Author Topic: Compared to Latins, are Nestorians closer to Orthodoxy?  (Read 457 times)

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Offline Gladius

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Compared to Latins, are Nestorians closer to Orthodoxy?
« on: April 25, 2018, 07:20:42 PM »
Hello, a simple question for you today from my ever curious self.
I have been perusing lists with spiritual titles that are located in a printing press that my archpriest suggested to me (read On Prayer by Archimandrite Sophrony from them so far), in order to purchase a few more titles in my native language, hoping to pass them on to my mother and father as part of my intent to bring them to Orthodoxy too. Said printing press, however has books from non-Orthodox authors as well, some of which are from authors that have been denounced as prelest before, such as Teresa de Ávila, Assisi, Loyola and some that I'm uncertain about like John of the Cross, and so I have to be careful with their catalogue.
I ran however into St. Isaac of Nineveh and found it interesting enough to study a bit more on Assyrians and their religiosity. I also have skimmed over old topics in this forum related to them, and the discussions regarding their unorthodox pov related to Christology.

However, and this is the point that prompts me to write to you:

I believe that St. John Damascene says that the only issue between EO and OO are Christological formulations of Chalcedon, and though I've read that there are some other issues related to icon veneration, it seems that nothing of the core of the practise of the faith is truly different in terms of spirituality or understanding of sanctity or the role of rationality. St John Damascene however, did not refer to the Assyrians/Nestorians as far as I'm aware.

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However, I have read at length Fr. Seraphim of Platina, and men like Prof A.I Osipov, who have pointed out to me in great detail, how the issues that separate Orthodoxy from Franco-Latinism (my birth sect) aren't just specific dogmatic formations,which are plentiful enough like Filioquism, Purgatory, Limbo, the Immaculate Conception, the heavily Augustinian conception of sin and resulting way to salvation, as well as Papal infallibility of course; but that at the very root of the problem, there are deep differences in what pertains to religiosity and sanctity in general, namely:

1) The heavy reliance in scholasticism and reason to justify religion, to the detriment of actual Theoria. While for the sake of charity we could pretend a man like Duns Scotus (nonetheless beatified by the Vatican) and his voluntarism and univocity of being isn't a problem due to his reduced influence compared to Thomas Aquinas; even the latter's work betrays an overt reliance in dialectical exercises and obscure questions beyond the legacy of the Holy Fathers, such as his highly speculative work on "what if Eve had sinned but not Adam?" and so forth, that imho already change the way by which faith is lived and justified.

2) And more importantly. Catholic spirituality in the aftermath of the schism is heavily filtered by the presence of romantic approaches to sanctity, often times with clear cases of prelest being present. We are well familiar with St. Ignatius Brianchaninov's direct mentions of Assisi or Thomas à Kempis' book, but Prof A.I Osipov has developed work to show that reality also permeated the experiences of other popular mystics like Thérèse de Lisieux, Teresa de Ávila, Ignatius of Loyola and a few others whom I may be forgetting. Their image-based (Loyola advocating explicitly for imaginatio), overtly romantic and pretentious heritage puts them squarely outside the tradition of Orthodox spirituality.

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With this in mind, and I pray you forgive for my overtly long contextualisation, I ask my question for today:

Is there any other issue that separates Orthodoxy from the Church of the East (glossing over the calendar difference between Assyrian and Ancient ones here for the sake of expediency), beyond Christological formulations? And if nothing too substantial beyond this exists, would I be correct to state that after the Oriental Miaphysite Orthodox, the ACE/Nestorians are the closest relatives of Orthodox, before Latin Catholics?

I have read here before that Babai the Great, leader of the ACE, sought to conform the doctrine of theirs with posterior Orthodox ecumenical councils, even if full communion wasn't achieved. If his work, and the isolation Assyrians experienced from the scholastic and scientific revolution of the West, has their dogma beyond Christological formulations, as well as their conception and understanding of sanctity, religion and spirituality remained Orthodox and compatible to us?

I thank you greatly for your time reading this, appreciate any detailed answers and information you may share to me, and wish you the best for your day/evening.




Offline Volnutt

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Re: Compared to Latins, are Nestorians closer to Orthodoxy?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 10:32:36 PM »
I think the general conclusion reached in this thread was that Assyrian theology is kind of on the edge of heresy.

Also, considering how easily many of them went into union with Rome a few years ago, I doubt they would share a lot of your fear of Catholic spirituality.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2018, 10:33:05 PM by Volnutt »
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