Other Controversies Photius in his encyclical 867 also had criticized several liturgical and canonical practices introduced by Prankish missionaries in Bulgaria (opposition to a married priesthood confirmation performed only by bishops fasting on Saturdays) but his criticism was directed at the fact that the missionaries were requiring from the newly-baptized Bulgarians complete abandonment Greek usages He did not yet consider diversity in practice and discipline as an obstacle to Church unity The Latin interpolation the creed and the doctrine which it reflected were the only doctrinal issues which according to Photius were leading to schism. in the Eastern Church baptism and confirmation (the latter being effected through anointment with "holy chrism" blessed by the bishop) are normally celebrated together Immediately after receiving baptism and confirmation the child is admitted to Eucharistic communion There is therefore no practical difference between admitting a child or an adult to membership in the Church; in both cases a human being who belongs to the "old Adam" through his natural birth is introduced to "new life" by partaking baptism chrismation and holy communion Christian initiation is one single and indivisible act: "If one does not receive the chrism one is not perfectly baptized," writes Symeon in fact neither the schism nor the failure the attempts at reunion can be explained exclusively by socio-political or cultural factors The difficulties created by history could be resolved if there had been a common ecclesiological criterion to settle the theological canonical or liturgical issues keeping the East and the West apart But the Medieval development the Roman primacy as the ultimate reference in doctrinal matters stood in obvious contrast with the concept the Church prevailing in the East Thus there could not be agreement on the issues themselves or on the manner solving them as long as there was divergence on the notion authority in the Church The Filioque. Authoritative Commentaries and Criticism. Church and Society. this discussion on the nature the image which provided the basis for the very important the cult images was adopted by the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 The image icon since it is distinct from the divine model can be the object only a relative veneration or honour not worship which is reserved for God alone.9 This authoritative statement by an ecumenical council clearly excludes the worship images ten attributed to Byzantine Christianity. for Cabasilas the sacrament new humanity par excellence the Eucharist "alone the mysteries perfects the other sacraments since they cannot fulfil the initiation without it."21 Christians partake it "continually," for "it is the perfect sacrament for all purposes and there is nothing which those who partake there stand in need which it does not supply in an eminent way."22 The Eucharist is also "the much praised according to which the most holy Bridegroom espouses the Church as a bride;"23 that means the Eucharist is the very sacrament which truly transforms a human community into "the Church God," and therefore as we will see later the ultimate criterion and basis ecclesial structure Eucharist and Church. thus Photius clearly demonstrates that behind the dispute on the Filioque two concepts the Trinity lie: the Greek personalistic concept which considers the personal revelation the Father the Son and the Spirit as the starting point Trinitarian theology and the Latin Augustinian approach to God as a simple essence within which a Trinity persons can be understood only in terms internal relations In opposing the Latin view the Trinity Photius does not deny sending the Spirit through the Son to the world in the "economy" salvation as the link between the deified humanity Jesus and the entire body the Church and Michael Psellos (1018-1078). 36 Jacobus Goar Euchohgion sive Rituale Graecorum (Venice 1730; repr Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt 1960) p 251; trans Service Book the Holy Orthodox Catholic Apostolic Church ed I F Hapgood (New York: Association Press 1922) p 330 37 Hier Eccl V 5; PG 3:505A 6:505c etc 38 De sacris ordinationibus 157; PG 155:364B 39 De vita in Christo IV 8; PG 150:604B The Church in. This text Canon 19 the Council in Trullo (692) reflects the traditionalist and conservative character the Byzantine approaches to theology and to exegesis in particular and explains the presence in all monastic and private libraries Byzantium innumerable copies patristic catenae and "chains" authoritative interpretations particular Biblical texts expressing or claiming to express the continuity exegetical tradition. as a divine-human communion and "synergy," the Eucharist is a prayer addressed "in Christ" to the Father and accomplished through the descent the Holy Spirit The epiclesis therefore is the fulfilment the Eucharistic action just as Pentecost is the fulfilment a divine "economy" salvation; salvation is always a Trinitarian action The pneumatological dimension the Eucharist is also presupposed in the very notion "synergy;" it is the Spirit which makes Christ present in the age between His two comings: when divine action is not imposing itself on humanity but fering itself for acceptance by human freedom and by communicating itself to man making him authentically free. this last point is the reason why a majority Byzantine theologians describe man in terms a trichotomist scheme: spirit (or mind) soul and body Their trichotomism is very directly connected with the notion participation in God as the basis anthropology. c Monasticism From the beginning the Constantinian era a monastic type worship existed concurrently with the emerging "cathedral" type and soon entered into competition with it It was characterized by a number autonomous units common worship (vespers compline midnight prayer matins and the four canonical hours completed in Jerusalem with "mid-hours") by its almost exclusive use psalmody and by its original opposition to A monastic fice could be practically continuous through day and night as it was for example in the monastery the "Non-sleepers" in Constantinople The monastic communities also developed the penitential aspects the later Byzantine synthesis: Lenten cycle prostrations fasting. 5 G M Jugie Thcologia dogmatic a Christianorum orientalium III (Paris 1930) p 16 6 Quoted by M Jugie ibid pp 17-18 7 De sacramentis 52; PG 155:197A 8 Responsa canonica ed A I Almazov (Odessa 1903) p 38 9 Hom 60 cd S Oikonomos (Athens 1860) p 250 10 De sacramentis 43; PG 155:188A 11 De vita in Chrislo II 3; PG 150:524A 12 Ibid 4 525A 13 Ibid 524C 14 Ibid 5 525D 15 Ibid 22:548BC 16 Haeret jabul compendium 5 18; PG 83:512 17 De sacramentis 64; PG 155:228B-229B Sec also Manuel Corinth Apology 7;. the condemnation Origenism in 553 was therefore a decisive step in Eastern Christian theology which then committed itself to a Biblical view creation an anthropocentric universe man as a coherent psychosomatic whole history as a linear orientation toward an ultimate eschaton and God as a personal and living being independent all metaphysical necessity. theodore was certainly not an innovator in his attitude toward the state; for his was the attitude Athanasius John Chrysostom Maximus the Confessor and John Damascus and it would be that a large segment Byzantine churchmen in later centuries; it merely illustrates the fact that Byzantine society was far from having found the "harmony" between the two powers about which Justinian spoke in his Novella 6 The action and witness the monks was always present in Byzantium to demonstrate that true harmony between the kingdom God and the "world" was possible only in the parousia. The Great Spiritual Fathers. 4 Novella VI Corpus juris civilis ed Rudolfus Schoell (Berlin 1928) HI 35-36 The basic study on the subject is Francis Dvornik Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy: Origins and Background (Washington: Dumbarton Oaks Studies [IX] 1966) in two volumes and containing exhaustive bibliography See also J MeyendorrT "Justinian the Empire and the Church," Dumbarton Oal(s Papers 22 (1968) 45-60 5 The festal Uenaion p 254 6 Acta patriarchattis Conslaniinopolitanit edcl F Miklosich and I Muller (Vienna 1862) pp 188-192 7 Title 2 Jus graeco-romanum ed Zepos (Athens 1931) II 241 8 On this last aspect Byzantine ideology see D J Constantelos Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare (New Brunswick: Rutgers University. Byzantine Christology has always been dominated by the categories thought and the terminology the great controversies the fifth sixth and seventh centuries about the person and identity Jesus Christ As we have shown in Part I these controversies involves conceptual problems as well as the theological basis life In the mind Eastern Christians the entire content the Christian faith depends upon the way in which the question "Who is Jesus Christ?" is answered. Two Ideas Primacy Historians have ten cited the fact that Rome was the only local church the West which could claim "apostolic" foundation and attract pilgrimages ad limina apostolorum In the East innumerable cities or lesser localities could authentically attribute their foundation to Peter Paul John Andrew or other Apostles These various "apostolicities" did not entail any jurisdictional claims: the bishop Jerusalem was still in the fourth century only a suffragan the metropolitan Caesarea the civil capital Palestine. in the tenth century a discussion arose between Euthymios Metropolitan Sardis who defended the right the patriarch to choose metropolitans from among the three candidates preserved by the synod and an anonymous author who interpreted the canons as attributing to the patriarch the right the ordination the metropolitans but not that election Nicetas Metropolitan Amaseia then wrote a treatise in favour patriarchal rights.8 And his thoughts on the universality redemption and "recapitulation" are echoed by Maximus the Confessor On the other hand the new life in Christ implies personal and free commitment On the last day the Resurrection will indeed be universal but blessedness will be given only to those who longed for it Nicholas Cabasilas tells us that baptismal "resurrection nature" is a free gift from God given even to children who do not express consent; but "the Kingdom the contemplation God and common life with Christ belong to free will." 36 The Fathers rightly granted privileges to the throne old Rome because it was the imperial city And one hundred and fifty most religious bishops [ Constantinople 381] actuated by the same considerations gave equal privileges to the most holy throne new Rome justly judging that the city which is honored with the presence the emperor and the senate and enjoys equal privileges with the old imperial Rome should in ecclesiastical matters also be magnified as she is and rank next after her This text was in no way meant to suppress the prestige Rome (it was directed against the pretentions Dioscorus Alexandria whom the Council Chalcedon deposed); but it certainly excluded the "retrine" interpretation Roman primacy and 4 Nicholas Methonc Treatise Against Soterichos ed A Demetrakopoulos Bibliothekc Ekklesiastikc (repr Hildesheim: Olms 1965) pp 337-338 5 Fifth Anathema Against Soterichos in Synodifon ed Gouillard p 75 The Iconoclastic Crisis the long iconoclastic struggle which recurred frequently in Byzantine theology was intimately connected with the Christological issue which had divided Eastern Christianity in the fifth sixth and seventh centuries Appearance the Movement. the published writings John Italos do not contain all the teachings which he was accused but it could not be excluded a priori that he actually held them in his oral teaching In any case the decisions the synod concerning in him have an importance beyond his personality as a position taken ficially by the Church In the eleven anathemas referring to the case Italos in the Synodikon the first ten were purely doctrinal and were issued in 1076-1077; the final one is a formal personal condemnation published in The doctrinal position taken by the synod concerns two major issues: Was in conformity with the logical development ecclesiastical organisms in the Byzantine period which since the era Constantine had admitted the principle that ecclesiastical administration coincided with the secular structure the As we have seen above the succession Peter was considered to be involved in the Episcopal fice present in every church and was envisaged as a responsibility in which any "successor Peter," including the bishop Rome could fail The Meaning the Schism. in numerous letters to contemporaries in his three Antirrhetics against the iconoclasts and in several minor treatises on the subject Theodore actively participated in the defence images. the essential elements Maximian Christology provided the permanent terminological and philosophical framework for Byzantine thought and spirituality They were adopted with the Trinitarian doctrine the great Cappadocian Fathers together in the Exact Exposition the Orthodox Faith John Damascus (first half the eighth century) which served as a standard doctrinal textbook in Byzantium They also provided the most authoritative frame reference in most the doctrinal controversies which arose in the East during the Middle Ages The following chapter which is concerned with iconoclasm will show that the Christological issue recurred indirectly in the eighth and ninth centuries But even later Christological debate was reopened quite specifically especially in the Comnenian period and conciliar decisions on the matter were included in the Synodikon. the deliberate policy translation implied a mission evolving into the rapid "indigenization" the Church which became an integral part the various national cultures Eventually Byzantine Orthodox Christianity became deeply rooted in their lives and neither foreign domination nor secular ideologies could easily uproot it But indigenization also implied the existence "national" churches especially after the dismemberment what Obolensky has called the "Byzantine Commonwealth." Modern nationalism further secularized the national self-consciousness East European nations damaging the sense Christian catholicity. the providential significance the one world-empire was exalted not only in imperial laws but also in ecclesiastical hymnography A Christmas hymn ascribed to the ninth-century nun Kassia proclaims a direct connection between the world-empire Rome and the "recapitulation" humanity in Christ Pax Romana is thus made to coincide with Pax Christiana: When Augustus reigned alone upon earth the many kingdoms man came to end: And when Thou wast made man the pure Virgin the many gods idolatry were destroyed The cities the world passed under one single rule; And the nations came to believe in one sovereign Godhead The peoples were enrolled by the decree Caesar; And we the faithful were enrolled in the Name the Godhead When Thou our God wast made man Great is Thy mercy: glory. in order to maintain a fully balanced view Byzantine Mariology it is necessary to keep in mind the essentially Christological framework the veneration the Theotos in Byzantium (a point which is stressed in the next chapter) Yet the absence any formal doctrinal on Mariology as such allowed the freedom poets and orators as well as the reservation strict exegetes They always had available in hundreds copies the writings the greatest Byzantine patristic authorities John Chrysostom who found it possible to ascribe to Mary not only "original sin," but also "agitation," "trouble," and even "love honour." 