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The Impact of Hesychasm on the Ecclesiastical and Political Life of the Southern Slavs during the Fourteenth Century

Ilias Evangelou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Summer Fellow 2009

My project, to be published as a monograph, will begin with an introduction to the history of mysticism in Eastern Christianity, followed by chapters covering the distribution of mysticism in the southern Slavic world, the acquaintance of the Southern Slavs with hesychasm in the fourteenth century, and its effect on their spiritual, ecclesiastical, and political life. During my stay at Dumbarton Oaks as a summer fellow, I completed my monograph, writing the last chapter concerning the effect of hesychasm on the ecclesiastical and political life of the Southern Slavs in the fourteenth century. According to medieval sources and my secondary bibliography, which I had the opportunity to study in the library of Dumbarton Oaks, hesychasts occupied important positions in the ecclesiastical hierarchy and promoted the idea of the unity of the Orthodox Christian people of the Balkans. Initially they restored the schisms between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria and Serbia, and afterward they promoted political and diplomatic unity in order to confront the Ottoman Turks, the biggest threat to the Christian people of the region. The rich library of Dumbarton Oaks helped me to check the footnotes of the entire study and to supplement it with a relevant bibliography.

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