EO view of doctrinal development?

Apr 8, 2024
20
13
BC
✟4,303.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
Glory to Jesus Christ!

I have a question for my EO brethern: How do the EO view the concept of doctrinal development?

Do you consider this a valid category for talking about the history of dogma? Is it commonly appealed to in theological discussions? If not - is there a particular objection you have to it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: zippy2006

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
dogma doesn’t develop, that contradicts the words of Christ Who promised the Spirit would lead the Apostles into all truth.

but the articulation of that dogma does develop.
 
Upvote 0

prodromos

Senior Veteran
Site Supporter
Nov 28, 2003
21,749
12,237
58
Sydney, Straya
✟1,194,706.00
Country
Australia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Doctrinal development in the Catholic Church has led them from clearly teaching that Mary, the Mother of God, passed away and was buried before being bodily assumed, to now allowing a belief that she didn't die and was bodily assumed while alive.
They went from celebrating the feast of the Dormition of Mary with the rest of the Church, to changing its focus to the assumption of Mary, away from the rest of the Church.

Doctrinal development is claimed to clarify teaching whereas instead is has led to vagueness.
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Doctrinal development is claimed to clarify teaching whereas instead is has led to vagueness.
and error by their own standards, just look at the contradictions in Rome’s view of the filioque.
 
Upvote 0
Apr 8, 2024
20
13
BC
✟4,303.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
dogma doesn’t develop, that contradicts the words of Christ Who promised the Spirit would lead the Apostles into all truth.

but the articulation of that dogma does develop.

By this do you mean that only the terms we use to speak about a given Divine reality may change according to the needs of the time, past expressions remaining perennially valid? Or do you mean that concepts contained virtually within a revealed truth may be explicitly articulated over time as men reflect on that truth?

The latter would be analogous to an acorn growing into an oak tree.
 
Upvote 0
Apr 8, 2024
20
13
BC
✟4,303.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
Doctrinal development in the Catholic Church has led them from clearly teaching that Mary, the Mother of God, passed away and was buried before being bodily assumed, to now allowing a belief that she didn't die and was bodily assumed while alive.
They went from celebrating the feast of the Dormition of Mary with the rest of the Church, to changing its focus to the assumption of Mary, away from the rest of the Church.

Doctrinal development is claimed to clarify teaching whereas instead is has led to vagueness.

Doctrinal change need not necessarily be equated with doctrinal development - that is in some sense the heart of the question I am asking. In the example you give - those who make this claim, in my experience, do so based on a certain understanding of Original Sin, but in my understanding, this was never dogmatized by the Latin church, or widely held by any other church in Roman Catholic Communion (I am open to correction of this is not the case).

I do not know if that opinion is correlated to the Roman celebration of the Assumption of the Most Holy Theotokos, but I am fairly sure that there are other Apostolic churches such as the Coptic church which do not hold to an Augustinian understanding of Original Sin but do celebrate the feast of the Assumption as well.
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
By this do you mean that only the terms we use to speak about a given Divine reality may change according to the needs of the time, past expressions remaining perennially valid? Or do you mean that concepts contained virtually within a revealed truth may be explicitly articulated over time as men reflect on that truth?
both. what we don’t have is something dogmatically new (like Papal Infallibility).
 
Upvote 0

prodromos

Senior Veteran
Site Supporter
Nov 28, 2003
21,749
12,237
58
Sydney, Straya
✟1,194,706.00
Country
Australia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
I am fairly sure that there are other Apostolic churches such as the Coptic church which do not hold to an Augustinian understanding of Original Sin but do celebrate the feast of the Assumption as well.
They celebrate her Dormition on January 29 and her Assumption on August 22

The Feast of the Dormition of Mary (Dormitio Beatae Virginis) was introduced in Rome by Pope Sergio's I near the end of the 7th century. I challenge you to find any reference to her falling asleep (dying) in the liturgical texts for the Latin rite feast of the Assumption. It has been completely whitewashed. Yes, Eastern Catholics still hold to the doctrine handed down, but they make up less than 1% of the Catholic Church.

"We pray what we believe, we believe what we pray" and the majority of Catholics only hear of Mary's assumption, they never hear of her death.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0

Valletta

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2020
8,635
3,289
Minnesota
✟221,014.00
Country
United States
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
Doctrinal development in the Catholic Church has led them from clearly teaching that Mary, the Mother of God, passed away and was buried before being bodily assumed, to now allowing a belief that she didn't die and was bodily assumed while alive.
They went from celebrating the feast of the Dormition of Mary with the rest of the Church, to changing its focus to the assumption of Mary, away from the rest of the Church.

Doctrinal development is claimed to clarify teaching whereas instead is has led to vagueness.
We don't know whether Mary died or did not. The Church can and does come to a deeper understanding of God's Word as time passes.
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
We don't know whether Mary died or did not. The Church can and does come to a deeper understanding of God's Word as time passes.
yes, we do. she died. we have a whole fast to prepare for it.
 
Upvote 0
This site stays free and accessible to all because of donations from people like you.
Consider making a one-time or monthly donation. We appreciate your support!
- Dan Doughty and Team Christian Forums
Apr 8, 2024
20
13
BC
✟4,303.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
both. what we don’t have is something dogmatically new (like Papal Infallibility).

That makes sense. So in the EO view, the category of doctrinal development applies but you would question whether specific changes were in fact (eg: those introduced by the Latin church) legitimate developments or corruptions.