38 thus as most historians Byzantine theology should admit the problem the relationship between philosophy and the facts Christian experience remains at the centre the theological thought Byzantium and no safe and permanent balance between them has ever been found But is really such a balance possible if "this world" and its "wisdom" are really in permanent tension with the realities the kingdom God? The Problem Origenism Recent research has cast a completely new light on the history Origenism in the fifth and sixth centuries The publication the works Evagrius Ponticus has in particular clarified the issues which divided rival monastic parties in Egypt in Palestine and in other areas Eastern Christendom. the defence images forced Byzantine thought to reaffirm the full concrete humanity Christ If an additional doctrinal stand against Monophysitism was necessary it was taken by the Byzantine Church in the eighth and ninth centuries But it was important to recognize that this stand was made neither at the expense the doctrine the hypostatic union nor at that the Cyrillian understanding the hypostatic identity the incarnate Logos but in the light the former Christological formulations The victory over iconoclasm was a reaffirmation Chalcedonian and post-Chalcedonian Christology Redemption and Deification. the persistence opposition against Palamism by isolated but influential intellectuals and the implications the controversy for East-West relations explain the very great number Byzantine Palamite writings during the period Together with those Nilus Cabasilas and Joseph Bryennios the names John Cantacuzenos and Patriarch Philotheos Kokkinos (1353-1354 1364-1376) are particularly important. The Spirit in Creation For the Cappadocian Fathers the Trinitarian interpretation all the acts God implies the participation the Spirit in the act creation When Genesis mentions "the Spirit God moving upon the face the waters" (Gn 1:2) patristic tradition interprets the passage in the sense a primeval maintenance all things by the Spirit which makes possible the subsequent appearance a created logical order through the Word God No chronological sequence is implied here course; and the action the Spirit is part the continuous creative action God in the world: "The principle all things is one," writes Basil "which creates through the Son and perfects in the Spirit."3 The glorification man which is also the glorification the whole creation should course be understood eschatologically In the person Christ in the sacramental reality His Body and in the life the saints the transfiguration the entire cosmos is anticipated; but its advent in strength is still to come This glorification however is indeed already a living experience available to all Christians especially in the liturgy This experience alone can give a goal and a meaning to human history. mortality or "corruption," or simply death (understood in a personalized sense) has indeed been viewed since Christian antiquity as a cosmic disease which holds humanity under its sway both spiritually and physically and is controlled by the one who is "the murderer from the beginning" (Jn 8:44) It is this death which makes sin inevitable and in this sense "corrupts" nature. maximus in a famous passage Ambigua 41:16 lists five polarities which are to be overcome by man: God and creation the intelligible and the sensible heaven and earth paradise and world man and woman The polarities have been sharpened by sin and rendered insuperable by human capabilities alone Only the man Jesus because He is also God is able to overcome them He is the new Adam; and in Him creation again finds communion with the creator and harmony within itself. i have attempted to achieve this by adopting in the following chapters a plan exposition which conforms to the content the Christian experience itself: man created and fallen meets Christ accepts the action the Spirit and is thus introduced into communion with the Triune God The reader judges for himself whether this plan is or is not more adequate than the other to the subject matter itself Inevitably a systematic exposition doctrinal themes in Byzantine theology requires frequent reference to writings which sometimes fall outside the chronological limits defined in the Introduction It is impossible for example to speak either anthropology or Trinitarian theology in Byzantium without referring to Origen and to the doctrines the great Fathers the fourth century whom the Byzantines recognizes as their teachers par excellence. but their initial integration did not occur in Constantinople There the Typikon the "Great Church" and that the Studion were still clearly distinct in the tenth century (when the Studite rule as modified by Patriarch Alexis was brought to Kiev and adopted by Theodosius the Caves) Integration occurred in Jerusalem where monastic practices were accepted within the original "cathedral" rite around the eleventh century The Latin occupation Constantinople (1204-1261) and the subsequent decadence the Studion may have contributed to the adoption the integrated Typikon Jerusalem by the "Great Church" Constantinople and its generalization in the Byzantine The great Hesychast patriarchs the fourteenth century especially Philotheos Kokkinos were the main agents this liturgical unification. Byzantine Theology after Chalcedon Exegetical traditions Philosophical trends The Problem Origenism Pseudo-Dionysius Liturgy The Christological Issue The Monophysites The Strict Dyophysites The Cyrillian Chalcedonians The Origenists The Iconoclastic Crisis. 14 Nicholas Cabasilas Explanation the Divine Liturgy chs 29-30; ed Perichon SC 4 bis (Paris: Cerf 1967) pp 179-199; trans J M Hussey and P A McNulty (London: SPCK 1960) pp 71-79 15 Photius Horn 1; trans in C Mango The Homilies Photius (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1958) p 50 16 Origen Horn in Matt XII 10; ed Klostermann GCS 40 (Leipzig 1935) pp 85-89 17 Theophanes Kerameus Horn 55; PG 142:965A For a more general view patristic exegesis on Matthew 16:18 see particularly J Ludwig Die Primatworte Mt 16 18 19 in der altkirchlichen Exegese (Munster 1952); and J Meyendorff "St Peter in Byzantine Theology," The Primacy Peter in the Orthodox Church ed J Meyendorff (London: Faith Press 1963). conservative in form and intent Byzantine theology in the age Justinian continually referred to tradition as its main source In particular the Christological debates the period consisted chiefly a battle between exegetes Scripture about philosophical terms adopted by Christian theology in the third and fourth centuries and about patristic texts making use these terms Liturgical hymnology which began to flourish at this time incorporated the results the controversies and ten became a form credal confession The various elements Byzantine theological traditionalism dominated in the fifth and sixth centuries constituted the basis further creativity in the later periods and required very special attention Exegetical traditions an abundant canonical literature whose authors it would be impossible to enumerate here discusses issues arising from the canons from imperial legislation and from the commentaries: this literature mostly polemical in nature constitutes one the major sources for our understanding Byzantine Medieval ecclesiology which otherwise is not expounded in any systematic way. Man and the World The "image and likeness" of God in man implies not only an openness of man toward God but also a function and task of man in the whole of creation. not an abstract intellectual speculation the doctrine the Trinity stands at the very centre Byzantine religious experience: the immanent Trinity manifests itself as the "economic" Trinity i.e the saving revelation God in history This is made particularly clear in the liturgy especially in the Eucharistic canon As a solemn prayer to the Father by the adopted human community united in the incarnate Son and invoking the Spirit the Eucharist is indeed the sacrament divine unity being bestowed upon men The same Trinitarian reality is expressed in innumerable hymns scattered throughout the Byzantine liturgical cycles Here is a solemn hymn Pentecost attributed to the emperor-poet Leo VI (886-912) and constituting a variation on the famous Trisagion: Come Ο peoples let us venerate the tri-hypostatic Deity, orthodox apologetics had frequently maintained that the Greeks were under physical and mental strain when they signed this text Most signing soon changed their minds and those who remained faithful to their signature integrated themselves fully into the world the Italian Renaissance and papal politics and had no further theological influence upon their compatriots Four personalities the Greek delegation played a leading intellectual role in Ferrara in Florence and in the years immediately following the council (Mark Metropolitan Ephesus; Bessarion Metropolitan Nicaea) and two lay Archontes (George Scholarios and Gemisthos Pletho) Bessarion led the majority Greeks who finally signed the decree union; the others represent three rather different forms opposition. By position temperament and style Nicephorus Patriarch Constantinople (806-815) was the opposite Theodore He belonged to the series Byzantine patriarchs between Tarasius and Photius who were elevated to the supreme ecclesiastical position after a successful civil career As patriarch he followed a policy oikonomia and suspended the canonical penalties previously imposed upon the priest Joseph who had performed the "adulterous" Constantine VI This action brought him into violent conflict with Theodore and the monastic zealots Later deposed by Leo V (in 815) for his defence icons he died in 828 after having composed a Refutation the iconoclastic council 815 three Antirrhetics one Long Apology and an interesting treatise Against Eusebius and Epiphanius the main patristic references the iconoclasts. among the major figures early Christian literature only Origen Nemesius Emesa and pseudo-Dionysius present systems thought which can truly be defined as Christian versions Greek philosophy Others including even such system-builders as Gregory Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor in spite their obvious philosophical mentality stand too fundamentally in opposition to pagan Hellenism on the basic issues creation and freedom to qualify as Greek philosophers Origen and pseudo-Dionysius suffered quite a distinct posthumous fate which will be discussed later but the influence Nemesius and his Platonic anthropological "system" was so limited in Byzantium in contrast to its widespread impact on Western Medieval thought that the Latin translation his work Peri physeos anthropou (De natura hominis) was attributed to Gregory Nyssa.8 Imperial Legislation. Iconoclastic Theology It seemed that no articulate theology iconoclasm developed in a written form before the reign Constantine V Copronymos (741-775) The emperor himself published theological treatises attacking the veneration icons and gathered in Hieria a council claiming ecumenicity (754) The Acts this assembly are preserved in the minutes the Seventh Ecumenical Council the Second Nicaea which formally rejected iconoclasm (787). the earliest available descriptions the Typikon the monastery Studion in Constantinople and the Palestinian Typikon St Sabbas preserve the liturgical orders these two major monastic centres around the tenth century At that time both had already lost the original sobriety monastic worship: not only they dropped opposition to hymnography but both became major centres hymn-writing (Theodore at the Studion John Damascus at St Sabbas) On the other hand the symbolic Gnosticism pseudo-Dionysius had by then widely influenced monastic circles: if the goal the earthly Church was to imitate the "celestial hierarchies," the monks considered themselves as fulfilling a fortiori the purpose the "angelic life." Actually a common acceptance the Dionysian understanding the liturgy must have brought the "monastic" and the "cathedral" type closer together. the mystery Pentecost is not an incarnation the Spirit but the bestowing these gifts The Spirit does not reveal His Person as the Son does in Jesus and does not en-hypostasize human nature as a whole; He communicates His uncreated grace to each human person to each member the Body Christ New humanity is realized in the hypostasis the Son incarnate but it receives only the gifts the Spirit The distinction between the Person the Spirit and His gifts will receive great emphasis in Byzantine theology in connection with the theological controversies the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Gregory Cyprus and Gregory Palamas insisted in different contexts that at Pentecost the Apostles received the eternal gifts or "energies" the Spirit but that there was no new hypostatic union between the Spirit and the dominant figure in Byzantine religious and social and political life in the ninth century Photius is also the father what is generally called Byzantine "humanism." In his famous Library an original and tremendously important compilation literary criticism he covers Christian writers the early centuries as well as a number secular authors; similarly in his Responses to Amphilochius a collection theological and philosophical essays he displays a wide secular knowledge and an extensive training in patristic theology. moreover the fact the Incarnation implies that the bond between God and man which has been expressed in the Biblical concept "image and likeness," is unbreakable The restoration creation is a "new creation," but it does not establish a new pattern so far as man is concerned; it reinstates man in his original divine glory among creatures and in his original responsibility for the world It reaffirms that man is truly man when he participates in the life God; that he is not autonomous either in relation to God nor in relation to the world; that true human life can never be "secular." In Jesus Christ God and man are one; in Him therefore God becomes accessible not by superseding or eliminating the humanum but by realizing and manifesting humanity in its purest and most authentic form. Although it raises the important problem authority in exegesis this passage certainly expresses a view largely taken for granted in Medieval Byzantine Christendom and explains the concern for a consensus patrum expressed in a formal way in the canon the Council in Trullo quoted at the beginning this section. 