Martin Jugie, The Palamite Controversy (continued).

II. The hagiorite tome.

We have already spoken more than once about this document, which is found at PG 150, 1225-1236. Composed on Mount Athos as early as 1339 by Philotheos Kokkinos, still a simple monk, at the dictation, so to speak, of Palamas, it has Barlaam directly in view, and sums up Palamas’s theology on grace and the uncreated, divine light, the real distinction between God’s essence and his eternal, uncreated operations, the seat of the νοῦς in the heart or the brain, the influence of the body upon the soul and vice versa. The writing has the appearance of a collective doctrinal manifesto of the Athonite monks, as though these latter had been invested with an official teaching authority within the Church. The last signatory, Jacob, bishop of Hierisos and of the Holy Mountain, declares that the Athonites will not receive in their communion anyone who will not accept the doctrine contained in the letter. Furthermore, at the start of the document, this doctrine is presented as a revelation of mysteries contained implicitly in the Gospel and the writings of the Fathers and revealed experientially to the contemplatives.

As was stated earlier, it is probable that the hesychasts first made this profession of faith public, not at the council of June 10th, 1341, but at the conciliabulum of August, presided over by Kantakouzenos. According to Nikephoros Gregoras (Historia byzantina, book 37, PG 149, 480), it would have been made publicly known only around the year 1344. If one compares the testimony of this historian with a passage in Palamas’s Refutation of the tome of Ignatius of Antioch, Coisl. 99, fol. 147, one may infer that Palamas’s Athonite adherents sent it, towards the end of 1344, to the Empress Anna and to the leading magistrates, doubtless in reply to the letter written to them by the patriarch in November 1344, notifying them of Palamas’s condemnation. (Cf. PG 152, 1269-1273.) In response to this effrontery, the imperial government had the signers of the document, who were gathered in one place, all arrested. They were called upon to renounce the doctrine of Palamas. Those who refused were expelled from the Holy Mountain. (Gregoras, ibid.)

After the triumph of the Palamite party in 1347, the τόμος ἁγιορειτικός was considered the expression of true doctrine, and it is doubtless by way of allusion to this work that the synodal tome of 1341 occasionally receives, from this time forward, the title of ὁ συνοδικὸς καὶ ἁγιορειτικὸς τόμος [the synodal and hagiorite tome], as though the two documents really constituted one single thing. At the council of 1351, of which we shall speak presently, the τόμος ἁγιορειτικός was officially approved (PG 151, 757 C-D). For its attribution to Philotheos, cf. PG 152, 329 A; PG 154, 861 D.

Continued …

One Response to “2. The hagiorite tome”

  1. modeoflife Says:

    Nice topic of choice.


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