Do I understand you correctly?
 
Upvote 0
Apr 8, 2024
20
13
BC
✟4,303.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
yes, we do. she died. we have a whole fast to prepare for it.

There is also the witness of the iconographic tradition and the hymnography of churches (including those in communion with Rome). If the Most Holy Theotokos did not die all of these have been in error for 2000 years.
 
Upvote 0
Apr 8, 2024
20
13
BC
✟4,303.00
Country
Canada
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Married
They celebrate her Dormition on January 29 and her Assumption on August 22

The Feast of the Dormition of Mary (Dormitio Beatae Virginis) was introduced in Rome by Pope Sergio's I near the end of the 7th century. I challenge you to find any reference to her falling asleep (dying) in the liturgical texts for the Latin rite feast of the Assumption. It has been completely whitewashed. Yes, Eastern Catholics still hold to the doctrine handed down, but they make up less than 1% of the Catholic Church.

"We pray what we believe, we believe what we pray" and the majority of Catholics only hear of Mary's assumption, they never hear of her death.

Forgive me if I am misinterpreting your posts @prodromos, but I am not here to get into a polemic or to defend the current praxis of the Latin Church (of which I am not a member). My intention in posing the question about the EO view of doctrinal development was to try to understand if the concept is compatible with Orthodox theology.

In any case, while I agree that the falling asleep of the Most Holy Theotokos is not a major theme in the Latin liturgical texts of the Assumption, it is not wholly absent either - see for example the fifth reading of Matins from St. John of Damascus:

"From her the true Life flowed for all men, and how should she taste death? But she yielded obedience to the law established by Him to whom she had given birth, and as the daughter of the old Adam, underwent the old sentence, which even her Son, who is very Life itself had not refused"
 
  • Like
Reactions: zippy2006
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
That makes sense. So in the EO view, the category of doctrinal development applies but you would question whether specific changes were in fact (eg: those introduced by the Latin church) legitimate developments or corruptions.

Do I understand you correctly?
there is no development to dogma, only the articulation of that dogma.
 
Last edited:
Upvote 0
This site stays free and accessible to all because of donations from people like you.
Consider making a one-time or monthly donation. We appreciate your support!
- Dan Doughty and Team Christian Forums

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
There is also the witness of the iconographic tradition and the hymnography of churches (including those in communion with Rome). If the Most Holy Theotokos did not die all of these have been in error for 2000 years.
yep
 
Upvote 0

zippy2006

Dragonsworn
Nov 9, 2013
6,905
3,431
✟247,484.00
Country
United States
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Single
Forgive me if I am misinterpreting your posts @prodromos, but I am not here to get into a polemic or to defend the current praxis of the Latin Church (of which I am not a member). My intention in posing the question about the EO view of doctrinal development was to try to understand if the concept is compatible with Orthodox theology.
Orthodox theologians such as Dumitru Stăniloae certainly thought so. Once you make it past the polemics what I believe you will find is that Orthodox do accept a form of development, albeit one that is more conservative than what is found in Roman Catholicism.
 
Upvote 0

prodromos

Senior Veteran
Site Supporter
Nov 28, 2003
21,749
12,237
58
Sydney, Straya
✟1,194,706.00
Country
Australia
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Orthodox theologians such as Dumitru Stăniloae certainly thought so. Once you make it past the polemics what I believe you will find is that Orthodox do accept a form of development, albeit one that is more conservative than what is found in Roman Catholicism.
There are only three people in the Orthodox Church who have been deemed worthy of the title "theologian".
 
Upvote 0

ArmyMatt

Regular Member
Site Supporter
Jan 26, 2007
41,618
20,200
41
Earth
✟1,479,544.00
Country
United States
Faith
Eastern Orthodox
Marital Status
Married
Orthodox theologians such as Dumitru Stăniloae certainly thought so. Once you make it past the polemics what I believe you will find is that Orthodox do accept a form of development, albeit one that is more conservative than what is found in Roman Catholicism.
just curious, but where does he teach that? because I you can say that there is a development in a sense in terms of the Church’s response to heresy (ie homoousious at Nicaea), but not development as in something that was wrong in the 400s AD is now okay, or something theologically completely unknown has been added.
 
Upvote 0
This site stays free and accessible to all because of donations from people like you.
Consider making a one-time or monthly donation. We appreciate your support!
- Dan Doughty and Team Christian Forums

zippy2006

Dragonsworn
Nov 9, 2013
6,905
3,431
✟247,484.00
Country
United States
Faith
Catholic
Marital Status
Single
just curious, but where does he teach that?
See for example this page, which includes a link to an article that Stăniloae wrote on the topic.

because I you can say that there is a development in a sense in terms of the Church’s response to heresy (ie homoousious at Nicaea), but not development as in something that was wrong in the 400s AD is now okay, or something theologically completely unknown has been added.
Sure, but it's a bit hard to know where condemnation ends and doctrine begins. For example, it would seem that when Cyril and Nestorius initiated their Christological controversy both positions were developments from what had come before, and Cyril's development contradicted Nestorius' development. The condemnation of Nestorius' position is simultaneous with the development of Christological doctrine at the Council of Ephesus.

Now, was the theology of Ephesus "completely unknown" to the Church prior to Ephesus? Well, it was not unknown to those who were following Cyril, but it was unknown to those who were following Nestorius.
 
Upvote 0