St Gregory Palamas: The Homilies

Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Holy Apostles
St. Gregory Palamas: The Homilies translated by Christopher Veniamin

Palamas_Homilies_Square.jpgA CHRISTIAN should be able to recall, with reverence, the names of the men and women in any given century who speak with the voice of the Church. The list should include Apostles and writers of Scripture, and great defenders of the faith such as Irenaeus, Athanasius, the Cappadocian Fathers, Maximus the Confessor, Gregory the Great, and John of Damascus. In the fourteenth century, one particular saint, theologian and confessor stands above all others in his influence on the Christian East: Gregory Palamas. Despite imprisonment, exile, capture by Muslims, and abuse from his own people, St. Gregory died as bishop of Thessalonica having successfully defended Orthodoxy against the teaching of Barlaam of Calabria. Barlaam taught that philosophers have better knowledge of God than prophets, because God cannot be known except through reason; hence, monks engaged in contemplative prayer waste the time they should use pursuing education. Disturbed by these accusations, the monks of Mt. Athos called on St. Gregory to articulate the direct experience of Christ they received through love, prayer and stillness. The writings he produced are absolutely essential for understanding the mind of Orthodox Christianity today. In contrast to the theological dialogue with the anti-hesychasts (see Gregory Palamas: The Triads), in this complete edition of all sixty-three extant homilies we encounter St Gregory addressing the faithful on basic theological, anthropological and ethical principles that are practical and understandable by all.

761 pp. cloth $134.95

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