Specifics of methodology historical and philosophical researh of hesychasm

  • A. B. Klimenko Donetsk national university
Keywords: Hesychasm, methodology, philosophical school discursive practices, lifestyle, mystery, hermeneutics, religious experience, Orthodox dogmatics


The article is devoted to the research methodology of  Hesychasm ­ one of the most important schools of the Byzantine philosophy, which played a significant role in the development of modern civilization. However, to date it remains a kind of «terra incognita» for the world historical and philosophical thought. Hesychasm is a kind of Christian mystical worldview that is embodied in a certain spiritual practices that form the basis of Orthodox asceticism. Even half a century ago, history of philosophy left without attention of philosophical and theological teachings of the authors of the late antiquity and the early middle ages, be they Christian thinkers or the neo­Platonists. The era of post­Plotins philosophers Neoplatonists or commentators on Aristotle considered as a period of decline of this philosophy and the time of the rise of irrationality. For the same reason it was considered that the system of Christian thinkers cannot and should not be subject to the historical and philosophical science. This fully relates Hesychasm. However, on the basis of works of the French philosopher P. Ado, the paper argues that philosophy in late antiquity when there is Hesychasm is first of all a way of life, and therefore Hesychasm can be considered as a specific philosophical school of Christian asceticism. The main modern method of historical and philosophical studies is the hermeneutical reconstruction of cultural meaning of the philosophical texts, however, Hesychasm cannot be reduced to the «amount of texts» or rational philosophical discourses. When learning is impossible not to take into account the existing experience, what is behind the lyrics: the experience of the inner purification, «the noetic prayer, which often has verbal reflection. Therefore, along with the use of hermeneutic and semiotic principles of research work with the texts, there is a problem of the analysis of the experience of spiritual practices. This requires the use of the phenomenological methods of cognition of mystical experience. At the same time, a mystical experience should be based on religious dogma. On this basis, the paper argues that the main methodological principles of historical and philosophical studies of Hesychasm is the hermeneutical reconstruction mystical­philosophical texts, phenomenological description mystical experience and reliance on theological and Church tradition as to streamline this experience. Thus, the specific methodology of the study of the traditions connected with the peculiarities of Hesychasm as a special type of practical philosophizing. 


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Author Biography

A. B. Klimenko, Donetsk national university
PhD in philosophy


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How to Cite
Klimenko, A. B. (2014). Specifics of methodology historical and philosophical researh of hesychasm. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 17(4), 133-137. Retrieved from https://grani.org.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/493