Author Topic: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria  (Read 5391 times)

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Offline Tonedawg

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Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« on: August 10, 2016, 01:24:50 AM »
My fellow Copts, not sure if any of you have been following the recent news, or rather drama, surrounding the school of Alexandria. School of Alexandria was established by Fr. Tadros Malaty alongside Fr. Morcos in the 90s I believe, The school runs a journal that publishes its findings in patristics, theology, quarterly. Lately, it has been under fire from two of our bishops as its current leader, Fr. Seraphim el Baramousy has been accused of perceived "erroneous teachings." If you haven't heard Fr. Seraphim el baramousy, well......he's a breath of fresh air, and his Arabic sermons are amazing. You can find a lot of his sermons in Arabic on youtube, a ton of them from Patristic Cairo. The bishops who are accusing Fr. Seraphim of wrong teachings are now conducting an investigation against him and his writings and books. You can read some of Fr. Seraphim's work in English here: https://towardgod.wordpress.com/category/english-articles/

For my Arabic speakers, HG Bishop Raphael is asked a question about the school and its leader, and he defends both: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM2hYy5hn3M

The St. Mary's Monastery of El Baramous also came out with a statement defending the Orthodoxy of Fr. Seraphim and the teachings of the School (in Englsih): https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1588003301504460&id=1497375500567241&pnref=story

Anyone care to add any news that they may know? Last I heard there is a meeting with a couple of the bishops and the pope to "dialogue" regarding this issue.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2016, 02:10:54 AM »
Who are the two bishops who are accusing Fr. Seraphim?  What exactly are the accusations?
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

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Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2016, 02:25:17 AM »
I haven't seen exactly what they are accusing him of. The two bishops are bishop Musa and bishop Macarius of el menya.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline Father Peter

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2016, 04:08:19 AM »
It would be good to know what the actual issue is.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2016, 01:56:15 PM »
I haven't seen exactly what they are accusing him of. The two bishops are bishop Musa and bishop Macarius of el menya.

THE Bishop Moussa?  The general bishop of the youth?  The man rarely accuses a fly.

And his spiritual son Bishop Raphael is defending the accused?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 01:57:16 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Samn!

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2016, 03:04:57 PM »
From reading the accusations being thrown around in Arabic on sites like https://www.facebook.com/theorthodoxrock/, it appears that this is somewhat of a continuation of the usual theological conflicts within the Coptic Church over the past few decades...

Among the accusations being leveled (some of which contradict each other): belief in theosis, rejection of penal substitutionary atonement, rejecting original sin, modernism (accepting modern biblical scholarship, allowing menstruating women to commune, etc.)... then some potentially more alarming things, like rejection of the existence of eternal punishment, not believing that the bread and wine are transformed in the Eucharist, etc.

They make a big deal of Fr Serafim Baramousy and the School of Alexandria's association with Chalcedonian institutions, in particular the Antiochian House of Studies, and the participation of some of George Bebawi's disciples in the activities of the St Cyril Theological Institute in the US... They even call Fr Serafim a "Bebawian Chalcedonian". Another apparent provocation from their perspective was his writing an introduction to and publishing an Arabic version of Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2016, 03:48:32 PM »
Thanks Samn!  I was worried this was the case
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2016, 04:52:02 PM »
From reading the accusations being thrown around in Arabic on sites like https://www.facebook.com/theorthodoxrock/, it appears that this is somewhat of a continuation of the usual theological conflicts within the Coptic Church over the past few decades...

Among the accusations being leveled (some of which contradict each other): belief in theosis, rejection of penal substitutionary atonement, rejecting original sin, modernism (accepting modern biblical scholarship, allowing menstruating women to commune, etc.)... then some potentially more alarming things, like rejection of the existence of eternal punishment, not believing that the bread and wine are transformed in the Eucharist, etc.

They make a big deal of Fr Serafim Baramousy and the School of Alexandria's association with Chalcedonian institutions, in particular the Antiochian House of Studies, and the participation of some of George Bebawi's disciples in the activities of the St Cyril Theological Institute in the US... They even call Fr Serafim a "Bebawian Chalcedonian". Another apparent provocation from their perspective was his writing an introduction to and publishing an Arabic version of Kallistos Ware's The Orthodox Church.

Thank you Samn for the translation. These people are absolute idiots and an embarrassment to the Coptic Church. I wash my hands clean of this stupidity. Please forgive my anger, I personally know some of the people who are running St. Cyril society and all are wonderfully articulate and theologically well educated individuals who seek nothing but to educate Copts of their own heritage and here we are fighting against our own heritage.  Lord have mercy on us.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2016, 05:00:27 PM »
I haven't seen exactly what they are accusing him of. The two bishops are bishop Musa and bishop Macarius of el menya.

THE Bishop Moussa?  The general bishop of the youth?  The man rarely accuses a fly.

And his spiritual son Bishop Raphael is defending the accused?

Yes that Anba Mussa, and we have to remember that Anba Mussa is a close disciple of Pope Shenouda and a close confidant of Anba Bishoy, the scholastic influences still remain.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2016, 05:07:22 PM »
Bishop Moussa confuses me.  This is the same man who said this:

We do not take the saying by intellectual power only.  We need also the spiritual power of faith.  That is why the Lord says His ways are spirit and life.  Also this means that we are not going to take the Body of the Lord without the Divinity of the Lord, because we never believe that the two natures are separated in the Lord.  Therefore we take both the human and the divine together in one nature, that is Our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, it is a complete fact and a definite doctrine we no more deal with bread and wine, but the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and we are taking the Lord Himself into our hearts and lives.

His Grace Bishop Moussa, late 20th Century

Source, minute 6:20

The next thing they'll do is target HG Bishop Suriel because of his association with Fr. John Behr!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 05:12:24 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2016, 05:20:08 PM »
They are also targeting Bishop Kyrillos, formerly known as fr. John-Paul, for recieving a degree from Holy Cross!!!
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2016, 07:55:51 PM »
I'm optimistic they will be humiliated for their accusations.  They're sowing the seeds for history to be against them rather than allowing a painful past slide away quietly.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Samn!

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2016, 10:51:30 PM »
I'm optimistic they will be humiliated for their accusations.  They're sowing the seeds for history to be against them rather than allowing a painful past slide away quietly.

It seems that on August 3, the faith, dogma and canons committee in the Coptic Holy Synod (made up of Bishops Musa of Youth,  Isidoros of Baramous, Zosima of Atfih, and the general bishop Macarius), has sent a report to the pope about Fr Seraphim's teachings and اhe will call a meeting to discuss the issue in the next few days. The press office of the Coptic Church has called for people to stop issuing statements on social media that are "not in the interest of the Church".

I say this as an outsider so feel free to ignore, but eventually, the Coptic Church is going to have to issue statements of dogma rather than using excommunications of individuals without explicit dogmatic rationale as a way of placating one side or another in controversies...

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2016, 11:15:06 PM »
How long was was the iconoclastic movement?  And was not there a council that issued a dogma contrary to the eventual seventh council.

History is not fun, and neither is the present.  I trust Christ will lead His Church in the right path, even when there are bumps on the road.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 11:15:22 PM by minasoliman »
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2016, 11:32:03 PM »
We need an official Coptic catechism from the Coptic church. We might have another case of fr. Matthew the poor on our hands!
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2016, 11:50:37 PM »
The iconoclastic movement was at least between two clear-cut positions, one of which was heretical. Making a heretical synodal statement of dogma, as the iconoclasts did, at least allows for a clear statement of orthodoxy in response, even if it takes generations for it to get heard and accepted. Making these controversies into somewhat deliberately obscured conflicts over personalities hinders clarity... 

That said, there are quite a lot of people out there on the Arabic interwebs at the moment claiming that the excommunication of George Bebawi amounted to a synodal condemnation of theosis.

Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2016, 12:04:15 AM »
Yes...there are.  These people who condemn theosis are also in a clear camp of heresy.  It may take a generation or two to condemn them.  No need to judge the Church now based on those who tarnish her.
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If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2016, 03:54:19 AM »
I don't think an official catechism would be helpful, and it is not part of the Orthodox tradition to issue one. It would concretise certain views and would make official doctrine things which should not be dogamatised since it would be required to make an official decision about everything. That is not the Orthodox way as far as I can see,

And it is the whole Church which must reject error and which should be patristically minded, not just or mostly in an academic sense, to be able to discern by the Spirit what is truth and support our bishops in their ministry.
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Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2016, 11:22:12 AM »
Father Peter, if you understood how bad bickering and fighting can be between Egyptians then I think you too would agree that a catechism would be helpful! The fact that we have individuals who think theosis is a "Byzantine heresy" and then other individuals who teach it as orthodox is enough for me to ask for an official stance on the subject in church before things truly get out of control. Not only can the fighting be bad with Egyptians but they can be incredibly hard headed.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2016, 11:25:41 AM »
Father Peter, if you understood how bad bickering and fighting can be between Egyptians then I think you too would agree that a catechism would be helpful! The fact that we have individuals who think theosis is a "Byzantine heresy" and then other individuals who teach it as orthodox is enough for me to ask for an official stance on the subject in church before things truly get out of control. Not only can the fighting be bad with Egyptians but they can be incredibly hard headed.

I thought both O.O. and E.O. consider Thesis as apart of their theology, is this a fringe view that theosis is a "Byzantine heresy" in O.O.

Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2016, 11:44:53 AM »
Father Peter, if you understood how bad bickering and fighting can be between Egyptians then I think you too would agree that a catechism would be helpful! The fact that we have individuals who think theosis is a "Byzantine heresy" and then other individuals who teach it as orthodox is enough for me to ask for an official stance on the subject in church before things truly get out of control. Not only can the fighting be bad with Egyptians but they can be incredibly hard headed.

I thought both O.O. and E.O. consider Thesis as apart of their theology, is this a fringe view that theosis is a "Byzantine heresy" in O.O.

There are some extremist Copts who don't know their own faith and heritage who think that way!
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline Samn!

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2016, 12:20:14 PM »
Whatever one thinks of Metropolitan Bishoy, it would be hard to classify him as fringe... and he's been stepping up his attacks against belief in theosis all summer.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2016, 02:12:01 PM »
Whatever one thinks of Metropolitan Bishoy, it would be hard to classify him as fringe... and he's been stepping up his attacks against belief in theosis all summer.

I had a feeling that Anba Bishoy was probably spearheading or at least promoting this! I know one Coptic theologian who was asked during a meeting of the fathers spoke about theosis, and he told him that all of them do. Would you happen to have any links btw to some of his attacks?
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2016, 02:55:54 PM »
His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy has presented some of his views in a useful paper on his website...

http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/english/index.htm
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #24 on: August 11, 2016, 03:15:48 PM »
His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy has presented some of his views in a useful paper on his website...

http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/english/index.htm

Does His Eminence believe the EO understanding of theosis is that we become gods by nature? Or that it makes us equal in some essential way with God?
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Offline Tonedawg

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #25 on: August 11, 2016, 03:19:52 PM »
I've seen some of H.E articles before, and some are a bit problematic to say the least.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2016, 04:13:01 PM »
Does His Eminence believe the EO understanding of theosis is that we become gods by nature? Or that it makes us equal in some essential way with God?

In his latest essay on the topic, which can be found in Arabic here: http://metroplit-bishoy.com/ar/?p=1737 , he specifically attacks Palamism, arguing that God's energies (that is, His grace) cannot be identified with God Himself, which is only His essence. It's part of a larger argument that one cannot speak of a "hypostatic indwelling" of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on an analogy with the hypostatic union in the incarnation, but rather at Pentecost there was only an indwelling of the grace of the Holy Spirit and not the Spirit Himself. He further claims that Saint Athanasius taught that grace is created. The thrust of the argument is that there can be no communion between God and man (apart, presumably, from in the incarnation) except through the mediation of created grace.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 04:14:08 PM by Samn! »

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #27 on: August 11, 2016, 04:31:32 PM »
It's interesting. My own tendency is to criticise SOME EO presentations of the essence/energy distinction because it does seem to be creating exactly a difference in nature between the essence and energies as if the energies are not entirely God himself. So I find it ironic that the view which H.E. Metropolitan Bishoy seems to hold is also one which some EO practically seem to hold.

I'd be very interested to see a translation of his paper and understand what he means in proposing created grace.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #28 on: August 11, 2016, 05:09:09 PM »
His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy has presented some of his views in a useful paper on his website...

http://www.metroplit-bishoy.org/english/index.htm

Does His Eminence believe the EO understanding of theosis is that we become gods by nature? Or that it makes us equal in some essential way with God?

This is what some Copts think yes! Hence the overreaction to the word in Arabic!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2016, 05:15:08 PM »
Does His Eminence believe the EO understanding of theosis is that we become gods by nature? Or that it makes us equal in some essential way with God?

In his latest essay on the topic, which can be found in Arabic here: http://metroplit-bishoy.com/ar/?p=1737 , he specifically attacks Palamism, arguing that God's energies (that is, His grace) cannot be identified with God Himself, which is only His essence. It's part of a larger argument that one cannot speak of a "hypostatic indwelling" of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost on an analogy with the hypostatic union in the incarnation, but rather at Pentecost there was only an indwelling of the grace of the Holy Spirit and not the Spirit Himself. He further claims that Saint Athanasius taught that grace is created. The thrust of the argument is that there can be no communion between God and man (apart, presumably, from in the incarnation) except through the mediation of created grace.

Basically western scholasticism.
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #30 on: August 11, 2016, 05:17:24 PM »
Based on H.E. Presupposition that the energies of God cannot be God, then one would ask, what are you receiving when you partake of the Eucharist? Something outside of God, or God himself presented in His body!
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #31 on: August 11, 2016, 05:26:12 PM »
Yes.  We are having our own Barlaam controversy these days.  I have handed in a paper defending theosis, proving from OO theology that the hypostasis, the infinite Holy Spirit does in fact dwell in us, but that is to be differentiated from a "hypostatic Union", which is not what the indwelling is.  The problem with Anba Bishoy is that he cannot differentiate between the indwelling of a hypostasis and a hypostatic Union and confuses them both.

What's incredible is that when you study Anba Bishoy's Christology today, it is more apt with Theodore of Mopsuestia, not Cyril of Alexandria
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #32 on: August 11, 2016, 05:34:48 PM »
Yes.  We are having our own Barlaam controversy these days.  I have handed in a paper defending theosis, proving from OO theology that the hypostasis, the infinite Holy Spirit does in fact dwell in us, but that is to be differentiated from a "hypostatic Union", which is not what the indwelling is.  The problem with Anba Bishoy is that he cannot differentiate between the indwelling of a hypostasis and a hypostatic Union and confuses them both.

What's incredible is that when you study Anba Bishoy's Christology today, it is more apt with Theodore of Mopsuestia, not Cyril of Alexandria

It'd certainly be ironic if some Copts these days are actually more Theodorean than some ACOTE-ers.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2016, 05:37:27 PM »
Yes.  We are having our own Barlaam controversy these days.  I have handed in a paper defending theosis, proving from OO theology that the hypostasis, the infinite Holy Spirit does in fact dwell in us, but that is to be differentiated from a "hypostatic Union", which is not what the indwelling is.  The problem with Anba Bishoy is that he cannot differentiate between the indwelling of a hypostasis and a hypostatic Union and confuses them both.

