Protosynkellos John Radosavlevich

Historical and theological survey

pages: 1-51


The Author gives a succint survey of Hesychast movement, mainly of its 14-th Century theological and political implications, as related with its protagonists — St. Gregory Palamas, Patriarch Philotheos of Constantinople, Emperor John Cantacuzen — and its opponents: Barlaam of Calabria, Akyndinos and Gregoras.

The Movement is deeply rooted in the Apostolic Tradition, especially in the Johannine mystical doctrine on the. Divine Light of Mount Thabor; as well as in the experience of St. Paul being blinded by the vision of the Glory (Light) of the Resurrected Jesus, on the way to Damascus. And the Prayer to Jesus (so typical for the hesychast monks) grew out of Philippians 2: 9—11, wherein the Power of the Name JESUS is exalted above every tiling.

The quick expansion and acceptance of Hesychasm outside of Byzantium — in Bulgaria, Serbia, Rumania and Russia is the best proof of its congenial character. It gave a supra-national unity not only to the orthodox monastic community, but to the whole fabric of mediaeval Orthodox culture, giving them power to resist against both Islam and Latin false Union.

Today, there is a kind of renewal of Hesychast piety and praxis at the monastic settlements of Mount Athos.





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