Following the first volume of Analogia dedicated to the theology of St Gregory Palamas, the second volume in this series continues with this theme and has equally important essays to offer on this significant father. The first paper is a masterful translation, by Kirsten H. Anderson, of the crucially important Palamite treatise On Divine and Deifying Participation (Περὶ θείας καὶ θεοποιοῦ μεθέξεως). This treatise succeeds in elucidating a significant part of Palamite terminology in just a few paragraphs, representing some further subtle explanations given by St Gregory to Gregory Akyndinos, his friend and initial exponent, who had suddenly turned against his former mentor.
In the second paper, entitled ‘Paul the Hesychast: Gregory Palamas and the Pauline Foundations of Hesychast Theology and Spirituality’, Fr Maximos Constas skilfully explores the Pauline affiliation of St Gregory’s Hesychast theology, showing that the Hesychast controversy was ultimately a debate about who was a true follower of Paul. This invaluable essay could become the cause of much fruitful theological discussion.
In the ‘“The Life and the Light”: The Influence of Saint Symeon the New Theologian on the Teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas’, Fr Porphyrios Georgi insightfully demonstrates the deep existential influence that St Symeon excercises upon Palamas’ thought. As Georgi shows, although the great Hesychast does not intensely quote Symeon, he absolutely endorses his empirical method of divine participation. Tone Svetelj, in his paper ‘Gregory Palamas and Political Hesychasm in the Fourteenth and the Twentieth Centuries’, successfully explores the relationship between fourteenth-century Hesychasm and the so called Neo-Orthodox movement in the twentieth century, analysing the latter’s basic proposal concerning the possibility of reintroducing the concept of autonomous ecclesial community into the modern political debate.
Stoyan Tanev, in his paper ‘Created and Uncreated Light in Augustine and Gregory Palamas: The Problem with Legitimacy in Attempts for Theological Reconciliation’, initiates a serious discussion of Augustine’s and Gregory Palamas’ concepts of the vision of God and the created and uncreated light, triggered by the recent publication of a significant book by an Orthodox theologian.
Finally, Alexis Torrance, in his paper ‘Receiving Palamas: The Case of Cyprus, 1345–71’, exclusively focuses on the Palamite controversies within the Latin Crusader Kingdom of Cyprus. This extremely important paper shows that, contrary to a certain scholarly trend which tends to discover as many types of Palamism as there are Palamites, there exists an impressive convergence among the pro-Palamites, centred precisely on the very core of St Gregory’s theology (i.e., his doctrine of deification).
– Nikolaos Loudovikos, Senior Editor