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Quaestio über die Motivation zum asketischen Leben
Quaestio on the Motivation to Ascetic Life

Author(s): Milan Đorđević, Ana Đorđević
Subject(s): Ethics / Practical Philosophy, Philosophy of Middle Ages, Eastern Orthodoxy
Published by: Издателство »Изток-Запад«
Keywords: final end; telos; asceticism; Gregory Palamas; Nicolas Cabasilas; servitude; sonship; motivation; functional autonomy

Summary/Abstract: Can one ascetic practice lead to the final end (θέλος) of human existence, if it is motivated by the fear of punishment or by the expectance of a loan for the good works, or is it the asceticism grounded on the love to God the only one that leads to salvation? Different patristic sources, including Basil of Caesarea, Johannes Climacus, Dorotheus of Gaza, Gregory Palamas and Nicolas Cabasilas, approach this question through three metaphorical terms: slavery, servitude and sonship (δουλεία, μυσθαρνία, υἱότης). Our aim is to synthesize the contradicting patristic viewpoints to this issue through comparing them with the modern psychological theory of functional autonomy of the motives postulated by the American psychologist Gordon Allport (1897-1967). In this way it will be shown that the only motive that leads to perfection is the love to God, yet the other two motives should not be considered as vain. Thanks to the capability of the motives to change, the „slavery“ and the „servitude“ can lead to „sonship“ and as such be considered as useful for the human perfection.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 21
  • Page Range: 127-136
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Greek, Ancient (to 1453), German