A Greek Thomist
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Matthew Briel examines, for the first time, the appropriation and modification of Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of providence by fifteenth-century Greek Orthodox theologian Gennadios Scholarios. Briel investigates the intersection of Aquinas’s theology, the legacy of Greek patristic and later theological traditions, and the use of Aristotle’s philosophy by Latin and Greek Christian thinkers in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries. A Greek Thomist reconsiders our current understanding of later Byzantine theology by reconfiguring the construction of what constitutes “orthodoxy” within a pro- or anti-Western paradigm. The fruit of this appropriation of Aquinas enriches extant sources for historical and contemporary assessments of Orthodox theology. Moreover, Scholarios’s grafting of Thomas onto the later Greek theological tradition changes the account of grace and freedom in Thomistic moral theology. The particular kind of Thomism that Scholarios develops avoids the later vexing issues in the West of the de auxiliis controversy by replacing the Augustinian theology of grace with the highly developed Greek theological concept of synergy. A Greek Thomist is perfect for students and scholars of Greek Orthodoxy, Greek theological traditions, and the continued influence of Thomas Aquinas.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 avril 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780268107512
Langue English

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A Greek Thomist
Providence in Gennadios Scholarios
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana
University of Notre Dame Press
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556
Copyright © 2020 by the University of Notre Dame
All Rights Reserved
Published in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020932820
ISBN: 978-0-268-10749-9 (Hardback)
ISBN: 978-0-268-10752-9 (WebPDF)
ISBN: 978-0-268-10751-2 (Epub)
This e-Book was converted from the original source file by a third-party vendor. Readers who notice any formatting, textual, or readability issues are encouraged to contact the publisher at undpress@nd.edu
Don Joseph Briel
January 28, 1947–February 15, 2018
A Note on Transliteration
Why Was Providence a Pressing Question?
God’s Wrath? Affliction and the Christian Understanding of Divine Governance
Why Was Providence a Pressing Question in 1458?
Apocalypse, Tyche , and Qismet
Predecessors to and Sources of Scholarios’s Theology of Providence
Greek Patristic and Byzantine Tradition on the Question of Providence
Thomas Aquinas

The Development of Scholarios’s Thought on Providence, 1432–72
The Challenge of Pletho and the Development of Scholarios’s Theology of Providence, 1432–58
Scholarios’s Study of Aquinas’s Metaphysics
Historical and Theological Analysis of First Tract on Providence
Epilogue: Influence and Significance
This book is an adaptation of a dissertation that I wrote under the direction of George Demacopoulos at Fordham University. Its completion would have been inconceivable without him. I took my first, faltering steps in the academic year 2011–12 in a tutorial with Franklin Harkins, who read my translations of Scholarios with care and drew my attention to Thomistic parallels. Work was supported by a number of grants from both the Graduate School and the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University. I began work in earnest in the summer of 2012 while a summer fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and continued it with a grant from the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute in the summer of 2013. A Fulbright grant for 2013–14 to work with Professor Claudia Rapp and others at the University of Vienna’s Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies gave me both leisure and a stimulating group of conversation partners that greatly strengthened the project. The Vatican Library graciously gave me access to some manuscripts of Scholarios and the Greek translations of Aquinas. While I was in Rome, Bernhard Blankenhorn, O.P., opened up the stacks of the Angelicum Library for me, thus complementing my research in the Vatican. John O’Callaghan and the University of Notre Dame’s Jacques Maritain Center provided a home and a setting that allowed me to study Aquinas with great rigor and breadth from 2014 to 2015. A grant from my new home, Assumption College, allowed me to put the finishing touches on the manuscript in the summer of 2018.
A number of friends helped along the way. Brian Dunkle, S.J., provided crucial help at several stages. Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Yost, Christiaan Kappes, John Demetracopoulos, Marie-Hélène Blanchet, Andrew Hofer, O.P., Marie-Hélène Congourdeau, Denis Searby, John Monfasani, Georgij “Yury” Avvakumov, Aristotle Papanikolaou, Alexander Riehle, Joseph Lienhard, S.J., Robert Davis, Ty Monroe, Judith Ryder, Frances Kianka, John Betz, Charles and Lauren Yost, and Mary-Ellen Briel all provided help at different points. Stephen Little of the University of Notre Dame Press expertly guided this project from rough proposal to final draft. Robert Banning carefully read the manuscript and corrected a number of misspellings, obiter dicta, and infelicities of style. My family, especially my father and the Cronins, supported me in numerous ways by providing me with a place to stay and financial support. Megan Briel provided support and encouragement in the final stages of the project. Mary Irene Briel inspired this work from beginning to end. This book is dedicated to the memory of my father, my first teacher, who made innumerable sacrifices for my education and read several drafts of this work.
Portions of this work appeared in a different form in my article “A Palamite Thomist? Gennadios Scholarios and the Reception of Thomas Aquinas in Byzantium,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 62, no. 3 (2018): 267–85. My thanks to the journal for permission to reproduce some of the text in this book.
Most, but not all, well-known Greek names are given in their Latin form. Less common names are given in their Greek form.
AB Assyriologische Bibliothek
ACO Acta Conciliorum Oecumenicorum . Edited by Eduard Schwartz. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1914–84.
Acta med-hist Adriat Acta medico-historica Adriatica
BF Byzantinische Forschungen
BZ Biblische Zeitschrift
CAG Corpus aristotelicum graecum
CCSG Corpus Christianorum: Series Graeca. Turnhout: Brepols, 1977–.
CCT Cuneiform Texts from Cappadocian Tablets in the British Museum
CFHB Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae
CSCO Corpus scriptorum christianorum orientalium
CSHB Corpus scriptorum historiae byzantinae
DictSpir Dictionnaire de spiritualité . Edited by Marcel Viller, F. Cavallera, J. de Guibert, et al. Paris: Beauchesne, 1937–94.
DOML Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library
DOP Dumbarton Oaks Papers
DTC Dictionnaire de théologie catholique. Edited by Eugène Mangenot and Émile Amann. Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1899–1950.
EEBS Ἐπετηρὶς ἑταιρείας Βυζαντινῶν σπουδῶν

