The Philosophy of Philokalia: The Culture and Life of Beauty in the East

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Constantinos Athanasopoulos

Abstract

In what follows, I will explore the philosophical foundations of the patristic writings contained in the collection of texts with the name “Philokalia”. I will link this collection to the cultural and philosophical‐theological context of the Kollyvades Fathers (two of whom were the editors of the collection) and St Gregory Palamas. My main claim is that this collection of texts represents a distinct and unique episode in the history of philosophy, as distinct as the publication of major collections and editions like the Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (1751‐1772) or other such works. In terms of interpreting this collection, my main approach is that one cannot approach the Philokalia texts without first understanding the motivation and aims of Kollyvades in compiling this compendium of patristic texts and that this motivation can be understood only through the connection of this collection to the philosophy and theology of St Gregory Palamas. My approach is not only philosophical and theological, but I have a wider cultural focus. My project is within the specific philosophical field of what is called “Philosophy of Culture and Civilisation”. However, I will not follow other modern and contemporary attempts in this field in my approach to the Philosophy of Philokalia. I will propose my own interpretation and cultural analysis, which is based on Orthodox approaches to culture and civilisation. My efforts here can only be rather schematic. I will elaborate further on various aspects of my arguments presented here in future work.

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How to Cite
ATHANASOPOULOS, Constantinos. The Philosophy of Philokalia: The Culture and Life of Beauty in the East. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series, [S.l.], v. 70, n. 1, p. 13-71, apr. 2022. ISSN 0068-3175. Available at: <http://annals.filosofie.unibuc.ro/index.php/annals/article/view/325>. Date accessed: 11 aug. 2022.
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