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Greek Tradition and Latin Influence in the Work of George Scholarios

“Alone Against All of Europe”


This title is a study of the work and career of theologian and diplomat George Scholarios who became the first Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church during the period of Ottoman Rule. Scholarios advocated the union of the Greek and Latin Churches, but he later became the leader of the anti-Unionist faction in the final years of the Byzantine Empire. Scholarios played an important role in East-West dialogues, including the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-39. This book provides a fresh look at some of the cultural misunderstandings that took place at the Council and related dialogues.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 1-59333-344-7
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Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Sep 3,2006
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 168
ISBN: 1-59333-344-7
$125.00
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This title is a study of the work and career of theologian and diplomat George Scholarios who, under the name Gennadios II, became the first Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church during the period of Ottoman Rule. John Meyendorff has called Scholarios “an intellectual enigma awaiting modern scholarly investigation,” due to his unusual blending of Eastern and Western Christianity. Early in his career, Scholarios advocated the union of the Greek and Latin Churches, but he later became the leader of the anti-Unionist faction in the final years of the Byzantine Empire. A student of western Christianity, he translated large sections of Thomas Aquinas’ theological works from Latin into Greek. Even after Scholarios had ceased advocating union between the two churches, he continued to admire Aquinas to such a degree that he has been called a “Palamite Thomist” for allegedly trying to combine the belief systems of Aquinas and the fourteenth-century Byzantine theologian Gregory Palamas.

Scholarios played an important role in East-West dialogues, including the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-39. This book provides a fresh look at some of the cultural misunderstandings that took place at the Council and related dialogues. Modern scholars have long acknowledged that Byzantine and western theology held very different views on doctrines as important as atonement and original sin, yet fifteenth-century theologians and diplomats did not address these issues. The present study attempts to understand this discrepancy between how modern scholars have described the fifteenth century and how people in the fifteenth century viewed themselves.

This title is a study of the work and career of theologian and diplomat George Scholarios who, under the name Gennadios II, became the first Ecumenical Patriarch of the Orthodox Church during the period of Ottoman Rule. John Meyendorff has called Scholarios “an intellectual enigma awaiting modern scholarly investigation,” due to his unusual blending of Eastern and Western Christianity. Early in his career, Scholarios advocated the union of the Greek and Latin Churches, but he later became the leader of the anti-Unionist faction in the final years of the Byzantine Empire. A student of western Christianity, he translated large sections of Thomas Aquinas’ theological works from Latin into Greek. Even after Scholarios had ceased advocating union between the two churches, he continued to admire Aquinas to such a degree that he has been called a “Palamite Thomist” for allegedly trying to combine the belief systems of Aquinas and the fourteenth-century Byzantine theologian Gregory Palamas.

Scholarios played an important role in East-West dialogues, including the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-39. This book provides a fresh look at some of the cultural misunderstandings that took place at the Council and related dialogues. Modern scholars have long acknowledged that Byzantine and western theology held very different views on doctrines as important as atonement and original sin, yet fifteenth-century theologians and diplomats did not address these issues. The present study attempts to understand this discrepancy between how modern scholars have described the fifteenth century and how people in the fifteenth century viewed themselves.

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