ÉO Échos d’Orient
GCS Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller
GRBS Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies
JÖB Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik
LSJ Liddell, Henry George, and Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon . With revisions by Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie and a supplement by P. G. W. Glare and A. A. Thompson. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.
MEG Medioevo Greco
Miscell. G. Mercati Miscellanea Giovanni Mercati
OC Œuvres Complètes de Georges Scholarios. 8 vols. 1928–36.
OCP Orientalia Christiana Periodica
OCT Oxford Classical Texts (from Oxford University Press)
ODB The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium . Edited by Alexander Kazhdan, Alice-Mary Talbot, Anthony Cutler, Timothy E. Gregory, and Nancy P. Ševčenko. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.
PG Patrologia graeca. Edited by Jacques-Paul Migne. 162 vols. Paris, 1857–86.
PL Patrologia latina. Edited by Jacques-Paul Migne. 214 vols. Paris, 1844–64.
PLP Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit. Edited by Erich Trapp, Rainer Walther, and Christian Gastgeber. Vienna: Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaft, 1976–96.
PP Palaiologeia kai Peloponnesiaka [ Παλαιολόγεια καὶ Πελοποννησιακά ]. By Spyros Lampros. 4 vols. Athens: 1912–30.
QD Quaestiones et dubia
RÉB Revue des études byzantines
SC Sources chrétiennes. Paris: Cerf, 1943–.
SCG Summa contra gentiles
ST Summa theologiae
SVTQ St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly
TAPA Transactions of the American Philological Association

TDNT Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Edited by Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. 10 vols. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964–76.
ZRVI Zbornik Radova Vizantološkog Instituta
Old Testament
Gn Genesis
Ex Exodus
2 Chr 2 Chronicles
Neh Nehemiah
Ps(s) Psalm(s)
Eccl Ecclesiastes
Is Isaiah
Jer Jeremiah
Ezek Ezekiel
Dn Daniel
Hos Hosea
Joel Joel
Zep Zephaniah
New Testament
Mt Matthew
Jn John
Rom Romans
1 Cor 1 Corinthians
2 Cor 2 Corinthians
Eph Ephesians
Col Colossians
Hb Hebrews
2 Pet 2 Peter
1 Jn 1 John
Rv Revelation
We usually begin the study of the history of “modern” Hellenism with the Fall of Constantinople (1453), the final act in the collapse of what we call “Byzantine” Hellenism. . . . [However,] from the point of view of the development of Greek culture . . . the starting-point of the “modern” period is not 1453 but 1354, when Demetrios Kydones . . . translated into Greek the Summa contra Gentiles of Thomas Aquinas.
—Christos Yannaras, Orthodoxy and the West: Hellenic Self-Identity in the Modern Age
Gennadios Scholarios, perhaps the greatest Orthodox theologian of his generation, seems to have died peacefully in the book-rich monastery of St. John the Forerunner, fifty miles northeast of Thessaloniki, in 1472. This area had been under Turkish control for nearly a century by the time he died. Scholarios was in many ways a liminal figure. Faithfully Orthodox, he was an avid reader of the Latin Thomas Aquinas. Born in the center of Byzantium, Constantinople, around 1400, Scholarios came to maturity during a period of artistic and intellectual brilliance, a period all the more luminous in its intellectual flourishing when contrasted with the accelerating dec

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