A Greek Thomist
Providence in Gennadios Scholarios
288 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268107499 | April 2020
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268107512 | April 2020
eBook (PDF) | 9780268107529 | April 2020
Matthew Briel examines for the first time the appropriation and modification of Thomas Aquinas's understanding of providence by a 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. The broader aim of the book is to reconsider 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.
Matthew C. Briel is assistant professor of theology at Assumption College.
"This book provides a sophisticated account of the constructive and creative assimilation of Thomas by a Greek writer of the fifteenth century. This has significant implications not only for the study of the Byzantine reception of Aquinas but also for the scholarly understanding of Thomas himself (not least with regard to Thomas's own Greek patristic inheritance). Matthew Briel handles his sources well—with balance, linguistic expertise, and theological precision." ~Marcus Plested, author of Orthodox Readings of Aquinas