23 Milton V Anastos "The History of Byzantine Science: Report on the Dumbarton Oaks Symposium of 1961," Dumbarton Oakjs Papers 16 (1962) 411 24 Basil of Caesarea In Hex horn 5; PG 29:1160D 25 Ibid 3; PG 29:73C 26 Maximus the Confessor Cap gnostica I 10; PG 91:1085D-1088A 27 See in particular Maximus the Confessor Ad Thai 61; PG 90:628AB 28 Gregory Nazianzus Or 38 9; PG 36:320C; John of Damascus De fide orth.; II 3; PG 94:873 Man. this partial surrender on the "institutional" side Christianity to the empire contributed to the preservation a sacramental and eschatological understanding the Church but it was not without serious dangers In its later history the Eastern Church experienced the fact that the state did not always deserve its confidence and ten assumed a clearly demonic face. while Evagrius identifies man with the "intellect" and conceives Christian spirituality as a dematerialization Macarius understands man as a psychosomatic in whole destined to "deification." To the Origenistic and Platonic anthropology Evagrius he opposes a Biblical idea man which makes it inconceivable for the "mind" or the "soul" to have its final destiny in separation from the body From this anthropology follows a spirituality based upon the reality Baptism and the Eucharist as ways union with Christ and "deification" the entire human existence in all its aspects including the corporeal "The fire which lives inside in the heart appears then [on the last day] openly and realizes the resurrection the bodies."6 the Byzantines considered the Filioque issue as the central point disagreement In their eyes the Latin Church by accepting an interpolated creed was both opposing a text adopted by the ecumenical councils as the expression the universal Christian faith and giving dogmatic authority to an incorrect concept the Trinity Among the Byzantines even the moderates like Peter Patriarch Antioch who objected to the systematic anti-Latinism his colleague in Constantinople Michael Cerularius considered the interpolation as an "evil and even the worst evils."1 12 Ibid I 9; PG 94:837 13 Maximus the Confessor Schol.; PG 4:317 14 Georges Florovsky "The Idea Creation in Christian Philosophy," EChurchQ 8 (1949) 67 15 See Lars Thunberg Microcosm and Mediator pp 76-84 16 Maximus the Confessor Amb 7; PG 91:1081c 17 lbid.; PG 91:1081B 18 Thunberg Microcosm and Mediator p 81 19 See S L Epifanovich Prepodobnyi Matksim lspovednik i Vizantiiskoe bogoslovie (Kiev 1915) pp 136-137 20 See J Meyendorfr Christ in Eastern Christian Thought (Washington: Corpus 1969) pp 100-102 21 See Maximus the Confessor Ad Thai 60; PG 90:621A 22 Maximus the Confessor Amb.; PG 91:1057B. unfortunately by 553 the schism was too deeply rooted in Egypt and Syria and the conciliar decision had no practical effect The decision represents however a necessary pre-condition for any future attempts at reunion and an interesting precedent a reformulation an article faith and already defined by a council for the sake "separated" brethren who misunderstand the previous formulation. Sanctification Nature. the conversion Greek intellectuals to Christianity meant that philosophical concepts and the arguments logic would be extensively used in expressing and developing Christian truths Yet the sacramental understanding the church implied the hierarchical structure a continuity in the teaching fice and finally conciliar authority Neither concepts nor hierarchy however were conceived as sources the Christian experience itself but only as means to safeguard it to channel it in accordance with the original rule faith and to express it in such a way as to give it life and relevance in the changing and developing processes history. No sooner do I conceive the one than I am illumined by the splendour the three; no sooner do I distinguish them than I am carried back to the one When I think any one the three I think Him as the whole and my eyes are filled and the greater part what I am thinking escapes me.2 out the groundwork laid by the circle Cantacuzenos grew two or three generations intellectuals who ten adopted radically divergent attitudes toward the main theological options the day Investigation their writings and thought has only recendy begun; but at the present stage our knowledge it was already clear that in spite several individual casualties and major mistakes an "in depth" encounter with Western theology was in the making Humanists. vespers obviously aim at suggesting the "old" situation man and thus the developed Byzantine rite includes Old Testament readings only at vespers Matins by contrast are highlighted on certain appointed days by readings from the Gospels The weekly cycle also uses the theme the "old" and the "new" centring it on Sunday the "eighth day,"14 the "day the Lord" and His second coming (Rv 1:10) the day His resurrection and His presence in the Eucharist Still the "old" Jewish Sabbath is not simply discarded: it is the day awaiting commemoration the dead who expect resurrection and also the day when Christ in the tomb descends into Hell to assure the dead the forthcoming liberation Thus Saturday is considered together with Sunday as a Eucharistic day even during Lent. byzantine liturgy when it proclaims the sanctification the cosmos frequently mentions not only the demonic powers which have usurped authority over the world but also the "bodiless powers heaven," cooperates with God and man in the restoration the original and "natural" order in the world Yet Byzantium has never had a universally accepted system or description the angelic world with the exception the Celestial Hierarchy pseudo-Dionysius in which each the nine orders angels is considered as an intermediary between the highest power above it and the form existence below The goal Dionysius is to preserve inside an outwardly Christian system thought a hierarchical concept the universe adopted from Neo-Platonism. the German-oriented reformed papacy the eleventh century was definitely no longer attuned to this type conciliarity The Crusades did much to antagonize the two culturally distinct civilizations the East and the West And when the papacy shaken by the Great Western Schism and Byzantium and threatened by the Turks finally agreed to hold a union council at Florence it was too late to create the atmosphere mutual respect and trust which alone would have permitted an authentic theological dialogue Notes 1 Peter Antioch Letter to Michael; ed Cornelius Will Acta et scripia quae de controversies ecclesiae graecae et latinae extant (Leipzig 1856) p 196 2 Photius Encyclical 8; PG 102:725C 3 Mansi XVII 520B 4 Photius Mystagogy 89;. beginning with a solemn thanksgiving for the triumph Orthodoxy over "all heresies," the text the Synodikon contains a particular commemoration the defenders the true faith during the iconoclastic period; it adds praises for the orthodox patriarchs the subsequent period and finally anathemas against various heretics Since the end the ninth century the document has received some additions as a result several later doctrinal disputes which were solved by synodal decrees in Constantinople. In Greek Patristic literature accepted throughout the entire Byzantine period as the ultimate expression Church tradition there was generally speaking no systematic treatment "ecclesiology." This does not mean however that such factors Christian life as Church order the sacraments and tradition were not central for the Byzantines A major source our knowledge Byzantine ecclesiological ideas is constituted by ancient canonical texts: conciliar decrees commentaries and later synodal legislation Even imperial laws concerning the Church inasmuch as they were accepted as guiding principles ecclesiastical polity ten witnessed to ecclesiastical consciousness essentially identical to that the conciliar canons. The Son in the Father with the Holy Spirit For before time the Father generated a Son sharing His eternity and His Throne; And the Holy Spirit was in the Father glorified together with the Son One Power One Essence One Deity whom we all venerate and say: Holy God who created all things through the Son with the cooperation the Holy Spirit; Holy Mighty through whom we knew the Father and the Holy Spirit dwelt in the world; Holy Immortal the Spirit Comforter who proceeds from the Father and abides in the Son Holy Trinity. but by rejecting God human freedom in fact destroys itself Outside God man ceases to be authentically and fully human He is enslaved to the devil through death This idea which is central to Maximian thought and which makes him press so strongly the existence a human created will in Christ serves as the basis the Byzantine understanding the destiny man: participation in God or "deification" (theōsis) as the goal human existence. Germanus thus became the first witness Orthodoxy against iconoclasm in Byzantium After his resignation under imperial pressure the defence images was taken over by the lonely and geographically remote voice John Damascus. Symbols Images and Reality Early Christianity and the patristic tradition understood the Eucharist as a mystery true and real communion with Christ Speaking the Eucharist Chrysostom insists that "Christ even now is present even now operates;"1 and Gregory Nyssa in spite the Platonizing tendencies his thought stands otherwise for the same view the Eucharist as a mystery real "participation" in the glorified Body Christ the seed immortality as a result the iconoclastic controversy Byzantine Eucharistic theology retained and re-emphasized the mystery and hiddenness this central liturgical action the Church But it also reaffirmed that the Eucharist was essentially a meal which could be partaken only through eating and drinking because God had assumed the fullness our humanity with all its psychic and physical functions in order to lead it to resurrection. on the less enlightened level popular piety however polemics took a sharper tone and were ten oriented toward peripheral issues When well-intentioned but ill-informed Prankish reformers in Bulgaria under Photius or in Italy under Michael Cerularius attacked the practices the Greek Church the Church ten answered with a counterattack on Latin discipline and rites Thus the schism the eleventh century was almost exclusively a dispute about ritual practices In addition to the issues quoted by Photius Michael Cerularius mentions among "Latin heresies" the use unleavened bread in the Eucharist the leniency the Latin fast baptism by one and not three immersions and other similar We pray Thee and call upon Thee Ο Holy Holies that by the favour Thy goodness Thy Holy Spirit may come upon us and upon the gifts now fered to bless to hallow and to show this bread to be the precious Body our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ and this cup to be the precious Blood our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ shed for the life the world and [that the Spirit may] unite all us to one another who become partakers the one Bread and Cup in the communion [koinonia] the Holy Spirit 17 See Lossky Vision God pp 9-10 18 Anastasius Bibliothecarius Preface to the Eighth Council Mansi XVI 6 19 I Hausherr ed in OrientChr 12 (1928) 45 20 Symeon the New Theologian Cat II; ed B Krivocheine Symeon le Nouveau Theohgien Catecheses SC 96 (Paris: Cerf 1963) pp 421-424 21 See J Darrouzes SC 122 Introduction p 26 22 Symeon the New Theologian Cat VI ed Krivocheine pp 358-368 23 Symeon the New Theologian Euch 2; ed Krivocheine pp 47-73 24 Cat 29; ed Krivocheine pp 166-190 25 Cap Eth 6; ed J Darrouzes pp 406-454 26 Gregory Palamas Triads I 2; ed J MeyendorfT Defence des saints hesychastes Specilegium Sacrum Lovaniense 30 (Louvain 1959). some discussion about images must have taken place in Byzantium as early as the late-seventh century and was reflected in Canon 82 the Council in Trullo The importance this text lies in the fact that it locates the issue religious representation in the Christological context: 3 fcmile Brehier Histoire de la philosophic (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France 1931) II 494 4 H A Wolfson The Philosophy the Church Fathers (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1956) I VI 5 Claude Tresmontant La Mέtaphysique du christianisme et la naissance de la philosophic chretienne (Paris: du Seuil 1961) p 23 6 Georges Florovsky "The Eastern Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Movement," Theology Today 7 (April 1950) 74-76 7 Georges Florovsky "The Idea Creation in Christian Philosophy," Eastern Church Quarterly 8 (1949) 53-77 8 See fctienne Gilson La philosophic an Moyen-Age (2nd ed Paris: Payot 1952) pp 72-77 9 Origen De principiis I 2 10; ed Koetschau p 42; trans Butterworth. by remaining faithful to the Athanasian distinction between nature and will Maximus succeeds in building an authentically Christian ontology creation which remains throughout the history Byzantine thought a standard