What's incredible is that when you study Anba Bishoy's Christology today, it is more apt with Theodore of Mopsuestia, not Cyril of Alexandria

It'd certainly be ironic if some Copts these days are actually more Theodorean than some ACOTE-ers.

When you're a hardcore Barlaamite scholastic, you are a Nestorian, plain and simple.  That is why a lot of scholars find no problem with Nestorius today.  He resonates well with some Protestant sacramental and soteriological theology

And yes, the irony never escapes me that those who profess "one nature" can still be Theodorean
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 05:38:36 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2016, 06:32:27 PM »
In all fairness, I've had sister Vassa once tell me that the energy of the Holy Spirit comes down to us and not his substance. The Holy Spirit comes to us, or dwells in us, in His uncreated divine energies, which is obviously a bit different than what H.E.M. Bishoy is claiming, but still a bit similar because she did say that if the substance of the Holy Spirit dwelt in us then this would be pantheism.

http://youtu.be/XyyDafSDPXc
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2016, 06:37:03 PM »
In all fairness, I've had sister Vassa once tell me that the energy of the Holy Spirit comes down to us and not his substance. The Holy Spirit comes to us, or dwells in us, in His uncreated divine energies, which is obviously a bit different than what H.E.M. Bishoy is claiming, but still a bit similar because she did say that if the substance of the Holy Spirit dwelt in us then this would be pantheism.

http://youtu.be/XyyDafSDPXc

I am wary for anyone who says we receive "energy" and not "essence".  Pre-chalcedonian fathers have seen "energy" as the "essence acting in us".  "Partaking of the essence" and "becoming the essence" are two different things.

For the Chalcedonian tradition, partaking of the essence equates consubstantiality.  But what I have read so far was the Hypostases don't "partake" of the essence.  They ARE the essence.  Even Symeon the New Theologian believed this.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2016, 06:41:31 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2016, 08:12:03 PM »

I'd be very interested to see a translation of his paper and understand what he means in proposing created grace.

I've started putting up translations of Anba Bishoy's writings about theosis in this thread here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,69707.0.html

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #37 on: August 12, 2016, 08:38:03 AM »
Fr. Seraphim on prayer:

http://www.stfrancismagazine.info/ja/images/stories/Seraphim-alBaramousy_116-128.pdf

The man with such depth and spirituality.  May God protect him!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2016, 08:09:07 PM »
Currently, here is one Coptic Bishop I know of that is openly speaking of and teaching Theosis (El Taloh)in Egypt, HG Bishop Angelos Bishop of Northern Shubra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUrMq5m91XE

Rumor has it this bishop will defend Fr. Seraphim in his "trial" against Metropolitan Bishoy.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2016, 06:51:14 AM »
May God grant grace and peace to the Church and a continuing renewal of the patristic foundations of our spirituality and theology.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #40 on: August 25, 2016, 11:02:56 PM »
Currently, here is one Coptic Bishop I know of that is openly speaking of and teaching Theosis (El Taloh)in Egypt, HG Bishop Angelos Bishop of Northern Shubra. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUrMq5m91XE

Rumor has it this bishop will defend Fr. Seraphim in his "trial" against Metropolitan Bishoy.

Apparently they had a big meeting today, anybody who reads Arabic can translate for us please?
https://www.facebook.com/CopticSP/photos/a.596861680351974.1073741829.554483354589807/1122127844492019/?type=3

Meeting included HH. Pope Tawadros, HE Metroplitan Bishoy,Serapion, HG bishop raphael, Suriel, Angelos, Macarius, Thomas, and many other bishops, priests, and laymen, including Dr. Joseph Faltas and Fr. Seraphim el barmousy. Apparently I heard the meeting presented papers and 4 hours of dialogue, which is excellent news. May God guide his church in all righteousness.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2016, 05:37:24 AM »
Is anybody able to give us the sense of what this says? Or knows in more detail what the outcome was?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2016, 02:11:59 PM »
Was able to get someone to translate the last part. The outcome of the meeting was as follows:

There are 4 committees to be formed:
"1. To listen and discuss the educational remarks in question.
2. To prepare a dictionary of theological terms in more than one language.
3. To produce a catechetical draft on cornerstones of faith.
4. To compile and legalize the list of educational centers and tuning them under the umbrella of the Church."

So numbers 2 & 3 are excellent because this way both sides can know what exactly they are discussing. For example instead of thinking theosis is a heresy they will understand the correct definition of it. I'm interested in seeing this draft for a catechism, if it will contain someofmthe scholastic language that's been adopted in the past or not. Either way, this is good news. Looks like no one is getting excommunicated or anything.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2016, 02:31:11 PM »
The question is whether the Dictionary and Catechism will be patristically based or not? If it concretises certain problematic positions then this will be difficult.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2016, 02:53:59 PM »
At the end it also said something about three major sources:  The Bible, the Church fathers, and the liturgical texts.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #45 on: August 26, 2016, 03:26:35 PM »
I wonder who is counted as 'Church Fathers' and on what basis.... that's always a vague term.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #46 on: August 26, 2016, 03:50:18 PM »
I wonder who is counted as 'Church Fathers' and on what basis.... that's always a vague term.

I've seen many Copts use and reference St. Augustine a lot in recent years so that's a good question. I've also seen many clergy who read the fathers without proper interpretation and understanding. For example a quote from st. Gregory (41st oration) was used to justify the doctrine of satisfying the divine justice of the Father, but when you read the full context of the quote he doesn't speak of divine justice at all and actually refutes the idea of the son satisfying the Father. I've heard the same argument from two clergy, one in English and another in Arabic and it's just mind boggling!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2016, 06:18:10 AM »
If a text is produced then it might be useful if it was provisionally published to the Church so that the wider community could also make representations and constructive suggestions.

There is a problem when patristics are unknown, but there is also a problem when patristics are used in a protestant manner as a source for proof texts to support an already established position.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #48 on: August 28, 2016, 11:38:04 PM »
Would someone be so kind as to translate this paper for me?
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/photos/a.496341633719173.119780.494678147218855/1276504435702885/?type=3&theater

It appears that there is an upcoming conference on September 26 to 29, which will discuss the "heresy" of Deification, original sin, and other "Orthodox" teachings. SMH.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2016, 08:39:16 AM »
Yes I would be interested in reading this announcement also.  Google translate makes a pigs ear of it as usual.

Who is speaking and under the authority of which bishop is it being held?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2016, 09:05:55 AM »
Here's a translation:

With the blessing of Pope Theodore II

The committee on faith, education and canon law in the Holy Synod is holding a gathering on Orthodox dogma under the title:

The Holy Trinity... and Contemporary Theological Issues

"For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." (1 John 5:7)

Some bishops, priests and servants will give lectures on the following topics:

1. Our one God... Tri-hypostatic truly and kerygmatically!

2. Differentiation and mutual complimentarity in the Holy Trinity.

3. The Holy Trinity in the mysteries of the Church and the Feasts of the Lord.

4. Innovations and heresies against the Trinity.

5. The concept of ecclesiastical unity.

6. Simple analogies for understanding the Trinity.

7. The Trinity in the thought of the Fathers (especially Pope Athanasius the Apostolic).

8. The Holy Trinity in the Old Testament and its manifestations in the New Testament.

9. Non-sectarianism.

10. Our relationship to the Holy Trinity.

11. The heresy of theosis!

12. The inheritance of ancestral sin and the concept of evil in the Fathers.

13. The Holy Virgin Mary in our Orthodox dogma (the title 'Theotokos', perpetual virginity, the heresy of immaculate conception)-- a seminar.

At the Saint Mark House in al-Ajami from the morning of Monday 26 to Thursday 29 September,  2016, God willing.

contact: akeedaconf@gmail.com

May the Lord bless every work for the glory of His holy name. May the grace of the Lord envelop us.

