Byzantine Hesychasm and Philocalic Tradition

Course Information
TitleΟ βυζαντινός Ησυχασμός και η Φιλοκαλική παράδοση / Byzantine Hesychasm and Philocalic Tradition
SchoolSocial Theology and Christian Culture
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorSymeon Paschalidis
Course ID600018257

Programme of Study: UPS of School of Pastoral and Social Theology (2013-today)

Registered students: 12
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CoreElective CoursesWinter-4

Class Information
Academic Year2020 – 2021
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
The purpose of the course is to understand the spiritual movement of Byzantine Hesychasm and its theology, through the study of the related sources and its main representatives. Moreover, the understanding and deepening of the theological framework of the Philokalic tradition from the Ottoman period to the present.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
This course deals with the monastic spiritual movement of Byzantine Hesychasm and its dissemination and establishment through the Renaissance of the Philokalia in the 18th and 19th centuries. Hesychasm, which was as old as the emergence of monasticism during the 4th century, came into the fore of the spiritual life of Byzantium from the 13th century and, in particular, through the so-called hesychastic dispute of the 14th century. Having saint Gregory Palamas, Philotheos Kokkinos, Symeon of Thessaloniki and others as its main exponents, hesychasm left an indelible imprint on the later centuries, impacting profoundly the newer Orthodoxy through the development of the tradition of the Philokalia and the renaissance that it brought about. Within this framework, the module presents and analyses the content and the theology of the writers of the Philokalia. 1. Hesychasm and the theology of hiera Hesychia in early and mediaeval monasticism. 2. The most prominent representatives of Byzantine Hesychasm during the 13th century. 3. The hesychastic controversies and the Hesychastic Councils of the 14th century. 4. The most prominent exponents of Byzantine hesychasm during the 14th century. 5. The writings and theology of saint Gregory Palamas on Hesychasm I. 6. The writings and theology of saint Gregory Palamas on Hesychasm II. 7. The defence of the commemoration and theology of saint Gregory Palamas during the Palaeologan era (Philotheos Kokkinos, Symeon of Thessaloniki, Makarios Makres, Gennadios Scholarios). 8. The defence of the commemoration and theology of saint Gregory Palamas during the Ottoman rule. 9. Hesychasm and the Philokalic renaissance during the 18th and 19th c. 10. Theological framework and development of the Philokalic tradition. 11. Hesychasm in the texts of the Philokalia I. 12. Hesychasm in the texts of the Philokalia II. 13. The dissemination of the Philokalia into the contemporary world. A critical evaluation.
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
Course Organization
Written assigments602.4
Student Assessment
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Problem Solving (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Π. Χρήστου, Γρηγορίου του Παλαμά Συγγράμματα, τ. Ε´, εκδ. Κυρομάνος, Θεσσαλονίκη 1992.
Additional bibliography for study
- Μητρ. Κάλλιστος Ware, «The Spirituality of the Philokalia», Sobornost 13 (1991) 6-24. - Μητρ. Κάλλιστος Ware, «Philocalie», Dictionnaire de spiritualité XII (1984) 1336-52 - Ἀμφ. Ράντοβιτς, Ἡ Φιλοκαλικὴ Ἀναγέννησι τοῦ XVIII καὶ XIX αἰ. καὶ οἱ πνευματικοὶ καρποί της, Ἀθῆναι 1984 - A.-E. Tachiaos, «De la Philokalia au Dobrotoljubie: La Creation d'un 'Sbornik'», Cyrillomethodianum 5 (1981) 208-213 - A.-E. Tachiaos, «Le creazione della “Filocalia” e il suo influsso spirituale nel mondo greco e slavo», A. Mainardi (ἐπιμ.), Nil Sorskij e l’esicasmo. Atti del Convegno ecumenico internazionale di spiritualità russa (Bose, 21-24 settembre 1994), Magnano 1995, σ. 227-249 - Α.-Ε. Tachiaos, The Revival of Byzantine Mysticism among Slavs and Romanians in the XVIIIth Century: Texts Relating to the Life and Activity of Paisy Velichkovsky (1722-1794), Thessalonike 1986 - N. Lisovoj, «Due epoche, due “Filocalie”: Paisij Veličkovskij e Teofane il Recluso», A. Mainardi (ἐπιμ.), Paisij lo Starec. Atti del III Convegno ecumenico internazionale di spiritualità russa (Bose, 20-23 settembre 1995), Magnano 1997, σ. 183-215 - ἀρχιμ Πλακ. Deseille, Φιλοκαλία. Ἡ νηπτικὴ παράδοση τῆς Ὀρθοδοξίας καί ἡ ἀκτινοβολία της στὸν κόσμο, [Ὀρθόδοξη Mαρτυρία 67], Ἀθήνα 1997 - Amore del Bello. Studi sulla Filocalia. Atti del “Simposio Internazionale sulla Filocalia” [Roma, novembre 1989], Magnano 1991 - A. Rigo (ἐπιμ.), Nicodemo l’Aghiorita e la Filocalia. Atti del VIII Convegno ecumenico internazionale di spiritualità ortodossa, sessione bizantina (Bose, 16-19 settembre 2000), Magnano 2001) - S. Horujy (ἐπιμ.), Hesychasm. An annotated Bibliography, Moscow 2004, - D. Balfour (συν. M. Cunningham), A Supplement to the Philocalia. The Second Century of Saint John of Karpathos, Brookline, Mass. 1994 - G. Peters, «Recovering a Lost Spiritual Theologian: Peter of Damascus and the Philokalia», SVTQ 49 (2005) 437-459 - G. Peters, ‘A Treasury of Divine Knowledge and Wisdom’: The twelft-century Byzantine spiritual theology of Peter of Damascus, Toronto 2003] - A. Rigo (ἐπιμ.) Mistici bizantini, Torino, 2008 - πρωτοπρ. Β. Καλλιακμάνης, Ἀπὸ τὸ φόβο στὴν ἀγάπη. Σπουδὴ καὶ μαθητεία στὴ Φιλοκαλία τῶν ἱερῶν Νηπτικῶν, Θεσσαλονίκη 2009. - B. Bingaman – B. Nassif (επιμ.), The Philokalia. A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality, Oxford 2012.
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