There is a part of me that wants to summarize (contemporary?) Orthodox readings of Aquinas with one word: Childish. But, of course, that accusation could be extended to most Orthodox readings of any Catholic theology that was penned after 1054. (Oh, heck, it could be extended to most Orthodox readings of St. Augustine, too.) Catholic (even Protestant) readings of Orthodox thought has been, to put it mildly, exponentially more sympathetic. Part of that could be attribute to the apparent “openness” of “the West” to other modes of thought. Part of it could just as easily be attributed to the near-constant boredom of Western Christian intellectual circles with their own tradition(s). The Christian East appears new and exciting, and nobody has promoted the “newness” and “excitingness” of Eastern theology more than the Orthodox themselves. When something doesn’t appear to follow in it, well, it’s “mystical.” When a Western Christian questions the premises of this-or-that mode of Eastern thought, they’re just stuck in “Latin rationalism”; they’ll never understand how 1,000 prostrations on an empty stomach can properly short circuit the brain in order to make it open to divine emanations (or what most scientists would call “hallucinations”).Ouch.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
The problem with Eastern Orthodox theology
Is rather pithily summed up by Modestinus here: Ah, the East... (Hat tip to A Conservative Blog for Peace). Here's a taste: