Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies

Mount Thabor Publishing has released Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies, their single-volume edition of annotated English translations of the surviving homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas (1286-1359), Archbishop of Thessalonica, and one of the touchstones of Eastern Orthodox Theology. While St Gregory is well-known for his support and defense of hesychasm and Orthodoxy against a creeping scholasticism, and his treatises on hesychasm (particularly The Triads) have gained much attention, his homilies have generally received less attention, and have never been completely translated into English. This very welcome complete English translation of the full corpus of St Gregory’s homilies is the responsibility of Christopher Veniamin and the Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St John the Baptist in Essex, England.

The volume is larger than I thought it would be (xxxviii + 761 pages), a sturdy hardcover, tastefully bound, with a dust jacket. A PDF file of the Table of Contents and sample pages is available on this page.

Having read through the front matter, Introduction and first sermon, with all associated notes, I thought to tell people of the excellence of this volume. The notes are extremeley valuable, including the historical notes that clarify incidental statements in the homilies, and a wealth of bibliographic help. This truly is a “scholar’s edition” as Mount Thabor Publishing has labeled it, in that one using this volume will be well-directed to the wealth of already published material on St Gregory, hesychasm, and related subjects.

Yet, this volume will also be welcome to the general reader, who is not to be expected to flip to the endnotes for all the details. Such a reader will find great benefit in St Gregory’s homilies. He was well-known and well-loved for being a great pastor, and this quality shows in his sermons. They will be of great benefit to the faithful Orthodox reader in particular, as the words of the Saints are always of benefit to us. I haven’t sat down to make a list yet, but Mr Veniamin notes in the introduction that nearly all the Sundays of the year and the Great Feasts are covered in this collection.

For those finding the price a bit high, Mount Thabor Publishing also offers a set of three paperbacks with a selection of St Gregory’s homilies, arranged thematically. These volumes are described in the bottom half of this page.

7 Replies to “Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies”

  1. I like how the table of contents has a sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent – it took me just a moment to realize “Hey, I guess it wasn’t the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas back then.”

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