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Byzantine Theology after Chalcedon. C onstantinople, the great cultural melting pot, the "New Rome" and capital of the empire, did not produce any real outstanding theologian in the fifth and sixth centuries; but the city witnessed the great theological debates of the day since their conclusion often depended upon imperial sanction.
The bishops of Constantinople and their staffs however were still able to defend explicit theological convictions, even against the imperial will, as the lonely pro-Chalcedonian stand adopted by the patriarchs, Euphemius and Macedonius IIunder the reign of the Monophysite emperor Anastasius, bears witness.
Thus, a theology, which can be termed specifically "Byzantine" in contrast to the earlier currents of Eastern Christian thought and centred mainly in Egypt and Syria, comes into being during the post-Chalcedonian period.
It would have seemed that no individual figure played a decisive role in the formation of 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 of higher ecclesiastical personnel was connected with the patriarchate, sources about its character or the levels of its teaching were wanting.
A centre of theological learning was attested at the famous monastery of 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, often received their training in distant parts of the empire, such as Syria or Palestine. The Lavra of St. Sabbas near Jerusalem, for example, was the scene of violent debates between competing Origenist factions.
The imperial, secular University of Constantinople, founded by Constantine and reorganized by a decree of Theodosius IIdid not include theology among its subjects; yet it certainly served as a channel for the perpetuation of ancient Greek philosophical ideas.
The university remained bilingual Greek and Latin until the seventh century and until the reign of Justinian and included pagans among its professors.
But the drastic measures taken by Justinian in excluding both, pagans and non-Orthodox Christians, from the teaching profession and in closing the pagan University of Athens must have emphasized that the role of secular studies in Theology of missions Byzantium was purely ancillary.
Even if a small circle of intellectuals perpetuated the philosophical traditions of the ancient Greeks, the official position of both, Church and state, now considered philosophy as at best a tool for expressing Revelation, but it never admitted that philosophy was entitled to shape the very content of theological ideas.
In practice, one might readily admit that Aristotelian logic is to be taught in the schools, but one would be consistently distrustful of Platonism because of its metaphysical implications. Yet Platonism would subsist through patristic literature mainly and especially through the Origenist tradition; but it would never be formally acknowledged as a valid expression of religious ideas.
Conservative in form and intent, Byzantine theology in the age of Justinian continually referred to tradition as its main source.
In particular, the Christological debates of the period consisted chiefly of a battle between exegetes of Scripture about philosophical terms adopted by Christian theology in the third and fourth centuries and about patristic texts making use of these terms.
Liturgical hymnology, which began to flourish at this time, incorporated the results of the controversies and often became a form of credal confession. The various elements of Byzantine theological traditionalism dominated in the fifth and sixth centuries, constituted the basis of further creativity in the later periods, and required very special attention.
But, if any issue arises concerning Scripture, it should not be interpreted other than as the luminaries and teachers of the Church have expounded it in their writings; let them [the bishops] become distinguished for their knowledge of patristic writings rather than for composing treatises out of their own heads.
Even though the consensus patrum reached by this method was in some instances partial and artificial, the standard Church teaching came to rely on it especially when it was sanctified by liturgical and hymnographical usage.
The Bible was always understood not simply as a source of revealed doctrinal propositions or as a description of historical facts but as a witness to a living Truth, which had become dynamically present in the sacramental community of the New Testament Church.
The veneration of the Virgin, Mother of God, for example, was associated once and for all with a typological interpretation of the Old Testament temple cult: The identification of the Old Testament Wisdom with the Johannine Logos had been taken for granted since the time of Origen, and no one would have thought of challenging it.
As early as the fourth century, when much of the Arian debate centred on the famous text "The Lord created me at the beginning of his works" Pr 8: Athanasius and other members of the Nicaean party declined to challenge the identification between Logos and Wisdom preferring to find references to other texts supporting the uncreated character of the Logos-Wisdom.
No one questioned the established exegetical consensus on the identification itself. Much of the accepted Byzantine exegetical method had its origin in Alexandrian tradition and its allegorism.
Thus, in pushing the allegorical method of interpreting Scripture to its very extremes, the Alexandrian Hellenistic milieu, common to Philo, Clement, and Origen, could refer to the illustrious precedent of St. Allegory was first of all consonant with the Hellenic and especially the Platonic concern for eternal things as the opposite to historical facts.
The allegorical method however allowed the possibility of interpreting all concrete, changeable facts as symbols of unchangeable realities. Thus, history itself was losing its centrality and in extreme cases simply denied.
But consonance with Hellenism was not the only element, which contributed to the widespread use of allegory in exegesis.
The method provided an easy weapon against Gnosticism, the main challenge of Christianity in the second century. Christian apologists used allegory to "redeem" the Old Testament and counteracted the Gnostic dualism with the idea that the Old and the New Testaments have the same "spiritual" meaning and reflect a continuous Revelation of the same true God.
Origen also made use of this concept of the "spiritual meaning" in his notion of Tradition. The Spirit, which had inspired the Biblical writers, was also present in the "spiritual men" of the Christian Church. The saint alone therefore could decipher the authentic meaning of Scripture.
The Scriptures [Origen writes] were composed through the Spirit of God, and they have not only that meaning which is obvious, but also another, which is hidden from the majority of readers.
For the contents of Scripture are the outward forms of certain mysteries and the images of 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 of the Holy Spirit in the word of wisdom and knowledge.Introduction To understand “Mission Theology” we first have separate the two words.
Mission is the vocation or calling of a religion organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith (Oxford Dictionaries).
Theology is the study of God or the study of the nature of God and the relationship between the. Theology of Mission The Mission Theology statement guides Global Ministries’ participation in the Missio Dei.
It frames Global Ministries’ role within the denominational mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Encoding: Cyrillic (Windows) Welcome to David Jay Webber’s Lutheran Theology Web Site. vetconnexx.com in the presence of God and of all.
Home Services Location Ministries Beliefs Studies Calendar Missions Pastor Contact Search Grace Bible Church. E. Collins Rd. P.O. Box # Gillette, WY () - Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim - . Two facts have been seared into my mind as I have been praying through this book.
They will lead into the theology for missions that I will try to develop this morning. 1. One fact is the tremendous unfinished task before the church of Christ. Introduction: What are the California Missions? Why were they built?
|Byzantine Theology||Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.|
|Mission Theology||Why were they built?|
|Reformation Theology||The church and its history The essence and identity of Christianity At the very least, Christianity is the faith tradition that focuses on the figure of Jesus Christ.|
Who established them? These are fundamental questions surrounding an enterprise that saw Spain achieve her greatest extension of empire in the late 18th-early 19th century.