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4.0 out of 5 stars Antiochene Christology Versus Alexandrine Soteriology, December 7, 2004
This review is from: Christ in Eastern Christian Thought (Paperback)
"man is truly man when he participates in divine life... this participation in no way diminishes his authentically human existence, human energy, and will." Jean Meyendorff

Christ in Western thought:

"Few Protestant theologians in the middle of the 20th century were willing to endorse the ancient dogma of the two natures in Christ as unconditionally as the reformers had done,...-" (Encyclopædia Britannica)

On top of them was Martin Luther who exclaimed, "Two natures! what does this mean to my salvation?" While after words, Barth and Von Harnack has defined orthodox Christology to be that of the Alexandrines.

Christ in Eastern Thought:

In the Orient, people of the book, the sons of Abraham's faith, all believe in the One Almighty Lord. The only basic doctrine where the three: Rabbinic, Messianic (Christians), and Ebionite Jews (:Moslems) differ radically is the reply to Jesus first question, on who is the Christ, "Whom do the people say that I am?" Since Fr. Meyendroff did not address the pluralistic issue, he confined himself to Christ's second question, to his own disciples, "and whom do you say I am?"

Christ in Oriental Christian Noia:

This last question was to His own, who three centuries later debated the results of his dissection into Divine 'plus' Human.

Three main defenders of His integrity stood 'Contra Mondum', Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus of Antioch, clarifying that the Divine was in the human in a mysterious real union, as per st. Paul's expression, known only to Him who asked the questions!

A Catholic mystic and great theologian summarizes Easterner's (who wrote in theological Greek language) Noia (thought) very eloquently; "By basing christological thinking on anthropology, one is necessarily led to the other major conclusions of Greek (speaking) Patristics: man does not disappear in contact with God but, on the contrary, becomes more truly and more freely man, not only in his similarity to God, but also in what makes him radically different from his Creator. And this is the very meaning of the hypostatic union of Divinity and humanity in Christ. (Quoted from the conclusion, pp. 211,212)

Patristic Exposition:

Fr. Meyendroff, a patrologist by orientation and scholarship, after summarizing the fundamental pre Chalcedonian thought of the fifth century, or Antiochian Christology versus Alexandrine Soteriology, based in mixed Aristotalian philosophic languge versus Neo Platonic metaphysical logic, delved into the Origenist thought ocean, and his participation in the debates on both sides, in the sixth century. "Aman Baba", cries the Turks (New Byzantines), when those genius miaphysites started to deconstruct the meta Orthodox, para Nestorian confession of Chalcedon.

"The 'Monophysites', on the contrary, could justly pride themselves in reckoning within their ranks a philoxenus of Mabbugh and a Severus of Antioch," I add; and John Philoponus, the Arbiter and defender of Alexandrine Miaphysite Orthodoxy.

Origen here, there, everywhere!

Pseudo Dionysius, a miaphysite Syrian mystic who influenced East and West, the Spiritual writers, blessed Maximus the Confessor, Al Mansour Ibn Sergon, or the systematizer, Yuhanna Al Demasky. All have been interviewed or, rather, got their thought exposed.

The 'Vision of the Invisible' is the only authentic participation by Byzantine 'theology', before he comes to the enlightening conclusion.

A 4* wonderful treatise:

Why such a fascinating book by an eminent christologist lost the fifth star? An outstanding graduate professor (Man. Syst. Engg) replies to this; "We in the U.W.Madison never grant an 'A' for whoever deserves it, but only to whom is sure to deserve it!

a. While Meyendroff elaborated on Maximus and John, he did not do justice to Philoxinus or Severus. He just mentioned them in a hurry.

b. He did not give space or even mentioned John Philoponus, the arbiter, most learned of the sixth century, and the major critic of Leo's tome. (Read John E. McKenna, on the Arbiter)

c. He did not even mention the Christology of the Alexandrian Patriarchs or Scholars: Nonnus, Cyrus of Panopolis, dioscorus of Aphrodito, presbyter Ammonius, or Deacon Olympiodore, etc., etc.

d. He avoided Shenoute of Atripe, a founder of Coptic Christology. (Many books about him, but most relevant is "Christ in Christian Tradition", Volume 2, Part 4, (The church of Alexandria with Nubia and Ethiopia after 451)

Fr. Jean Meyendroff:

An influential teacher, eminent historian, ecclesiologist, and ecumenist. He wrote a twentysome books of great value. In our confraternity discussion, elected Encycoptic to propose how to keep this great book (written in the early seventies in French) up to date, retaining the classic approach of Abba Jean, of good memory, always.
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