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Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022)

  1. Sotirios Vlavianos

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1340

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Vlavianos, S. 2011. Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

Abstract

Symeon was a monk, recognized as a saint after his death. He was born in 949 in Galatia of Paphlagonia and died in 1022 near Constantinople. He is known as “the New Theologian.” In manuscripts he is also mentioned as “the new,” “the theologian,” “the new and theologian.” He came from a noble family and was educated in Constantinople. He was groomed for a life in politics, but when he was 27 years old, he was accepted as a novice in the Monastery of Stoudio under the guidance of Symeon the Pious (the Eulabes). Later he moved to the Monastery of Saint Mamas where he was tonsured a monk, ordained a priest, and elected as the abbot. Around 996–998 he faced a serious rebellion at his monastery and he was obliged by the ecclesiastical authorities to abandon it. He was exiled to a small town called Paloukiton, near Chrysoupolis, where he founded the Monastery of Saint Marina. A few years later Patriarch Sergios recalled him to Constantinople and offered him a bishop's see. Symeon refused and continued living as a spiritual guide of the faithful and a writer until his death. His disciple Nicetas Stethatos wrote a biography 30 years after Symeon's death, which is the main source of information about his life and teaching. Nicetas also preserved most of Symeon's writings.

Keywords:

  • symeon the new theologian (949–1022);
  • symeon, monk recognized as a saint, after his death;
  • hymns of divine love;
  • inner spiritual experience of christ and the holy trinity