Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

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Extranjero
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Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

Postby Extranjero » Tue 23 January 2018 4:19 am

Hi. I would like to know what is the most complete theological comment about the Holy Trinity in the Eastern Fathers? There is in the oriental patristic sources something similar to De Trinitate of Saint Agustin?

I have read some short -but of course deep- texts of Saint Basilio (an Homily) and Saint Gregory of Nyssa (in his Catechism), but I would like find something more.

Thanks in advance.

d9popov
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Re: Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

Postby d9popov » Thu 22 February 2018 2:21 am

The Orthodox Church does not have any one Church Father who is "The Theologian" as Augustine or Aquinas were at times in the Latin Church. Likewise there is no single document about the Trinity that has everything of value. Off the top of my head, I would suggest: (1) The Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, by Saint Photius; (2) The Synodicon of the Holy Spirit; and (3) The Apodictic Discourses Against the Latins on the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father Alone, by Saint Gregory Palamas. The first two have been translated into English, the third has not been. If I can find an English-language summary of the Apodictic Discourses, I will post it.

You should purchase this book:
http://www.stnectariospress.com/on-the- ... ly-spirit/

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Cyprian
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Re: Holy Trinity from the eastern fathers

Postby Cyprian » Tue 20 March 2018 7:27 am

d9popov wrote:The Orthodox Church does not have any one Church Father who is "The Theologian" as Augustine or Aquinas were at times in the Latin Church.

What exactly do you mean by the "Latin Church"? Are you suggesting that St. Augustine belonged to the same "Latin Church" as Thomas Aquinas? Which "Latin Church" is that? The Papal one or the Orthodox one? Do you accept Augustine of Hippo as a saint of the Orthodox Church? A simple yes or no, please.


Yes, this is good advice. Everyone should read Saint Photius the Great's Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit, so they can learn from St. Photius as he demonstrates the proper reverence and attitude toward the Holy Fathers of the Church, including the Blessed Augustine. St. Photius in his writings calls Augustine holy, father, saint, a godlike man, etc.

The question is, are you willing to do the same?

St. Photius the Great's Mystagogy of the Holy Spirit can be read for free here:
http://www.myriobiblos.gr/texts/english ... agogy.html

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Cyprian
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Re: Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

Postby Cyprian » Tue 20 March 2018 7:35 am

Extranjero wrote:Hi. I would like to know what is the most complete theological comment about the Holy Trinity in the Eastern Fathers? There is in the oriental patristic sources something similar to De Trinitate of Saint Agustin?

Extranjero, something akin to what you are looking for are the Five Theological Orations of St. Gregory the Theologian:

They can be read here, starting with the first:

Five Theological Orations
https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf207.iii.xiii.html

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Re: Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

Postby d9popov » Thu 22 March 2018 11:43 pm

I use the phrase "Latin Church" as most people do, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, to refer to a linguistic/cultural/geographical entity through the centuries, that also underwent changes. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that the Latin Church at the time of Bishop Augustine of Hippo was Orthodox and a part of Christ's Church. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that the Latin Church at the time of Aquinas was heretical and outside the Church of Christ. I accept Saint Photius who defended Augustine of Hippo with his (Saint Photius's) charitable but false theory about significant interpolations. I also accept the western saints such as Saint John Cassian and Saint Vincent of Lerins, who unlike Saint Photius, actually knew Augustine's writings extensively, who denounced some of what Augustine wrote. Bishop Augustine of Hippo has experienced some veneration in the Orthodox Church (which is controversial). What is not controversial in the Orthodox Church is the universal Orthodox consensus that Augustine made serious errors. So, I cannot give a simple yes or no on the question of the sainthood of Augustine of Hippo or not. The Orthodox Church as a whole has not done so either. I follow Orthodox tradition (as a whole) on that.

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Maria
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Re: Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

Postby Maria » Fri 23 March 2018 2:15 am

d9popov wrote:I use the phrase "Latin Church" as most people do, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, to refer to a linguistic/cultural/geographical entity through the centuries, that also underwent changes. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that the Latin Church at the time of Bishop Augustine of Hippo was Orthodox and a part of Christ's Church. As an Orthodox Christian, I believe that the Latin Church at the time of Aquinas was heretical and outside the Church of Christ. I accept Saint Photius who defended Augustine of Hippo with his (Saint Photius's) charitable but false theory about significant interpolations. I also accept the western saints such as Saint John Cassian and Saint Vincent of Lerins, who unlike Saint Photius, actually knew Augustine's writings extensively, who denounced some of what Augustine wrote. Bishop Augustine of Hippo has experienced some veneration in the Orthodox Church (which is controversial). What is not controversial in the Orthodox Church is the universal Orthodox consensus that Augustine made serious errors. So, I cannot give a simple yes or no on the question of the sainthood of Augustine of Hippo or not. The Orthodox Church as a whole has not done so either. I follow Orthodox tradition (as a whole) on that.