and virtually unchallenged This ontology presupposes a distinction in God between "nature" (or "essence") and "energy," a distinction which would later be called "Palamism." It presumes a personal and dynamic understanding God as well as a dynamic or "energetic," conception created nature The Dynamism Creation. greek in its language and culture Byzantium thus took a much more negative stand toward Greek philosophy than the West ever did On the eve the period when the West would commit its mind to the philosophy the ancients and enter the great epoch Scholasticism the Byzantine Church solemnly refused any new synthesis between the Greek mind and Christianity remaining committed only to the synthesis reached in the patristic period It assigned to the West the task becoming more Greek than it was Obviously this was an option the greatest importance for the future theology and for relations between East and West Notes 1 Theodore the Studite Ep II 165 (to Gregory); PG 99:1524B 2 Theodore the Studite Ep I 36 (to Euprepianus); PG 99:1032CD 3 Theodore the Studite Ep II 12; PG 99:1152\C. 24 Commentary on the Divine Liturgy 29 edd R Bornert J Gouillard and P Perichon Sources ChMennes 4 bis (Paris: Cerf 1967) pp 185-187; trans Husscy and McNulty (London: SPCK 1960) pp 74-75 25 Ibid p 190; tr pp 75-76 26 Ed cit 46 p 262; tr pp 104-105 27 See the references in R Borncrt Op cit pp 93-94 28 De sacro tcmplo 131 139 152; PG 155:337D 348C 357A 29 Mystagogia 1; PG 91:668B 30 R Bornert Op cit p 92 31 Eccl Hier III 1; PG 3:424C 32 Ibid col 444D 33 De vita in Christo IV 1; PG 150:581B 34 Ibid IV 4; 585B 35 De sacro templo 282; PG 155:512iv-513A. The Schism Between East and West The Filioque Other Controversies Authority in the Church Two Ideas Primacy The Meaning the Schism Encounter with the West The Circle Cantacuzenos Humanists Palamite Theologians: Nicholas Cabasilas Florence Lex orandi. But all the appeals to "repentance" and to "change" would be meaningless if a foretaste the blessed and joyful Kingdom to come is not also given The triumphant hymns the paschal night composed by John Damascus paraphrasing a paschal sermon Gregory Nazianzus are an immortal monument Christian joy: This is the day resurrection! Let us shine joyfully Ο peoples! The Pascha the Lord the Paschal From death to life and from earth to heaven Christ has led us and we sing hymns victory Ο Christ the great and holy Pascha Ο wisdom Word and Power God! Permit us to partake more fully Thee in the unending day Thy Kingdom. summarizing this patristic concept death and resurrection in the light the Christological statements the fifth and sixth centuries John Damascus writes 17 Ibid 9 23; PG 102:289B 313BC 18 Ibid 94 19 Michael Psellos Address to His Negligent Disciples ed J F Boissonade (Nuremberg 1838; repr Amsterdam: Hakkert 1964) p 151 20 Ed C Sathas Bibliotheca graeca medii aevi (Venice 1872) V 442 21 Address to His Negligent Disciples p 146 22 See B Tatakis La philosophic byzantine (Paris: Alcan 1949) p 199 23 Michael Psellos On the Character Some Writings ed J F Boissonade p 52 24 See J Gouillard Synodikpn pp 56-60 188-202 Monastic Theology. to paint an image the divine essence or God before His incarnation is obviously impossible; just as it is impossible to represent human nature as such other than symbolically Thus symbolic images Old Testament theophanies are not yet "icons" in a true sense But the icon Christ is different With bodily eyes the hypostasis the Logos could be seen in the flesh although its divine essence remained hidden; it is this mystery the Incarnation which makes possible the sacred icons and requires their veneration. a French ecclesiastical historian is probably correct when he writes "The Byzantines seldom go to confession at least in the secular world for in the monasteries confession is regularly practiced But is this confession or is it a direction conscience simple laymen by their spiritual fathers? Both practices exist and in the monasteries are indistinguishable from one another."22 no brilliancy expression no exquisite sophistication style was sufficient to transform this eclecticism into an original and creative system philosophy Real creativity and living thought continued in the circles which Psellos considered infested with unhealthy and irrational mysticism It is doubtful however whether Psellos at any time even met or read the most authentic representatives monastic spirituality his contemporaries such as Symeon the New Theologian If he had they would have been unlikely to understand each other at all The Trials John Italos (1076-1077 1082). Monks and Humanists. Christ is one [writes John Damascus] Therefore the glory which naturally comes from the divinity has become common [to both natures] thanks to the identity hypostasis; and through the flesh humility has also become common [to both natures] [but] it is the divinity which communicates its privileges to the body remaining itself outside the passions. Thus the Eucharist is only the visible "effect" an invisible "model;" and the celebrant "by fering Jesus Christ to our eyes shows us in a tangible way and as in an image our intelligible life."6 Thus for Dionysius "the ltiest sense the Eucharistic rites and sacramental communion itself is in symbolizing the union our minds with God and with Christ Dionysius never formally presents Eucharistic communion as a participation in the Body and Blood Christ."7 14 Eulogius quoted by Photius in Library 227; ed R Henry (Paris: Belles Lettres 1965) 4:112 The Schism Between East. Healing. father-In-Law the legitimate emperor John V Paleologos and emperor himself between 1347 and 1354 John Cantacuzenos exercised a decisive influence in assuring the triumph Palamism in Byzantium and after his abdication remained for almost forty years a powerful political and intellectual force in Byzantine society Having accepted monastic tonsure in 1354 he nonetheless kept at his personal disposal enough funds and influence to act as a generous Maecenas for Byzantine intellectuals Travelling between Constantinople and Mistra in the Peloponnesus he sponsored in both his main residences the copying manuscripts and the development scholarly projects. Just as it is not possible to understand the power the eyes or the grace colour without light or for those who sleep to learn the affairs those who stay awake while they are yet asleep in the same way in this life it is not possible to understand the new members and their faculties which are directed solely to the life to come Yet we are members Christ and this is the result baptism The splendour and beauty the members consists in the Head for the members would not appear to be beautiful unless they are attached to the Head these members the Head will be hidden in the present life but will be clearly apparent when they shine forth together. You try to present Peter as the teacher Rome alone While the Divine Fathers spoke the promise made to him by the Saviour as having a catholic meaning and as referring to all those who believed and believe you force yourself into a narrow and false interpretation ascribing it to Rome alone If this was true it would be impossible for every church the faithful and not only that Rome to possess the Saviour properly and for each church to be founded on the rock i.e on the doctrine Peter in conformity. The Theotokos The only doctrinal on Mary to which the Byzantine Church was formally committed is the decree the Council Ephesus which called her the Theotokos or "Mother God." Obvious Christological and not Mariological the decree nevertheless corresponds to the Mariological theme the "New Eve," which has appeared in Christian theological literature since the second century and which testifies in the light the Eastern view on the Adamic inheritance to a concept human freedom more optimistic than that which has prevailed in. Certain people ask whence did the tradition renouncing the world and becoming monks arise? But their question is the same as asking whence was the tradition becoming Christians? For the One who first laid down the apostolic tradition six mysteries also were ordained: first ― illumination second ― the assembly or communion third ― the perfection the chrism fourth ― the perfection priesthood fifth ― the monastic perfection and sixth ― the service for those who fall asleep in holiness.1 2 Irenaeus Adv Haer 5 6 1 3 Gregory Nazianzus Carm.; PG 37:452 4 Gregory Nyssa De opif horn 5; PG 44:137C 5 Jean Danielou Platonisme et theologie mystique (Paris: Aubier 1944) p 54 6 Gregory Palamas Triads I 1 9; ed J MeyendorfT (Louvain 1959) p 27 7 Ibid.; ed MeyendorfT p 203 8 See Danielou Platonisme et theologie mystique pp 240-241 9 Maximus the Confessor Amb 7; PG 91:1109CD 10 Gregory Palamas Horn 11; PG 151.-125A; see other references in J Meyendorff A Study Gregory Palamas (London: Faith Press 1964) pp 122-124 11 Thunberg Microcosm and Mediator p 103 12 Irenaeus Adv Haer 5 6 1 13 Vladimir Lossky The Mystical Theology. Christian Faith as Experience: Symeon the New Theologian. Ο how many are the good things I miss! How beautiful was the Kingdom I lost through my passions! I spent the wealth I once possessed by transgressing the commandment Alas Ο impassionate soul! You were condemned to fire eternal But before end comes call on Christ our God Accept me as the prodigal son Ο God and have mercy on me [Sunday the prodigal son vespers] By dispensation His grace He disseminates Himself in every believer through that flesh whose existence comes from bread and wine blending Himself with the bodies believers to secure that by this union with the Immortal man too may be a sharer in incorruption He gives these gifts by virtue the benediction through which He "trans-elements" [metastoi-cheiōsis] the natural quality these visible things to that immortal thing.2 Participation in these sources immortality and unity is a constant concern for every Christian: this was a concept Christ which Maximus the Confessor had in mind when he re-emphasized the old Pauline image "recapitulation" in reference to the incarnate Logos21 and saw in Him the victory over the disintegrating separations in humanity As man Christ "accomplishes in all truth the true human destiny that He Himself has predetermined as God and from which man had turned: He unites man to God."22 Thus Chalcedonian and post-Chalcedonian Christology would be meaningless speculation where it is not oriented toward the notion redemption "The whole history Christological dogma was determined by this basic idea: the Incarnation the Word as Salvation."23 the feast Easter serves as the movable centre the yearly cycle It has a period preparation (Lent) and a fifty-day celebration (Pentecost) and its date determines the following liturgical year For each these periods there is a corresponding liturgical book containing the pertinent hymnography: the Triodion for Lent the Pentecostarion for the period between Easter and Pentecost and the Otyoetyos (Book eight tones) containing the cycle eight weeks which repeats itself between the Second Sunday after Pentecost and the following Lent. no one course would have dared to accuse the great Chrysostom impiety So the Byzantine Church wisely preserving a scale theological values which always gave precedence to the basic fundamental truths the Gospel abstained from enforcing any dogmatic formulation concerning Mary except that she was truly and really the Theotokost "Mother God." No doubt this striking title made necessary by the logic Cyrillian Christology justified her daily liturgical acclamation as "more honourable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim." What greater honour could be rendered to a human being? What clearer basis could be found for a Christian theocentric anthropology? Notes 1 Maximus the Confessor De Char III 25; PG 90:1024BC. a A Problem Religious Culture From their pagan past Greek-speaking Christians had inherited a taste for religious imagery When the early Church condemned such art as idolatrous the three-dimensional form practically disappeared only to reappear in a new Christian two-dimensional version Other Eastern Christians particularly the Syrians and the Armenians were much less inclined by their cultural past to the use images It is significant therefore that the emperors who sponsored iconoclasm were Armenian or Isaurian origins Moreover the non-Greek-speaking East was almost entirely Monophysite by the eighth century and as we shall see Monophysitism tacitly or explicitly provided the iconoclasts with the essence their theological arguments. 