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Sean | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, May 14 2021 9:25 PM

Hi friends,

Do any of you have this resource on the filioque?

https://www.logos.com/product/45357/the-filioque-history-of-a-doctrinal-controversy

If so, I have some questions about it. Basically I'm looking for something that addresses some of the more recent WCC-style discussions of the issue that move rather far beyond the historical parameters of the debate... I can get more into the (theological) weeds if anyone has this resource or knows of one that might address this particular concern.

Thanks in advance!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, May 14 2021 10:23 PM

I have the resource but I'm not sure I understand the question. By WCC do you mean world council of churches? And, if so, what is a WCC-style discussion?

from the introductory material of the chapter on contemporary thought:

The twentieth century dialogues, both bilateral (e.g., between the Catholic and Orthodox) and multilateral (e.g., those meetings sponsored by the World Council of Churches), were remarkable in the level of consensus reached on the theology of the filioque. Official statements of the Catholic Church, for example, went further than ever before in acknowledging traditional Eastern concerns about the doctrine, leading some in the Orthodox world to wonder aloud if the filioque, as a theological matter, was still a separating issue. Even the status of the creedal interpolation and the pope’s right to have added the filioque, which have not yet been explicitly addressed in the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, may soon come under discussion as both Churches explore the implications of the Ravenna Statement (2007) and its understanding of the Roman primacy. The doctrinal controversy surrounding the filioque is not yet resolved, but the past century does provide reason to hope that a resolution is not far off.

A. Edward Siecienski, The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 193–194.

Theologies discussed from 20th/21st centuries:

  • Orthodox Ecumenism and the Old Catholic-Anglican Dialogues
  • Sergius Bulgakov, Vladimir Lossky, Neo-Palamites
  • Karl Rahner, Yves Congar
  • Karl Barth and Jurgen Moltmann
  • bilateral and multilateral dialogues
  • Catholic-Orthodox dialogues and statements

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1319
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 15 2021 12:43 AM

MJ. Smith:
By WCC do you mean world council of churches? And, if so, what is a WCC-style discussion?

Yes, the World Council. Okay: in ecumenical, especially contextual/liberation theology, the issue of the filioque has moved beyond the historical controversy about the internal processions within the Trinity to discuss the work of the Holy Spirit within the economy of salvation. Some standing within the context of Western theology (i.e., mainline Protestantism; I'm not sure how much Catholic theologians have participated in this) have rejected or questioned the validity of the filioque in order to support the following line of argument:

  1. The filioque is an alien addition to the creed; the Holy Spirit does not proceed (also) from the Son
  2. Accordingly, the Holy Spirit may work independently of the Son
  3. Therefore, we have a basis for arguing for religious/soteriological pluralism: the Holy Spirit works savingly in other religions apart from (the knowledge of) Jesus Christ

I hope that's clear; I may not have expressed the idea well. I have heard this many times in ecumenical settings and have read the same sentiment in mediocre collections of contextual theology essays. However, I have no good, academic resources discussing in detail this reinterpretation of the issue. I am hoping this book looks into that, but scanning the limited and unhelpful previews both on logos.com and Amazon, I have my doubts.

Hence, I'd be ever so grateful if you could check and see if this book discuss religious pluralism in this context. If not, do you know any academic works that do the same?

EDIT: This article from 1989 in the Ecumenical Review (pp. 384-385) shows the beginning of this line of thought:

https://www.academia.edu/47477837/The_Holy_Spirit_in_Modern_Ecumenical_Thought 

I'm sure I could find more if I would dig through the later issues of the ER, but I'd prefer an academic monograph that probes the matter in detail.

Posts 79
John W Gillis | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 15 2021 6:00 PM

I have this resource, and it does not discuss the theological contrivance you describe.

If point two from your description of the argument is an accurate statement of the view, I wouldn't hold out much hope of finding more than a mediocre treatment of the idea. I don't know how that could possibly be interpreted to fit within a trinitarian framework.

Posts 1319
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, May 15 2021 7:23 PM

John W Gillis:

I have this resource, and it does not discuss the theological contrivance you describe.

If point two from your description of the argument is an accurate statement of the view, I wouldn't hold out much hope of finding more than a mediocre treatment of the idea. I don't know how that could possibly be interpreted to fit within a trinitarian framework.

Yeah. I've been looking for quite a while but in vain so far.

To give an illustration of the "theological contrivance" (great description!) if my memory does not fail (it was quite some time ago and the details might be fuzzy in my memory): I once heard a lecture by Harvey Cox talking about his book "Fire from Heaven." He went on at length about the Spirit and contact points with other religious and cultural practices. After some time, the theology professor from a fairly conservative seminary got up and asked, "All this, but so far you haven't said anything about Jesus Christ"--meaning is "the Spirit" just active in any sort of spirituality apart from Christian faith. Cox deflected, replying, "Ah yes, the filioque!" and quickly moving on.

I've picked up bit and pieces of this line of thought over the years but have never found a good treatment of it pro or con. It's been like a pebble in my shoe I'd like to remove.

ETA: Unorthodox as it may be, I've heard this sentiment quite a bit in my former context of mainline Protestant seminaries in Asia.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 11:54 AM

Sean:

John W Gillis:

If point two from your description of the argument is an accurate statement of the view, I wouldn't hold out much hope of finding more than a mediocre treatment of the idea.

Yeah. I've been looking for quite a while but in vain so far.

