I’ve been reading through Byzantine theologians lately (John of Damascus, Symeon the New Theologian, and Gregory Palamas) and so I thought I’d read through one of the classic secondary sources on the this time period as well: John Meyendorff’s Byzantine Theology.  He gives this as one of his summaries of the East vs West:

Given the fallen state of man, the redemptive death of Christ makes this final restoration possible.  But the death of Christ is truly redemptive and ‘life-giving’ precisely because it is the death of the Son of God in the flesh (i.e., in virtue of the hypostatic union).  In the East, the cross is envisaged not so much as the punishment of the just one, which ‘satisfies’ a transcendent Justice requiring a retribution for man’s sins.  As Georges Florovsky rightly puts it: ‘the death of the Cross was effective, not as a death of an Innocent One, but as the death of the Incarnate Lord.’  The point was not to satisfy a legal requirement, but to vanquish the frightful cosmic reality of death, which held humanity under its usurped control and pushed it into the vicious cycle of sin and corruption. (p. 160)

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