For the committee [signature]

Secretary of the Holy Synod [signature]

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #51 on: August 29, 2016, 11:24:06 AM »
So is it being said that the doctrine of theosis, the foundation of Orthodox spirituality and theology, is a heresy? Or was there a question mark after that phrase?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #52 on: August 29, 2016, 11:25:22 AM »
Is someone able to contact the contact person and ask who will be giving a presentation on Theosis as a heresy, and on Ancestral Sin?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #53 on: August 29, 2016, 12:36:10 PM »
So is it being said that the doctrine of theosis, the foundation of Orthodox spirituality and theology, is a heresy? Or was there a question mark after that phrase?

It's an exclamation mark, not a question mark. The word I translated as 'heresy' is بدعة, which literally means "doctrinal innovation" in a negative sense. It's the word Pope Shenouda used to describe theosis.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #54 on: August 29, 2016, 05:11:51 PM »
Thank you so much for the translation Sam!

Fr. Peter, please allow me to explain the crux of the problem in Egypt. The words "Deification of man" in arabic are "تأليه الإنسان", which to some of the clergy sounds like man becomes God, in the Mormon sense, that man transforms into a divine nature. My personal opinion is that it's an overreaction to the word in Arabic. When Pope Shenouda or Anba Bishoy hear that man partakes "in the divine nature", to them they take it as man participating in the Divine Essence. Part of the problem, and mainly why there was much confusion, was the lack of a "energies/essence" distinction. According to Stephen J. Davis, apparently Pope Shenouda didn't really allow for that, and now we see that Anba Bishoy refuses to acknowledge that the energies are God! Obviously, this creates lots of problems. The way theosis is understood by them is incorrect, however, when reading some of Pope Shenouda's works, the concept is still there, its just not as explicit as we would like it to be. if Theosis is understood, by them at least, as man changing into a divine nature, or God's essence, or becoming part of the trinity, then yes, this is a heresy and they have every right to fight against this. The problem is that in their zealousness for the faith, they have overcorrected, which I really think this is what is happening here, and they have unwillingly or unknowingly anathematized their own Alexandrian heritage/tradition. All of this confusion can be easily solved by A. Acknowledging the distinction of energies and essence and B. Acknowledging that the Energies are God and that is how we are united to him. 

A quote from Stephen Davis, from his book Coptic Christology in practice, that perfectly summarizes the crux of the problem:

"Matta al-Miskin’s evocative reappropriation of the patristic doctrine of theopoesis has not been without controversy in the contemporary Egyptian church. In a series of pamphlets written against Matta al-Miskin and his followers, the pope of the Coptic Orthodox communion, Shenouda III, has questioned the notion that the church fathers proclaimed the doctrine of ‘deification’, and has unequivocally rejected the possibility that human beings can be endowed with divine properties. Part of the reason for this disagreement is that Shenouda does not allow for a functional distinction between divine attributes and divine essence, categories fundamental to both the Alexandrian Greek fathers and medieval Copto-Arabic philosophical theologians such as the Awlad al-Assal. Thus, he assumes that for human beings to experience ‘deification’ (al-ta’lih) would mean that they become unlimited, omnipresent, omniscient, uncreated, immortal, and fully preserved from error (ma'sum).


Shenouda’s objection to this doctrine is also motivated by particular cultural and interreligious sensitivities—namely, his suspicion that Matta al-Miskin’s theology betrays unwanted traces of Western European (esp. French Catholic) influence, and his concern that the proclamation of human ‘deification’ would elicit sharp and unyielding criticism from the Muslim world. This latter concern comes to expression in an extraordinary and unprecedented fashion when the patriarch adopts the language of Muslim anti-Christian diatribe and directs that polemical rhetoric against the monks of Dayr Abu Maqar. First, he criticizes Matta al-Miskin and his followers for being guilty of al-tahrif, the ‘corruption’ of Scripture, because of a slight verbal divergence in their Arabic translation of 2 Peter 1: 4. Second, and even more pointedly, he accuses them of committing al-shirk billah (‘the act of associating something with God’). The charge of al-shirk represents a standard Muslim criticism directed against proponents of Christian Trinitarian doctrine; in this case, however, Shenouda employs this language against a fellow Christian as an expression of opposition to the doctrine of deification.


In adopting such incendiary language, Shenouda is drawing on a deep historical reservoir of apologetic strategies in order to circumscribe and authorize a particular kind of minoritarian social and religious identity. In this case, his rhetoric is designed to highlight crucial values that the Christian community holds in common with the dominant culture (most notably, in the Islamic context, reverence for holy writ and belief in the oneness of God), while distancing himself from—and thereby seeking to marginalize—his monastic opponents, whose views represent for him potential sources of offence in the church’s relation to the wider society."
« Last Edit: August 29, 2016, 05:12:12 PM by Tonedawg »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2016, 06:51:56 AM »
Thanks. Yes I have always understood why there is a resistance to theosis, and that is why whenever I speak of it I insist on describing what I do not mean by the term.

But while understanding how a misunderstanding could occur, and while necessarily being careful to state what is not meant, the idea of sharing in the life of God by grace is so fundamental to the Orthodox Faith that to deny it would lead to our separation from all other Orthodox, and to deep division in our own community.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #56 on: August 30, 2016, 06:53:22 AM »
Is someone able to find out who will be speaking on these two key subjects?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #57 on: August 30, 2016, 07:24:06 AM »
Is someone able to find out who will be speaking on these two key subjects?

That latest Facebook post translated by Samn! as I understand it will be lead by Metropolitan Bishoy, Bishop Moussa, and Bishop Benyamin (figures right?).  They pushed to have this meeting, but other bishops do not appreciate this as well.  It seems to be dividing the Church.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 07:24:34 AM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #58 on: August 30, 2016, 08:46:33 AM »
But the post says that bishops, priests and servants will speak on these topics. So it seems many will beyond those few bishops.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #59 on: August 30, 2016, 08:50:06 AM »
But the post says that bishops, priests and servants will speak on these topics. So it seems many will beyond those few bishops.

As far as I have heard, disciples of the three.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #60 on: August 30, 2016, 09:04:37 AM »
So is this essentially a private conference in which a predetermined point of view will be presented?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #61 on: August 30, 2016, 09:19:17 AM »
So is this essentially a private conference in which a predetermined point of view will be presented?

Sorta...it's approved by the Pope (the Pope seems to approve anything), and so there's nothing explicitly rebellious and private about it, but it seems that Anba Bishoy was not happy with the previous meeting, so he has to set up another one to sow the seeds of dissent.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #62 on: August 30, 2016, 09:46:30 AM »
But this is not an official meeting of the Synod to determine a view on these things?

It is rather an authorised but particularist conference which will present a certain view and in which there will not be discussion or common study of the Fathers and the Tradition?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #63 on: August 30, 2016, 10:03:08 AM »
This is very disturbing.  Please keep me in the loop on this and send me a PM if the Coptic Church officially rejects Theosis.

This also underscores why we need reunion with the EO as much as they need reunion with us...to silence these elements.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #64 on: August 30, 2016, 11:02:13 AM »
But this is not an official meeting of the Synod to determine a view on these things?

It is rather an authorised but particularist conference which will present a certain view and in which there will not be discussion or common study of the Fathers and the Tradition?

Yes, that's my impression.  Anba Bishoy dubbed himself the person defines what dogma is and set up this meeting rather than wait for a more formal council with others.  That is what was explained to me.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #65 on: August 30, 2016, 11:06:35 AM »
Has anyone with any influence in the Coptic Church suggested reaching out to the other Orthodox Churches to consult on some of the theological points in dispute? 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #66 on: August 30, 2016, 11:11:29 AM »
Has anyone with any influence in the Coptic Church suggested reaching out to the other Orthodox Churches to consult on some of the theological points in dispute?

