Meaning of Hesychast in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhɛsɪkast/


  • A member of a movement dedicated to interior prayer, originating among the Orthodox monks of Mount Athos in the 14th century.

    ‘Symbolic actions are crucial to Eastern Christian liturgy and private prayer, most evident in the so-called ‘physical method’ of prayer taught by the Byzantine Hesychasts.’
    • ‘Seeking the ways of development of the spiritual heart, Hesychasts invented the method called Jesus prayer.’
    • ‘These links were forged long before the coming of Plethon to Mistra, but Plethon's neoplatonism was clearly related to the Hesychasts of Mt. Athos.’
    • ‘The Hesychasts claimed that, by suitable spiritual disciplines, those engaged in contemplative prayer could come to see the ‘uncreated light’ of God.’
    • ‘The Hesychasts were, in the Eastern Church, supporters of the ascetic mysticism propagated by the monks of Mount Athos in the XIVth Century.’


Mid 19th century from late Greek hēsukhastēs ‘hermit’, from hēsukhazein ‘be still’, from hēsukhos ‘still’.