East Meets Aquinas by Vincent Rossi

Book Review

East Meets Aquinas

Orthodox Readings of Aquinas
by Marcus Plested
Oxford University Press, 2012
(276 pages, $34.00, paperback)

reviewed by Vincent Rossi

Is Kipling's dictum that "East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet" true for Christian theology? For many, such has been and still is the case, but signs of scholarly dissatisfaction with a perceived "theology of opposition" between the Eastern and Western Christian traditions are growing. Marcus Plested, in Orthodox Readings of Aquinas, himself invokes Kipling in addressing what he calls "the very human and time-bound construct of an East-West dichotomy." He targets this apparent theological gulf through his analysis of the "reception history" of the Orthodox encounter with Thomas Aquinas. His study of this encounter, from 1354, when the first translations of Aquinas into Greek appeared, down to modern times, makes for an engrossing intellectual detective story. But at the end of his survey, is the reader left with a satisfactory resolution of "whodunit" and, theologically speaking, of how and why?

Aquinas & Palamas

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