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Lecture 5 Theological Developments 312 - 604


... really a series of sermons Note relation of literal and spiritual meanings Read carefully in Prolog: J3-J5; J13; in First Homily: J14-20; ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Lecture 5 Theological Developments 312 - 604

Lecture 5Theological Developments312 - 604
  • Dr. Ann T. Orlando
  • 15 February 2011

  • Review of History 312-604
  • Church and Social Issues
  • Women
  • Sex
  • Two Critical Contributions By Augustine to
    Western Theology
  • Evil
  • Pelagian Controversy
  • Spirituality
  • Monasticism
  • Pilgrimages
  • Spiritual Progress
  • Review Readings

Historical Review 312-604
  • Constantine the Great
  • Church Councils
  • Barbarian Invasions, especially in West
  • Western Catholicism starts to look toward Europe,
    away from Eastern Mediterranean, as center of

Status of Women in Patristic Period (100-600s)
  • First rule evaluate social issues within their
    historical context second rule same as first
  • Unlike most philosophical schools Christianity
    welcomed women
  • Women were honored with highest rank among
    Christians martyrdom Perpetua and Felicity
    Agnes, Lucy, Celia, Anastasia, etc.
  • Many (most) Patristic authors had intellectual
    and/or mystical relationships with women
  • John Chrysostom and Olympias
  • Jerome and Paula
  • Basil, Gregory and Macrina
  • Pope Leo I and Pulcharia
  • Augustine and Monica
  • Benedict and Scholastica
  • Much literature from/about women in this period
    is in fact extant (especially letters)

Patristic Understanding of Sex
  • Remember first and second rules of social
  • Control of passions was important aspect of all
    philosophical schools of time, including
    Epicureanism (ethics based on pleasure)
  • Jovinian vs. Jerome
  • Both were priests in Rome
  • Jovinian held that married state was equally holy
    as being a consecrated virgin
  • Jerome adamantly supported virginity over
    marriage only valid purpose of sex was to
    create more virgins
  • Jerome forced to leave Rome goes to Jerusalem
    and Bethlehem works on an authoritative
    translation of Bible into Latin (Vulgate)

Augustine and Marriage
  • Honored his mother and father in their marriage
    (Confessions Book IX)
  • Augustine wrote On the Goods of Marriage as the
    middle way between Jerome and Jovinian
  • While viewing virginity as the better way of
    life, Augustine also recognized several types of
    goods in marriage in addition to procreation
  • Jeromes views are often ascribed to Augustine
    see Markus p. 69-70

Orthodox Understanding of Evil
  • Recall that in Confessions Book III, Augustine
    abandons Catholic Christianity for two reasons
  • Old Testament does not make sense
  • Theodicy (how can there be evil if there is a
    good, almighty creator God)
  • Augustine finds resolution to this in Book VII,
    based on Plotinus.
  • Evil is the absence of a good that should be
  • Biblical-based response developed by Patristic
    authors is evil and suffering teach us virtue
  • But does is this completely satisfying? Some
    modern theologians (John Hick, process theology)
    think not they look to Irenaeus and his view of
    Adam and Eve as children in the garden of Eden.
    Humanity is continuing to evolve.
  • But then how to explain importance of
    recapitulation in Irenaeus

Pelagian Controversy Introduction
  • The Key Players
  • Monk Pelagius, from England, d. 419 in
  • His disciple, Julian of Eclanum, bishop in
    Sicily, d. 454
  • Opposing both, Augustine of Hippo, d. 430
  • Key Elements
  • Free will
  • Sin
  • Grace
  • Justification
  • Predestination
  • Key Biblical passages in disputed interpretation
    Genesis and Romans (in fact exactly what we read
    for First Sunday of Lent)
  • Both Pelagius and Augustine write a Commentary on
  • Footnote a primary source for Pelagius theology
    is his letter to Demetrius, a Roman nun

Pelagian Controversy Issues
  • Free will
  • Pelagian humanity has total free will as long
    as we know what is right we can do what is right
  • Augustine yes we have free will, but our ability
    to know and act is darkened by sin
  • Augustine also often means by free will a will
    freed from the inclination to sin
  • Sin
  • Pelagians Adams sin was his personal sin sin
    is always a willful personal act committed
    against God by someone who should know better and
    be able to do better within our own power to
    avoid sin
  • Adams sin was a disease that entered into
    humanity only Gods grace can cure this disease
    only with Gods grace can we really know and do
    the right

Pelagian Controversy Issues (cont.)
  • Grace
  • Pelagians external enlightenment from God (e.g.,
    Gospels) so we can know the good also reward for
    doing good
  • Augustine grace is needed to do good
  • Justification
  • Pelagians justified through our good works its
    all up to us
  • Augustine only Gods freely given grace can
  • Predestination
  • Pelagians God does not predestine us infants
    not Baptized go to heaven
  • Augustine Because of original sin, all justly
    condemned (massa damnata) by his graciousness,
    God elects a few for salvation Baptism a
    necessary, but not sufficient, condition for

Legacy of Pelagian Controversy
  • Catholic (Western) Church at Council of Orange,
  • accepts Augustines views on free will, grace,
    sin, justification
  • accepts necessity of Baptism
  • accepts predestination of elect, but refuses to
    say anyone is predestined to hell (i.e., rejects
    double predestination)
  • These issues are doctrinal flash point of
    Reformation all sides will claim Augustine for
    their own
  • See CCC

Spirituality after Constantine
  • Problems
  • How to lead a truly Christian life when martyrdom
    is no longer an option how to become a saint?
  • It had become too easy, too socially and
    politically important to be a Christian
  • Solutions The Way (path) of Jesus
  • Monasticism
  • Pilgrimage
  • Stages of Spiritual Development
  • Types of Spirituality

