A Greek Thomist: Providence in Gennadios Scholarios

Matthew Christopher Briel, Fordham University


In this dissertation I examine the appropriation and modification of Thomas Aquinas' understanding of providence by a fifteenth century Greek Orthodox theologian, Gennadios Scholarios. In it I analyze a previously unknown adaptation of Thomistic theology of grace and the good human act. My project examines the intersection of Aquinas’ 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 dissertation 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' grafting of Thomas on to 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.

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Recommended Citation

Briel, Matthew Christopher, "A Greek Thomist: Providence in Gennadios Scholarios" (2016). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10019695.