22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 1999
This is Meyendorff's great work on St. Gregory Palamas, and it is well deserving of the renown it has gained. Readers with a casual (non-academic) interest in Palamas should refer to Meyendorff's shorter work "Gregory Palamas and Orthodox Spirituality," which has in mind that particular audience. This book is aimed at those desiring an insightful and in-depth knowledge of the saint, and will more than satisfy in all regards.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I just finished this classic work by Meyendorff on St. Gregory Palamas. In a word: superb. Meyendorff excels in exposing the reader to the details of the life and thought of this great theologian and saint.
The book is divided into two parts: the history of the man is part one, and then an overview of his thought is part two.
Part one is very interesting as it puts the controversies surrounding Palamas in context and explains both the theological and political reasoning behind those who opposed him, as well as his own motivations.
Part two is especially impressive. I must admit, I have struggled to understand even the basics of Palamite theology. Yet Meyendorff does a superb job of explaining his thought without dumbing down the content.
From reading this book, I have gained a great appreciation for this brilliant - and saintly - theologian of the East.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2014
John Meyendorf was a person steeped in Nietzshe supporting the thought processes of Sir Houston Stewart Chamberlain,
Alfred Rosenberg, Lothrop Stoddard and Madison Grant. The book is very critical and it appears the four individuals mentioned
had studied eastern orthodoxy and collaberated in writing this book. Meyndorf certainly used the after mentioned individuals critical thought processes. This is a very good coverage of the Palamite doctrine of Hesychism which goes beyond what Hindu and Buddhist yoga teaches. Hesychism will take a person into danger zones as defined by notable and reputable Hindu swamis and Buddhist teachers-their teachings are safe-this is very dangerous unless under priestly/monastic guidance of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Learning this is like learning how to drive a Bugati-if you make a wrong move, you can unlock very hostile unseen forces that can cause great harm. Meyndorf was actually a cryptic
Buddhist, even though he was an Orthodox priest. The danger involved here is dualism which can create extremely dangerous spiritual situations of fragmentation and outright war on a nationwide basis-that is why Eastern orthodox clerical guidance is needed. Once mastered as St Gregory Palamas did, a person will become a person
of extreme power as long as poverty, chastity and obediance to a hesychast master or
straight martyrdom if your not yet made such accomplishments. Other than that, all you can say is Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me a wretched sinner.