Богопознание и дидактика (схващането за символното богопознание на Теофан Никейски)
Теологикон, Годишник на центъра по систематическо богословие при православния богословски факултет на Великотърновския университет, т. III, 2014, 203-226.
The question of the symbolic character of the Thabor light is brought in the Palamite discussion at first by Barlaam of Calabria. It gained philosophical importance in the later phase of the debate. The anti-Palamite interpretation amounts to the conclusion that man cannot access a noetic reality, higher than the discursive reasoning. The anti-Palamites develop an apophatic personalistic model according to which the Light is a manifestation of the body of Christ, but not of an uncreated entity. Through his concept of the symbol Theophanes of Nicaea (+1380/81) demonstrates that the mutual immanence of essence and energy does not preclude the construction of a coherent systematic model of divine knowledge. The uncreated divine energy represents a didactic structure of divine knowledge, which guarantees methodical correspondence between noetic knowledge and human experience. Whereas the syllogistic analysis realizes only the intention of the intellect, the symbolic knowledge is dialogical. By virtue of this didactics, man becomes a source, and not just a subject, of divine knowledge. The symbols of divine knowledge can be properly deciphered only when the tropos of existence is changed accordingly. The epistemic basis of the didactic method at stake is the illumination of the correspondence between the form of human phantasies and passions, on the one hand, and the structures of classifying and defining beings, on the other. These forms are reintegrated in the concept of being through natural, hypostatic and multi-hypostatic symbols of divine energy. Thus a personal habit is constituted, which enables the opening of human existence to divine goodness. The latter is for Theophanes the ultimate human virtue through which the intellect is synchronized, without being identified, with the divine logoi. The methodical structure of divine didactics renders man a symbol of divine knowledge through the synergy of divine and human energies. Criticizing the apophathic Christological personalism of some anti-Palamites, Theophanes shows that neither the apophathic, nor the cataphatic method is able to conceptualize divine illumination. A model of intersubjectivity is used instead, in order to express the manifestation of the deified manhood of Christ and its assumption by the ecclesial community. The didactics of the symbol engages believers in the mystery of the self-revealing God by creating a dialogical subject. Thus symbolic knowledge is both: an existential mode and an epistemic structure.
Theophanes of Nicaea, didactic, symbol, divine energy.