Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas
The second chapter of Anestis Keselopoulos’ book on St Gregory Palamas is devoted to what he calls the phenomenology of passions. He quotes from Gregory: ‘We have received the nous [mind] as a leader and self-governing king, but have made it instead the slave of irrational passions. We were honored with reason, but having made it the servant of passions, we have become now more dishonorable than the irrational beasts.’ Discussing Augustine’s view that all mankind sinned in the person of Adam, he quotes against it St Cyril of Alexandria on the Fall: ‘Therefore, nature became diseased with sin through the disobedience of one man, namely Adam: thus many were made sinners. It is not that they jointly transgressed through Adam at any time, but that they receive their nature from him, a nature that had fallen under the law of sin. ..Human nature in Adam became sick with corruption, and this the passions wormed their way into it.’ Keselopoulos comments: ‘The man who is enslaved to the passions and disobedient to God’s will, loses the divine adoption, becomes a slave to sin and ranks himself with the devil, the father of perdition…[W]hen St Gregory Palamas compares the demon-possessed with those who have willingly enslaved themselves to Satan, he finds the second group much more wretched than the first…This is why, according to Palamas, everybody feels sorry for and has mercy on those whose bodies are openly tempted and bothered by demons, whereas the murderer, the miser, the proud, the insolent, the disobedient, and generally whoever is enslaved to such passions, not only do not receive mercy, but are even hated by others.’
I expect to be travelling for a few weeks, and so postings may not be regular.