“Polemis’s treatment of the texts in the introduction, including a lengthy summary of each text, confirms his reputation as one of the two or three best scholars of late Byzantine theology. The edition is of the highest caliber, and a perusal of the apparatus fontium allows the reader to see which patristic texts were used repeatedly by both sides of the Hesychast debate.” (Matthew Briel, in the Religious Studies Review, 41/4, 2015, p. 204)
Ioannis Polemis is full Professor of Byzantine Literature at the University of Athens, Department of Philology. He specializes in Byzantine philosophical and theological literature of the 14th century.
This volume contains three important, so-far unpublished texts from the second half of the 14th century that refer to the palamite controversy. The first text is a treatise by George of Pelagonia, which investigates the beginnings of the controversy concerning the distinction between the nature of God and His energies. It offers a detailed account of the history of the entire period from 1330 until 1351, containing several details which are not recorded in any other contemporary source. The second text, of anonymous origin, which is addressed to a certain Raoul Palaiologos, is a detailed refutation of an unpublished treatise of the ex-emperor John Kantakouzenos. After a comparison of that refutation with the works of the well-known opponent of Gregory Palamas, John Kyparissiotes, the hypothesis that the anonymous author is to be identified with Kyparissiotes is put forward. The third text is a treatise by Prochoros Kydones, the well-known translator of Thomas Aquinas, dealing with the problem of the meaning of the divine names. Through a systematic study of the works of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and Thomas Aquinas, Prochoros Kydones proves that Palamas’s theory that the names of God refer only to His energies is untenable.