5 Athanasius To Serapion III 1; PG 26:625B 6 Cyril Thesaurus; PG 68:148A 7 Maximus the Confessor Letter to Marinus; PG 91:136AD 8 The argument is found in Photius Mystagogy 59; PG 102:337 9 Gregory Cyprus Tome U85\ PG 142:240C 10 Gregory Palamas Apodictic Treatise I 9; ed B Bobrinskoy in P Chrestou Palama Syngrammata (Thessaloniki 1962) I 37 11 Michael Cerularius Letter to Peter Antioch; ed Will Acta et Scripta pp 179-183 12 Mansi XXIV 70A 13 See the major documents on this discussion published by L Petit in PatrOr 15 (Paris 1903). the difficulty in using hymnographical materials as a source for theology lies in the tremendous volume and diversity the hymns course the many hagiographical legends and poetic exaggerations found in them can be used only in the context in which they are originally written The Byzantines however obviously understood the difference between doctrinal statements and poetry for some hymns were explicitly called dogmatifka troparia; those Saturday vespers for example which were always dedicated to the meaning the Incarnation in terms the Chalcedonian : the ecclesiological significance the Eucharist though challenged by the Hellenistic world-view which tended to interpret it as a system "symbols" visually contemplated by the individual was always maintained by the Byzantine lex orandi and reaffirmed by those who followed the mainstream traditional theology In the controversy on the azymes the implication on the Byzantine side was that the Eucharist is indeed a paschal mystery in which our fallen humanity is transformed into the glorified humanity the New Adam Christ: this glorified humanity is realized in the Body the Church These anthropological presuppositions Byzantine Eucharistic theology necessarily had to include the concepts "synergy" and the unity mankind. the humanity Christ which makes the icons possible is a "new humanity" having been fully restored to communion with God deified in virtue the communication idioms and bearing fully again the image God This fact is to be reflected in iconography as in a form art: the artist thus receives a quasi-sacramental function Theodore compares the Christian artist to God Himself making the man in His own image: "The fact that God made man in His image and likeness showed that iconography was a divine action."16 At the beginning God created man in His image By making an icon Christ the iconographer also makes an "image God," for what the deified humanity Jesus. however even if this orientation eastward was not in itself an enrichment Byzantium remained for several centuries the real capital the Christian world Culturally surpassing the Carolingian West and militarily ― strong in resisting Islam Byzantine Christianity kept its universalist missionary vision which expressed itself in a successful evangelization the Slavs and other Eastern nations But its later theological development took place in an exclusively Greek setting Still bearing the title "Great Church Constantinople-New Rome," it became known to both its Latin competitors and its Slavic disciples as the "Greek" Church (A) The idea of "progress in wisdom" implies a degree of ignorance in Jesus which is confirmed by other well-known passages of the Gospels (Mk 13:32 for example) Byzantine thought on this subject may often have been confused by the Evagrian idea that "essential knowledge" is the very characteristic of humanity before the Fall Evagrius also thought that Jesus was precisely a created "intellect" which had preserved this original "knowledge." The search for gnosis was indeed conceived in the Evagrian spiritual tradition which remained alive in the Christian East as the very content of spiritual life This may have contributed to the fact that a majority of Byzantine authors deny any "ignorance" in Jesus Himself John of Damascus for example. the very specific "oneness" realized in the Eucharistic koinonia is par excellence a gift the Spirit. The Cyrillian Chalcedonians. thus the defenders the images especially Theodore the Studite and Patriarch Nicephorus firmly rejected it For Theodore the Eucharist is not "type" but the very "truth;" it is the "mystery which recapitulates the whole the [divine] dispensation."10 According to Nicephorus it is the "flesh God," "one and the same thing" with the Body and Blood Christ,11 who came to save the very reality human flesh by becoming and remaining "flesh," even after His glorification; thus in the Eucharist "what is the matter the sacrament if the flesh is not real so that we see it being perfected by the Spirit?"12 origen also made use this concept the "spiritual meaning" in his notion Tradition The Spirit which had inspired the Biblical writers was also present in the "spiritual men" the Christian Church The saint alone therefore could decipher the authentic meaning Scripture The Scriptures [Origen writes] were composed through the Spirit God and they have not only that meaning which is obvious but also another which is hidden from the majority readers For the contents Scripture are the outward forms certain mysteries and the images divine things On this point the entire Church is unanimous that while the whole Law is spiritual the inspired meaning is not recognized by all but only by those who are gifted with the grace the Holy Spirit in the word wisdom and knowledge.1 therefore even if the Father alone is the addressee the Eucharistic prayer the act "receiving" the sacrifice is a Trinitarian act as are all the divine acts ad extra?31 The mystery the Incarnation however consists in the fact that the divine hypostasis the Logos assumed also the role fering bringing humanity with itself to the throne the Father The Eucharistic sacrifice is precisely this fering accomplished in the body Christ where human nature is penetrated with divine energy assumed as it is by the hypostasis the Logos The hypostatic personal existence implies an "openness," which makes it possible for the incarnate Logos to "fer" and to "receive," to be man and God and to remain with the Father and the Spirit the "actor" the "energies" characterizing divine nature 20 "Since man was created according to the image the blessed and supra-essential deity and since on the other hand the divine nature is free it is obvious that man is free by nature being the image the deity" (Disp cum Pyrrho; PG 91:304C) Conclusion Antinomies. 11 Charles Moeller "Le chalcèdonisme et le nèo-chalcèdonisme en Orient de 451 á la fin du VI* siècle," in Grillmeier-Bacht I 717 12 See ibid pp 715-716 13 John Damascus De fide orth III 21; PG 94:1084B-1085A 14 Anonymous De sectis; PG 86:1264A 15 Patriarch Nicephorus Antirrh I; PG 100.-268A 16 Theodore the Studite Antirrh III; PG 99:409C 17 Nicephorus Antirrh I; PG 100:272B 18 Ibid.; PG 100:328BD 19 Theodore the Studite Antirrh III; PG 99:396B 20 Ibid III; PG 99:405A 21 See especially Maximus the Confessor Amb.; PG 90:1308o 1312A 22 J Meyendortf Christ. liturgical discipline and Byzantine canon law try to protect this unifying and catholic character the Eucharist They require that on each altar no more than one Eucharist be celebrated each day; similarly a priest or bishop is not allowed to celebrate twice on the same day Whatever the practical inconveniences these rules aim at preserving the Eucharist at least nominally as the gathering " all together at the same place" (Ac 2:1); all should be together at the same altar around the same bishop at the same time because there is only one Christ one Church and one Eucharist The idea that the Eucharist is the sacrament uniting the whole Church remained alive in the East and prevented the multiplication Masses intention and low Masses The Eucharistic liturgy always remained a festal event in Byzantium a celebration involving at least in principle the whole Church. Οικοnοmιa. Number Sacraments. in the age Justinian four major theological positions can be easily discerned: The Monophysites. the iconoclastic controversy had a lasting influence upon the intellectual life Byzantium Four aspects this influence seem particularly relevant to theological development a At the time the Persian wars Emperor Heraclius in the seventh century Byzantium turned away culturally from its Roman past and toward the East The great confrontation with Islam which was reflected in the origins and character iconoclasm made this trend even more definite Deprived political protection by the Byzantine emperors with whom they were in doctrinal conflict the popes turned to the Franks and thus affiliated themselves with the emerging new Latin Middle Ages As a result the social cultural and political background this separation became more evident; the two halves the Christian world began to speak different languages and their frames reference in theology began to diverge more sharply than before. Notes 1 "The Russian Primary Chronicle," trans S H Cross Harvard Studies in Philology and Literature 12 (1930) 199 2 A Baumstark Liturgie comparée (CheVtogne 1953) pp 109-113 3 Ibid pp 104-106 4 See A Schmemann "The Byzantine Synthesis," Introduction to Liturgical Theology (London: Faith Press 1966) pp 116-166 5 Gregory Palamas Horn 60; ed S Oikonomos (Athens 1861) p 250 6 Basil Caesarea On the Holy Spirit 27; ed B Pruche SC 17 (Paris: Cerf 1945) p 233 7 Louis Bouyer Eucharist (Notre Dame: University Notre Dame Press 1968) pp 302-303 8 PG 119:1033 9 Baumstark Liturgie comparée. this attitude did not mean however that the Byzantines were either indifferent toward the canons or juridically incompetent quite the contrary They were generally aware that at least certain canons reflected the eternal and divine nature the Church and it was a Christian and absolute duty to obey them Yet Roman traditions were always strong enough in Byzantium to maintain almost permanently a series highly competent ecclesiastical lawyers who advised the emperors on decrees concerning the Church and also introduced principles Roman Law into ecclesiastical legislation and jurisprudence But again they always understood their role as subordinate to the more fundamental and divine nature the Church expressed in a sacramental and doctrinal communion uniting heaven and earth And they recognized that there was no canonical legislation in heaven (for if "justification comes by law then Christ died in vain," Ga 2:21) and that their task was a limited one. in fact the rather formal theological conservatism which prevailed in ficial circles the Church made possible in men like Psellos the resurgence a Neo-Platonism approximately identical to what it had been in the sixth century In him and his contemporaries there was in fact very little true encounter between theology and philosophy Psellos certainly remained a Christian; but if there is any emotional thrust to his thought it consists in finding agreement between not opposition to Platonism and Christianity; and it is little concern to him if the agreement is artificial Psellos is quite happy for example to discover the Trinity as well as the Biblical world angels and saints in 24 Symeon Thessalonica Dialogus contra haereses 23; PG 155:120AB Encounter with the West WITH THE EXCEPTION Barlaam the Calabrian no major participant the great theological controversies which ended in 1351 had anything but a casual knowledge Western theology Discussions between Greeks and Latins revolved around formulae which were used by both sides each in a totally different context And Barlaam himself in spite his double theological formation was hardly a prominent representative Western the theological thought; he was rather a manipulator ideas and probably influenced by Nominalism. any local church where the "divine liturgy" the Eucharist is celebrated possesses therefore the "marks" the true Church God: unity holiness catholicity and apostolicity These marks cannot belong to any human gathering; they are the eschatological signs given to a community through the Spirit God Inasmuch as a local church is built upon and around the Eucharist it is not simply a "part" the universal people God; it is the fullness the Kingdom which is anticipated in the Eucharist and the Kingdom can never be "partially" one or "partially" catholic "Partiality" belongs only to the individual appropriation the given fullness by the members who are limited by belonging to the "old Adam;" it does not exist in the Body Christ indivisible divine and glorious. the funeral service has no particular significance Even in death the Christian remains a member the living and resurrected Body Christ into which he has been incorporated through baptism and the Eucharist Through the funeral service the Church gathers to bear witness to this fact visible only to the eyes faith but already experienced by every Christian who possesses the awesome privilege living in the future Kingdom by anticipation Notes 1 Cabasilas De vita in Chrisio I 3; PG 150:496D 2 Sec for example Chrysostom Horn 7,1 in I Cor.; PG 61:55 3 Chrysostom Catècheses baptismales ed A Wenger Sources Chrcucnna 50 (Paris: Cerf 1957) II 17 p 143 4 Ep II 165; PG 99:1524B. these modern concerns meet directly the consistent position Byzantine theology Unity and Trinity. Codifications Ecclesiastical Law. Although Christ died as man and His holy soul was separated from His most pure body His divinity remained with both the soul and the body and continued inseparable from either Thus the one hypostasis was not divided into two hypostases for from the beginning both body and soul existed in the hypostasis the Word Although at the hour death body and soul were separated from each other yet each them was preserved having the one hypostasis the Word Therefore the one hypostasis the Word was an hypostasis as the Word; so also the body and the soul for neither the body nor the soul ever had any proper hypostasis other than that the Word The hypostasis then the Word is ever one and there were never two hypostases the Word Accordingly the hypostasis Christ is ever one And though the soul is separated from the body in space yet they remain hypostatically united through the most influential in promoting this symbolic understanding the Eucharist were the writings pseudo-Dionysius Reducing the Eucharistic synaxis to a moral appeal the Areopagite calls his readers to a "higher" contemplation: Let us leave to the imperfect these signs which as I said are magnificently painted in the vestibules the sanctuaries; they will be sufficient to feed their contemplation As far as we are concerned let us turn back in considering the holy synaxis from the effects to their causes and thanks to the lights which Jesus gives us we should be able to contemplate harmoniously the intelligible realities in which are clearly reflected the blessed goodness the models.5 fortunately Dionysian theology has had practically no effect upon such central texts as the baptismal prayer and the Eucharistic canons It served principally to develop and explain the extremely rich fringes with which Byzantium now adorned the central sacramental actions the Christian faith without modifying its very heart and thus leaving the door open to authentic liturgical and sacramental theology which would still inspire the mainstream Byzantine spirituality. 