Sunday, October 19, 2014

Joel, the Prophet of Pentecost

By Angelo Asiminakis, theologian

The Church honors the memory of the Prophet Joel on October 19th. The name "Joel" means "Jehovah is God". He is fourth in the series of the so-called Twelve Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. The son of Bethuel of the tribe of Reuben (but this is not clear, as some have him being of the tribe of Gad), Joel prophesied during the reign of Joash who was King Of Judah (878-838 B.C.). It is not known exactly when he lived.

His prophetic book is distinguished for its poetic style, ornateness, liveliness and it is a jewel of Jewish literature.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Where the Apostle Luke Wrote His Gospel and Celebrated the Divine Liturgy

According to Byzantine historians and the imperial chryssobull issued to the Monastery of the Great Cave (Mega Spelaion) in Kalavryta of the Peloponnese in Greece, the Apostle Luke wrote his Gospel in this cave fifteen years after the Ascension of Christ. The Theophilus to whom the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is addressed is believed by many to have been the governor of this region of Achaia. Here also the Apostle Luke celebrated the Divine Liturgy on an altar of stone and left behind an image of the Virgin Mary which he made of wax, mastic and other substances.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Barlaamism in Contemporary Theology (3 of 3)

3. Significant Barlaamite Views

When one reads the theological criticisms of Saint Gregory Palamas towards Barlaam, some interesting points are observed which indicate the similarity between various contemporary theologians and Barlaam.

Saint Gregory Palamas refuted Barlaam and ascribed to him many characterizations, one of which was "self-made monk", by which he meant that Barlaam did not become a monk after lawful endurance under a spiritual father from whom he learned the monastic life and Orthodox theology. This is manifested by his views, which are differentiated from Orthodox Tradition. We will indicate some important points.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Barlaamism in Contemporary Theology (2 of 3)

2. The Views of Barlaam That Are At Variance With Saint Gregory Palamas

The theological arguments by Saint Gregory Palamas against Barlaam appear strongly in his work "Triads for the Defense of Those Who Practice Sacred Hesychasm". In the first Triad he answered the arguments of Barlaam based on the questions posed to him by a certain monk, but when he acquired the texts of Barlaam, which had been carefully concealed, then he specifically replied to these in his second Triad. And when Barlaam read the writings of Saint Gregory Palamas and accused him in his reply titled "Against Messalians", then Saint Gregory Palamas replied with his third Triad, and in this way he completely overturned the views of Barlaam, which, if they prevailed today we would be Uniates in theory and practice. This is how the work "Triads for the Defense of Those Who Practice Sacred Hesychasm" came to be.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Barlaamism in Contemporary Theology (1 of 3)

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

Barlaamism is a certain movement that preceded Barlaam and followed after him. In fact it is the theory and practice of scholasticism that was developed by the eleventh century in western lands and proved to be the primary expression of Latin theology. The Orthodox East came to know this movement for the first time through the person of Barlaam. The majority of the East, with Saint Gregory Palamas as a defender, dealt with it successfully, but certain others were influenced by these scholastic views.

Because I do not want to wrong particular persons or cultures, I will attempt a broader analysis about what the views of Barlaam were, which have affected and continue to affect certain contemporary philosophizing theologians, who can be characterized as Barlaamites or Barlaamists. The term "Barlaamite" was first used by Saint Gregory Palamas to characterize the followers of Barlaam, among whom was Gregory Akindynos.

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