The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
Parmandur Wrote:St. Augustine learned at the foot of St. Ambrose, a Greek...

St. Ambrose was born in what is now Trier, Germany. He lived entirely in northern Italy after age 5 or so. He highly respected Basil and the eastern fathers, but wrote in Latin. 

Quote:To praise the greatness of the Western Doctors is not to slight the Eastern Doctors.  All are one Church.

I think the entire thread revolves around this sort of statement. It won't really do to bring up pre-schism saints as representative of some sort of "Eastern way". The distinction between the eastern apophasis (opting to say what God is not) vs. the broadly western cataphasis (opting to say what God is) does not arise until after the schism. With Western cataphatic, scholastic theology trying to define every niche, nook, and cranny of God, the mostly-schismatic East felt the need to do the opposite. They had to develop mysterious Palamism and other weird stuff, in my opinion, only so they could be not-Latin. The East did not develop great manuals of theology, because it was too busy praying. The Western universities developed their great summae, but at the price of being Goliard-ridden, secular, and atheistic (yes, even before Aquinas and after).

Ambrose and Basil, Latin and Greek, have extremely similar writing styles. Though the former is typically legal, logical, and western, and the latter more spiritual, mystical, and eastern, they both display a certain restraint which characterises the early Church writers. Neither Amby, Baz, or anyone else dared to define God in terms of operations, faculties, or other microscopic dissections. To say that we must adhere 100% to Aquinas in order to remain faithful to Roman Catholicism is silliness. People did alright from AD 33 - 1250. It's like saying that those who don't pray the Rosary are showing themselves less likely candidates to be saved, or are obviously destining themselves for apostasy; what madness!

The East produced no summae, manuals, or grand works of theology because they counted the Fathers as having done that already. They are very traditional, remember, and once a thing is given they see no reason to improve on it. The work is there, the treatise is done, so let's get on with it, read it, and learn from it. Chrysostom, Basil, Gregory, Athanasius, and many other Greek Fathers produced vast quantities of works. These men are claimed by the East, and have finished the era of summaries and manuals. The East moved on. We don't need to peep into God's inner chambers via the keyhole every generation, you know. :P

"When in Rome"... yes, but "when in Milan", "when in Constantinople", "when in Kiev" too... :)

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Re: The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas - by Laetare - 02-06-2012, 11:32 AM

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