Friday, 24 May 2019
Mircea Dulus: The Doctrine of Perpetual Spiritual Progress in the Byzantine Homiletic Tradition
This paper addresses the Byzantine tradition of thought that defines perfection and eschatological beatitude as an ever-increasing participation in divine virtue. Going back to Gregory of Nyssa, the definition of virtue as limitless and the doctrine of the soul’s perpetual progress (ἐπέκτασις) and insatiable desire for the Goodhas been documented with various emphases in the works ofPseudo-Makarios, Maximus the Confessor, John the Ladder, Symeon the New Theologian, Gregory of Sinai, Gregory Palamas and Kallistos Angelikoudes. The present analysis documents the reception of Gregory of Nyssa’s doctrine of the soul’s perpetual progress in the works of St. Andrew of Crete, Jakovos the Monk and Philagathos of Cerami. The investigation will map out the exegetic contexts that employed ideas related to perpetual progress and explore the textual evidence that certifies the influence of Gregory of Nyssa’s mystical writings (e.g. De Vita Moysis and In Canticum Canticorum) on the homilies of Andrew of Crete, Jakovos the Monk and Philagathos of Cerami.