Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions

The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality and Other Traditions by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos
A fundamental teaching of the Holy Fathers is that the Church is a “Hospital” which cures the wounded man... Saint John Chrysostom... clearly show[ed] that the Church is a Hospital which cures people wounded by sin; and the bishops and priests are the therapists of the people of God.

And this precisely is the work of Orthodox theology. When referring to Orthodox theology, we do not simply mean a history of theology. The latter is, of course, a part of this but not absolutely or exclusively. In Patristic tradition, theologians are the God-seers. Saint Gregory Palamas calls Barlaam [who attempted to bring Western scholastic theology into the Orthodox Church] a “theologian,” but he clearly emphasises that intellectual theology differs greatly from the experience of the vision of God. According to Saint Gregory Palamas theologians are the God-seers; those who have followed the “method” of the Church and have attained to perfect faith, to the illumination of the nous and to divinisation (theosis). Theology is the fruit of man’s cure and the path which leads to cure and the acquisition of the knowledge of God.

Western theology, however, has differentiated itself from Eastern Orthodox theology. Instead of being therapeutic, it is more intellectual and emotional in character. In the West [after the Carolingian "Renaissance"], scholastic theology evolved, which is antithetical to the Orthodox Tradition...
Post a Comment