27 Synodal Tome 1351; PG 151:722B Ecclesiology: Canonical Sources. as the Mystagogy clearly showed Photius was equally concerned with this unilateral interpolation into a text which had won universal approval and with the content the interpolation itself He made no distinction between the canonical and theological aspects the issue and referred to the popes especially to Leo III and to John VIII who had opposed the interpolation as opponents the doctrine the "double procession." it is undoubtedly true that Byzantine theology and spirituality are very conscious the uniqueness the personality Jesus and are reluctant to investigate His human "psychology." A balanced judgment on this subject however can be attained only if one keeps in mind not only the doctrine the hypostatic union but also the prevailing Eastern view what "natural" man is; for in Jesus the new Adam "natural" humanity has been restored As we saw "natural" man was considered as participating in the glory God Such a man undoubtedly would no longer be fully subject to the laws "fallen" psychology These laws however were not simply denied in Jesus but seen in the light soteriology. in order to preserve its identity Byzantine the theological thought had to experience several major crises: the recurring temptation adopting the Hellenistic world-view Origenism; the conflict with the Roman papacy on the nature Church authority; the doctrinal controversy over the "energies" God in the fourteenth century and several others Inevitably the controversies led to formal attitudes and s partly determined by polemics A certain "freezing" concepts and formulae was the inevitable result However even in their formal s Byzantine theologians have generally succeeded in preserving a sense inadequacy between the formulae and the content the faith: the most obvious and positive truths Christian experience were thus expressed in antinomies i.e in propositions which in formal logic are mutually exclusive without being irrational. Excerpts from "Byzantine Theology," Historical trends and doctrinal themes By John Meyendorff (Please get the full version of this book at your bookstore) Content: Pseudo-Dionysius The condemnation Origen and Evagrius did not mean however the total disappearance the Platonic world-view from Byzantine Christianity The Hellenic concept the world as "order" and "hierarchy," the strict Platonic division between the "intelligible" and the "sensible" worlds and the Neo-Platonic grouping beings into "triads" reappear in the famous writings a mysterious early-sixth-century author who wrote under the pseudonym Dionysius the Areopagite The quasi-apostolic authority this unknown author went unchallenged in both East and West throughout the Middle Ages. b Whatever role was played in the Orthodox victory over the iconoclasts by high ecclesiastical dignitaries and such theologians as Patriarch Nicephorus the real credit belonged to the Byzantine monks who resisted the emperors in overwhelming numbers The emperors especially Leo III and Constantine V expressed more clearly than any their predecessors a claim to caesaropapism Thus the iconoclastic controversy was largely a confrontation between the state and a non-conformist staunchly independent monasticism which assumed the prophetic role standing for the independence the Gospel from the "world." The fact that this role was assumed by the monks and not by the highest canonical authority the Church underlines the fact that the issue was the defence not the Church as an institution but the Christian faith as the way to eternal salvation. in all his writings Photius remains essentially a university pressor In philosophy his main interests are logic and dialectics; hence there is his very clear predisposition to Aristotle rather than to Plato In theology he remains faithful to the positions and problematics the early councils and Fathers His love for ancient philosophy does not lead him to any tolerance toward a man like Origen whose condemnation by the Fifth Council he accepts without reservation,7 or like Clement Alexandria in whose main writing the Hypotyposeis Photius found the "impious myths" Platonism.8 why then are this description and this terminology preferable to others? Mainly it is because all the options then available seemed inadequate from the start The formula "one essence three prosopa," for example was not able to exclude a modalistic Trinity since the term prosopon although commonly used to designate "person" could also mean "mask" or "appearance." The Cappadocian Fathers meanwhile have wanted to affirm simultaneously that God is one object and three objects that both His unity and His trinity are full realities "When I speak God," writes Gregory Nazianzus "you must be illumined at once by one flash light and by three Three in properties in hypostases or Persons if anyone prefers so to call them for we would not quarrel about names so long as the syllables amount to the same meaning; but one in respect the ousia that is the Godhead."9 the idea that the cross was the purpose the Incarnation itself was vividly suggested by the Byzantine liturgical texts the Nativity The hymnology the pre-feast (December 20 to 24) is structured according to that Holy Week and the humility Bethlehem is viewed as leading toward Golgotha: "The kings first fruits the Gentiles bring Thee gifts By myrrh they point to Thy death " "Born now in the flesh Thou shalt in the flesh undergo burial and death and Thou shalt rise again on the third day."28 these are the basic intuitions which determined the social and individual ethics the Byzantine Christians Actually one can hardly find in the entire religious literature Byzantium any systematic treatment Christian ethics or behaviour but rather innumerable examples moral exegesis Scripture and ascetical treatises on prayer and spirituality This implies that Byzantine ethics were eminently "theological ethics." The basic affirmation that every man whether Christian or not is created according to the image God and therefore called to divine communion and "deification," was course recognized but no attempt was ever made to build "secular" ethics for man "in general." the only subject on which Byzantine theologians were forced into more systematic and theoretical debates on eschatology was the Medieval controversy on purgatory The Latin doctrine that divine justice requires retribution for all sins committed and that whenever "satisfaction" could not be fered before death justice would be accomplished through the temporary "fire purgatory," was included in the Pression Faith signed by emperor Michael VIII Paleologus and accepted at the Council Lyons (1274).17 The short-lived union Lyons did not provoke much debate on the subject in Byzantium but the question arose again in Florence and was debated for several weeks; the final decree on union which Mark Ephesus refused to sign included a. 34 Sophronius of Jerusalem Qratio II 25; PG 87:3248A 35 Andrew of Crete Horn I in Nativ B Mariae; PG 97-.812A 36 Nicholas Cabasilas Horn in Dorm 4; PG 19:498 37 Gennadios Scholarios Qeuvres completes de Georges Scholarios edd J Petit and M Jugie (Paris 1928) II 501 38 John Chrysostom Horn 44 in Matt.; PG 57:464; Horn 21 in Jn 2; PG 59:131 Jesus Christ. the full significance this rite exorcism becomes evident when one recalls that in Biblical categories water is a source life for the entire cosmos over which man is called to rule Only through the Fall nature did become subject to Satan But the Spirit liberates man from dependence upon nature Instead being a source demonic power nature receives "the grace redemption the blessing Jordan," and becomes a "fountain immortality a gift sanctification a remission sins a healing infirmities and a destruction demons."7 Instead dominating man nature becomes his servant since he is the image God The original paradisaic relationship between God man and the cosmos is proclaimed again: the descent the Spirit anticipates the ultimate fulfilment when God becomes "all in all." 1 Origcn De principiis I 2 10; cd Koctschau pp 41-42; trans Butterworth p 23 2 Sec G Florovsky "The Concept Creation in Saint Athanasius," Studia Patrisiica VI part IV TU 81 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag 1962) 36-37 3 Athanasius Contra Arianos III 60; PG 26:448-449 4 Contra Gentes 41; PG 25:81CD 5 Contra Arianos II 31; PG 26:212B 6 Ibid II 2; PG26:149c 7 Ibid I 20; PG 26:55A 8 See for example Thesaurus 15; PG 75:276B; ibid 18; PG 75:313C 9 De fide orth I 8; PG 94:812-813 10 See especially Gregory Nazianzus Cartn theol IV de mundo V 67-68; PG 37:421 11 John Damascus De fide orth II 2;. Hail Ο earth unsown! Hail Ο bush which burned yet was not consumed! Hail Ο abyss unfathomable! Hail Ο bridge leading to heaven and lty ladder which Jacob saw! Hail Ο divine container manna! Hail Ο abrogation the curse! Hail Ο recall Adam! The Lord is with you [Annunciation vespers] As late as 1397 when he had almost reached the nadir political misery the Byzantine still understood the universal empire as the necessary support Christian universalism Solicited by Prince Basil Moscow on the issue whether the Russians could omit the liturgical commemoration the emperor while continuing to mention the patriarch Patriarch Anthony iv replied: "It is not possible for Christians to have the Church and not to have the Empire; for Church and Empire form a great unity and community; it is not possible for them to be separated from one another." 6 this fullness humanity implied course describability; for if Christ was indescribable His Mother with whom He shared the same human nature would have been considered as indescribable as well "Too much honour given to the Mother," Nicephorus writes "amounts to dishonour her for one would have to attribute to her incorruptibility immortality and impassibility if what by nature belongs to the Logos must also by grace be attributed to her who gave Him birth."20 One recognizes the hypostatic character [ the Spirit] in that He is revealed after the Son and with the Son and in that He receives His subsistence from the Father And the Son in Himself and with Himself revealing the Spirit who proceeds from the Father shines alone with the un-begotten light and has nothing in common with the Father and the Spirit in the identity His particularities but is revealed alone in the characters proper to His hypostasis And the Father possesses the particular hypostatic character being the Father and being independent from all causality 13 in general the Byzantines accepted cosmological concepts inherited from the Bible or from antiquity So hesitant were to push scientific knowledge further that it had even been written that "the meager accomplishment the Byzantines in the natural sciences remains one the mysteries the Greek Middle Ages."23 In any case it does not seem that Byzantine theology is to blame for that failure for theology affirmes the dynamism nature and therefore containes the fundamental incentive for studying and eventually controlling its development. Who will not bless you Ο all-holy Virgin? Who will not sing praises to the One whom you bore? The only-begotten Son who shone forth before all ages from the Father the same came forth from you Ο pure one Ineffably He became incarnate being by nature God and became man by nature for our sakes; not being divided in two persons but known in two natures without confusion Him do you beseech Ο pure and blessed one that He will have mercy on our souls [Tone 6] This text obviously is meant to be a confession faith as well as a prayer or a piece religious poetry Other boundlessly emotional hymns addressed to Mary the Theotokos use Biblical images and symbols to describe her role in salvation history: this prestige accorded Constantinople is particularly remarkable since there is no evidence any ecclesiastical or imperial policy imposing its usages by law or by administrative measures In the Orthodox world itself which was directly in the orbit Constantinople and which became even more liturgically centralized than the Roman world liturgical diversity persisted until the fifteenth century (cf Symeon Thessalonica) But this liturgical centralization resulted not from the deliberate policy a central power but from the extraordinary cultural prestige Constantinople the imperial capital The adoption a liturgical practice or tradition by the "Great Church" meant a final sanction and ultimately a quasi-guarantee universal acceptance this wholeness the Byzantine concept the Christian mission in the world reflects the fundamental Chalcedonian belief in the total assumption humanity by the Son God in the Incarnation The Christian faith therefore is understood to lead to the transfiguration and "deification" the entire man; and as we have seen this "deification" is indeed accessible as a living experience even now and not merely in a future kingdom Byzantine ecclesiology and Byzantine political philosophy both assume that baptism endows man with that experience which transforms not only the "soul" but the whole man and makes him already in this present life a citizen the Kingdom God. 13 Kathisma after the Polyeleon 14 Canon 2 ode 8 15 Canon 1 ode 1 16 Kathisma 1 17 De fide orth I 8; PG 94:821nc 18 Lossky Mystical Theology pp 166-167 19 Cf J Meyendorff Gregory Palamas pp 14-15 231 20 Boris Bobrinskoy "Liturgie et ecclesiologie trinitaire de St Basile," Etudes patris-tiques: le traite sur le Saint-Esprit de Saint Basile Foi et Constitution 1969 pp 89-90; also in Verbum Caro 23 No 88 21 Kontat(ion Pentecost 22 Letter 159 2; PG 32:62lAB; ed Deferrari p 396 23 Sunday Matins Antiphon tone 4 24 On The Life in Christ IV; PG I50:617B 25 Troparion 26 PG 120:509BC. This fundamental position has two important implications: (a) There is no absolute symmetry between divinity and humanity in Christ because the unique hypostasis is only divine and because the human will follows the divine It was precisely a "symmetrical" Christology which was rejected as Nestorian in Ephesus (431) This "asymmetry" Orthodox Christology reflects an idea which Athanasius and Cyril Alexandria stressed so strongly: only God can save while humanity can only cooperate with the saving acts and will God However as we have emphasized earlier in the patristic concept man "theocentricity" is a natural character humanity; thus asymmetry does not prevent the fact that Christ is fully and "actively" man. 14 Thunberg Microcosm and Mediator p 119 15 Maximus the Confessor Amb.t 41; PG 91:1305D 16 Gregory Palamas Horn 16; PG 157:204A 17 De Char IV 90; PG 90:1069C 18 Maximus the Confessor Liber Asceticus; PG 90:953B 19 Maximus the Confessor Expos or dom.; PG 90:905A; on this see J Meyendorfl Christ pp 112-113 20 Photius Library 177; ed R Henry (Paris: Belles Lettres 1960) 2:177 21 Gregory Nyssa De opif horn 16; PG 44:185u. this conservatism did not mean however that the liturgical structures the Byzantine Church did not undergo substantial evolution Since neither theology nor liturgical piety could remain completely alo from the issues arising from history we can follow the evolution the religious mind Byzantium by studying them together In spite its conservatism as a living Christian tradition Byzantine liturgy responded creatively to the changes history The interplay continuity and change unity and diversity faithfulness to a central prototype and local initiative is unavoidable in the lex orandi the Church The study this interplay in Byzantium is a prerequisite for an understanding its lex credendi The "Great Church" Constantinople. 