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Catholic Dictionary




A system of mysticism originally defended by the Orthodox monks on Mount Athos in the fourteenth century. It claims that by means of asceticism and the practice of certain prayers, a person can already in this life see the uncreated light of God. Tinged with Neo-Platonism and bor-rowings from pantheism, it was opposed by those Orthodox who sought reunion with Rome and who favored a more reflective approach to God. Present-day Hesychasts say that their form of mysticism is a dogma of the Orthodox Church.