The one hundred and fifty chapters





1. The Early Chapters of the Capita 150 A. Introduction B. The General Context of the First Section The Non-Eternity of the Cosmos (1–2) The Celestial Sphere (3–7) The Terrestrial Sphere (8–14) The Natural Human Faculties (15–20) Spiritual Knowledge (21–29) Rational Nature (30–33) The Divine Nature and its Triadic Image in Man (34–40) a. The Doctrine of the Capita b. Patristic Background c. Two Contemporary Parallels i. Gregory of Sinai ii. Theoleptos of Philadelpheia Recognition of Human Weakness and the Need for Healing (41–63) 2. The Later Chapters of the Capita 150 A. Introduction Divine Illumination (64–67) Multiplicity of the Divine Energies (68–71) Basic Doctrines (72–84) The Dionysian Doctrine of Union and Distinction (85–95) Absurdities of the Akindynist Doctrines (96–103) The Imparticipability of God's Substance (104–112) The Reply on Cyril (113–121) The Contra Acindynum (122–131) Distinction of the Divine Substance and the Divine Energy (132–145) The Light of Tabor (146–150) B. The Date of the Capita 150 C. Conclusion 3. The Text A. Previous Editions of Palamas» Works B. Manuscripts of The Capita 150 C. Printed Editions D. Indirect Witnesses E. The Tradition of the Text Hyparchetypal Variants Archetypal Errors Alpha Family Beta Family The Uspensky Edition Constitution of the Text F. Sigla and Abbreviations St. Gregory Palamas Capita 150 Appendix. St. Gregory Palamas The Reply On Cyril Selected Bibliography  


edited and translated by Robert E. Sinkewicz, C.S.B.

The Capita 150 deserves special prominence in the Palamite corpus, equal to that of the Triads in Defence of the Holy Hesychasts. It was written in a relatively tranquil period after the triumph of Palamism in the Council of 1347 and prior to Gregory's polemics with Nikephoros Gregoras. Gregory Palamas took this opportunity to stand back somewhat from the atmosphere of controversy and reflect at length on the larger doctrinal context of the debates and the relation of the detailed issues to this context. The Capita 150 thus opens with a discussion on the nature of human knowledge and its application to the natural and supernatural domains. These considerations lead into a profound reflection on the image of God in man. Here Gregory Palamas produces not merely a synthesis of the patristic doctrine but a genuine theological development within the Church's tradition to meet the needs of the controversy with which the Church was confronted. After dwelling on the consequences of the Fall and the subsequent quest for healing, Palamas then reviews the principal issues of his controversy with Gregory Akindynos and his followers.

The present study has arrived at a number of interesting conclusions that contribute to a fuller understanding of the works of Gregory Palamas. In spite of his hearty polemic against profane wisdom Palamas had considerable familiarity with the scientific revival of his time and was capable of discoursing on such subjects at least on the popular level. The inspected Augustinian elements in his Trinitarian theology derive not from Augustine but from the hesychast theology of the Jesus Prayer, particularly as it is found in the writings of Theoleptos of Philadelpheia. Finally, in composing the Capita 150 Palamas drew extensively on his earlier writings and even incorporated an entire work, namely, the Reply On Cyril.

The critical edition of the text is based on a detailed study of all the available manuscripts and represents a great improvement over the text of the Philokalia. A translation is offered both as an aid for the understanding and interpretation of the Greek text and also for the benefit of the general reader with an interest in Eastern Christian theology.


Until recently the Capita 150 was one of the few readily available published sources for the theology of Gregory Palamas. There were indeed other texts published in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but their circulation had been limited and many of these books have become now very rare.1 Jacques Paul Migne made the text of the Capita 150 widely available for the first time when he included the Philokalia edition of it in his Patrologia graeca.2 Martin Jugie gave the work further notoriety by using it as one of the principal sources for his analysis of Palamite theology.3 Jugie was an eminently learned scholar and Roman Catholic theologian who did much to make Eastern Christian theology better known in the West. Although he made extensive soundings in the manuscript sources and had some familiarity with the unpublished works of Palamas, Jugie saw his frequent recourse to the Capita 150 as justified by the fact that this was a work, «in quo totius suae doctrinae philosophicae, theologicae ac asceticae summam auctor conclusit.»4 Because of his considerable stature as a scholar and as a theologian, Jugie's opinions and judgements on Palamite theology have had a lasting influence on Roman Catholic attitudes even to this day.5

Early in the 1950s Orthodox scholars began to make a concerted effort to edit the unpublished writings of Gregory Palamas. John Meyendorff and Panagiotes Chrestou were two of the prime movers in this enormous undertaking.6 As these new texts were published, the Capita 150 understandably faded into the background of scholarly attention. But even during the time that this work had received some serious study, the focus was almost exclusively on the sections that were more concerned with the detailed issues of the Palamite controversy; the earlier chapters were largely ignored. Only two scholars, Kiprian Kern and George Mantzarides, treated the introductory section of the Capita 150 with any seriousness.7 However, they turned to these chapters as a source for the theological anthropology of Palamas, but failed to see their essential connection with the rest of the work.

