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Author Topic: Primer on Palamas and Barlaam...?  (Read 1910 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: September 08, 2009, 01:01:53 PM »

Grace and Peace,

Is there any 'primer' on Barlaam and Palamas? I'm trying to understand on a more 'spiritual' level... ? Any help?
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 01:16:52 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

Best introduction to the general topic of theosis, including essence/energies, is also by Norman Russell: Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis.
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 02:41:53 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

That is a pretty pricy book. I have Jules Gross' book on the subject, does anyone recommend that one?
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2009, 02:43:19 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

That is a pretty pricy book. I have Jules Gross' book on the subject, does anyone recommend that one?

If you can't afford the The Doctrine of Deification, the Fellow Workers With God book is usually sold at a very reasonable price (under $20, iirc).
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2009, 02:56:59 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

That is a pretty pricy book. I have Jules Gross' book on the subject, does anyone recommend that one?

If you can't afford the The Doctrine of Deification, the Fellow Workers With God book is usually sold at a very reasonable price (under $20, iirc).

I sent an email to my Orthodox Parish Priest to see if he has it or knows if someone in the community has it. If not do you recommend The Divinization of the Christian According to the Greek Fathers by Jules Gross, Paul A. Onica, and Kerry S. Robichaux?
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 04:38:21 PM »

Haven't read it, so no, I can't recommend or otherwise comment on the book.
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2009, 04:49:47 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

That is a pretty pricy book. I have Jules Gross' book on the subject, does anyone recommend that one?

Search ABEbooks.com for it.  There's a used one for under $10 there.
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« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2009, 05:00:13 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

That is a pretty pricy book. I have Jules Gross' book on the subject, does anyone recommend that one?

Search ABEbooks.com for it.  There's a used one for under $10 there.

Wow, I got it for 11.89! Thank you so much for the heads up!
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2009, 05:18:09 PM »

Best introduction to the Church Fathers on which Palamas and Barlaam depended is Norman Russell's The Doctrine of Deification in the Greek Patristic Tradition. In a lot of ways, Palamas and Barlaam were fighting over how to interpret Dionysius the Areopagite and St. Maximos the Confessor (with reference to the Cappadocians, of course).

That is a pretty pricy book. I have Jules Gross' book on the subject, does anyone recommend that one?

Search ABEbooks.com for it.  There's a used one for under $10 there.

Wow, I got it for 11.89! Thank you so much for the heads up!

No problem.  I make it a habit to check abebooks for anything and everything.
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« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2010, 07:00:50 PM »

This has always been stumbling block for me as far as the EO Church goes.  In fact, at one point in my life, this was the single reason for making me almost join the OO Church (never mind the problem of the Nature(s) of Christ).

St. Gregory Palamas says that the Uncreated Light is the energy of God, while drawing a distinction between this and the essence of God.  Similarly, it is be the former that we are deified, the latter forever beyond us.

But how is this not di-theism?  Does this mean that from all of eternity, there was this split within the Godhead?  Or does this split exist only "economically" (i.e. is meaningful only within the context of man and his deification)?

To me, it sounds too muck like Neo-Platonism, with its never-ending series of demiurges, nouses, logoses, etc. which try to buffer God from his own creatures.  As if God was some sort of whimp who can't stand the presence of His very own creation.
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« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2010, 09:38:16 PM »

This has always been stumbling block for me as far as the EO Church goes.  In fact, at one point in my life, this was the single reason for making me almost join the OO Church (never mind the problem of the Nature(s) of Christ).

St. Gregory Palamas says that the Uncreated Light is the energy of God, while drawing a distinction between this and the essence of God.  Similarly, it is be the former that we are deified, the latter forever beyond us.

But how is this not di-theism?  Does this mean that from all of eternity, there was this split within the Godhead?  Or does this split exist only "economically" (i.e. is meaningful only within the context of man and his deification)?

