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Orthodox- is there a name for this branch of theology?

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by ~Anastasia~, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Please note - posting this in the Eastern Orthodox forum. As always, visitors welcome in fellowship but I'm not trying to start a debate on whatever any of us might disagree on. :)

    I've been wanting to ask something - I fear it's going to be a clumsy question, but I hope I can expresss it, because I've been wanting to read more and delve a little deeper into the theological details.

    1. Is there a name for branch of theology that deals specifically with "the big picture" ... God's relationship with creation (spiritual and material), details concerning the fall, atonement, redemption, the condition of the material world under sin, and those kinds of things? I hope I'm expressing myself well enough to get an answer, if there is one.

    2. Any particular recommended sources for reading such things? Not TOO convoluted and hard to understand, but I'm looking for some detail, and the understanding behind it. If they quote Church fathers, councils, etc. to back up their statements, so much the better, but not absolutely necessary (just might make worthwhile research to have on the shelf in that case as opposed to something to read and learn for now).

    I've been wanting to ask this for several days, but just received a reply to a post of mine where I'd like to check what I think I know before replying. I realize a book recommendation would come too late for this discussion, but it does give me more motive to get a bit deeper into it, since I encounter such discussions from time to time. Also, if I'm making no sense in the question, a link to the post that I'm talking about might help explain part of what I'm trying to sort out.

    https://www.christianforums.com/thr...blical-narrative.8042762/page-3#post-72250213 (It's currently post 56, which should be a reply to one of my posts which appears just before it, in case your CF sometimes takes you near the post but not to it, as mine sometimes does. :) )

    Thanks so much for any info!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
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  2. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    My first instinct would be that it'd be teleology, but Google results don't seem agree with that initial assumption. But it's closest conceptualization of the full picture as a theology in and of itself that I could think of.

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  3. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

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    could you be looking for soteriology?
     
  4. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Yes, if there is a branch of Theology known as teleology, that makes sense (from word meaning) that it's what I'm looking for. But like you, I didn't get helpful results in google so maybe that's not the actual answer - though it sure had potential. Do we have another name for this I wonder?
     
  5. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That seems like too broad a subject to fit into one particular category other than "theology".

    One could potentially debate whether anthropology is actually theology.
     
  6. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Unless I misunderstand and wrongly limit soteriology, I don't think that's it. I thought it was concerned with doctrines of salvation only. Though MAYBE in Orthodoxy that is different from what I was taught before? Maybe more all inclusive?

    It makes SENSE that soteriology would include more that just "man fell and needed saving" from that end of human history. But would a study of Orthodox soteriology include things like why God created things, how God interacted with Satan and why as a result of the angelic revolt and human fall, etc?

    If you have a moment, maybe you could glance at the post I linked to. It's long though. But those are the kinds of things I'm trying to incorporate. Did Satan have any right to demand anything of God as a result of man's fall and for the purpose of our salvation, and were God's hands essentially tied in any effort to simply do/undo effects or power structures - I disagree with almost everything the person wrote along these lines - he seems to think God's authority hinges on some set of intellectual points rather than the fact that He is the almighty Creator, uncreated and of unknowable Essence, etc.

    I'm interested most especially in how we would reply, and how we know what we know. Again, not really in time for that post, but I've been wanting to get more carefully and deeply into these things - whatever we do teach - and don't want to misrepresent.

    I'm more familiar within Orthodoxy that God is the Creator, man fell and thus became like a sickness, death was the result of separation from God the source of life, God desires to heal us of the effects of sin, Christ destroyed death, and we are to become partakers of the divine nature.

    I don't know where any authority of Satan and requirements upon God and such things fit in, or where they can. Is it just too different?
     
  7. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Maybe there IS no answer - other than "theology". It doesn't really matter if there IS a name. I mostly just wanted to know where best to learn more about this in something that wouldn't overwhelm.

    I guess we learn these things in layers. I do anyway. I'm confident where I am, but I want to learn more, and it's apparent what I don't know because I'm not sure how to respond except - some of these things just don't fit for us.
     
  8. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Some of the fathers speculated about this in the Ransom theory. The weaknesses in the theory are one reason that satisfactionary theories rose to prominence in the west, because many were uncomfortable with the implication that Satan had rights.
     
  9. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

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    since the google algorythm edits out results the makers don't want you to see, maybe there's a christian search engine you could consult. I typed "Christian results search engine" in google and a bunch popped up.
     
  10. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Hmmmmm.

    I know I've run up against that in "theories of atonement". I studied them for a while. What I took away from it within Orthodoxy is that Christ accomplished much - something very multi-faceted in His death and resurrection. And that all of the theories had elements of truth (least so PSA) but also somewhat not quite right, if for no other reason that they are too limiting. I've not worked out all the details though.
     
  11. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Good point. We have an Orthowiki too.

    I'll keep looking - I've been given several little leads in this thread. Thank you.
     
  12. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    David Bentley Hart might be useful to read since he has sympathetically written about the atonement from a western perspective, specifically Anselm, while at the same time being an Orthodox Christian.
     
  13. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    I appreciate the suggestion but I'm not sure that's what I'm looking for. I don't necessarily want just how to be sympathetic to a particular view (though I'll keep that in mind because in future it could prove useful) ... but for now I'm wanting the "fences" we have constructed and a good solid understanding of them, before I move on to considering ways of - I think I will say finding common ground. He might be useful in that regard once I am confident where I am. Thank you.
     
  14. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Actually found some interesting reading within a book that popped up but ... it reads too much like a commentary and I don't think the author is Orthodox. There are intersting places to go though.

    Science and the Eastern Orthodox Church
    By Gayle Woloschak


    ETA - or is she teaching at St. Vlad's? I'm confused lol.
     
  15. tapi

    tapi Regular Member

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    The Ancestral Sin by Romanides discusses these issues. It includes, however, no small amount of unhelpful polemics and caricaturization of Western belives, so it's wise to read it with a somewhat critical in eye in some respects. In any case, it does convey quite well the Orthodox stand on these subjects.
     
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  16. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If we think primarily about our relationship to God in terms of law, satisfactionary views of atonement seem perfectly appropriate. We recoil at this notion in the modern world only because we are trying to project human notions of justice, always distorted by sin, univocally onto God, instead of reasoning by way of analogy.
     
  17. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Thank you tapi. I don't mind reading polemics - I guess as long as it's not so prounced it seeps in but I think I can guard against that. It might make it more memorable even, though not the way I like to discuss. Thank you. I'll see if I can get hold of it. :)
     
  18. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Forgive me Fire, I'm not quite sure I correctly understand you. Unless you mean to present a modern legalistic point of view and how it could cause a person to react?
     
  19. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm saying imagining the human predicament in salvation as a judge paying a fine to acquit the guilty or as an abusive parent punishing a child in place of another are the result of limited or false analogies.

    FWIW, penal satisfaction/substitution is fairly close to the traditional Lutheran articulation of the atonement. But behind the scholastic doctrine is a tradition of medieval mysticism that goes back to the early church. Stripping out this mysticism leads to distortions in the doctrine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2018
  20. ~Anastasia~

    ~Anastasia~ † Servant of God † Supporter CF Senior Ambassador

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    Ah, thanks for clarifying. I won't go further in this particular thread because it's in TAW proper. And I'd appreciate more dialogue still on my original question. But I'm glad to better understand what you are saying. Thanks!
     
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