case, it is clear that one could safely ignore it without compromising the integrity of his thought, but if the former, then we could not reject it without also rejecting everything else that he taught.

This is what I have been saying about Aquinas. What is most valuable is not so much his theological conclusions (as worthy as most of them are) as his method and general metaphysics. You cannot reject the metaphysics and method without rejecting his whole corpus of writings, for it grounds them all, but you can reject certain of his conclusions, without having to write him off altogether.
Actually I disagree.  I think someone could accept certain of Aquinas' conclusions (especially if they are based upon common Patristic tradition), while simultaneously rejecting his Aristotelian methodology and metaphysics.  In fact, St. Gregory of Nyssa went out of his way to belittle the pagan philosophy of the Greeks when it came to dealing with theology (see for example his treatise "The Life of Moses," and his "Commentaries on Ecclesiastes"), because for him the so-called "wisdom" of the Greeks cannot tell us anything about God, but it may be useful when looking at creation (see also the sections on philosophy by St. Gregory Palamas in "The Triads").  St. Thomas, as I see it, simply misapplied the philosophical categories of the Greek pagans to God, when he should have known that such things could never allow him to truly transcend the gap between the created and the uncreated. 

That said, is there a place for Aristotle in looking at the created world?  Sure, I do not see anything wrong with that. 

Is there a place for his philosophy when coming into contact with God?  No, I do not think so.
If there is no analogy between the created and the uncreated, how can you say that we were created in God's image?
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« Reply #239 on: July 22, 2011, 06:20:02 PM »

The question is if they adopted his system or if the points of agreement in methodology and content actually predated their encounter with Aquinas. The argument and evidence seem to be pushing for the latter, despite the rhetoric.

It does look as though Gennadios Scholarios also adopted Aquinas famous distinction between Essence and Existence (and even used it to defend the Palamite distinction!), a point which could not have predated Aquinas, given that (as far as I know) he was the originator of that doctrine. At the very least it could not be found in Aristotle. (see p. 55ff. "The Palamite Thomism of Gennadios Scholarios")

This shouldn't be surprising, since Gennadios accepted Aquinas general metaphysics as set forth in the De Ente et Essentia almost without comment.

He may have used it, but he is not one of the great Fathers of the Church anyway.   But the matter of existence (in the case of God, three aspects: hypostasis, essence, and energy) are found first in the 5th Ecumenical Council, and then again in the 6th, and of course they got it from the Holy Fathers that preceded them.   St. Gregory Palamas does not need Aquinas nor Scholarios to defend him.   He has those who long preceded him as the foundation of his work
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« Reply #240 on: July 22, 2011, 06:47:33 PM »

Orthonorm is right, it depends whether or not Luther's anti-semitism was an integral part of his thought, or whether it was just "tacked on," so to speak. In the latter case, it is clear that one could safely ignore it without compromising the integrity of his thought, but if the former, then we could not reject it without also rejecting everything else that he taught.

This is what I have been saying about Aquinas. What is most valuable is not so much his theological conclusions (as worthy as most of them are) as his method and general metaphysics. You cannot reject the metaphysics and method without rejecting his whole corpus of writings, for it grounds them all, but you can reject certain of his conclusions, without having to write him off altogether.
Actually I disagree.  I think someone could accept certain of Aquinas' conclusions (especially if they are based upon common Patristic tradition), while simultaneously rejecting his Aristotelian methodology and metaphysics.  In fact, St. Gregory of Nyssa went out of his way to belittle the pagan philosophy of the Greeks when it came to dealing with theology (see for example his treatise "The Life of Moses," and his "Commentaries on Ecclesiastes"), because for him the so-called "wisdom" of the Greeks cannot tell us anything about God, but it may be useful when looking at creation (see also the sections on philosophy by St. Gregory Palamas in "The Triads").  St. Thomas, as I see it, simply misapplied the philosophical categories of the Greek pagans to God, when he should have known that such things could never allow him to truly transcend the gap between the created and the uncreated. 

That said, is there a place for Aristotle in looking at the created world?  Sure, I do not see anything wrong with that. 

Is there a place for his philosophy when coming into contact with God?  No, I do not think so.
If there is no analogy between the created and the uncreated, how can you say that we were created in God's image?

That's a good point. It seems to be an exaggeration to say there is no analogy at all. But certainly we must understand the created to be the image of the created, and not the other way around. In order not to impose images of creation onto the Uncreated which are not true images of the Creator but aspects of our corrupt nature, we must interpret everything in the light of the Church's unchanging doctrines.
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« Reply #241 on: July 23, 2011, 12:32:20 AM »

Orthonorm is right, it depends whether or not Luther's anti-semitism was an integral part of his thought, or whether it was just "tacked on," so to speak. In the latter case, it is clear that one could safely ignore it without compromising the integrity of his thought, but if the former, then we could not reject it without also rejecting everything else that he taught.