To me, it sounds too muck like Neo-Platonism, with its never-ending series of demiurges, nouses, logoses, etc. which try to buffer God from his own creatures.  As if God was some sort of whimp who can't stand the presence of His very own creation.
As Lossky says, the distinction of the Essence of God and His Energies is that God cannot be contained by His Essence such that He overflows in His Energies.
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2010, 10:52:32 PM »

Oh wow.  That totally makes sense.  (It sounds like I'm using a sarcastic voice, but I'm not.  I'm being serious.)

Thank you.
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« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2010, 09:47:21 AM »

Want to just read the book before buying it? Why not go to your public Library and ask that they get an Inter-Library Loan. They can get a Library (usually at a College ) that has it to lend it to them and then they check it out to you. I have done this several times with books that were too pricey or that I did not intend to continuously use. It is also a good way to preview something you may be willing to pay the price on if it is what you need.

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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2010, 10:45:25 AM »

I just rely on that trusty ole wikipedia.  Unless, I really want some in-depth knowledge, then I buy a book. Cool
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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2010, 06:51:43 PM »

I just rely on that trusty ole wikipedia.  Unless, I really want some in-depth knowledge, then I buy a book. Cool

That would be the economical thing to do. I have a bad habit of buying books faster than I can read them, which has gotten worse now that Orthodoxy's opened up another world of reading. Rooms seem so much more inviting with books in them.
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2010, 01:57:20 PM »

This has always been stumbling block for me as far as the EO Church goes.  In fact, at one point in my life, this was the single reason for making me almost join the OO Church (never mind the problem of the Nature(s) of Christ).

St. Gregory Palamas says that the Uncreated Light is the energy of God, while drawing a distinction between this and the essence of God.  Similarly, it is be the former that we are deified, the latter forever beyond us.

But how is this not di-theism?  Does this mean that from all of eternity, there was this split within the Godhead?  Or does this split exist only "economically" (i.e. is meaningful only within the context of man and his deification)?

To me, it sounds too muck like Neo-Platonism, with its never-ending series of demiurges, nouses, logoses, etc. which try to buffer God from his own creatures.  As if God was some sort of whimp who can't stand the presence of His very own creation.

Is not light simultaneously both a particle and a wave? And yet is it not also one? If this is true with light as well as some things in the quantum level of reality, then why can't God be both Essence & Energy simultaneously? Is not God both simultaneously Transcendent & Imminent?

Unlike Neo-Platonism, we believe God's Energies to permeate all things.....all creation...all matter. Infact, all things exist within God's Omni-Presence.

The western christian world is the one that doesn't want God to touch creation, and so they have a thing called "created grace" or created graces.

To be honest, I actually praise God that we(EO) have an Essence vs Energies distinction. It solves so many issues......so many problems.








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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2010, 09:02:47 PM »

This has always been stumbling block for me as far as the EO Church goes.  In fact, at one point in my life, this was the single reason for making me almost join the OO Church (never mind the problem of the Nature(s) of Christ).

St. Gregory Palamas says that the Uncreated Light is the energy of God, while drawing a distinction between this and the essence of God.  Similarly, it is be the former that we are deified, the latter forever beyond us.

But how is this not di-theism?  Does this mean that from all of eternity, there was this split within the Godhead?  Or does this split exist only "economically" (i.e. is meaningful only within the context of man and his deification)?

To me, it sounds too muck like Neo-Platonism, with its never-ending series of demiurges, nouses, logoses, etc. which try to buffer God from his own creatures.  As if God was some sort of whimp who can't stand the presence of His very own creation.

There are actually a fair amount of OO who accept Palamism (despite the claim that supposedly the doctrine depends on the two natures of Christ).

I myself am an Anti-Chalcedonian who accepts the Palamite doctrines (particularly so given my Byzantine patrimony and my continuing respect for it).

I do not think it is a split. I think you could only view it as such if you viewed both as the substance of God. But they're not. The Essence is who God is in and of Himself. The Energies are what He does and emanates from Him. However, the Energies are viewed as inherent to the divine life.
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2010, 07:25:31 AM »

Diefication in Christ is another good book on the subject.
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