The advance towards human perfection according to St. Gregory Palamas

  1. Lemma
  2. Ἡ πορεία τῆς τελειώσεως τοῦ ἀνθρώπου κατά τόν ἅγιο Γρηγόριο τόν Παλαμᾶ
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Koutalis, Vangelis
  5. Orthodox Anthropology - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Mysticism and Orthodox spiritual experience - Modes of interaction > Antagonism - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Cult and spirituality
  6. 26-02-2017
  7. Mantzaridis, Georgios [Author]. The advance towards human perfection according to St. Gregory Palamas
  8. Саборност
  9. secularization - Hesychasm - asceticism - St. Gregory Palamas - deification
    1. <p>Mantzaridis, G. [Μαντζαρίδης, Γ.] (2009). Ἡ πορεία τῆς τελειώσεως τοῦ ἀνθρώπου κατά τόν ἅγιο Γρηγόριο τόν Παλαμᾶ. <em>Саборност</em>, 3, 45-54.</p>
    1. Relying on Gregory Palamas’ theology, the author of this article discusses the question of the human perfection, in order to show the actuality of the anthropology of the Orthodox Church, which, instead of disregarding or undervaluing human nature, focuses on the consubstantiality (ὀμοούσιον) of humanity with Christ’s human nature. Whereas those who live outside the Church or the secularized Christians are content with their actual empirical condition, ignoring their alienation and submitting themselves to the everyday demands of the external world, those who choose to follow, through the grace of God, the path leading to deification, restore themselves to the source of real life, through a course of life which is also a course of ascesis, of struggle for their renovation, imitating Christ.

      The encounter of human beings with God is, according to the author, existential. It takes place in the center of their existence, in their deep heart, and far from constituting a transcendental flight, an out of body experience, it affects both the human soul and the human body. Contrary to the urge of extroversion which is in tune with the norms regulating our lives in modern civilization, science and technology, the advance towards human perfection necessitates the rediscovery of the inner human self and the return of human mind back to the human heart. In this sense, hesychasm, as an active situation, can be properly evaluated, not as a marginal manifestation of Orthodox monasticism, but as a fundamental pursuit. In our civilization, the humility, the ascesis, the voluntary poverty, and the spiritual mourning that the hesychast spirituality involves are considered as utterly undesirable. Even more inconceivable is the paradoxical combination of spiritual mourning and poverty with the feeling of bliss and inner peace. In the contemporary secularized reality, Orthodox hesychasm seems to be no more than a romantic utopia. The author, however, points out that hesychasm is a prerequisite for the undistracted observance of the first and great commandment, to love God “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”.