Gravin A.A. To the Question of the Philosophical Paradigm of “Antipalamism” of Nicephorus Gregoras and Barlaam of Calabria


Artyom A. Gravin
Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Senior Researcher, Department of Russian Literature of Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Povarskaya St, 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russian Federation
Associated Researcher, Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of European Social Thought, Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences – a branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
7-ya Krasnoarmeyskaya St, 25/14, 190005 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

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Abstract. In this article, the problem of the conceptual synthesis of the theology of the Antipalamites (the opponents of Gregory Palamas in the era of Palamitic controversies) Nicephorus Gregoras and Barlaam of Calabria is considered. The consideration was based on two aspects: the cognition of God (the mystical aspect) and natural science (the scientific aspect). According to the author's intention, the use of the paradigmatic approach implies not so much a historical and philosophical generalization as the identification of a conceptual philosophical model. In this perspective, the use of the generalized term "antipalamism" for the theology of Gregory Palamas' opponents is possible without adjusting for the "simplification" of the historical picture of a particular era. This article also reveals the gnoseological scheme inherent in the philosophy of these thinkers, which affirms the absolute simplicity of the primordial (God), the impossibility of unconditional theological inference, and the primacy of natural science as indirect (through the study of principles of the created world) cognition over direct cognition of God. In this context, the connection between the theological position on the presence of divine will in the material world and the socio-economic processes in the Byzantine society of the 14th century is noted. It is also shown that the identified epistemological scheme can be found in the philosophical constructions of thinkers of later epochs, in particular, in the theology of the opponents of Onomatodoxy (early 20th century). It is noted that, similarly to the theological constructions of Gregory Palamas' opponents, the reasoning of the adversaries of onomatodoxy reveals both skepticism concerning the mystical cognition of God and an emphasis on the subjective psychological abilities of man. It is shown that the hypothesis of a common philosophical paradigm, which, according to A.F. Losev, is inherent in the opponents of Gregory Palamas, the Kantians, the opponents of onomatodoxy, etc., needs a detailed analysis of more historical-philosophical and historical-cultural material in order to present a reasonable classification model of the different trends of Christian thought, provided some supporting factors are present.
Key words: antipalamism, Nicephorus Gregoras, Barlaam of Calabria, Gregory Palamas, onomatodoxy.

Citation. Gravin A.A. To the Question of the Philosophical Paradigm of "Antipalamism" of Nicephorus Gregoras and Barlaam of Calabria. Logos et Praxis, 2023, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 28-35. (in Russian). DOI:

To the Question of the Philosophical Paradigm of “Antipalamism” of Nicephorus Gregoras and Barlaam of Calabria by Gravin A.A. is licensed under Attribution 4.0 International

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