That is a vague answer.

From what I was taught, St. Augustine repented, wanted to rewrite his older books, but ran out of time.
That is why he is considered to be a saint in both the East and the West.

It is only certain sects, like HOCNA and perhaps the Makarians, who are adamant in not recognizing the sanctity of St. Augustine.
If you have read his later books when St, Augustine had more wisdom and had grown in theosis, then you would have seen the growth in his spirituality.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.

d9popov
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Re: Holy Trinity from St. Augustine and the Eastern Fathers

Postby d9popov » Thu 29 March 2018 9:24 pm

Maria wrote:From what I was taught, St. Augustine repented, wanted to rewrite his older books, but ran out of time.


Bishop Augustine of Hippo actually completed a book titled in Latin Retractationes, which means reviews, corrections, reconsiderations, second thoughts, etc. It does not really mean "retractions," although such a book could include some actual retractions. The book was written about three or four years before his repose and reviews and corrects all his books up to that point, but not sermons and letters. He died before writing a book reviewing his letters and sermons. To my knowledge, he did not offer any repentance on the issues that Orthodox are agreed that he erred on. In his final years he was quite stubborn in his opinions. We should also note that whereas Augustine's teacher Saint Ambrose of Milan knew Greek well and tried to faithfully follow the Greek Church Fathers, Augustine struggled with the Greek language and departed from the Greek patristic approach on numerous issues. Augustine also, in a self-willed manner, departed from Ambrose's teachings on some issues (see Romanides for details).

Even those who honor Bishop Augustine of Hippo, such as Father Seraphim Rose and Vladimir Moss, admit that he made serious errors. My point is that people need to be warned about those errors.

As I wrote on another thread: I hope we can agree that it was a mistake for Father Seraphim to push veneration for Bishop Augustine among the faithful more than Father Seraphim cautioned the faithful about Bishop Augustine's serious errors, including Augustine's very false view of "valid-but-ineffectual" sacraments among schismatics and heretics. It is a fact that Platina became vagante and then ecumenist after Father Seraphim's repose. When Bishop Augustine is being quoted by the ecumenists to "justify" their attacks on Orthodoxy, it is necessary, if we want to defend Orthodoxy, to point out how serious Augustine's errors were. We all agree that Father Seraphim was correct to point out that Bishop Augustine is morally responsible only for his own serious errors, not the even greater errors of those who followed him. Bishop Augustine of Hippo reposed in 430 and became one of the most famous bishops in Christian history. Yet he was not added as a saint to any official Orthodox Church calendar until 1955!!!!!!! The calendar was by ROCOR. Why did it take 15 centuries? Because a strong liturgical veneration for him as saint was not present in the Eastern Orthodox Church. I looked up all of the references to Augustine in the records of the proceedings of the Fifth Ecumenical Council. (The records were not passed down in the Eastern Churches, but only survived in Latin manuscript form [now with an English translation], possibly with Latin interpolations .) I think that some individuals are making an error of interpretation when they claim that the Council proclaimed him a "Church Father." The mentions of Augustine in the proceedings are references to "Holy Fathers" in the sense of "Bishops of the Orthodox Church." Also referred to in this way is Archbishop Theophilus of Alexandria, who was the persecutor of Saint John Chrysostom, but whose canons are accepted in the Church. Theophilus was a "Holy Father" in the sense of a "Bishop of the Orthodox Church who wrote something the Church accepts." Theophilus is not venerated as a "saint" in the Orthodox Church. Rather, the Church commemorates those monks who were unjustly killed after Theophilus initiated an inquisition against alleged Origenists. Theophilus falsely accused Saint John Chrystostom and "deposed" him, yet he is still called a "Holy Father" in the sense of a "Bishop of the Orthodox Church who wrote something the Church accepts." He is not a universally-recognized Orthodox saint. Factually, Bishop Augustine of Hippo has never attained the status of a universally-recognized Orthodox saint. All Orthodox agree that Augustine made serious errors that the faithful need to be warned about. The dispute, apparently, is about how seriously we take the need to warn the faithful about his unreliability. The Church does accept Augustine's view that the Donatists were wrong.


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