This being the Catholic Products forum, if you want pointers to official Catholic documents teaching the contrary of any of the three points in the "line of argument", that would be easy enough to provide. Likewise, any serious, book-length Catholic treatment of the Trinity will accomplish the same.

Posts 1234
David Wanat | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, May 16 2021 12:52 PM

SineNomine:

Sean:

John W Gillis:

If point two from your description of the argument is an accurate statement of the view, I wouldn't hold out much hope of finding more than a mediocre treatment of the idea.

Yeah. I've been looking for quite a while but in vain so far.

This being the Catholic Products forum, if you want pointers to official Catholic documents teaching the contrary of any of the three points in the "line of argument", that would be easy enough to provide. Likewise, any serious, book-length Catholic treatment of the Trinity will accomplish the same.

Not to mention the Patristic writings on the topic Smile

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Posts 1319
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 3:34 AM

Thanks for your input. I've got plenty of resources on historical theology and patristics. What I'm looking for is something that substantively engages this (post)modern appropriation; it was my guess that either a Catholic or Orthodox theologian might more readily tackle it: (Both in unison, "That's not what that means!") Barth also could have dealt with it adequately but he antedates this usage.

Doing a bit of a digging, I'm finding this idea connected to Stanley J. Samartha, which isn't surprising. He has an article in ER which I'm unwilling to pay money to read here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1758-6623.1990.tb02654.x 

This PhD Dissertation briefly addresses the idea on pages 100ff. https://etd.uwc.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11394/1712/Rajagukguk_PHD_2011.pdf?sequence=1 (PDF):

Samartha‟s concept of the Holy Spirit as related to other Faiths was pictured as a Mother who gives life to all her children. He commented that the question of the Holy Spirit in the pluralistic context should inevitably lead to a deeper understanding of the triune God in far more inclusive ways than Christian theology has ever done so far. He described The Spirit as the Spirit of God, and stated that The Spirit can not be detached from God; to address the Spirit is to address God. He suggested, that since The Father and The Son are „anthropomorphic symbols in „a male dominated Trinity,‟ so, there is the possibility of considering the Spirit as feminine, more specifically as Mother who gives life to all her children. He then concluded that the Father is the only source of the Spirit, so, there will be far more theological space for the Spirit proceeding from the Father „to breathe freely through the whole ecumene that includes neighbours of other faiths as well as children of God‟.240 Samartha probably followed the Orthodox Church‟s doctrine about the Holy Spirit which was based on the NicenoConstantinopolitan Creed (381), that the procession of the Spirit is from the Father alone (the filioque controversy).241 By this formulation, Samartha agreed that the doctrine of the Holy Spirit must be approached cosmologically „as the universal Spirit‟, for the Spirit is close to God the Father. This approach, of course, is more acceptable within a pluralist context, than the confession that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son (filioque), where the Holy Spirit is more connected to Christ‟s atonement.

'Samartha' brings up zero hits on logos.com, and 'Samartha AND filioque' yields nothing useful in My Library. I'm sure he's not the only one who has promoted this idea. This page links it to the EO writer George Khodr (whom I've never heard of in) in 1971, but again in a book edited by Samartha. https://brill.com/previewpdf/book/edcoll/9789004391741/BP000025.xml 

Anyway, I am sure I could continue the research by Google rabbit-hole indefinitely but also unfruitfully. I am open though to further suggestions both inside and outside of Logos!

Posts 5515
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 10:48 AM

Sean:
What I'm looking for is something that substantively engages this (post)modern appropriation; it was my guess that either a Catholic or Orthodox theologian might more readily tackle it: (Both in unison, "That's not what that means!")

Dominus Iesus: Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church §12, promulgated in 2000 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, does address the idea, more or less, except without direct reference to the Filioque. 

If what you are looking for is direct Catholic and/or Orthodox refutations of the line of argument you've given, what I think you will likely end up having to settle for is simply refutations of individual steps of that argument and/or explanations of what, traditionally and/or in their minds, the Filioque does mean.

The section of Dominus Iesus linked above begins:

There are also those who propose the hypothesis of an economy of the Holy Spirit with a more universal breadth than that of the Incarnate Word, crucified and risen. This position also is contrary to the Catholic faith, which, on the contrary, considers the salvific incarnation of the Word as a trinitarian event. In the New Testament, the mystery of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, constitutes the place of the Holy Spirit’s presence as well as the principle of the Spirit’s effusion on humanity, not only in messianic times (cf. Acts 2:32–36; Jn 7:39, 20:22; 1 Cor 15:45), but also prior to his coming in history (cf. 1 Cor 10:4; 1 Pet 1:10–12). ...

As a general note, Dominus Iesus is a fantastic read for anyone who wants to understand the Catholic Church's view of non-Christian religions and the question of salvation of people in them. I expect that it could also serve as an excellent aid for non-Catholic Christians who are working to understand the relevant issues themselves.

(As an aside...)

Posts 1319
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 6:01 PM

SineNomine:
Dominus Iesus: Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church §12, promulgated in 2000 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, does address the idea, more or less, except without direct reference to the Filioque. 

Good find! This is definitely addressing that line of thought. I think I have a hardcopy of this somewhere... Do you know if (then) Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict wrote anything else on pluralism?

Posts 5515
SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 17 2021 6:27 PM

Sean:
I think I have a hardcopy of this somewhere...

It's also online, if you don't yet want it in Verbum.

Sean:
Do you know if (then) Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict wrote anything else on pluralism?

Yes, both as a private theologian and as the pope.

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