The reception of palamism in russian thought in the early 20th century: the issue of the philosophical status of palamism and barlaamism, its solutions and context

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Introduction. The purpose of this article is to trace two lines of interpretation of the philosophical status of Palamism and Barlaamism in the context of the Name-Glorifiers' dispute in Russian thought of the early 20th century. Methods. In this article the notions of ‘Palamism' and ‘Barlaamism' are used rather as labels than refer to historical phenomena. The reason of such use lies in the fact that the attitude to Palamism and Barlaamism by the thinkers, discussed in this article, was associated not with academic tasks, but with polemical purposes. Analysis. One line, proposed by Fedor Uspensky, associated Palamism with Aristotelianism and nominalism, and Barlaamism - with Platonism and realism. The other, formulated by Mitrofan Muretov, on the contrary, associated Palamism with Platonism, and Barlaamism - with nominalism. The article explores the development and the transformation of these lines in the course of the Name-Glorifiers dispute. Although Anthony Bulatovich did not speak about the philosophical qualifications of Palamism and Barlaamism, he recaptured Palamism, put forward the doctrine of forms in the context of the doctrine of Onomatodoxy, and polemically attributed Barlaamite position to his opponents. Sergey Troitsky, opponent of the Onomatodoxy, criticized Bulatovich's doctrine of forms and returned the accusation of Barlaamism to him, linking it to Platonism, partly following Fedor Uspenskiy in this scheme. Vladimir Ern and Pavel Florenskiy, on the basis of their own philosophical attitudes and acting as apologists for Onomatodoxy, developed Muretov's understanding. Results. The article shows that these opposing interpretations of the philosophical foundations of Palamism and Barlaamism are based on various passages from The Synodikon of the Sunday of Orthodoxy in the edition by Fedor Uspensky.


Platonism, palamism, realism, name-glorifiers' disputes, hieroschemamonk anthony (bulatovich), sergey troitsky, vladimir ern, pavel florenskiy

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IDR: 149130589   |   DOI: 10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.3

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