The world-conception of st. Gregory Palamas (1296-1359). Secular and theological approaches in the 14th century

TitleThe world-conception of st. Gregory Palamas (1296-1359). Secular and theological approaches in the 14th century
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsKatsiavrias, N
Number of Pages338
UniversityDepartment of Methodology, History and Theory of Science
Publication LanguageGreek

What was the conception for the World, the Man and the Knowledge during the Empire of New Rome – Constantinople? How people saw the relations of the various parts of the World? The above questions are fundamental in order to approach the history of Byzantine culture. Though this statement seems obvious, there are not many scientific works on that theme. N. Katsiavrias, studied Physics and Theology at the University of Athens. He also followed post graduate studies in history of science (MSc theses on the history of the Greek teachers during the Ottoman Empire). In his PhD theses he tries to examine the above mentioned questions. N. Katsiavrias considers that the texts of St Gregory Palamas, archbishop of Thessaloniki during the fourteenth century, are crucial in order than these questions be answered. Palamas’ texts came out from a crisis – the Hesychasm quarrel.
During this crisis, lots of questions about God, Man and World were again debated and the main points of Palamas’ taught prevailed. The PhD theses tries to approach all the parts of the world’s conception of that period (God, heaven, matter, fire, animals, souls, angels, etc) and to describe their relations trying to understand, as much as possible, the context. The work is based on primary sources. After the preface and an introduction on the period, follow four chapters:
1. The tangible universe.
2. The «non visible» world.
3. Control and confirmation of Palamas’ conception of the world.
4. Other approaches during the 14th century.
The result is an analytical description of what we understand to be the general world conception during the 14th century. The description extends from the basic and fundamental elements to the whole image. In this context, the work presents how scholars of the b14th c. read the ancient philosophers, using as criteria their orthodox Christian faith, and also their concept of Man and Knowledge. With this PhD theses, we have an interesting approach on the Byzantine secular and theological views about Man, God and the Cosmos, and also on the combination of secular and biblical elements with the tradition of the orthodox faith