Oh Turtullian and Justin Martyr – you’re going way back smile emoticon
I tend to skip the “threads of influence” and go to the collective bodies.
Prior to the Ecumenical Councils, it was a bit of a hodge-podge of competition. But when you get to the point where there was some true organization taking place and issues were raised that were strong enough that the church body as a whole had to get together to resolve them, that’s when you start seeing progress (or backwardness, depending on your take of them, but I see them as progressive).
Ecumenical councils would be the equivalent of the United Nations meeting or having important scientific/philosophical conferences (like the one that was just held the other week to discuss the future of Science and, in particular Physics – between Philosophers and Theoretical Physicists over a three day period.
[they were bringing up issues of whether or not the newer theories in Theoretical Physics are properly a Science and should, instead, be considered Metaphysics perhaps, or whether the very definition of Science needs to change in order to incorporate ideas that have no practical hope of testing]
I’d have to look back at Turtullian and Justin Martyr again but it’s been a while since I looked at the individuals and their contributions.
I made a rare exception for Gemistus Pletho because I’ve been looking for him for a VERY long time now. I knew there was a very important “link” between Byzantium and Latin West and the start of Humanism, but there was always a missing piece in the tales I would hear.
I could never find that missing piece, but I tripped over him the other week and it was rather exciting to me.