Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) - monk, archbishop, and eminent theologian - was a major figure in fourteenth-century Orthodox Byzantium. His greatest work, In Defense of the Holy Hesychasts (known commonly as The Triads), was written between 1338 and 1341 as a response to the charges of the Calabrian philosopher Barlaam against the monastic groups known as hesychasts. Barlaam denied the legitimacy of their spiritual methods, which included the famous "Jesus Prayer," and discredited their claims to experience the divine presence. Palamas devoted his career as a theologian to the defense of the truth central to hesychasm: God is accessible to personal experience, because he shared His own life with humanity. This book contains extensive excerpts from Palamas' famous work that, in the words of the book's distinguished editor John Meyendorff, "introduce the reader into the very substance of the religious experience of the Christian East."
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