The synthesis of Christology and Pneumatology in the work of Saint Gregory Palamas

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The two main axes that determined the subject matter of this study in the teaching of Saint Gregory Palamas are connected with the interest, reception and interpretation of the hesychast theologian in both Western and modern Orthodox theological thought. In the first place, the newer anti-Palamic critiques of Western theology argue that the teaching of St. Gregory Palamas constitutes a neo-Platonist metaphysics: Devoid of any biblical and patristic basis, the theology of Gregory Palamas for a large portion of Western researchers is characterized by a poor to non-existent triadological and Christological documentation. Consequently, the persons of the Holy Trinity and especially Christ are obscured and disconnected from the work of the divine Economy in favor of the "non-existent" actions of the divine essence. The alleged "essentialism" of Gregory Palamas and other related anti-Palamas objections formed the basis for the systematic investigation and highlighting of the organic relationship that exists between the theology of uncreated energies and the totality of the triadological, Christological and spiritual teaching of the Archbishop of Thessaloniki in the context of biblical and paternal tradition.

The second axis of his problematic concerns the identification of certain internal difficulties of the latest orthodox thought for the correct consideration of the relations between Christology and pneumatology. Several, mainly Russian theologians and intellectuals, trapped in a pre-formed climate of "Christomonism" in the Western Church and theology with a consequent reduction of the person and work of the Holy Spirit, put forward as a peculiar characteristic of Orthodoxy the priority of spiritualism at the expense of Christology . Thus, a key feature of the Orthodox Church and theology emerges is pneumatology, which is prioritized over Christology in ecclesiology. The impact of these positions will bring to the forefront of modern Orthodoxy a series of theological, ecclesiological and pastoral problems, which are related to the competitive relationship between the institutional and charismatic element of the Church and will constantly refer to the demand for a correct and complete relationship between Christology and pneumatology in the theological expression of the faith and life of the church body.

Based on the synthesis of Christology and pneumatology in the teaching of Palamas, the organic coincidence and unity between sacramental life and ascetic synergy of the members of the body of the Church is evident. The central role of the mysteries of baptism and the Eucharist in the mystery of the deification of man is emphasized (coincidence of Grigori Palamas - Nikolaos Kavasilas). It is proven that the hesychastic act and life of the monastics is based on the sacramental grace, while the various stages of God's perfection do not exist independently and in the absence of the mysteries of the Church.