3 Both quotations from Georges Florovsky Vostochnye Ottsy (Paris: VMCA Press 1931) p 23 4 The treatise is addressed To Ablabius ed F Mueller (Leiden 1958) pp 37-57 5 Theodore de Regnon Etudes de theologie positive sur la Sainte Trinite (Paris 1892) I 433 See also G L Prestige God in Patristic Thought (London: SPCK 1952) pp 233-241 and J N D Kelly Early Christian Doctrines (London: Black 1958) pp 253-279 6 De RЈgnon Etudes I 365 7 Karl Rahner The Trinity trans Joseph Donceel s.j (London: Burns & Gates 1969) pp 110-111 8 Lossky Mystical Theology p 47 9 Oratio 39 11; PG 36:345CD 10 Gregory Nazianzus Oratio 31 9; PG 36:144A 11 Gregory Nazianzus Poem Dogm 20,3; PG 37:414A. this polarity between the humanists and the monks not only appeared on the intellectual level; it manifested itself in ecclesiastical politics The monks consistently opposed the ecclesiastical "realists" who were ready to practice toleration toward former iconoclasts and imperial sinners and toward unavoidable political compromises and at a later period state-sponsored doctrinal compromises with the Latin West Conflicts this sort occurred when Patriarchs Tarasius (784-806) and Methodius I (843-847) accepted into the episcopate former supporters ficial iconoclasm when the same Tarasius and Nicephorus I (806-815) condoned the re Emperor Constantine VI who had divorced his first wife and when in 857 Patriarch Ignatius was forced to resign and replaced by Photius These conflicts though not formally theological involved the issue the Christian witness in the world and as such greatly influenced Byzantine ecclesiology and social ethics. byzantine missionary methods and principles found their continuation in Orthodox Russia Stephen Perm (1340-1396) for example is known as the apostle the Zyrians a Finnish tribe in north-eastern Russia Having learned Greek Stephen translated the scriptures and the liturgy into the language the Zyrians and became their His example was followed until the twentieth century in the missionary expansion the Russian Orthodox Church in Asia and even on the American continent through Alaska Eschatology. as interpreted by the Orthodox theologians the eighth and ninth centuries who struggled against iconoclasm the icon Christ becomes a confession faith in the Incarnation: The Inconceivable is conceived in the womb a Virgin [writes Theodore the Studite]; the Unmeasurable becomes three cubits high the Unqualifi-able acquires a quality; the Undefinable stands up sits down and lies down; He who is everywhere is put into a crib; He who is above time gradually reaches the age twelve; He who is formless appears with the shape a man and the Incorporeal enters into a body Therefore He is describable and Gregory identifies realities which Western theology considers distinct He ascribes to man certain traits such as reason or freedom which the West attributes to the [created] spirit; others such as apatheia or love (called grace by Westerners) he attributed to divine life as well as the effects final glorification: incorruptibility and beatitude For Gregory the distinctions do. origen was undoubtedly the most successful the early apologists Christianity His system made the Christian religion acceptable to Neo-Platonists but the acceptance Christianity on Origenistic terms does not necessarily imply the rejection the basic Neo-Platonic concepts God and the world If the Cappadocian Fathers for example after reading Origen in their student years were finally led to orthodox Christianity others such as their friend and contemporary Evagrius Ponticus developed Origenism in a quite different direction. Conclusion Antinomies Byzantine Theology after Chalcedon.
Sacramental Theology: The Cycle Life Number Sacraments Baptism and Chrismation Penance Healing and Death The Eucharist Symbols Images and Reality Eucharist and Church The Church in the World Church and Society The Mission the Church Eschatology.
"new creation" implies mission to the world; hence the Church is always "apostolic," i.e not only founded on the faith those who saw the risen Lord but assuming their function "being sent" to announce and establish the Kingdom God And this mission receives its authenticity from the Spirit The Byzantine hymns for Pentecost glorify Christ "who has made the fishermen most wise by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit and through them has drawn the world into His net."25 it is remarkable that Constantine in order to justify his position formally referred to the authority the first six councils; for him iconoclasm was not a new doctrine but the logical outcome the Christological debates the previous centuries The painter the Council Hieria affirmed when he makes an image Christ can paint either His humanity alone separating it from the divinity or both His humanity and His divinity In the first case he is a Nestorian; in the second he assumes that divinity is circumscribed by humanity which is absurd; or both are confused in which case he is a Monophysite.3 14 Exaposteilariont The festal Menaion p 495 15 Paschal canon ode 9 Pentekpstarion; this troparion is also used as a post-communion prayer in the Eucharistic liturgy 16 Meat-fare Sunday vespers Lite Triodion 17 Enchiridion Symbolorum ed H Denziger No 464 18 Ibid No 693 19 See the two treatises Mark on purgatory in L Petit "Documents relatifs au Concilc dc Florence I: La question du Purgatoirc a Ferrare," Patrologia Orientalis 15 (1920) No 1 39-60 108-151 A Russian translation these texts is given in Amvrosy Sviatoy Mark Efessfy i Fhrentiis^aia Unia (Jordanville New York 1963) 58-73 118-150 J Gill The Council Florence (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1959) pp 119-125 fers a brief account the controversy. there is no claim here for philosophical consistency although an effort is made to use current philosophical terms The ultimate meaning the terms however is clearly different from their meaning in Greek philosophy and their inadequacy is frankly recognized. The Word nourishing human souls The Word strengthening heart and mind Therefore St Paul has taught: "In fering my prayer to God I had rather speak five words That all the brethren will understand Than ten thousand words which are incomprehensible."11 Appearance the Movement Iconoclastic Theology Orthodox Theology Images: John Damascus and the Seventh Council Orthodox Theology Images: Theodore the Studite and Nicephorus Lasting Significance the Issue Monks and Humanists Theodore the Studite Photius (ca 820 ― ca 891) Michael Psellos (1018-1078) The Trials John Italos (1076-1077 1082) Monastic Theology. The Origins Monastic Thought: Evagrius and Macarius The Great Spiritual Fathers Opposition to Secular Philosophy Christian Faith as Experience: Symeon the New Theologian Theology Hesychasm: Gregory Palamas Ecclesiology: Canonical Sources The Councils and the Fathers Imperial Legislation Codifications Ecclesiastical Law Authoritative Commentaries and Criticism Synodal and Patriarchal Decrees Οικοnοmιa.
Abstinence and asceticism are the tools proposed to fight passions; but even if the ascetic note is somewhat exaggerated the true dimension the Christian life and hope is never lost: "The Kingdom God is neither food nor drink but joy in the Holy Spirit," proclaims a stikheron the first week Lent; "Give money to the poor have compassion on the suffering: this is the true fast which pleases God." Monastic-oriented asceticism does not make the authors lose sight family life and social responsibility: is honourable the couch is blameless; for Christ in advance blessed the one and the other by partaking food in the flesh and by changing water into wine in Cana so that you may change Ο soul [Canon Andrew. Authority in the Church Most the controversy which set Greek against Latin in the Middle Ages could have been solved easily if both churches had recognized a common authority able to solve the unavoidable differences created by divergent cultures and historical situations Unfortunately an ecclesiological dichotomy stood behind the various doctrinal disciplinary and liturgical disputes Any historian today would recognize that the Medieval papacy was the result a long doctrinal and institutional development in which the Eastern Church had either no opportunity or no desire to participate Orthodox and Roman Catholics still argue whether this development was legitimate from the point view Christian revelation. the emperors the eighth and ninth centuries initiated and supported the iconoclastic movement; and from the start issues both a theological and a non-theological nature were inseparably involved in this imperial policy From contemporary sources and modern historical research three elements within the movement seem to emerge: side by side with the Pauline image Christ as Head the Church Cabasilas will speak Jesus as the "heart" the Body: "As the risen Christ does not know death so the members Christ never taste death How can death touch members in communion with a living heart?" This passage and its parallels lead us to an understanding the very personal manner in which Cabasilas describes the Christian mystery17 and show his indebtedness to the anthropology Macarius which is predominant in Hesychast circles and locates the centre the psychosomatic human complex precisely in. another very important liturgical development the fifth and sixth centuries was the large-scale adoption hymnography a Hellenistic nature In the early Christian communities the Church hymnal was comprised the Psalter and some other poetic excerpts from Scripture with relatively few newer hymns In the fifth and sixth centuries however with the insistence on more liturgical solemnity (ten copied from court ceremonial) in the great urban churches and the unavoidable Hellenization the Church the influx new poetry was inevitable This influx met strong opposition in monastic circles which considered it improper to replace Biblical texts the liturgy with human poetic compositions but the resistance was not a lasting one In fact in the eighth and ninth centuries the monks took the lead in hymnographical creativity. thus the Church baptizes children not to "remit" their yet nonexistent sins but in order to give them a new and immortal life which their mortal parents are unable to communicate to them The opposition between the two Adams is seen in terms not guilt and forgiveness but death and life "The first man was from the earth a man dust; the second man is from heaven; as was the man dust so are those who are the dust and as is the man heaven so are those who are heaven" (1 Co 15:47-48) Baptism is the paschal mystery the "passage." All its ancient forms especially the Byzantine include a renunciation Satan a triple immersion as type death and resurrection and the positive gift new life through anointing and Eucharistic communion. Whatsoever the Son has from the Father the Spirit also has including His very being And if the Father does not exist then neither does the Son and the Spirit; and if the Father does not have something then neither has the Son or the Spirit Furthermore because the Father that is because the fact that the Father is the Son and the Spirit are; and because the Father the Son and the Spirit have everything. b Confrontation with Islam After the Arab conquest Palestine Syria and Egypt the Byzantine Empire found itself in constant confrontation militarily and ideologically with Islam Both Christianity and Islam claimed to be world religions which the Byzantine emperor and the Arab caliph were respectively the heads But in the accompanying psychological warfare Islam constantly claimed to be the latest and therefore the highest and purest revelation the God Abraham and repeatedly levelled the accusations polytheism and idolatry against the Christian doctrine the Trinity and the use icons It was to the charge idolatry that the Eastern-born emperors the eighth century responded They decided to purify Christianity for better withstanding the challenge Islam Thus there was a measure Islamic influence on the iconoclastic movement but the influence was a part the cold war against Islam not the conscious imitation it. the full dimension the problem was never directly discussed by Byzantine theologians but there are indications which can help us to understand their position: (a) their interpretation such passages as Luke 2:52 ("He progressed in age and wisdom") (b) their attitude toward the heresy Aphthartodocetism and (c) the stand the Orthodox defenders the images against the iconoclasts 33 Against Af(indynos III 10; edd Kontogiannes and Phanourgakes p 184 34 "The procession of the Holy Spirit in the Orthodox Triadology" in Eastern Churches Quarterly Supplemental issue Concerning the Holy Spirit (1948) p 46 See also the debate on the Filioque between Orthodox (Bishop Cassian MeyendorrT Verhov-skoy and others) and Roman Catholic (Camelot Bouyer Henry Dubarle Dondainc and others) theologians published in Russic et Chretiente (1950) No 3-4 35 Cf J MeycndorfT Christ p 166 36 K Rahner Op cit p 111 Sacramental Theology: The Cycle. the Byzantine tradition has retained the ancient Christian practice baptism through triple immersion Actually immersion was sometimes considered essential to the validity the sacrament and some extreme anti-Latin polemicists questioned the effectiveness Western baptism on the grounds that it was performed by sprinkling Immersion is indeed the very sign what baptism means: "The water destroys the one life but shows forth the other; it drowns the old man and raises the new," writes "Drowning" cannot be meaningfully signified other than through immersion. this attitude will generally predominate among the best theologians Byzantium Peter Antioch (ca 1050) and Theophylact Bulgaria (ca 1100) explicitly state that the Filioque is the only issue dividing East and West And even at a later period when the separate development the two theologies was bound to create new problems one finds many prominent Byzantines failing to raise any issue in their anti-Latin treatises other than that the procession the Holy Spirit. 