This is the third volume of our special series dedicated to Saint Gregory Palamas. The fact that Analogia’s invitation to an issue dedicated to Saint Gregory Palamas has yielded so many academic responses of a high scholarly level has been exceptionally encouraging and revealing. The quality of many of the received articles obliges us to announce a fourth and final volume that will follow the present publication. We hope that these issues will be thought-provoking, and will make the discussion of Palamite work more substantial and profound.
In the first essay of this volume, Constantinos Athanasopoulos offers an original and thoughtful contribution to the ongoing discussion concerning Palamas' reception and, most importantly, revolutionary transformation of some essential concepts of Ancient Greek moral philosophy, namely the concepts of Aristotelian eudaimonia, Stoic apatheia, and Epicurean ataraxia.
Fr Alexandros Chouliaras, in the second study, gives an insightful and balanced overview of Palamas' use of crucial Augustinian concepts-such as eros-in his theology. The author summarises the various scholarly discussions on this topic and also makes his own suggestions concerning the limits of the Palamite use of Augustinian terms, along with the new meanings he gives to them.
Georgi Kapriev, in the third paper of this volume, provides an excellent overview of the recent discussion on the alleged Western turn of some prominent medieval Palamite thinkers, such as George-Gennadios Scholarios. Kapriev proves that, although Scholarios used the specific Western terminology of his time, he never thought he was saying something different from his teacher, Gregory Palamas, but on the contrary he sought to reinforce Palamas' arguments.
Antoine Levy, in his insightful and challenging study, strives to reassess deeply the impact of the hesychastic teaching on divinisation upon the political philosophy of the medieval Russian state, and he also indicates some of its modern repercussions. Levy reopens an invaluable discussion and poses some difficult questions which cannot be ignored by anyone intending to study the modern political theory underpinning major political events of modern Russian history.
Ivana Noble reinstates, in her notable article, the immense importance of experience in Gregory Palamas' theology. This is a skillful contribution, since this dimension is usually overlooked by scholars who tend to put Palamas' 'scholastic' dimension above his existential commitment. Noble also criticizes Palamas' excessive (as was usual for Byzantine scholars) rhetoric against his opponents, and poses some insightful questions concerning the relation between spiritual and natural knowledge.
Finally, Archimandrite Ephraim, the Abbot of the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopedi, offers an erudite discussion on the distinction between reason (dianoia) and the intellect (nous), according to St Gregory Palamas, and the consequences of this in the life of created beings.
- Nikolaos Loudovikos, Senior Editor