As far as I have heard...no, which boggles my mind to this moment.  A few men with huge self-pride do not care what our sister churches teach.  It's as if the Copts are the only OOs around.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #67 on: August 30, 2016, 11:33:12 AM »
Has Anba Moussa always held such negative views? And what is the background of Anba Benyamin?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #68 on: August 30, 2016, 11:33:21 AM »
Has anyone with any influence in the Coptic Church suggested reaching out to the other Orthodox Churches to consult on some of the theological points in dispute?

As far as I have heard...no, which boggles my mind to this moment.  A few men with huge self-pride do not care what our sister churches teach.  It's as if the Copts are the only OOs around.

I've asked about this before, but I'm not sure how much these issues have been discussed in the other OO churches. Theosis and the issue of original sin, so far as I understand, came into modern Coptic discourse through contact with Greek scholars of patristics, which influenced the way that the issues were framed. I don't think any of the other OO churches have had as much contact with Greece (or, for that matter, have as much Greek-language material to recover in their own traditions... though Alexandria is a high bar to match). I've looked around for discussions of theosis in Arabic among Syriac Orthodox and haven't been able to find much of anything.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #69 on: August 30, 2016, 12:32:42 PM »
I don't think the Coptic church will "officially" reject theosis! I think if Anba bishoy's tried to push his view on the holy synod that a lot of bishops will disagree and fight over, and this is something worth fighting over. Taking the arguments of Anba Bishoy to their logical conclusions will make us nestorians, with no way of being able to be united with God, but only God's grace, which isn't God himself either. The time is coming when someone in the synod, preferably the Pope, will have to put his foot down and say enough is enough. Somebody needs to challenge Anba Bishoy and put him in his place. Things were so bad that apparently a while back ago they took the translations of "on the incarnation of the word" and changed the text of the famous Athanasian phrase of "God became man so that man could become god" to "God became man so that man coukd be partakers of the divine nature". Anba Bishoy had aspirations into becoming the pope, lord have mercy if he was able to do so. I wonder if a schism could happen because of all of this?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #70 on: August 30, 2016, 03:09:51 PM »
Lets pray a schism doesnt happen but that instead the Coptic Church reaffirms the correct doctrine and corrects Anba Bishoy on this point.

What btw is Anba Bishoy's precise ecclesiastical role?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #71 on: August 30, 2016, 03:51:54 PM »
His Eminence is Metroplitan of Damietta, Kafr El-Sheikh and the Monastery of Saint Demiana (for nuns), Barrari, Belkas, Egypt. One of the most senior bishops in the church, however there's lots of people who aren't big fans of his!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #72 on: August 30, 2016, 05:03:08 PM »
He is the second most senior bishop in the Holy Synod by age and number of years as bishop, second to Anba Bakhomious, who was our locum tenens before Pope Tawadros was elected. 

He was never a pleasant personality.  He loves "heretic hunting", and even prides himself in this.  A lot of great theologians and clergy who left the Coptic Church to join EOs was because of him.  At the very beginning of his episcopacy, he attacked a senior bishop, Anba Gregorios, for heresy as well.  When he was running for the candidacy of the papacy, he claimed that the Church is in danger of heresy, and "only" he can save the Church and bring her to the right faith.  His most loyal disciple is HG Bishop Benyamin, a general bishop, who recently forbade the use of Abouna Matta al Maskeen's books in a recent book bazaar, and developed a Coptic tv channel as an avenue of Anba Bishoy's views and teachings.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2016, 05:53:08 PM »
He is the second most senior bishop in the Holy Synod by age and number of years as bishop, second to Anba Bakhomious, who was our locum tenens before Pope Tawadros was elected. 

He was never a pleasant personality.  He loves "heretic hunting", and even prides himself in this.  A lot of great theologians and clergy who left the Coptic Church to join EOs was because of him.  At the very beginning of his episcopacy, he attacked a senior bishop, Anba Gregorios, for heresy as well.  When he was running for the candidacy of the papacy, he claimed that the Church is in danger of heresy, and "only" he can save the Church and bring her to the right faith.  His most loyal disciple is HG Bishop Benyamin, a general bishop, who recently forbade the use of Abouna Matta al Maskeen's books in a recent book bazaar, and developed a Coptic tv channel as an avenue of Anba Bishoy's views and teachings.

Are we talking about this Bishop Benyamin?? http://www.vetogate.com/2166188
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2016, 06:07:23 PM »
He is the second most senior bishop in the Holy Synod by age and number of years as bishop, second to Anba Bakhomious, who was our locum tenens before Pope Tawadros was elected. 

He was never a pleasant personality.  He loves "heretic hunting", and even prides himself in this.  A lot of great theologians and clergy who left the Coptic Church to join EOs was because of him.  At the very beginning of his episcopacy, he attacked a senior bishop, Anba Gregorios, for heresy as well.  When he was running for the candidacy of the papacy, he claimed that the Church is in danger of heresy, and "only" he can save the Church and bring her to the right faith.  His most loyal disciple is HG Bishop Benyamin, a general bishop, who recently forbade the use of Abouna Matta al Maskeen's books in a recent book bazaar, and developed a Coptic tv channel as an avenue of Anba Bishoy's views and teachings.

Are we talking about this Bishop Benyamin?? http://www.vetogate.com/2166188

No, another one.  The general bishop
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2016, 06:10:46 PM »
I am so sorry...I was thinking of Bishop Ermia, not Bishop Benyamin.  I don't know a lot about Bishop Benyamin except some sort of sternness with his priests in his diocese.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 06:11:59 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2016, 07:10:42 PM »
I am so sorry...I was thinking of Bishop Ermia, not Bishop Benyamin.  I don't know a lot about Bishop Benyamin except some sort of sternness with his priests in his diocese.

Lol no worries, and yes I know Anba Ermia is a disciple of Anba Bishoy!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #77 on: August 31, 2016, 12:30:28 AM »
You know, it might not be a bad idea to email them and voice our dissent!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #78 on: August 31, 2016, 02:07:02 AM »
Has Anba Moussa always held such negative views? And what is the background of Anba Benyamin?

I believe Metropolitan Benyamin is close with Anba Bishoy.  Many years ago, Anba Benyamin fell out of favour with Pope Shenouda over politics/money issues (not theology), and Anba Bishoy tried (but failed) to intercede and restore his relationship with the Pope.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 02:21:05 AM by qawe »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #79 on: August 31, 2016, 02:01:23 PM »
I once heard a talk by Anba Benyamin that sounded like penal substitutionary atonement. Jesus came to take away the wrath of the father. Was disappointed to hear that.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #80 on: August 31, 2016, 02:13:50 PM »
I think, to an extent, the penal substitution talk has its place, but when it becomes THE model of redemption, then it's a problem.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #81 on: August 31, 2016, 02:35:20 PM »
I think, to an extent, the penal substitution talk has its place, but when it becomes THE model of redemption, then it's a problem.
as far as I am aware, it's not THE only acceptable soteriology. Their main concern is against those who reject penal substitution.

On the other hand, these same bishops may also reject a model that includes deification.  They accept a model involving salvation from death and corruption, but they have not connected the dots to consider incorruption and immortality as uncreated
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #82 on: August 31, 2016, 02:42:52 PM »
If we read On the Incarnation slowly and carefully then at the very least, as members of the Church of Alexandria above any other Orthodox surely it must be impossible to reject the teaching of St Athanasius, even if various people want to nuance the teaching of St Athanasius, and even if it is perfectly reasonable to synthesis the views and analogies and images used by other authoritative Fathers.
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Offline minasoliman

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #83 on: August 31, 2016, 02:55:33 PM »
If we read On the Incarnation slowly and carefully then at the very least, as members of the Church of Alexandria above any other Orthodox surely it must be impossible to reject the teaching of St Athanasius, even if various people want to nuance the teaching of St Athanasius, and even if it is perfectly reasonable to synthesis the views and analogies and images used by other authoritative Fathers.

