Female Theologians

I had a Roman friend of mine ask me today if the East (specifically the Byzantines) had any female saints who are wrote and taught about the faith on the same level as the Holy Fathers or the theologians (I use that in the same sense as we would consider Nicholas Cabasilas and not Gregory the Theologian). To be honest, I could not remember running across any. I would appreciate all help in pointing me in the right direction. Cheers!

There have been a few females declared Doctors of the Church: St. Theresa of Avila, and St. Theresa of Liseux, and St. Catherine of Sienna.

Considering how few of the fathers made that list…

St. Ambrose, 340-397
St. Jerome, 345-420
St. Augustine, 354-430
St. Gregory the Great (Pope), 540-604
St. Athanasius, 295-373
St. Basil the Great, 330-379
St. Gregory of Nazianzus, 330-390
St. John Chrysostom, 345-407
St. Ephraem the Deacon, 306-373 (Syriac)
St. Hilary, 315-368 (Latin)
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, 315-387 (Greek)
St. Cyril of Alexandria, 376-444 (Greek)
St. Leo the Great (Pope), 390-461 (Latin)
St. Peter Chrysologus, 400-450 (Latin)
St. Isidore of Seville (last of the Latin Fathers), 560-636
St. John Damascene (last of the Greek Fathers), 676-749
St. Bede “the Venerable,” 673-735
St. Peter Damian, 1007-1072
St. Anselm, 1033-1109
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 1090-1153
St. Anthony of Padua, 1195-1231
St. Albert the Great, 1200-1280
St. Bonaventure, 1217-1274
St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274
St. Catherine of Siena, 1347-1379
St. Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582
St. Peter Canisius, 1521-1597
St. John of the Cross, 1542-1591
St. Robert Bellarmine, 1542-1621
St. Lawrence of Brindisi, 1559-1619
St. Francis de Sales, 1567-1622
St. Alphonsus Liguori, 1696-1787
St. Therese of Lisieux, 1873-1897

Thanks but I’m refering to Eastern saints in my question.

the doctors are universal.

Ambrose is doctor not a father… hes my conformation saint, i did the research

St. Ambrose is indeed a Church Father. One can be both a Church Father and a Doctor of the Church.

not according to the research i did, but then again i may have glossed that over, also he was born around the 300s and i had assumed that it was ‘too late’ to be a Father of the church, but i know for a fact he was a church Doctor

not according to the research i did, but then again i may have glossed that over, also he was born around the 300s and i had assumed that it was ‘too late’ to be a Father of the church, but i know for a fact he was a church Doctor
[/quote]

Formosus is right about this: have a look here. :slight_smile:

Doctors are not universal. It is a term peculiar to the west. They are the supreme theologians of the Western Church. The term “Doctor” is nowhere to be found in the Byzantine tradition. We celebrate liturgically the three holy hierarchs who are the Fathers held in highest regard and are considered the noblest teachers of the faith. The gifted title of Theologian is given to those individuals whose writings uniquely illuminate the love and majesty of God.

**The Holy Hierarchs **
Basil the Great
John Chrysostom
Gregory the Theologian (Same as below)

**The Theologians **
John the Theologian
Gregory the Theologian (Same as above)
Symeon the New Theologian

“Certain ecclesiastical writers have received this title on account of the great advantage the whole Church has derived from their doctrine” (Catholic Encyclopedia).

Are the declarations of the universal Church - in this case, concerning those named as Doctors - not binding on the Eastern Churches? What precedent is there for you to disregard the Church’s declarations (as only concerning the Western Church)?

Though nothing of what she said to the Emperor’s philosophers is recorded, I dare say St Catherine of Alexandria might be considered a theologian. There is also St Cassiani who wrote the hymn we chant every year on Holy Tuesday.

Thanks I appreciate you suggestions.

Are the declarations of the universal Church - in this case, concerning those named as Doctors - not binding on the Eastern Churches? What precedent is there for you to disregard the Church’s declarations (as only concerning the Western Church)?

The numerous texts released from the Vatican and the quotes of the popes who affirmed the dignity and patrimony of the Eastern Churches. The melkite church maintains it affirms everything which orthodoxy affirms and is in communion with Rome. Also in church documents the western councils are referred to as general councils which is interesting. If you are looking for any single document, I don’t think you will find it, or least I’ve not come across it yet. But rather it’s the consensus of the eastern churches that western theologians are just that. Western Theologians. I have yet to see Mark of Ephesus celebrated on the Roman liturgical calendar.

Wrong again.

Doctor of the Church is a title granted by the pope to those Saints who were both instructive and lead exemplary lives. Some of them (I posted the list of all 33) are eastern, while most are western.

The term “Fathers” is one with so many different understandings that it is pretty much useless. Many of the early church fathers are on that list; just how many varies by whose list of “early church fathers” one subscribes to.

The Doctors of the Church, however, are reliable guidance for all Catholics to exemplary saints.

In the west, the title of Church Father generally stops at St. John Damascene. So St. Ambrose (in the 300s) would be well within the range of patristic witnesses. In the east, theoretically the title of Church Father can extend all the way to the modern period, though I can’t say I have heard of any saint since St. Mark of Ephesus as being referred to as a Church Father.

Wikipedia says this “Doctor of the Church (Latin doctor, teacher, from Latin docere, to teach) is a title given by a variety of Christian churches to individuals whom they recognize as having been of particular importance, particularly regarding their contribution to theology or doctrine.”

and the Catholic Sourcebook by Peter Klein says something similar. As this title pertains to theology and doctrine to include the western mystics and scholastics within the byzantine tradition would be like shoving a circular peg in a square hole.

…the second time around? And why would male Theologians scramble to limit God’s power by saying this could not happen?
mojoblast

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.