23 Georges Florovsky "The Lamb God," Scottish Journal Theology (March 1961) 16 24 Gregory Nazianzus Ep 101 ad Clcdonium- PG 37:181c-184A 25 Gregory Nazianzus Horn 45; PG 36:661c 26 John Damascus De fide orth IV 1; PG 94:110lA 27 Athanasius De incarn 8; PG 25:109C 28 Dec 24 Compline Canon odes 5 and 6; Festal Menaion pp 206-207 29 Maximus the Confessor Ad Thai 60; PG 90:621 AC 30 Florovsky "The Lamb jf God," p 24 31 John Damascus De fide orth III 27; PG 94:1097AB 32 Holy Saturday Matins Canon ode 6 33 Athanasius De incarn 21; PG 25:129D 34 John Chrysostom In Haebr horn 17:2;. In former times God without body or form could in no way be represented But today since God has appeared in the flesh and lived among men I can represent what is visible in God [to horaton tõu theõu] I do not venerate any matter but I venerate the creator a matter who became the matter for my sake who assumed life in the flesh and who through the matter accomplished my salvation.8 cultural and historical differences may easily lead to theological divergences; but such divergences need not become contradictions and incompatibilities There were differences and even violent conflicts between the East and West as early as the fourth century but in spite ever-recurring tension there existed until the eleventh century a mutually recognized procedure for solving difficulties: the council Joint councils meeting generally in the East convened by the emperor and at which Roman legates were given a place honour served as the ultimate tribunals to solve the standing issues Thus the crisis which set Photius against Pope Nicholas ι was finally ended at the last council (879-880) to follow that procedure and one which still ranks according to the Orthodox Church on almost the same level as the earlier ecumenical councils. 6 Macarius Egypt Horn 11 1; cd Dörries pp 96-97 7 Ibid 15 20; p 139 8 Ibid 11 11; p 103 9 Ibid 1 12; p 12 10 Diadochus Cap 77 78; ed E des Places SC 5 bis (Paris: Cerf 1955) pp 135-136 11 Ibid 85; pp 144-145 12 See ibid 31 32 61 88 13 John Climacus The Ladder Paradise Degree 28; PG 88:1112C 14 Ibid Degree 27; PG 88:1097AB 15 On Evagrius and Maximus see Lars Thunberg Microcosm and Mediator: The Theological Anthropology Maximus the Confessor (Lund: Gleerup 1965) pp 317-325 16 See P Sherwood in Maximus the Confessor The Ascetic Life ACW 21 (Westminster: Newman 1955). God and Man To affirm that God became man and that His humanity possesses all the characteristics proper to human nature it implies that the Incarnation is a cosmic event Man was created as the master the cosmos and called by the creator to draw all creation to God His failure to do so was a cosmic catastrophe which could be repaired only by the creator Himself. it was also inevitable on the other hand that my treatment the Byzantine authors be influenced by the fact that as an Orthodox theologian I personally see the great tradition the undivided Church as continuing in Byzantium and through it carrying its message to modern times as well Creation. the victory Palamism in the fourteenth century was therefore the victory a specifically Christian God-centred humanism for which the Greek patristic tradition always stood in opposition to all concepts man which considered him as an autonomous or "secular" being Its essential intuition that "deification" does not suppress humanity but makes man truly human and is course greatly relevant for our own contemporary concerns: man can be fully "human" only if he restores his lost communion with God Notes 1 Evagrius Ponticus Praktikos; PG 40:1272-1276 2 Pseudo-Nilus (Evagrius) De Oratione 84; PG 79:1185B 3 Ibid 52 4 Ibid 34A. In men in spite the solidarity the whole race each individual acts separately so that it is proper to regard them as many This is not so with God The Father never acts independently the Son nor the Son the Spirit Divine action always begins from the Father proceeds through the Son and is completed in the Holy Spirit; there is no such thing as a separate individual operation any Person; the energy invariably passes through the three though the effect is not three actions but at this point one should understand the necessary and unavoidable link which exists in this tradition between spirituality and theology If any single author succeeded in formulating this link that was Maximus the Confessor We have already seen the heroic and lonely role Maximus in the Christological controversy and his ability to integrate into a consistent Christological and anthropological system the issues which were at stake between the orthodox and the Monothelites His ability to view the problems the spiritual life as they arose in his time in the light the Evagrian and Macarian heritages on one side and orthodox Christology on the other was similarly remarkable. "it is necessary for those who preside over the churches to teach all the clergy and the people collecting out divine Scripture the thoughts and judgments truth but not exceeding the limits now fixed nor varying from the tradition the God-fearing Fathers But if any issue arises concerning Scripture it should not be interpreted other than as the luminaries and teachers the Church have expounded it in their writings; let them [the bishops] become distinguished for their knowledge patristic writings rather than for composing treatises out their own heads." Notes 1 De Vita Constantini 4 24; PG 20:1172AB 2 Codex Justinianus I 3 41; English text in P R Coleman-Norton Roman State and Christian Church III (London: SPCK 1966) no 579 p 1017 3 Novella 131 1 4 Balsamon Commentary on Nomocanon I 2; PG 104:981C 5 Ibid 6 See his commentary on Laodicea 58 and Quinisext 59 forbidding celebration sacraments in private homes but overruled by Novella 4 Leo VI; ed at II 440; See Les novelles de Uon VI edd P Noailles and A Dain (Paris: Belles Lettres 1944) pp 20-21 7 Constantine Porphyrogenctos De ceremoniis II 14; PG 112:1044A; Symeon Thessalonica De sacris ordinibus; PG 155:440D. better known in the West since the Middle Ages and more exalted in the East (where a special celebration in its honour takes place on the Fifth Sunday Lent) the personality John Climacus "the author The Ladder" and an abbot the monastery on Mount Sinai is another great witness monastic spirituality based upon invocation the "name Jesus." Very little is known his life and even the date his death is not solidly established (it is generally believed to have taken place some time around 649). The Spirit and the Church. Synodal and Patriarchal Decrees. 35 Gregory Nyssa Catechetical Oration 16; ed J H Srawlcy (Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1956) pp 71-72 36 Nicholas Cabasilas The Life in Christ II; PG 150:541C 37 Maximus the Confessor Amb PG 91:1088C 38 Thunberg Microcosm and Mediator p 457 39 Maximus the Confessor Amb.; PG 91:1237AB 40 Gregory Palamas Against Afyndynos V 26; edd A Kontogiannes and V Pha-nourgakes in P Khrestov Gregoriou ton Palatna Syggrammata III (Thessaloniki 1970) p 371 41 Tome 1351; PG 151:722B. we have already seen that in Greek patristic and Byzantine thought salvation is understood essentially in terms participation in and communion with the deified humanity the incarnate Logos the New Adam When the Fathers call the Spirit the "image the Son," they imply that He is the main agent which makes this communion a reality The Son has given us "the first fruits the Spirit," writes Athanasius "so that we may be transformed into sons God according to the image the Son God."11 Thus if it is through the Spirit that the Logos became man it is also only through the Spirit that true life reaches all men "What are the effect and the result the sufferings works and teaching Christ?" asks Nicholas Cabasilas "Considered in relation to ourselves it is nothing other than the descent the Holy Spirit upon the Church."12 devoting comparatively little time to scriptural reading or psalmody this rite had favoured the mushrooming hymnography and the development the liturgy as a "mystery," or "drama." It was indeed difficult to preserve the communal concept Christian worship or the notion that the Eucharist is a communion meal when the liturgy began to be celebrated in huge basilicas holding several thousand worshippers But since the early Christian community was now transformed into a crowd nominal Christians (a transformation described as a real tragedy by Chrysostom in his famous sermons at Constantinople) it was necessary for the Church to emphasize the sacred character the Christian sacraments to protect them from secular pranation and to surround them with veils and barriers thus practically excluding the mass the laity from active participation in their celebration except through the singing hymns. In certain reproductions venerable images the precursor is pictured indicating the lamb with his ringer This representation was adopted as a symbol grace It is a hidden figure that true lamb who is Christ our God and shown to us according to the Law Having thus welcomed these ancient figures and shadows as symbols the truth transmitted to the Church we prefer today grace and truth themselves as a fulfilment this law Therefore in order to expose to the sight all at least with the help painting which is perfect we decree that henceforth Christ our God must be represented in His human form but not in the form the ancient lamb.5 whatever the obvious ambiguity and the hypocrisy which at times was evident in the Byzantine state it thus served as an historical framework for a tradition which maintained the eschatological character Christianity In general whether in the lands Islam or in modern secular societies Eastern Europe the Orthodox settled for a ghetto life: the closed liturgical community with its experience the heavenly served both as a refuge and as a school It demonstrated a remarkable capacity for survival and also as for example in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russia for influencing intellectual development Its emphasis on the free experience the Spirit as the liberating goal human life may be even better appreciated among those who today are looking for alternatives to the over-institutionalized ecclesiasticism Western Christianity Notes 23 Cyril Alexandria In Rom.; PG 74:789B 24 Theodore Mopsuestia In Rom.; PG 66:801B 25 Theodoret Cyrus In Rom.; PG 80; 1245A 26 John Chrysostom In Rom horn 10; PG 60:474-475 27 Theophylact Ohrida Exp in Rom.; PG 124:404c 28 See J Meyendorff Gregory Palamas pp 121-126 29 See Epifanovich Prepodobnyi Maksim Ispovednik i Vizantiiskoe bogoslovie p 65n5 30 Maximus the Confessor Quaest ad Thai PG 90:40SBC 31 Theodoret Cyrus Haeret fabul compendium 5:18; PG 83:512 32 Gregory Palamas Horn in Present 6-7; ed Oikonomos (Athens 1861) pp 126-127; trans in EChurchQ 10 (1954-1955) No 8 381-382 33 Ibid 2;. to achieve his balanced understanding spiritual life Maximus did not rely only on the monastic spiritual tradition He was a consistent Chalcedonian first all and thus he approached the problem with a fundamental conviction that each nature Christ keeps as nature its characteristics and activity "Deification" does not suppress humanity but makes it more authentically human Opposition to Secular Philosophy. especially associated with the tradition Macarius this quest is particularly evident in the flowery hymns Symeon the New Theologian addressed to the Holy Spirit: and since Dionysius also holds very strictly to the Platonic divisions between the intellectual and material orders the material being only a reflection and a symbol the intellectual his doctrine the sacraments is both purely symbolic and individualistic; the function the Eucharist for example is only to symbolize the union the intellect with. it would have seemed that no individual figure played a decisive role in the formation this theology and one could be equally hard-pressed to locate any school or other intellectual centre in the capital where the theological thought was creatively elaborated Though it seemed reasonable to assume that a theological school for the training higher ecclesiastical personnel was connected with the patriarchate sources about its character or the levels its teaching were wanting A centre theological learning was attested at the famous monastery the Akoimetai (the "Non-Sleepers") and others certainly existed elsewhere but very little was specifically known about them Theologians who were active during the fifth and sixth centuries ten received their training in distant parts the empire such as Syria or Palestine The Lavra St Sabbas near Jerusalem for example was the scene violent debates between competing Origenist factions. The "Great Church" Constantinople The Liturgical Cycles Hymnology Doctrinal Themes Creation Creator and Creatures The Divine Plan The Dynamism Creation Sanctification Nature Man Man and God Man and the World Original Sin The. the East remained pragmatic in its universal or local primacies among the churches and this attitude made conflict inevitable as soon as Rome recognized an absolute and dogmatic significance to the "apostolic" criterion primacy Actually in the Byzantine Empire "pragmatism" meant adjustment to the structure the state and this adjustment explains the text Canon 28 the Council Chalcedon: 2) God is absolutely inaccessible in His essence both this life and in the future; for only the three divine hypostases are "God by essence." Man in "deification," can become God only "by grace" or "by energy." The inaccessibility the essence God was one the basic affirmations the Cappadocian Fathers against Eunomius and also in a different context against Origen Affirming the absolute transcendence God is only another way saying that He is the Creator ex nihilo: anything which exists outside God exists only through His "will" or "energy," and can participate in His life only as a result His will or "grace." we have seen that the doctrine the "energies" in the Byzantine tradition is central both to the understanding creation and to Christology Refusing to reduce the being God to the philosophical concept simple "essence," Byzantine thought affirms the full and distinct reality the Triune hypostatic life God ad intra as well as His "multiplication" as creator ad extra These two "multiplicities" do not however coincide The terminology which the doctrine energies received in its relation to the three hypostases was stabilized in the Palamite synthesis the fourteenth century: