The fight of byzantian schools in ukrainian mystical anthropology: Gregory Skovorodа fnd Paisius Velichkovsky
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Alexandrian School, School of Antioch, Gregory Skovoroda, Paisius Velichkovsky

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Morozova, D. (2020). The fight of byzantian schools in ukrainian mystical anthropology: Gregory Skovorodа fnd Paisius Velichkovsky. Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, 1(1), 57-68.


The aim of the paper is to compare the influence of Byzantine anthropology on the thought of Gregory Skovoroda and St. Paisius Velichkovsky. The comparative-historical method and the Tradition history method are applied for the analysis of the role of Byzantine patristic heritage in the work of the two 18th-century Ukrainian theologians. In addition to M. G. Bartolini's recent study of Skovoroda’s use of the ideas of the Alexandrian School, the paper traces the motives that he borrowed from the School of Antioch – above all, a specific leisure philosophy and Christian Epicureanism that echoes John Chrysostom's doctrine of the ease and naturalness of the Christian way of life. Comparing the mystical anthropology of the two theologians showed the difference in the ways of their introspection. In Skovoroda it is devoted, first and foremost, to self-knowledge, while in Paisius – to the authentic search for the Other: God, teacher, ascetic community. For all the parallelism that they trace in the fates of Gregory Skovoroda and Paisii Velichkovsky, their opinion has substantially different vectors. Although peers, countrymen, and singers Skovoroda and Velichkovsky both sought to turn their lives on the path to themselves, to a large extent these paths were different in themselves. The commonality we see in their lives is one way or another related to Orthodox Christianity and classical education. But the clear differences between them - which are in vain to be explained by the dichotomy of the secular and clerical - largely embody the counterpoint of the anthropological ideals of the Alexandrian and Antiochian schools. The bright Neo-Platonist Frying pan only proves to be close to Antioch philosophy. This is reflected, in particular, in his views on work and leisure (otium and negotium), in references to the Christian epicureanism of John Chrysostom and the like. However, in general, Skovoroda's opinion is more appropriate to consider in the context of the Platonic theology of the Alexandrian School (as evidenced by M. Bartolini's research). Paisius's theological preferences, on the other hand, are largely determined by the influence of the Antioch school of patristics, with its anthropocentrism, sociocentrism, and its great propensity for cinematic writing, with its strong emphasis on communication and fellowship.
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