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Hesychasm

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Decebal View Drop Down
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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hesychasm
    Posted: 10-Jul-2006 at 13:32

While reading John Fine's "History of the Late Medieval Balkans", I came across his mention of the movements known as Hesychasm, which was quite influential in orthodox monastic orders in Europe in the 14th and early 15th centuries.
I find this movement quite interesting, and I wonder if there's some sort of external influence on it, whether it is from Eastern religions, or more closer to home from kaballists or muslim sufis. What do people think?

 
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Komnenos View Drop Down
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  Quote Komnenos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Jul-2006 at 14:36
Neither Runciman nor Nicol (whom I just looked up) mention any external influences on the Hesychast movement. In view of the long standing line of Christian ascetic and introspective mystics, who in the early centuries of Christianity had initiated the monastic tradition, I think it was probably autonomous.
As the Wikipedia article says, the parallels with Eastern religions are rather superficial, hesychast practises are somewhat generic to religions, like sacrifices and prayers etc, and can be found everywhere.
Interesting and characteristic though, that the Hesychast controversy succeeded to split the Byzantines once again on religious lines, not on the same scale as the Iconoclast controversy of the 8th and 9th centuries, but as the Empire in the 14th century was facing imminent collapse, it was totally superflous and damaging.


Edited by Komnenos - 12-Jul-2006 at 08:19
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