Development of Monasticism Early 4th C
  • Desert Monks (from Greek for solitary), primarily
    in Egypt anchorites withdrawn from society
  • Most famous Anthony (251-356),
  • Athanasius (Bishop of Alexandria, opposed Arius)
    wrote a very influential life of Anthony,
    example Augustine Confessions Book VIII
  • Communal monasticism cenobitic
  • Many attracted to this way of life, come together
    in groups
  • Rule of St. Pachomius (286 346)
  • Pachomius sister, Mary, establishes an Egyptian
    monastery for women

Whats a Rule
  • Prescribes the way of life for the community
  • Includes what prayers are said when
  • Defines balance between work, study, prayer
  • Community organization (abbot, monks, novices)
    and how leaders are selected
  • Process for acceptance into community
  • How new communities are created
  • Relation between community and diocese

Later 4th C Monastic Developments
  • Three Cappadocians Basil, Gregory of Nyssa,
    Gregory Nazianzan
  • Famous for Trinitarian theology
  • Basils Rule for Monks
  • But the smartest, most spiritual one, The
    Teacher, was Macrina (sister of Basil and Gregory
    of Nyssa) established a retreat house in her home
  • Augustine organizes his clergy in Hippo as in a
    monastery, writes a Rule (maybe)

Early 5th C Monastic Developments
  • John Cassian (360-435),
  • Born in France, spent time as an anchorite in
  • Brought Pachomius Rule back with him
  • Made it available in West in his Divine
    Institutes and Conferences
  • Wrote against Augustine in the Pelagian
  • Revered as a saint in the East, but not the West

6th C Monastic Developments
  • St. Benedict of Nursia (480-547)
  • Hugely influenced by Pachomius via John Cassian
  • Established an order of Monks, now known as
    Benedictines, governed by his Rule
  • Founded a monastery outside of Rome, Monte Casino
  • Sister, Scholastic, founded an order of nuns to
    follow the Rule
  • Most popular religious order in West until 13th C
  • Pope St. Gregory Great (546-604)
  • Benedictine
  • Wrote a life of Benedict
  • Reformed Roman clergy around monastic model
  • Earliest extant life of Gregory written by a nun
    in Whitby, 8th C

  • A way to become closer to Jesus and the martyrs
  • Started with remembrance of acts of martyrs and
    celebrations at their burial places
  • After Constantine, more far reaching
  • People who could not give up their life to enter
  • Needed some special way to demonstrate their
  • Also way to atone for sins
  • Starts with Helena, Constantines mother, in
  • Remember, 4th C pilgrimage nothing like 21st C
  • Dangerous very high probability of death
  • Expensive
  • Very arduous and tedious (lasting year or more)
  • Most famous early record of pilgrimages by
    Egeria, 4th C woman
  • Born in Spain or France
  • Spent 3 years on pilgrimage
  • Her journal gives earliest description of
    liturgies in Jerusalem during Holy Week

The Idea of Spiritual Progress
  • Both monasticism and pilgrimages encourage
    following the Way of Jesus
  • Gregory of Nyssa opposes pilgrimages because so
    often undertaken for wrong reasons
  • God is everywhere, simply being in a holy place
    does not make you holy
  • A pilgrimage should not be a requirement for a
    holy life
  • He did, himself, go to Jerusalem
  • Augustine emphasizes that the real pilgrimage is
    our life journey to our heavenly home
  • Journeys to earthly Jerusalem are the metaphor
    for our real pilgrimage our life
  • Development of approaches to spirituality
  • Biblically based, usually with a highly
    allegorical interpretation
  • Intended to be accessible to everyone, found in
  • Well defined steps in approach to spiritual life
  • Note Plotinus developed spiritual steps for unity
    with The One

Major Elements to Spiritual Progress
  • Three Stages
  • Purgation
  • Illumination
  • Unity
  • In different authors, there may be several steps
    within each stage
  • Gregory of Nyssa (and many others, including
    Origen, rabbis, Bernard of Clairvaux) Commentary
    on Song of Songs
  • Proverbs first stage (purgation)
  • Ecclesiastes second stage (illumination)
  • Song of Songs third stage (unity)

Types of Spirituality
  • Both types include purgation, illumination and
    unity stages
  • Spiritual masters suggested steps for both ways
  • Apophatic (via negativa)
  • Move toward God away from creation God as
  • Discourages use of senses Emotions suppressed
  • Heart is only satisfied with God
  • Bridal mysticism
  • Example Monasticism
  • Kataphatic (via positiva)
  • Approaching God through creation incarnation and
    passion of Jesus
  • Encourages use of sense Emotions are excited
  • God has a history in the world
  • Service mysticism
  • Example Pilgrimages

  • Markus, Ch 2 in McManners (62-91)
  • Read all carefully
  • Very good discussion of cult of martyrs 73-84
  • Gregory of Nyssa Commentary on Song of Songs
  • Written for a group of nuns, really a series of
  • Note relation of literal and spiritual meanings
  • Read carefully in Prolog J3-J5 J13 in First
    Homily J14-20 J26-42
  • Look for mention of Song of Songs in Deus Caritas

Readings (cont.)
  • Augustine Confessions Books VII, VIII, IX Its
    Augustine, what can I say, except to read it all
    carefully. However, to emphasize the idea of
    spiritual progress, read the following
  • Book VII iv-v, vii-xxi
  • Book VIII all
  • Book IX vi, x-xiii
  • Benedict Rule, Prolog Ch. 7
  • At least skim Prolog Ch 4
  • Read steps of humility in Ch 5 -7 carefully
  • CCC 404-406, 1037, 1257-1261, 385, 2683-2691,
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