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John S. Romanides Á 8 SUMMARY

Internationally esteemed as one of the most outstanding Greek Orthodox theologians and patristic scholars of our time Fr John Romanides was also a groundbreaking pioneer Paradoxically he did not break new but neglected and hallowed ancient ground In an age of religious syncretism and rationalism this classic work brings to light ancient truths long ago replaced by juridical schemes and forgotten in most Christian denomination Truths regarding the creation 'ex nihilo' the destiny of man Adam's sin and f. This book is a primarily unhelpful polemic from start to finish Romanides main point seems to be to show how the West is woefully wrong concerning sin and death sinfully wrong perhaps and how the East contains only the right vision Romanides argues that the West s understanding of created grace evil as privation of the good the analogia entis in Thomas and God being love good etc in his nature all lead to notions of original sin The East instead sources evil and death in Satan rather than in God as he understands the West to do and God is primarily free in his essence while attributes such as love are uncreated energiesThere are too many problems with this characterisation to go into here but the one major problem I want to point out is this Romanides desperately wants to make it clear that God did not create death as a punishment that instead death is the dominion of the devil who is at war with God The problem Did not God create the devil Is the devil capable of creating from nothing like God Is this how God is not responsible for death If so then we fall into dualism which Romanides would repudiateWhile in many ways I agree that we need to think of sin death and the Fall in ways other than original sin and man s fall from perfection Romanides attempt at this is inept and often glosses over areas where Eastern Fathers whom he cites elsewhere often coincide with Western positions he repudiates Chief among these would be how Athanasius writes about evil what the Cappadocians write about the soul and how Maximus understands the human desire for the supernaturalI neither recommend this book nor don t Read at your own risk

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The Ancestral sin

Digms of the earliest Church Fathers on the one hand and the scholastic theologians on the other IT demonstrates the integrity of the faith and apophatic theology of early Church in sharp contrast to the Augustinian and scholastic rationalism expressed by the aphorism credo intellegam or 'I believe in order to comprehend' Dr Romanides devoted his life to the authentic Tradition of the Church Fathers differentiating it from the post Augustinian thought worlds that had obscured it even in the Orthodox Ea. Chapter two completely dismantles Thomism The rest is decent except for the denial of judicial language and a weak view of Providence

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All the origin of death soteriology and God's relations with the world were exposited as the doctrines of the primitive Church by the Apostolic and post Apostolic Fathers of the first and second centuries Hindered by the paradigms of post Augustinian thought Western Christianity has rarely understood these doctrines that predate by several centuries the commonly held juridical ideas of original sin and atonement This book is the only in depth comparative study of these doctrines and the underlying para.


7 thoughts on “The Ancestral sin

  1. says:

    This book is a primarily unhelpful polemic from start to finish Romanides main point seems to be to show how the West is woefully wrong concerning sin and death sinfully wrong perhaps and how the East contains only the right vision Romanides argues that the West's understanding of created grace evil as privation of the good the analogia entis in Thomas and God being love good etc in his nature all lead to notions of original sin

  2. says:

    Romanides spends a fair amount of the book describing and explaining Western notions of original sin and then showing their inadeuacies and failures as the foil to an Eastern idea of ancestral sin In contrast to what he describes as Augustini

  3. says:

    I have a strong ambivalence about this book On the one hand it is a remarkably insightful look at how sin and death came int

  4. says:

    The Catholics and Protestants call it Original Sin but freuently mean Original Guilt a guilt incurred by every human for Adam's trans

  5. says:

    Chapter two completely dismantles Thomism The rest is decent except for the denial of judicial language and a weak view of Providence

  6. says:

    over my head in many respects

  7. says:

    Fr Romanies was absolutely gushing over western Christianity in this book His treatment of Christus victor is worth considering

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