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Hesychasm

(190 words)

Author(s): Flogaus, Reinhard
[German Version] At the center of this mystical-ascetic form of spirituality of Orthodox Christian origin stands the ἡσυχία/ hēsychía, the perfect outer and inner peace that is attained through incessant praying (Prayer of the Heart) and which may lead to a gracious, imageless vision of God. The roots of hesychasm reach back into the 4th century (Evagrius Ponticus), although it did not flourish until the 13th/14th century on Mount Athos. From 1338 onward, in his dispute with Barlaam of Calabria, G. Palamas defend…

Philotheus Kokkinos

(318 words)

Author(s): Flogaus, Reinhard
[German Version] (c. 1300–1379), Palamite theologian and patriarch of Constantinople. Philotheus, born to a Jewish family, began his studies in Thessaloniki as a student of the renowned philosopher Thomas Magister; later, as a monk on Athos, he studied with St. Sabas. In 1340, as a supporter of Gregory Palamas, he appended his signature to the Hesychastic Tomos Hagioreitikos. As confessor to the victorious usurper John VI Cantacuzenus, in 1347 he was appointed metropolitan of Heraclea. He composed the synodal tome of 1351 against Barlaam of Calabria a…

Nicephorus the Hesychast

(205 words)

Author(s): Flogaus, Reinhard
[German Version] (died before 1300), teacher of the Hesychast prayer and an opponent of union with Rome. Nicephorus was a Catholic from southern Italy who converted to the Orthodox faith and attained great fame as a Hesychast and spiritual father on Mount Athos. He was arrested in the spring of 1276 for opposing the unionist policies of Michael VIII Palaeologus and put on trial in Constantinople; he was then taken to Akko and tried a second time under the papal legate Thomas Agni OP. Banished to C…

Christology

(26,944 words)

Author(s): Karrer, Martin | Williams, Rowan D. | Hauschild, Wolf Dieter | Flogaus, Reinhard | Gunton, Colin | Et al.
[German Version] I. Primitive Christianity – II. History of Doctrine – III. Dogmatics – IV. Forms of Extra-ecclesial Christology I. Primitive Christianity 1. History of research and preliminary questions a.  The term Christology, which originated in the early 17th century, was coined for systematic reflection concerning Jesus Christ. Initially, conceptions and Christologies dealing with the salvation history of the whole Bible beginning with the Old Testament were as highly valued as the New Testament (cf. e.g. G.F. Händel's Messiah). NT Christology went its own way only in the late 18th century. It did not detach itself from the theological task, but, through historical methods, from service to dogmatic theology. To the extent that shoots of OT Christology continued in the 20th century, they served to bring to mind the relevance of the OT (e.g. Vischer, 1934…