Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Eastern Christianity splits from the West."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 13 Eastern Christianity splits from the West
Questions to be addressed in this chapter 1.What was the relation of Rome to the Eastern Church? 2.What was the filioque clause and its importance? 3.What was the Iconoclastic Controversy? 4.How did Eastern spirituality contribute to the separation of East and West?
Rome claims primacy When it became apparent that the Christian Church would be around for a while—neither being exterminated by persecution nor gathered up into the skies at the Second Coming of Christ—it institutionalized. In the West, this meant taking on the form of the Roman Empire, with one head or monarch: the Bishop of Rome (who came to be called “Pope”). The West’s justification for why the Bishop of Rome was pre- eminent rested on two claims: 1. Jesus said that his Church would be built on Peter, and he gave Peter ultimate authority. 2. Peter’s authority is passed on through the office he founded in Rome.
Filioque Filioque is a Latin word which translates as “and the son.” This seemingly insignificant phrase became the source of a significant theological difference between East and West when taken in the context of the part of the Nicene Creed which states, “The Holy Spirit, the Lord and the Life-giver, that proceedeth from the Father [and the son].” Besides the political drama that attended the filioque controversy, there was a deep theological issue at stake. Central to this was how the relationships between members of the Trinity were to be conceived and explained.
Iconoclastic Controversy Another debate which was ultimately grounded in Christology was the Iconoclastic Controversy. This was particularly important in the East because of their tradition of the use of icons in worship, but also because of the ramifications the dispute had for the developing relationship between Church and State. The controversy began when Emperor Leo III of the Eastern (or Byzantine) Empire, had an image of Jesus removed from the Imperial Palace in Constantinople in 726.
Eastern spirituality The debate over icons in the East carried more than just academic or intellectual gravitas; the reverence and use of icons was an important way of life for people in the East. John of Damascus had called them “books for the illiterate”— ways in which people could be visually drawn into the mysteries of the faith. The Hesychasts, a term which translates as “stillness”, maintained with the earlier apophatic theologians of the East that God cannot be known in his essence or nature. But they argued that he can be known through the energies which emanate from him.
The Jesus Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
Summary of main points 1.The primacy of Rome was justified by the claims that Jesus gave authority to Peter, and Peter passed his authority on through the office he founded at Rome. 2.The disagreement over the filioque clause of the Nicene Creed cut to the heart of diffferent theological approaches between East and West. 3.The Iconoclastic Controversy forced further reflection of Christology and was another source of tension between East and West. 4.Eastern spirituality continued in the mystical tradition of earlier Christian ascetics and gradually had less and less interaction with Roman Catholicism.