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Lent Week svt. Gregory Palamas

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Lent Week svt. Gregory Palamas

The second week of the Great Lent is dedicated to St. Gregory Palam.

In the first week, the Church talked about the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the victory of dogmatic truth. How fasting, repentance, dogmatism and faith are connected — we spoke in a blog. The Second Week of Fast is also devoted to dogma, namely, to the doctrine of the Divine energies, which Palamas defended. Let's say a few words about this teaching.

In the XIV century, a controversy broke out in Byzantium about the nature of Favor light: was it a creature phenomenon (“miraculous, but created, or even just an atmospheric phenomenon) or uncreated, that is, God Himself.

Why is it important? The ascetics during the deep prayer also saw the Light. They believed (or, more precisely, felt, knew) that the Light they saw was God. Thus, it was about experiencing God-knowledge, about real life with God. Experience has shown that God himself directly connects with people. Opponents of Palamas, Barlaam, Grigor, Akindin, rejected the Palamite doctrine of the immobility of the Light by various theological means. (Often the Today of the anti-Palamite are reduced to the “Barlaamite heresy.” This is a polemical simplification. In fact, the Palamite dogma was attacked from different sides and for various reasons.)

As always in dogmatics, truth has manifested itself in the form of an antinomy: God is unknowable and inaccessible by Himself, but his energies are knowable and accessible. (Energy here means "action", it should not be confused with "energy"). It is about what God does – the Divine Life, action, reality. So Palamas introduces a distinction between the essence of God and His energies.

How real is the difference? The energy of God is God Himself – therefore His knowledge is possible through life with Him. The energies of God are not disintegrated, but they are also inseparable from the essence of God. The difference between essence and energy does not introduce complexity into the simplicity of God. God is unknowable in essence, but is knowable in His energies, which He Himself is (that is, they are uncreated).

Why is it all so difficult? Because the most difficult thing is to talk about the simple. God is infinitely simple. Deity is above every concept and completely free. God cannot be reduced to the concepts of essence and energy. The Palamite dogma, like any dogma, is a paradox. He does not inform about something, but only points to the Secret and transforms the mind with this indication.

This is what the Church reminds us of these days. It recalls the secret of deification: how is it possible for a beast to unite with the Uncreated. For this is our "main task".

Let us return to the devotees, whose experience was defended by Palamas. They with their sensual eyes, bodily eyes, saw the Uncreated Light. Here is the root feature of Christian asceticism: what does it do to the body – “it wins”? No, it saves. Light penetrated their flesh. This is so irritated antipalamitov.

Now we are fasting, that is, first of all we do something with our body, we change our diet, if roughly. What for? To save the body, prepare it for eternal life (“tea for the resurrection of the dead,” that is, the resurrection of the bodies). God is inaccessible to the creature, including our creature mind. “Intellectual knowledge” of God is just as impossible as seemingly absurd “physical”. The main division is not between the "spiritual" and "physical", because both of them are created, and both need salvation. The main division (truly Christian) goes along the line “Creator — creature”. Saints see the Uncreated Light through the eyes of the mind and the eyes of the flesh; absurd from our point of view is possible by the love of God.

We hope that a better understanding of Palamism will help primarily the creation of Palamas himself. as well as several sermons by modern pastors and a number of studies on Palam and his teachings.

Creations svt. Gregory Palamas

Svyatogorsky Tomos

This is the first work of Palamas. On behalf of the monks of Athos, he protects their experience, about which we tried to talk so verbally. Here is the subtitle of this small text, from which much becomes clear:

"In defense, sacredly silent, against those who, having no experience, not believing in saints, rejects the indescribable mysterious actions (energies) of the Spirit, which act in those who live in the Spirit and find themselves active, and are not proved by reasoning."

Triads in defense

sacredly silent

The main work of Gregory Palymy, one of the main patristic writings in general.

In addition to the text of the book, the link you will find an audiobook, read by the portal usa-health-online.com


Here are collected sermons of St. Gregory Palamas.

Palama dedicates his first sermon to the world. Then a civil war burned in Byzantium. The saint recalls that "Verily, we are all brothers" …

On the subject of the Light of Transfiguration, Palamas speaks in this sermon.

Lenten sermons begin with the sixth sermon. And now one of the weeks of the Fast is dedicated to Palamas himself, who once had long ago taught the people in Lent.


Let us turn to the sermons of modern shepherds for the week of St.. Gregory Palamas.

Sermon of Father Dmitry Smirnov

Sermon of Father Alexander Me

Sermon of Vladyka Anthony Surozhsky

Books about svt. Gregory Palame

"Petrarch and Palam"

Vladimir Bibikhin

A very short and very interesting article by Bibikhin (among other things, Bibikhin is the translator of the Triads of Palamas).

What connects Palamus, a Byzantine theologian and Petrarch, an Italian poet? Answer: Varlaam Calabrian is the main opponent of Gregory Palamas and … the teacher of the Greek language of Petrarch.

Barlaam, an admirer of Latin teachings, for Palamas became the epitome of "dry latinism." But for Petrarch Varlaam – the embodiment of the "dry Greeks." Both great thinkers, (of course, they were not familiar with each other) – Palamas and Petrarch, the poet and theologian, oddly enough, did not like Barlaam for the same thing – distrust of feeling.

This is not the only comparison that Bibikhin finds between Palamas and Petrarch.

"The Life and Works of St. Gregory Palamas"

Prot. John Meiendorf

World classics of patrology and theology. A book that made an era in the study of palamism and Byzantine theology in general. Without a doubt, any study of Orthodox theology is now impossible without this work.

"Anthropology of St. Gregory Palamas "

Cyprian Kern

"Anthropology of sv. Gregory Palamas ”is more than just a review of the Palamite doctrine of man.

Kern did a great job in identifying the anthropology of the Ancient Church. The book consists of two sections. The first is historical. It includes the general characteristics of the Palamas, philosophy, mysticism and theology of the era, a close examination of church anthropology: an. Pavel, apologists, Alexandrians, Trinitarian (Athanasius, Cappadocians, Chrysostom, Nemessyks) and Christological (Cyril of Alexandria, Antiochians, Anastasius Sinait, Vasily Selevsky, Leontius of Byzantine) disputes, Anthropology of the Desert (Macarius and Isaac), Ististikists, Macyane and Isaac, Ististikov, Byzantine, Anthropology of the Desert (Macarius and Isaac), Ististikov, Byzantine), Anthropology of the Desert (Macarius and Isaac), Ististikov, Byzantine, disputes, Anthropology of the Desert (Macarius and Isaac), the Ististikists, Macaurius, Isaac, Byzantine, Anthropology of the Deserts (Macarius and Isaac), the Isthistians, Byzantine, Anthropology New Theologian), theological synthesis (John of Damascus, Fotius). The second part is systematic. It is dedicated to the theology of Palamas, his teachings about the nature of man, the image and likeness of God, and deification.

As can be seen from this brief description of the work of Cyprian (Kern), “The Anthropology of St. Gregory Palamas ”is not only a book about Palamas’s Today on humans, but also an extensive guide to patristic anthropology.

Vladimir Lossky
about svt. Gregory Palame

Vladimir Lossky is probably the largest Orthodox theologian of the 20th century.

You can read about Palamas at Lossky in the “Palamite Synthesis” (the chapter of the book “God vision” – a work devoted to the Orthodox teaching about the vision of Light).

“Negative theology and the knowledge of God in Meister Eckhart” is Lossky’s main work. She was conceived as a kind of introduction to the question that occupied Lossky his whole life: a comparison of German 14th-century mysticism and Athos Hesychasm, more specifically, two great contemporaries: Meister Eckhart and Gregory Palamas. According to Lossky, they are united by their essential relationship, namely, the understanding of the apophase (the feeling of God as the Unknowable) as the highest form of God-communion.

"Ascetic and Theological Teaching

svt. Gregory Palamas "

Vasily (Krivoshein)

Vladyka Vasily published this work while still an Athos monk (on Athos, he was given the opportunity to work with the archives of ancient manuscripts). She brought him worldwide fame among the patrologists. The essence of the teachings of Palamas, the lord expresses this way: “with his doctrine of uncreated Light and Divine energies <Палама> summed up the indestructible theological basis under the traditional mystical teaching of the Orthodox Church. ”

Sergey Khoruzhy

Khoruzhy is a major modern Orthodox thinker. His project "synergistic anthropology" is trying to build a philosophy based on palamism.

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