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(4th–5th cent.),

author of the so-called homilies ascribed in most MSS to St Macarius of Egypt but in some to a certain Simeon. Some are homilies proper; some are in the form of questions and answers; some are letters. The ascription to Macarius of Egypt is impossible; Syrian provenance is likely. The relation of the homilies to Messalianism is disputed. Many passages of the Messalians' Asceticon (condemned by the Council of Ephesus in 431) were apparently taken from the homilies, and the ‘Simeon’, whom some MSS claim as the author, may be Simeon of Mesopotamia, a leader of the Messalians mentioned by Theodoret. There are, however, also differences, and there are parallels between the homilies and St Basil of Caesarea and St Gregory of Nyssa. The teaching of the homilies foreshadows features of Hesychasm, and they were influential in the monastic spirituality of Eastern Orthodoxy.

Subjects: Christianity.

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