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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): 978-1-59333-344-7
  • *
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Aug 15,2013
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 164
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-59333-344-7
$124.00

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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Contributor

Christopher Livanos

  • Table of Contents (page 7)
  • Acknowledgments (page 9)
  • Abbreviations (page 11)
  • Introduction (page 13)
    • Cultural Animosity (page 15)
    • Anthropology of Official Dogma (page 16)
    • "Patristic Consensus" (page 18)
  • 1 Scholarios and His Times (page 21)
  • 2 Scholarios's Religious Thought and its Sources (page 39)
    • Athanasios of Alexandria (page 39)
    • Augustine of Hippo (page 45)
    • Scholarios's Anthropology (page 51)
    • The Creation of Eve (page 55)
    • Trinities Human and Divine (page 59)
    • Divine Justice and Divine Mercy (page 64)
    • The Fall of Man and Its Consequences (page 67)
    • The Trees in the Garden (page 72)
    • The Individual and Society (page 77)
  • 3 The Conflict with Plethon (page 83)
    • The Impact of Scholarios and Plethon (page 99)
    • Scholarios and the Semantics of Communal Identity (page 101)
  • 4 Fallen Cities, Orientalism, and the Rhetoric of East and West (page 107)
    • The Carver of the Union (page 107)
    • Scholarios's Lament (page 110)
    • Comparative and Theoretical Perspectives on Scholarios's Lament (page 114)
    • Byzantium and Orientalism (page 123)
  • Conclusion (page 141)
  • Bibliography (page 147)
  • Indexes (page 159)
    • Index of References to Scholarios (page 159)
    • Index of Biblical References (page 159)
    • Index of Names and Subjects (page 160)
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