The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, August 25, 2014


The so-called "Nicene" creed:

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.

Catholics and their Prot offspring do the "and the Son". Orthodox communions don't.

I wonder if what we have here, is a (clumsy) attempt by the West to carve out a separate space for the Church. They would say of the East - Of course God's command comes from the one God. Of course hierarchy is good. But... the restriction of the Spirit to the Father chains up Christ and leads to Arianism. Incidentally it also encourages subordinational thought generally on Earth.

Which brings us to Islam. The Western Church had seen a lot of Islam as of the mid-1000s. They were contesting Spain and Sicily, they worried about the molestation of pilgrims in Palestine and they were soon to embark upon the Crusade. The West, by splitting the Spirit between Father and Son, allowed for dual sources of inspiration: a holy Empire and a holy Church.

If that was filioque's intent, I don't think the analogy translated well. On its own terms it's never made sense. The Byzantines didn't like it either; it resulted in the 1054 schism.

I could just be missing something.

UPDATE 11/11/2017: Nah, I'd got it right. In 2016 I learnt that filioque was first mooted in Toledo as a clarification of Chalcedon. The Catholics to this day will tell you it is a proper Latin gloss to the vague Greek creed.

posted by Zimri on 21:55 | link | 0 comments

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