From: Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition by Fr. Andrew Phillips
"One of the great myths of Church History is without doubt the notion that a Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity took place in 1054.
"That a Schism took place is of course fact. But the date of 1054 is the date of nothing more than a symbolic event. We must first understand that the separation of Eastern and Western Christianity was not an event, but a process. Moreover, this process began at the summit of Western society and its consequences only gradually spread downwards. As the English proverb says: 'A fish always stinks from the head'.
"But when did the process of Schism begin? And when did it end? (...)
"We believe that the Schism process begins at the end of the 8th century among a select few at the Court of Charles the Great, Charlemagne. It began with the revival of pagan Roman knowledge, of the Judeo-Babylonian legacy of Rome. In the sin of pride, Charlemagne wanted to set up a new Roman Empire in the West. All Western rulers have since tried to do the same, but all their Empires, like Charlemagne's, have fallen, because they lacked God's blessing in their pride.
"To renew the Roman Empire Charlemagne had first to reject the Christian Roman Empire, Romanity, whose capital was in New Rome, the City of the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantinople. Ideologically this was possible by reviving the pagan or classical Roman system of thought.
"This meant, in other words, reviving rationalism, the use of the human reason, the syllogism and dialectic, what St Paul calls 'fleshly wisdom' (2 Cor. 1, 12). (...)
"The uses of such rationalistic techniques eventually led, in the late 11th century, to a new culture, a new way of thinking. They led to:
- The rejection of theology in favour of philosophy.
- The rejection of monasticism in favour of scholasticism.
- The rejection of monasteries in favour of universities.
- The rejection of the Gospel in favour of pagan writers.
- The rejection of cultivating the heart in favour of cultivating the intellect.
- The rejection of ascetically-won grace in favour of intellectually-won learning.
- The rejection of the knowledge of the world to come by the Uncreated Light in favour of the despair of the graceless knowledge of the fallen world here and now.
"Ultimately it is this graceless and godless rationalism that built the modern world as we know it, from the Atomic Bomb to the IBM computer.
(...) "Thus, in the Middle Ages, the Western mind saw God as a stern, vengeful, feudal baron. In the Renaissance, Michelangelo portrayed Him as a sensuous, fleshly deity. The 18th century 'Enlightenment' depicted Him as a god of Reason, the expression of deism.
"Today, if the West says that God does not exist, it is simply because He does not exist in the mind of 'modern' man.
"This does not mean His objective non-existence, it simply means that 'modern' Western man has succeeded, after centuries of efforts, in chasing God from his mind.
"Man feels abandoned by God - but this is only because man has abandoned God, not because God has abandoned man."