This is what I have been saying about Aquinas. What is most valuable is not so much his theological conclusions (as worthy as most of them are) as his method and general metaphysics. You cannot reject the metaphysics and method without rejecting his whole corpus of writings, for it grounds them all, but you can reject certain of his conclusions, without having to write him off altogether.
Actually I disagree.  I think someone could accept certain of Aquinas' conclusions (especially if they are based upon common Patristic tradition), while simultaneously rejecting his Aristotelian methodology and metaphysics.  In fact, St. Gregory of Nyssa went out of his way to belittle the pagan philosophy of the Greeks when it came to dealing with theology (see for example his treatise "The Life of Moses," and his "Commentaries on Ecclesiastes"), because for him the so-called "wisdom" of the Greeks cannot tell us anything about God, but it may be useful when looking at creation (see also the sections on philosophy by St. Gregory Palamas in "The Triads").  St. Thomas, as I see it, simply misapplied the philosophical categories of the Greek pagans to God, when he should have known that such things could never allow him to truly transcend the gap between the created and the uncreated. 

That said, is there a place for Aristotle in looking at the created world?  Sure, I do not see anything wrong with that. 

Is there a place for his philosophy when coming into contact with God?  No, I do not think so.
If there is no analogy between the created and the uncreated, how can you say that we were created in God's image?

That's a good point. It seems to be an exaggeration to say there is no analogy at all. But certainly we must understand the created to be the image of the created, and not the other way around. In order not to impose images of creation onto the Uncreated which are not true images of the Creator but aspects of our corrupt nature, we must interpret everything in the light of the Church's unchanging doctrines.
Aquinas would be in agreement with you. In his philosophy, and in his theology, God is not like us. Rather we are like him. He is the is the primary analogate, and we are the anologies.
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« Reply #242 on: July 24, 2011, 10:47:08 PM »

Izzy asked what the essence/existence distinction has to do with the Orthodox faith, and I thought about that question for a few days. My answer is everything. It is necessary for the defense and understanding of the Christological faith that was expouded at the ecumenical councils. Only if there is a true distinction between essence and existence in created substances,  (in rational creatures, nature and person) is it possible to defend the Incarnation, which is the foundation of our faith.
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« Reply #243 on: January 10, 2012, 09:19:07 PM »

ok, this thread is bizarre.

Why are some arguing with the original poster? 

Orthodox can use logic and Aristotelian (or Platonic) thought too. 

C'mon guys, just accept it.  It's to your benefit to imbibe good scholarship.  I mean what the heck do you think the schools of Constantinople were teaching...hesychastic principles? 

No. 

Good post, Fripod.  Very interesting.  Especially because it shows Orthodox can incorporate logic yet keep their principles, as did Photius and I'm sure the ECFs. 

Cheers~
K
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« Reply #244 on: January 11, 2012, 12:18:14 AM »

ok, this thread is bizarre.

Why are some arguing with the original poster? 

Orthodox can use logic and Aristotelian (or Platonic) thought too. 

C'mon guys, just accept it.  It's to your benefit to imbibe good scholarship.  I mean what the heck do you think the schools of Constantinople were teaching...hesychastic principles? 

No. 

Good post, Fripod.  Very interesting.  Especially because it shows Orthodox can incorporate logic yet keep their principles, as did Photius and I'm sure the ECFs. 

Cheers~
K

I accept it.
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« Reply #245 on: January 11, 2012, 11:41:06 AM »

Izzy asked what the essence/existence distinction has to do with the Orthodox faith, and I thought about that question for a few days. My answer is everything. It is necessary for the defense and understanding of the Christological faith that was expouded at the ecumenical councils. Only if there is a true distinction between essence and existence in created substances,  (in rational creatures, nature and person) is it possible to defend the Incarnation, which is the foundation of our faith.

I think instead of "existence" you meant subsistance, as essence and subsistence are particular kinds of existence.   
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« Reply #246 on: January 11, 2012, 11:58:17 AM »

ok, this thread is bizarre.

Why are some arguing with the original poster? 

Orthodox can use logic and Aristotelian (or Platonic) thought too. 

C'mon guys, just accept it.  It's to your benefit to imbibe good scholarship.  I mean what the heck do you think the schools of Constantinople were teaching...hesychastic principles? 

No. 

Good post, Fripod.  Very interesting.  Especially because it shows Orthodox can incorporate logic yet keep their principles, as did Photius and I'm sure the ECFs. 

Cheers~
K

No doubt logic can be employed.  However, limitations as to how much of Greek philosophy can be used is very clearly defined in the Synodikon, although it is mostly Platonic thought that are anathemized.   Palamas himself was certainly, if one had to look at "schools," empirical/"Aristotelian."  So that is not the issue.  "Thomism," however, is the specific thing that we are discussing. 
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« Reply #247 on: December 21, 2013, 04:41:04 PM »

Plato and Aristotle were both geniuses, but I know which one I'd invite to a party.

I miss these threads.

Also Fripod, even though you haven't been here in two years, it was Avicenna, not Aquinas, who distinguished essence from existence for created beings.

But it's time for a hiatus to enjoy my perfect post count. I leave you with this painting, The Hay Wain:

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« Reply #248 on: December 21, 2013, 04:49:11 PM »

But it's time for a hiatus to enjoy my perfect post count.

You have reached enlightenment. Nothing more need be said.
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« Reply #249 on: December 21, 2013, 04:51:13 PM »

How?
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