Or all the Cyrillian and Severan writings, which practically put the teachings of Anba Bishoy to shame. The problem is not enough of these writings are translated in Arabic (or translated incorrectly).

(Or English for that matter, but at least we have enough in English)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 02:57:35 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #84 on: August 31, 2016, 02:57:16 PM »
Yes, I agree. It is one consistent and coherent body of teaching. I just meant that On the Incarnation is easily accessible. I am posting a chapter and commenting on it at the moment on my FB page each day.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #85 on: August 31, 2016, 06:44:20 PM »
There are two outcomes to this meeting: 1. They clarify Trinity theology (which seems to be the bulk of the topics listed) and other theologies in an Orthodox understanding or 2. They condemn something no one believes in. There is no need to worry that the attendees of this meeting will declare Orthodox theology is heretical.

The "heresy" of theosis is only a heresy if someone believes that theosis means divine by essence. From the writings of HE Met Bishoy and other correspondences, it seems that they are arguing against man becoming divine by essence. Since no one believes this, afaik, there is nothing to worry about. It becomes a practice in futility, sort of like some extreme EO's insisting the Copts believe Christ has no human nature. It goes in one ear and out the other.

If on the other hand, they actually ignore all of the Alexandrian fathers that they using to substantiate an anti-theosis ideology, then the truth of Orthodoxy will prevail against such faulty ideology. There is no scenario where completely Orthodox theology is declared heresy and left alone by God first and by Copts and other OO and EO churches after.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #86 on: August 31, 2016, 07:56:32 PM »
The problem is, Metropolitan Bishoy does not believe we partake of the divine nature in a real way.  Their main problem with the phrase is that they condemn anyone who says we partake "in" the divine nature.  They take the word "of" to mean we partake of the virtues, the results, not the actual uncreated being and life of the Trinity.

Furthermore, he even denies the idea that God can truly indwell in us.  To him, God only dwells nominally, that is, He creates grace, key word "creates", and calls that "indwelling" of "a" holy spirit, not "THE" Holy Spirit.  They call "a" holy spirit "energies".

This "Bishoyism" is heretical as far as I am aware.  If Metropolitan Bishoy is in charge, he is going to do anything to push these points ahead in his "dogma" meeting.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 07:58:43 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #87 on: August 31, 2016, 11:17:27 PM »
If we read On the Incarnation slowly and carefully then at the very least, as members of the Church of Alexandria above any other Orthodox surely it must be impossible to reject the teaching of St Athanasius, even if various people want to nuance the teaching of St Athanasius, and even if it is perfectly reasonable to synthesis the views and analogies and images used by other authoritative Fathers.

Or all the Cyrillian and Severan writings, which practically put the teachings of Anba Bishoy to shame. The problem is not enough of these writings are translated in Arabic (or translated incorrectly).

(Or English for that matter, but at least we have enough in English)

It seems that there are deliberate mistranslations of the works of the fathers! See my example above. Another problem, it seems that even if the translations are correct, the fathers are being read and incorrectly interpreted by those who wish to read something into their writings that's not there, such as the example of the oration of St. Gregory the theologian.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #88 on: September 02, 2016, 04:19:12 PM »
In a recent video, Anba Bishoy claims that a denial of original sin is also a denial of redemption!
https://www.facebook.com/RabttHmatAlayman/videos/1280792538607408/

He then denies that St. Augustine is the inventor of original sin, and claims that he's coming out with a book in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and English that supports that all the fathers taught original sin. He then quotes from St. Athanasius in English (video at 2:39): "Christ offered the sacrifice on behalf of all, delivering his own shrine to death instead of all, that he may set all free from the liability of the original transgression."     

The SVS press version of "on the incarnation" that I have reads: "He might offer the sacrifice on behalf of all, surrendering His own temple to death in place of all, to settle man's account with death and free him from the primal transgression. In the same act he showed Himself mightier than death, displaying His own body incorruptible as the first-fruits of the resurrection."

Obviously if you read the whole work then you will understand that here st. Athanasius is talking about the Word freeing us from death. Death IS the liability of the original/ primal transgression. This no one denies, and yet Anba Bishoy takes what is said here literally to mean that Christ comes to free us from the original sin, and hence any one who denies the doctrine of original sin will also deny that Christ had redeemed us. He literally concentrates on the word "original transgression" and totally ignores the "liability" that's in front of it.

Later on he claims that we have come from, human beings, the nature in which the knowledge of evil was introduced. I think here he means that we have inherited a sinful nature from Adam and Eve. He then quotes the famous Pauline verse of Romans 5:12. Lol the hosts even says that the fathers say that we inherit the consequences of the first sin but Anba Bishoy "corrects" him and says St. Paul says that we inherit the sin and its consequences.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #89 on: September 02, 2016, 05:18:58 PM »
Tbh, my main concern is not his belief of Original Sin, but more seriously his denial of theosis.  After we solve the latter, then we can address the former.  Once one accepts theosis, it becomes very easy to address Original Sin I think.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 05:21:51 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #90 on: September 02, 2016, 11:08:42 PM »
Just to clarify one thing, by Original Sin, you are referring to the Augustinian error in understanding original sin, and not the correct anti-Pelagian doctrine of St. John Cassian which the Orthodox accept, that is sometime called Ancestral Sin? 

Also, food for thought: perhaps "Bishoyism", the rejection of Orthodoc theology in favour of a scholastic, Roman Catholic theology, is directly connected to and comorbid with the increasing Protestant influence in the Church, the spread of Praise and Worship music, et cetera.  Are you aware of any direct connections between the two?

It would be ideal if they could be linked, and branded together as "Bishoyism" as that would make it easier to suppress both deviations, by labelling it as a singular heretical movement and then targeting it at a council.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #91 on: September 02, 2016, 11:15:14 PM »
It's all one big tangled web! Since he doesn't believe in theosis, the only other option for him is penal substitution. Everything is external in the theology of Anba Bishoy!
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #92 on: September 02, 2016, 11:45:48 PM »
Just to clarify one thing, by Original Sin, you are referring to the Augustinian error in understanding original sin, and not the correct anti-Pelagian doctrine of St. John Cassian which the Orthodox accept, that is sometime called Ancestral Sin? 

Also, food for thought: perhaps "Bishoyism", the rejection of Orthodoc theology in favour of a scholastic, Roman Catholic theology, is directly connected to and comorbid with the increasing Protestant influence in the Church, the spread of Praise and Worship music, et cetera.  Are you aware of any direct connections between the two?

It would be ideal if they could be linked, and branded together as "Bishoyism" as that would make it easier to suppress both deviations, by labelling it as a singular heretical movement and then targeting it at a council.

Yes by Original Sin we are referring to the incorrect teaching of St. Augustine.

Also are you familiar with how scholastic theology crept into the Coptic Church?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #93 on: September 03, 2016, 01:07:30 AM »
Just to clarify one thing, by Original Sin, you are referring to the Augustinian error in understanding original sin, and not the correct anti-Pelagian doctrine of St. John Cassian which the Orthodox accept, that is sometime called Ancestral Sin? 

Also, food for thought: perhaps "Bishoyism", the rejection of Orthodoc theology in favour of a scholastic, Roman Catholic theology, is directly connected to and comorbid with the increasing Protestant influence in the Church, the spread of Praise and Worship music, et cetera.  Are you aware of any direct connections between the two?

It would be ideal if they could be linked, and branded together as "Bishoyism" as that would make it easier to suppress both deviations, by labelling it as a singular heretical movement and then targeting it at a council.

Yes by Original Sin we are referring to the incorrect teaching of St. Augustine.

Also are you familiar with how scholastic theology crept into the Coptic Church?

