Hierarchy vs. Anarchy

by Andrea Elizabeth

In light of the two previous posts on St. Dionysius’s hierachy, despite the title referring to Bishop Alexander, and St. Symeon’s individual conscience, Bishop Alexander (Golitzin) discusses the tension in Hierarchy vs. Anarchy.

“Jan Koder, editor of the Sources chretiennes edition of Symeon’s Hymns, wonders how for example Nicetas could have placed himself in the “paradoxical position of defending simultaneously both the anarchical mysticism of Symeon and the unilateral theoritician of hierachy,”¬†Dionysius.

…Father John’s [Meyendorff] emphasis on what we might call the “charasmatic principle” is certainly one clue to Symeon’s conscious use of Dionysius, but there are others as well. I have in mind particularly the note of “apostolic authority” struck above and, even more importantly (and never mentioned in the literature), the idea of the hierachy – and so the whole Church at worship – as the icon of the inner man. The latter is a notion that has common roots for both Symeon and Dionysius in the Macarian and Evangrian writings….”