Gregory Sinaites

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gregory Sinaites


Born in the 1260’s; died in the 1340’s. Founder of the Byzantine mystical teachings of the hesychasts.

Gregory Sinaites was the leader of the movement of hesychasts on Mount Athos, where he wrote religious and philosophical works devoted to laying the basis for asceticism and summarizing the centuries-old tradition of monastic contemplative mysticism. The sources for Gregory Sinaites’ works were the works of earlier mystics, including John Lestvichnik, Symeon the New Theologian. Nikita Stifat, and Philofei Sinaites. Of the representatives of hesychastic teachings, Gregory exerted the greatest influence on the religious and psychological teachings of ancient Russia. His pupil Cal-listus, who later became patriarch of Constantinople, wrote Gregory Sinaites’ biography, which was published by I. V. Pomialovskii in 1894 (Russian translation by I. Sokolov, 1904).


In Patrologiae cursus completas, series graeca, vol. 150. Compiled by J. P. Migne, Paris, 1865.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.