The Sight of God in the Theology of Saint Symeon the New Theologian [1]

Rev. D.Th. Dorin Octavian Picioruş

The Sight of God
in the Theology of
Saint Symeon the New


Theology for Today


Rev. D.Th. Dorin Octavian Picioruş

The Sight of God
in the Theology of Saint Symeon
the New Theologian


(Doctoral Thesis)


Theology for Today


Our greek font.



The present thesis is an anttempt to synthetic presentation, in same time, of the steadfast and the dynamic character of the experience and the orthodox thinking.

Any pnevmatical reality and theological theme must be rethoughted, updated in dimension of the present, for to be an active factor of dynamism in our personal and community life.

But the theological updation does not require also the dilution of the Church’s teaching, but its perception of the real parameters of the orthodox experience.

Because pnevmatical experience is the foundation of the theological elaborations and it is that keeps us in the Church, as people of alive and lucid faith, with attention to the changes of our world.

Our thesis being developed insed of the discipline Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, in the Systematics department, our theme will be discussed in this regime of  research.

The theme of the sight of God will be presented as part of personal soteriology, intending to put in evidence, in a systematic and concise mode, Saint Symeon the New Theologian contribution to this question.

We consider that experience and theology developed who is known as the third theologian of the Church are a norm and a true guide in our research.

The choised theme came from a deep inner need, from the desire to deepen the coordinates the symeonian theology, which, unfortunately, are to little discussed at academic level.

The knowledge of the experience and theology of Saint Symeon seems to us a huge benefit for our theologians and belivers, as long as we confront, directly, with the consequences of depersonalized secularization and globalization.

As a protective shield to the erosion of membership ecclesial consciousness and understanding person and interpersonal relations, Saint Symeon proposes us a theology of experience, in which God descends to man, showing him His glory, for the man to raise by Him at the level of Trinity, to open him the trinitarian communion.

And this, because Symeon sees man as having its center of gravity in God and not in himself.

The closure of the human in self, in a subjective perspective can not present a mystical experience, a personal experience with God, but for Symeon the true relantion with God means the communion of man with God, in and through His glory, as the ecstatic sight.

Subscribing in the personalist lode to the Church Orthodox Fathers, Saint Symeon the New Theologian takes together the interpersonal and objective character of our relation with God.

Therefore, for him the orthodox believer experiments the uncreated and eternal grace of God not to close itself and not to break the Church community.

The sight of God is not an escape from time and we can not force our being it to occur but is lifting us by God, through His glory, to fill us with brightness of His glory, and for that this thing would make us become fervent belivers in the frame life of the Church.

The fundamental consequence of God’s vision is a life full of dynamism and dedication to serve the Church, a continuous search for us to have a holy life, namely so many positive attributes for the life of the Church and society in which we exist.

Therefore, choosing this theme we consider everyone’s gain, an ecclesial gain, because symeonian theology is a continuous recourse to experience, equilibrium and fidelity to Church Tradition.

Our work will consist in three distinct chapters but with internal links between them.

The first chapter will threat the problem of the biblical and patristic premises of man’s deification and of the sight of God in orthodox theology.

We will seek to show that the seen world are a rational and spiritual foundation, because is personal creation of the divine Logos by Whom all things are made [pa,nta di’ Auvtou/ evge,neto, John: 1, 3 acc. GNT].

Rational and spiritual foundation of the world must be seen in relation to the existence of God’s uncreated energies, which penetrate and support all existences, both the visible and invisible.

Because man can share the grace in the Church and God’s grace penetrate in real mode of the human being we can speak, in the same time, about the sight of God and the deification, both with internal link between them.

The second chapter will threat the theme of God’s sight to Saint Symeon the New Theologian and its implications in personal salvation, this chapter will be the essential chapter of the thesis.

In this chapter, after an introduction to the ecstatic terminology of Saint Symeon, we present the connections of the experience of God’s sight with triadology, christology, pneumatology, ecclesiology, sanctology and eschatology.

Step by step we will show how advised and as organic include Symeon in the Church’s teaching and experience, because his own experience affirms and not refutes the Father’s theology.

As a servant of the Divine Liturgy and of the Mysteries of the Church, as abbot of the monastery, as a writer and theologian, as a confessor of the orthodox faith and as a man unjustly persecuted for the depth of his theology and of his love for Church Tradition and for Saints of God, Saint Symeon proves, by deeds and words, that he fulfills his own theology. Therefore he remained as an authentic landmark of life, experience and theology for our Church.

The third chapter will have the teme of reception the theology of glory in orthodox space and of its importance assumed in the postmodern world.

Here we will discuss the theology of the sight of God to the Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, our beloved and venerable theologian, considered, on rightly word, the great theologian of the twentieth century, together with the theology of glory to Professor Vladimir Lossky, which was very warmly apreciated in the West for his patristic updates in the domain of the mystical theology.

Last sequence of our work will focus on the human condition in postmodernity and will be a brief discussion on how you can save an orthodox beliver, of various ideological traps, through experience and theology of the Church.

We give thanks to Father Professor Dumitru Popescu, our coordinator, for his special attention that he has given us and for the real support and the vision of the ensemble that he gave us.

Together with his Holiness and his effective support, decisive in systematization of the theological informations, we could develop this thesis, which we hope will be helpful to those who will consult it.

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