On Line Library of the Church of Greece
Double Knowledge According to Gregory Palamas
Από: Π. Κ. Χρήστου, Θεολογικά Μελετήματα, τ. 3 (Νηπτικά και Ησυχαστικά), Θεσσαλονίκη 1977.
Theology and Vision of God
we put aside the first way of theognosia, the natural way, and follow now
the demonstrable and theological way, we find ourselves faced with a new
ramification. The new distinction appears in the field of man's struggle
to find God. Ancient ascetic writes distinguished three conditions in the
progress of approaching God, viz. the practical, the natural and the
theological. These were derived from Origen who held that the believer
"through the practical way possesses Christ as his Lord, through the
natural theory possesses Him as a King and again through theology as
Evagrios preserves both the names and the meaning of these terms [xliii],
while Diadochos of Photice modifies in some degree the terminology by
using the words knowledge; wisdom and theology [xliv].
after he had reflected much on natural and theological theognosia, came to
the conclusion that the achievements realised in the second way are far
more notable than those realised in the first. But in the end he sees that
another way opens up, a way that leads to immensely more precious
benefits: the way to the vision of God, to θεοπτία.
is a discourse about God, while theoptia is in some way á conversation
with God. There is a great difference between the two, as there is between
knowledge of a thing and possession of it [xlv].
Isaac Syrus, speaking about two psychical eyes, the one for seeing the
wisdom of God and the other for seeing the glory of his nature [xlvi],
expresses with an image what Palamas describes analytically.
[xlii] In psalmos 126
[xliii] Practicus, prol. and c. 1
[xliv] Capita, 9, 66, 67
[xlv] Defensio Hesychastarum, 3, 2, 12.
[xlvi] Sermo 72, ed. SPETSIERIS, 281.
[xlix] Op. cit. 3,1,14.