Just for fun, here's a proposed list of Orthodox theologians that might be on such a list. Whether you think they differed in belief, I think these ten differed at least in approach enough to merit being on the list together. If you prefer, you can think of it as ten people viewing the same truth from ten points of view, all within the circle of acceptable orthodoxy. After all, these people weren’t just mindless robots repeating what people before them had said… they all had their own voice to add to the chorus (except maybe St. John of Damascus. He was pretty much a robot.
). So, here’s the list…
St. Gregory the Theologian
St. John Chrysostom
St. Maximos the Confessor
St. John of Damascus
St. Symeon the New Theologian
St. Gregory Palamas
A few comments about how I came up with the list. I avoided using Biblical writers, for reasons I can get into if necessary. Second, when considering the original list, some would argue that Tillich is hardly a Trinitarian-monotheist Christian, that Augustine is a heretic, etc., so I was tempted to include people like Origen in the Orthodox list... but I eventually decided against it. Also, I generally tried to stick with the heavy hitters; I mean, I like Aphraates and all, but how many people would know who he was if that was the answer they got?
Another thing is that, if I was going for variety of thought, I had to necessarily leave off certain beloved saints, if I already had someone on the list that was quite close to them in thought. Still another is that I wasn‘t sure what to do about including anyone after St. Gregory Palamas. I have read enough about St. Nektarios, St. Justin Popovich, and some others that I could have thrown one of them on the list, but I didn’t want to include them just
so that the list looked balanced; so instead I just went with the ten best I could think of, regardless of when they happened to live (also, I felt like including St. Justin Popovich would have been a fairly biased pick). And finally, I tried to avoid just picking favorites. Thoughts on changes that are needed?