Category: Charles Yost


Photios, the Franks, and the Filioque, Part 3

In the mind of the scholar-patriarch Photios—the reader of Herodotus’ Histories, Hellenistic romances, and the mystical theology of Pseudo-Dionysios—the principal sin of the Latins was contained in the tiny addition to the Nicene Creed that said “and the Son” (Filioque). 


Photios, the Franks, and the Filioque, Part II

Ever since Charlemagne had smashed the Avars at the eastern marches of his expanding realm, agents of the Frankish empire had begun infiltrating into the northern Balkans, including the lands inhabited by the Slavic tribe of the Moravians (the ancestors of the Czechs and Slovaks). Among these agents were missionaries, for the empire of Charlemagne was a Christian empire, the true Israel in the fancy of his court theologians, and the progress of the Gospel must keep pace with the expansion of boundaries into heathendom. There was bound to be a conflict then, when heathendom meant not only the Germanic...


Photios, the Franks, and the Filioque, Part I

The Balkans: by fate the cross-roads between Greek East and Latin West.  In the fourth century, the line dividing the Western from the Eastern Roman Empire had been drawn through the northern and westerly reaches of these lands denominated by the Romans as “Illyricum.” As far as sacred jurisdiction was concerned, Illyricum was, by the eighth century, disputed territory. Against the ancient claims of Rome and because of her obnoxious refusal to fall in line with the imperial proscription of images, Emperor Leo III (717-741), “the Saracen-minded,” had removed even western Illyricum from Rome’s theoretical jurisdiction and placed it directly...


Back on the Road from Damascus: Finding Our Bearings

Greetings once again, fellow travelers. It is my distinct pleasure to be in your company once more. Your humble guide to the history of the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches has been long absent: I’ve been finishing a dissertation, defending it, and submitting it. Now that I’ve left behind me the unenviable existence of a graduate student in the 21st century, I return to you so that we may continue on our way through the sad history of division in the Body of Christ. But before we break a new path, we ought to pause and get our...