SENINA T.A. (NUN KASSIA). Byzantine Hymnography as the Source of the Doctrine of Divine Energy in the Theology of Hieroschemamonk Anthony (Bulatovich)


Tatyana A. Senina (nun Kassia)

Candidate of Sciences (Philosophy), Senior Researcher, 

Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences – Branch of Federal Research Centre for Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences,

7-ya Krasnoarmeyskaya St., 25/14, 190005 Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Abstract. Introduction. This work is intended to examine the use and interpretation of Byzantine hymnographic texts of Hieroschemamonk Anthony (Bulatovich), who was the leader of the Athonite Onomatodoxists during the 1910s, written during his defence of the Palamite doctrine on divine energy. 

Methods. Source research and analysis, philosophical hermeneutics and comparative textological research are the methods used in this work. Sources on the subject include the works by Anthony (Bulatovich), Gregory of Nazianzus, Cyril of Alexandria, Dionysius the Areopagite, and Gregory Palamas.

Analysis. In his dispute about the name of God, Bulatovich paid much attention to the theme of divine energies. The doctrine on energy of God, developed by the Church Fathers and especially Gregory Palamas, was important for Bulatovich since he considered divine revelation to be an uncreated energy of God. He believed the name of God to be an example of such a revelation and therefore, being by essence energy of God, he argued that God’s name is God. Onomatodoxy skeptics claimed, in contrast to Palamas, that divine energy cannot be viewed as God. Bulatovich aimed to prove the opposite and, not having many patristic writings at his disposal, he looked for confirmation of Palamite teachings on divine energy in biblical and hymnographic texts.

Results. An analysis of hymnographic quotes used by Bulatovich shows that he understood their theological meaning correctly and derived ideas developed by Church Fathers from hymnography. Byzantine hymnography served Bulatovich as the main source of the Orthodox Church’s dogmatics.

Key words: religious philosophy, Russian theology, Byzantine theology, Orthodoxy, hymnography, onomatodoxy, palamism.

Citation. Senina T.A. (nun Kassia). Byzantine Hymnography as the Source of the Doctrine of Divine Energy in the Theology of Hieroschemamonk Anthony (Bulatovich). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 60-70. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

Byzantine Hymnography as the Source of the Doctrine of Divine Energy in the Theology of Hieroschemamonk Anthony (Bulatovich) by Senina T.A. (nun Kassia) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Download this file (3_Senina.pdf) 3_Senina.pdf