Originally posted 2/8/2011.
Here is a translation of part Fr. Martin Jugie, A.A. (1878-1954), “Palamas, Grégoire,” in: M. Vacant et al., eds., Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, tome XI/2 (Paris 1932), cols. 1761-1763. Many thanks to Dr. Peter Gilbert of De Unione Ecclesiarum for sending me the French text. I added some references, e.g., to St. Thomas Aquinas.
N.B. This translation is finished, thanks be to God!
Did Palamas have a good game in the field of positive theology? Certainly not. But he could fight more easily there than in the field of philosophy, where he was beaten in advance. He could at first, as we said before, hide behind the anthropomorphisms of common language that the Fathers, just like everyone else, have employed, without always explicitly applying the correctives that they put in place. Also, he and his party composed Patristic florigelia full of vague and meaningless passages, which they pulled together by a sophistic and entirely subjective exegesis. These florigelia have no probative value for the system they are intended to support. We are astonished, when browsing through them, by the exegetical blindness of their authors and the aplomb with which they list a [large] number of texts that have nothing to do with their theories. Without doubt, certain Fathers spoke in a rather obscure manner about the Taboric Light. There are, for example, in the homilies of St. John Damascene and St. Andrew of Crete, in the writings of St. Maximus, and in others expressions which, at first glance, appear to favor the new theology in some way; but is only in appearance, and anti-Palamite theologians have had no trouble in dispelling these verbal ambiguities. They all could assemble a great number of passages in which the absolute simplicity of God is expressly taught and the Palamite distinctions are explicitly condemned. Note, for example, an extract from St. Nicephorus, given in the First Refutation of Constantine Copronymus, 41, P.G., t. C, col. 304-305, falsely attributed by both parties to St. Theodore Graptos, which recurs constantly in the polemical writings of the period and subjected to tortuous exegesis by Palamas and his followers; several passages from St. Maximus, Pseudo-Dionysius, and others, which Nicephorus Gregoras assembled in his discussion with Nilus Cabasilas, Hist. byzant., b. XXII-XXIV, P.G., t. CXLVIII, col. 1328-1433.
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