« Athanasian Creed Athanasios Parios Athanasius »

Athanasios Parios

ATH´´A-NA´SIOS PA-RI´OS: Dogmatician of the Greek Church; b. on the island of Paros 1725; d. at Chios June 24, 1813. He studied in the Athos academy under Eugenius Bulgaris, and from 1792 till 1812 was director of the school at Chios, which is the period of his most important activity. He belongs to the most prominent and fertile theological writers of the Greek Church of his time, and was also an able philosopher. A pupil of Bulgaris, in his opposition to the West he surpassed his master; he attacked with great energy not only the Roman Church and her scholasticism, and the Protestants, but also the western rationalism—the worst representative of which, in his eyes was Voltaire—particularly in its opposition to positive Christianity and monasticism. This explains his opposition to the desire of his people for liberty. Yet his historical judgment was so far influenced by Bulgaris, that in theology he recognized the more recent teachers of his Church, even Koressios, as ” fathers,” and seemingly made concessions to Biblical criticism. But Western science he used only when he attacked his opponents. His polemical disposition sometimes placed him in opposition to his own Church. By his connection with the Athos community he became involved in the Kolyba-controversy (see Athos), and wrote his ” Exposition of the Faith” in 1774. In 1776 he was excommunicated, but the ban was removed in 1781. His principal work is an ” Epitome or Summary of the Holy Dogmas of the Faith” (Leipsic, 1806), in which he shows his dependence on Bulgaris, but at the same time so much independence of thought that this epitome may be regarded as one of the most important dogmatic efforts of the Greek Church of the eighteenth century. The sources of doctrine are, according to him, the Holy Scripture, written tradition, and the teaching of the Church as fixed by the synods. The work of Christ he treats under the headings of king, priest, lawgiver, and judge. In the doctrine of the Lord’s Supper he accepts transubstantiation. He opposes rationalism in his ” Christian Apology” (Constantinople, 1797), attacking especially the 343false freedom and the false equality of the French, and renouncing all sympathy with the Greek struggles for freedom. Against Voltaire especially he directed the ” Antidote for Evil,” which was published after his death (Leipsic, 1818). Of his hagiographical works the most noteworthy were lives of Gregorios Palamas (Vienna, 1785), and of Marcus Eugenicus (1785), which have little independent value. In the ” New Limonarium” (Venice, 1819) he gives many marvelous stories and biographies of modern saints. Very interesting is a treatise at the beginning of the book, in which he tries to show that those who were condemned as Christians because of a renunciation of Islam are just as much martyrs as those of the ancient time. Athanasios was also active as a preacher. A discourse on Gregorios Palamas, printed after the Logoi of Makarios Chrysokephalos (Vienna, 1797?) is a brilliant combination of popular eloquence and fanatical rhetoric.

Philipp Meyer.

Bibliography:A biography, trustworthy in the main, with a list of his writings, by his pupil, A. Z. Mamukas, is given in C. N. Sathas, Νεοελληνικὴ φιλολογία, Athens, 1868; consult also P. Meyer, Die Haupturkunden der Athosklöster, pp. 76 sqq., 236 sqq., Leipsic, 1894.

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