is intellectual activity as such and not just perverted intellectual activity that is outlawed within hesychasm.
Why then did Gregory feel constrained to incorporate this system into his own model? I have already pointed out that it was an integral part of the monastic tradition. However, his sources can be narrowed down even further. When in chapter 127 he refers to the 'truly wise in word' as authorities for his statements about the 'orator' there can be no doubt that he has in mind the seventh-century spiritual author Maximos the Confessor: his statement that the orator 'divides and joins together the five divided universal and general properties, which the incarnated Word joined together' is a direct adaptation of a famous passage in Maximos's Ambigua.87 The presence in Gregory's Words of many terms and concepts borrowed from Maximos has long been noticed, but it has been taken as a sign of a Maximian renaissance among hesy-chasts.88 Analysis ofthe argument suggests a different explanation, namely that Gregory referred to Maximos because he faced opponents who used a Maximian framework to justify their intellectual pursuits. Indeed, Maximos is also one of the main proponents of the view that rationality is an essential part of human beings that needs to be developed if they are to fulfil God's plan for them: only by doing so can human beings lift themselves up from the level of beast and thus become ready for deification.89
At this point we can return to Barlaam and his claim to be Maximos's 'exegete'. We have already seen how Barlaam too propagated a graded spiritual ascent with a strong emphasis on 'human perfection' and supported intellectual activity and scientific endeavour. There can therefore be no doubt that he was a proponent of the same model as Gregory's adversaries. What made Maximos so serviceable for them was his use of the philosophical-scientific categories of genera and species that had been developed by Aristotle.90 In Maximos's writings, of course, contemplation was no longer equated with scientific exploration and the Aristotelian terms had taken on a non-technical quality. However, the very use ofthese terms left open the possibility oftaking the spiritual discourse back to its 'scientific' roots. This permitted Barlaam and other like-minded monks to construct a model of monastic life that accommodated scholarly pursuits.
87 Ibid., 1289D [= ed. Beyer, 60]. Cf.Maximos, Ambigua, in PG 91,1304D-1313B.
88 Hisamatsu, Gregorios Sinaites, 307.
89 Cf. Maximos, Ambigua, in PG 91, 1092B.
90 Ibid., 1225BC, 1312AB.
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