Two other factors have militated against a better understanding of the significance of the Capita 150. Firstly, the editors of the Philokalia had removed from the text all the references to Barlaam and Akindynos. But even more seriously, they had relied on a very inferior manuscript. The omissions and erroneous readings frequently leave the meaning obscure and at times indecipherable.8 Secondly, the Capita 150 cannot be properly understood without an appreciation of the literary character of the work. Only when it is seen in relation to the earlier writings of Palamas can its structure be readily discerned and its significance evaluated.

This book is an attempt to remedy the situation and restore The One Hundred and Fifty Chapters to its rightful place in Palamite theology. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the Most Revd Bishop Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia and the Revd Joseph Gill, S.J. who inspired and guided me in my first studies of Gregory Palamas. The microfilms that made this edition possible were purchased with the help of a minor grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


BH      J. Meyendorff, Byzantine Hesychasm

BZ      Byzantinische Zeitschrift

C.      Caput/Capita (Capita 150)

CA      Palamas, Contra Acindynum

CAG      Commentaria in Aristotelem graeca

CFHB      Corpus fontium historiae byzantinae

CSHB      Corpus scriptorum historiae byzantinae

DOB/D      Palamas, Dialogue of an Orthodox und a Barlaamite

DOP      Dumbarton Oaks Papers

DSp      Dictionnaire de spiritualité

DTC      Dictionnaire de théologie catholique

EEBΣ      Έπετηρίς "Eταιρείας Bυζαντινῶν Σπουδῶν

EEΘΣ      Έπιοτημονική Έπετηρίς Θεολογικῶν Σπουδῶν (Thessalonica)

EO      Échos d'Orient

Ep      Epistula/e (Gregorii Palamae)

GCS      Griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller

H      Palamas, Homily

JÖB(G)      Jahrbuch der Österreichischen Byzantinistik (der Österreichischen Byzantinischen Gesellschaft)

K      Palamas, Reply On Cyril

MM      F. Miklosich, J. Miller (eds.), Acta et diplomata graeca medii aevi sacra et profana

OCP      Orientalia christiana periodica

OECT      Oxford Early Christian Texts

PG      Patrologia graeca

PLP      Prosopographisches Lexikon der Palaiologenzeit

PO      Patrologia orientalis

PS      Chrestou, Παλαμά Συγγράμματα

PTS      Patristische Texte und Studien

SC      Sources chrétiennes

T      Palamas, Theophanes

TU      Texte und Untersuchungen

Union/U      Palamas, On Union and Distinction

* * *


On these early editions see J. Meyendorff, Introduction a l'etude de. Grégoire Palamas (Patristica sorbonensia 3; Paris, 1959), pp. 335–340.


pg 150: 1121 1225, published in Paris, 1865.


Theologia dogmatica christianorum orientalium ab ecclesia catholica dissidentium, 5 vols. (Paris, 1926–1935) 2: 47–183; art., «Palamas Grégoire,» dtc 11 (1932) 1735–1776; art., «Palamite (Controverse),» dtc 11 (1932). 1777–1818.


Jugie, Theologia dogmatica 2: 76.


On Jugie's life and career see V. Laurent, «L’œuvre scientifique du R P. Martin Jugie,» reb 11 (1953) 7–32.


J. Meyendorff, « L'origine de la controverse palamite. La premiére lettre de Palamas á Akindynos,» Θεολογία 25 (1954) 602–613 and 26 (1955) 77–90; idem, «Une lettre inédite de Grégoire Palamas á Akindynos, Texte et commentaire sur la troisiéme lettre de Palamas,» Θεολογία 24 (1953) 557–587 [both articles were reprinted in Byzantine Hesychasm: Historical, Theological and Social Problems (London, 1974), nos. II and III]; idem, Grégoire Palamas. Défense des saints hésychastes (Spicilegium sacrum lovaniense, Etudes et documents, fasc. 30–31; Louvain, 1959; reprint with revisions, 1973).


K. Kern, Antropologiya sv. Grigoriya Palamy (Paris, 1950); G. Mantzarides, Παλαμιχά (Thessalonica, 1973).


See below, pp. 67–69, 75–76.

Источник: The one hundred and fifty chapters / Gregorius Palamas - Toronto : Pontifical inst. of mediaeval studies, 1988. - XI, 288 с. ISBN 0-88844-083-9

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