Two different paths. In the West, for about a thousand years, the Roman Catholic church has claimed papal supremacy over the entire Christian world. In the East, since the first centuries, the Eastern Orthodox Church has remained faithful to the Church’s original conciliar vision: local churches meeting together in council. How did these two paths develop? What were the cultural, historical, and theological issues that led to their development? What are the Roman Catholic claims about the Orthodox and vice versa? In Two Paths, Michael Whelton dives deeply into Roman Catholic sources to document the development of papal supremacy by addressing issues such as:
- Saint Peter and the papacy
- The ecumenical councils and the papacy
- The Filioque
- The Gregorian Revolution and its effect on Roman Catholicism
- The influence of falsified documents such as the “Donation of Constantine” on the rise of the papacy
- Papal infallibility, the Council of Constance, and the First Vatican Council
- The Second Vatican Council
Whelton also uses ancient Christian sources to document the development of the Orthodox conciliar vision of the Church, from the First Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15) through the Seventh Ecumenical Council. For layman and scholar alike, Whelton’s monumental work is the best and fullest work dealing with this topic from an Orthodox perspective in the English language.
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