Jesuits I would assume?  The specific details, no.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #94 on: September 04, 2016, 12:41:42 AM »
Oh yes, catholic missionaries. You can read about some of the issues here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=46316.0

To summarize the problem, when we lost our knowledge of most of the Greek fathers due to being forced to adopt the Arabic language, and when we were met with both Catholic and Protestant missionaries, we ended up,using Catholic material to refute Protestant claims, and we used Protestant material to refute Catholic claims. What was missing was the Greek fathers. We still didn't have a lot of the Greek speaking fathers translated into Arabic up until the 21th century. Which explains how scholastic thought has crept into the church.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #95 on: September 04, 2016, 06:42:33 PM »
Oh yes, catholic missionaries. You can read about some of the issues here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=46316.0

To summarize the problem, when we lost our knowledge of most of the Greek fathers due to being forced to adopt the Arabic language, and when we were met with both Catholic and Protestant missionaries, we ended up,using Catholic material to refute Protestant claims, and we used Protestant material to refute Catholic claims. What was missing was the Greek fathers. We still didn't have a lot of the Greek speaking fathers translated into Arabic up until the 21th century. Which explains how scholastic thought has crept into the church.

That makes sense.  The Syriac Orthodox church on the other hand managed to retain some vernacular Syriac communities, and thus retained access to both the Greek and Syriac fathers (also, our monks, at Mar Matthias in Iraq and the Syrian Monastery in Egypt, a sort of Metochion like institution under the omophorion of your church, were the conduit by which the Muslims were able to obtain Arabic translations of the Greek philosophers, and these in turn were translated into Latin, sparking the Renaissance).

However, among many of the Arabic-speaking Syriac Orthodox priests I know, especially the older ones, they are not very well trained in Orthodox theology, do not completely understand the concept of theosis, and understand the basics of the Orthodox faith only; most of their knowledge is purely practical and relates to how to sing the services of the Church, how to understand enough classical Syriac to be able to read the liturgy in both it and Arabic, and so on.  But they are extremely pious and loving, and I would prefer a thousand of them to one clergyman of great erudition and foul moral character (and actually, there was one Syriac Orthodox priest in the United States who may still be alive, who did cause a schism, which was recently healed AFAIK,  and who I believe fits that description).

Note that I am speaking of course only of the Suroye proests of the Patriarchate of Antioch.  The lack of well educated older clergy in the Syriac church, and in the Assyrian Church of the East, was noted by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware in the first edition of the Orthodox Church, and is certainly a consequence of the Genocide, which destroyed so much.  I believe the Indian church, despite the schism which still divides it, both Mor Ephrem's jurisdiction and mine, has consistently more knowledgeable clergy.  The Syriac Orthodox monastic priests I met at our convention in 2013 were also very learned however, and the new generation of Suroye parish priests who are being trained at the Patriarchal Seminary in Damascus, and at seminaries in Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and (I think) Sweden, will have a much deeper knowledge of the faith beyond mere liturgical practicum.

I think the same sort of upgrade will occur in the Coptic Church now that you have seminarians at St. Vladimir's, and other new facilities.

But that all being said, I hope we never lose our simple, pious priests that we have today, who are not masters of dogmatic theology but who are masters at the art of living a Christian life, and I think we should avoid requiring a seminary education in order to preserve the institution of simple, humble priests, who can serve alongside priests with expertise in dogmatic theology, liturgics, apologetics, scriptural interpretation, patristic studies and church history; the simple priests can consult with the seminary-trained experts as needed to properly chatechize their flocks, and likewise, the expert seminary-trained clergy can consult with the simple less educated clergy, selected for personal piety, on matters relating to the acquisition and experience of holiness.

I very much like ROCOR among Orthodox jurisdictions because it has recognized the value of allowing bishops to ordain those who are obviously worthy, and ROCOR has implemented online-based training programs for priests ordained in this manner (as opposed to those who go through Jordanville, although I also love Jordanville as an institution; alas, while the Moscow Patriarchate seems to like us well enough, it will probably be a while before we can send an Oriental Orthodox seminarian to Jordanville, but when that day comes it will be cause for rejoicing).
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #96 on: September 06, 2016, 05:35:09 PM »
Oh yes, catholic missionaries. You can read about some of the issues here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=46316.0

To summarize the problem, when we lost our knowledge of most of the Greek fathers due to being forced to adopt the Arabic language, and when we were met with both Catholic and Protestant missionaries, we ended up,using Catholic material to refute Protestant claims, and we used Protestant material to refute Catholic claims. What was missing was the Greek fathers. We still didn't have a lot of the Greek speaking fathers translated into Arabic up until the 21th century. Which explains how scholastic thought has crept into the church.
That's only half the story. We have a very rich Arabic patristic tradition in our Coptic Church, from Severus al Muqaffi to Bulus al Bushi and many others. These theologians only wrote in Arabic and their writings are nearly identical to the Greek patristic tradition of Alexandria. In the midst of this late Arabic tradition, Coptic Catholic writings entered and Protestant pedagogical influence crept in the Orthodox Church.

The issue is not the accessibility of Greek Alexandrian writings, but the social geopolitical result of isolation and modernity. When you are forced into survival mode, the influences (and misconceptions) of modernity take precedence allowing for any and all innovations to become internalized and normal. Had the Copts (and Syrians and many other Christians) not been forced into a geopolitical isolation for hundreds of years, we would have followed Byzantium and Rome in sharing writings and theologies (like it was in the first 400 years of Christianity). Instead of following this pattern, we see the result of political and ecclesiological oppression. The Roman Catholic and Protestant shortcomings were a welcomed change to the isolation, mass genocide and absurdity of sovereign rulers. It is no wonder we lost the desire for the Greek fathers writings. Luckily we had a small Arabic renaissance later in antiquity. Unfortunately, it was not enough to have Copts (and other Christians) return to their theological heritage.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #97 on: September 06, 2016, 08:29:47 PM »
Quote
These theologians only wrote in Arabic and their writings are nearly identical to the Greek patristic tradition of Alexandria.

I wouldn't go that far...

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #98 on: September 07, 2016, 04:19:25 PM »
Quote
These theologians only wrote in Arabic and their writings are nearly identical to the Greek patristic tradition of Alexandria.

I wouldn't go that far...
Why not? Have you read the writings of Severus al Muqaffi or Bulus al-Bushi or other Arabic theological writers in the Islamic era? Is there something in particular you find contradicts the Greek patristic tradition?

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #99 on: September 07, 2016, 05:15:14 PM »
Quote
These theologians only wrote in Arabic and their writings are nearly identical to the Greek patristic tradition of Alexandria.

I wouldn't go that far...
Why not? Have you read the writings of Severus al Muqaffi or Bulus al-Bushi or other Arabic theological writers in the Islamic era? Is there something in particular you find contradicts the Greek patristic tradition?

Samn! was in the process of translating Severus ibn al Muqafa at one point I think.  He wanted to make a point that Abba Severus was scholastic in his soteriology.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #100 on: September 07, 2016, 05:24:34 PM »

Why not? Have you read the writings of Severus al Muqaffi or Bulus al-Bushi or other Arabic theological writers in the Islamic era? Is there something in particular you find contradicts the Greek patristic tradition?


I think it's safe to say that I've read more Copto-Arabic literature than anyone on this forum. It would take a very long essay (something I've considered writing, but haven't yet) to discuss just how this literature represents something like what Florovsky called a "pseudo-morphosis".

