[quote="Marie5890, post:10, topic:274901"]
Phillip, could you please explain #1 better please?
(I very little about the Eastern Catholicism but this really caught my eye. I tend to be drawn more to Augustine myself and often times I feel "out of step" with what is so often times accepted by the Latin rite) Thanks
I will try to summarize as best I can, be warned, however, that I am a rather ignorant person. :p
Thomistic/Scholastic theology arose only in the West in the newly developed universities, especially the University of Paris (both Bonaventure and Aquinas held chairs of theology at the University of Paris if memory serves me correctly). It's chief aim was achieving a synthesis between Scripture, patristic theology, and Greek philosophy (particularly the philosophy of Aristotle, although Plato's work was also highly influential). This form of theology emphasized the "Fides quarens intellectum" (faith seeking/searching understanding) of St. Augustine. As has been characteristic of Western theology since then it emphasizes what man can know of God through the use of his reason - supplemented and kept in check of course by Divine Revelation.
Such an approach to the Faith led the West to adopt certain philosophical concepts in their theology that simply do not exist in the East. One example would be the concept of "transubstantiation;" i.e. that the "substance" is what is changed while the "matter" stays the same. Although the East, both Catholic and Orthodox, accept the reality that such language is trying to explain - i.e. that Christ is truly present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist - it does not embrace the language nor try to explain how such a mystery is accomplished. One could say that the East, as a general rule, does not "pick apart" the mystery; we simply live it.
The East, on the other hand, tends to focus more on the Revealed aspect of our Faith. Our approach to theology is generally more Patristic and experiential. It can be summed up in a phrase that is oft-repeated throughout almost every liturgical and para-liturgical service of our (Byzantine) tradition: "God is the Lord and has revealed Himself to us..." Although we certainly recognize that reason plays a role in our Faith and theology - just as the West recognizes that experience and Revelation play a role - and we do have our great intellectuals in our tradition(s), our emphasis is not on reason and logical conclusions, but on the living Tradition.
All this being said, I'm just trying to point out the difference between the Thomistic/Scholastic approach to theology - which has been canonized for the Roman Church by a number of Popes - in contrast to the Eastern/Byzantine approach. There is, obviously, a great deal of Patristic and Biblical emphasis in the West, particularly in modern times, as well as a great deal of experiential emphasis. The great mystics of the West, including Aquinas, have always served as a wonderful antidote to a theology that at times has had a tendency to become overly-rational. I am very fond of reminding people of Aquinas' own words after he experienced a wonderful revelation from God: "All I have written is so much straw." After that revelation and those words he ceased working on his "Summa," leaving incomplete the work that is considered by the Church to be his greatest.