Some elements of Copto-Arabic theology were heavily influenced away from patristic models by the needs of apologetics in an Islamic environment. In particular, the doctrine that the hypostases of the Trinity are attributes, extremely widespread among most Arabic-speaking Christian communities, is basically irreconcilable with Nicene Trinitarianism. On this, and the problems it has caused in modern Coptic theology, see here: http://documents.irevues.inist.fr/bitstream/handle/2042/35201/po_1990_239.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Another common thing in Copto-Arabic theology is that great emphasis is often put on theological ideas that circulated very early on, but which were sort of under the surface and not a part of the more educated discourse. So Severus ibn al-Muqaffa' taught that salvation consisted of mankind replacing the tenth and highest rank of angels that had fallen. There's echoes of this in Augustine, even, and Anselm of Canterbury, so it had to have had wide circulation early on, but it isn't really compatible with theosis as it's normally thought of.

Then there's a fair bit of medieval Copto-Arabic popular apologetic that is shocking in its theological illiteracy, like this: http://tinyurl.com/ja8xpwd
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 05:25:16 PM by Samn! »

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #101 on: September 07, 2016, 11:37:24 PM »
What about Bulus al Bushi and Awlad al Assal.  Surely they had some quotes of theosis.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #102 on: September 08, 2016, 12:13:37 PM »
Thank you Samn! for the information. You are obviously much more versed in Copto-Arabic theological treaties so I will acquiesce to your knowledge. Hopefully, you will get to finish your article  on the general overview of Copto-Arabic literature. Also, hopefully, you will be able to translate more works of Severus ibn Muqaffa and other medieval writers for us.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #103 on: September 08, 2016, 12:24:33 PM »
What about Bulus al Bushi and Awlad al Assal.  Surely they had some quotes of theosis.

For Bulus al-Bushi, see Steve Davis's chapter in Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification , edited by  Michael J. Christensen and Jeffery A. Wittung. It should be available on Google Books.

Al-Safi ibn al-Assal made an abridgement of a book called the Noetic Paradise, which teaches theosis in terms of union with the divine nature (not as strange in the Chalcedonian context it came out of as one might think-- this wasn't that uncommon in pre-Palamite ways of talking about theosis). It was printed in the early 1920s, but I've never obtained a copy (I've read the full version, very popular among Melkites until the late 19th century, in manuscript) and am not sure what parts he edited out in abridging it.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #104 on: September 08, 2016, 12:51:51 PM »
Thank you Samn! for the information. You are obviously much more versed in Copto-Arabic theological treaties so I will acquiesce to your knowledge. Hopefully, you will get to finish your article  on the general overview of Copto-Arabic literature. Also, hopefully, you will be able to translate more works of Severus ibn Muqaffa and other medieval writers for us.

In the meantime, I'm more than satisfied with Sam translating the works of Anba Bishoy for us lol.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #105 on: September 09, 2016, 06:59:15 AM »
Samn!. Thanks for the link to the paper by Mark Swanson.

I had not realised that this was an issue where there could be any controversy, nor how much the patristic heritage was almost completely lost in this period to the present.
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #106 on: September 10, 2016, 01:02:07 PM »
Samn!

Will there be any more Copto-Arabic (or Oriental Orthodox Arabic) publications you know of in the near future?

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #107 on: September 10, 2016, 01:25:41 PM »
Samn!

Will there be any more Copto-Arabic (or Oriental Orthodox Arabic) publications you know of in the near future?



Fordham is starting a new series of Arab Christian texts in translation, edited by Steve Davis. http://www.fordham.edu/info/25584/publications/8931/christian_arabic_texts_in_translation  I think their first publication will be his translation of Ibn Katib Qaysar's commentary on the Apocalypse.

If you take a look at the program for this past summer's Symposium Syriacum / Christian Arabic Congress here:
http://www.symsyr.unipio.org/images/XII_Syriacum_X_Arabicum.pdf

And the Congress for Coptic Studies here: http://www.cgu.edu/pages/11831.asp

You can get a pretty good idea of what people are working on at the moment...


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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #108 on: September 11, 2016, 10:11:48 PM »
This thread has been extremely interesting and informative. Thanks for the excellent posts.

I wonder, if there is any real way to gauge this, how prevalent is the "pro-theosis" perspective expressed by Samn!, Mina, and Tonedawg (and others), amongst theologically minded Copts?

Also, it appears the view is somewhat resurgent. Do we know what is helping drive it?
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #109 on: September 11, 2016, 10:27:42 PM »
What about Bulus al Bushi and Awlad al Assal.  Surely they had some quotes of theosis.
I'm reading Bulus al-Bushi's Commentary on the Apocalypse and I did not find any specific quotes on theosis. However, nearly ever commentary on the Apocalypse returns to the Incarnation or Christology, much like St Cyril's Commentary on Luke returns to Christology. This is why I said Christian Arabic theologians were nearly identical to the Greek patristic age. (But I obviously did not consider the Medieval Christian attribute-apology school). I did not find any attribute-apology or anything that doesn't follow a Nicene Trinitarian theology. It seems Bulus al-Bushi did not follow the medieval attribute-apology style or theological understanding at all.

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #110 on: September 11, 2016, 10:32:16 PM »
What about Bulus al Bushi and Awlad al Assal.  Surely they had some quotes of theosis.
I'm reading Bulus al-Bushi's Commentary on the Apocalypse and I did not find any specific quotes on theosis. However, nearly ever commentary on the Apocalypse returns to the Incarnation or Christology, much like St Cyril's Commentary on Luke returns to Christology. This is why I said Christian Arabic theologians were nearly identical to the Greek patristic age. (But I obviously did not consider the Medieval Christian attribute-apology school). I did not find any attribute-apology or anything that doesn't follow a Nicene Trinitarian theology. It seems Bulus al-Bushi did not follow the medieval attribute-apology style or theological understanding at all.

It seemed to me that Bulus al Bushi in his commentary on the incarnation was not afraid to discuss or imply a clear theology of theosis.  Mutaman (sp?) ibn al Assal was even clearer in that we do participate in His essence.

At the same time it has been opined by Dr. George Bebawi that as soon as we lost the Coptic language, we lost our theology with it.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 10:34:23 PM by minasoliman »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #111 on: September 12, 2016, 02:10:37 AM »
I wonder, if there is any real way to gauge this, how prevalent is the "pro-theosis" perspective expressed by Samn!, Mina, and Tonedawg (and others), amongst theologically minded Copts?

Very prevalent, especially outside Egypt.  But "theologically minded Copts" are a small minority in the first place!

Quote
Also, it appears the view is somewhat resurgent. Do we know what is helping drive it?

The departure of Pope Shenouda and marginalization of Metropolitan Bishoy.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 02:11:41 AM by qawe »
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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #112 on: September 12, 2016, 08:47:03 PM »
I wonder, if there is any real way to gauge this, how prevalent is the "pro-theosis" perspective expressed by Samn!, Mina, and Tonedawg (and others), amongst theologically minded Copts?

Very prevalent, especially outside Egypt.  But "theologically minded Copts" are a small minority in the first place!

Quote
Also, it appears the view is somewhat resurgent. Do we know what is helping drive it?

 
The departure of Pope Shenouda and marginalization of Metropolitan Bishoy.

Might I also add, as the works of the fathers has been more available in Arabic in Egypt, and an even abundance of the fathers works available in English, and Copts learning Greek, have helped in the modern Renaissance of patristics in the Coptic church!
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 08:48:35 PM by Tonedawg »
“How needful the human being is of service of the spirit, in an age where materialism, atheism, apostasy and deviant intellectual trends prevail. How needful people are to see Christ in our lives and to smell His sweet fragrance in us." St. Kyrillos (Cyril) VI

Offline Cognomen

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Re: Fr. Seraphim el Barmousy and The School of Alexandria
« Reply #113 on: September 12, 2016, 11:01:28 PM »
Thanks very much for your responses, qawe and Tonedawg. That's very encouraging to read.


But "theologically minded Copts" Orthodox are a small minority in the first place!

I think my edit is true as well.
 
If anything I have posted has been illuminating, please remember that I merely reflect the light of others...but also it's me.