The revival of the Neo-Orthodox movement in the twentieth century can be understood as a continuation of the hesychast movement and controversy started by Gregory Palamas in the fourteenth century. The Neo-Orthodox movement, with its teaching about a ‘return to the tradition’, expresses in our time much more than a simple religious nationalism in Greece. It seeks ‘to ignite a universal religious movement rooted in this particular understanding of the Greek identity, which actually transcends nationality’ (Daniel P. Payne).This paper will first explore the social and political context of the Byzantine Empire in the fourteenth century, which provided the framework of the hesychast movement, and where hesychasm offered an alternative hope in the midst of political instability. The interaction between political power and hesychasm in Constantinople was a dynamic one, depending on the agendas of the patriarchs and emperors of that time. It is in such a context that we place Palamas’ religious, social and political activities, and preaching. From a broader perspective, Palamas’ homilies were aimed at a spiritual and religious renewal of the society of his time. While John Meyendorff argues that there is no anti-West- ern sentiment in Palamas’ teaching, Christos Yannaras claims that the hesychast controversy in the fourteenth century presents much more than internal conflict between certain Byzantine humanists and monastics; it is basically a controversy between East and West. This controversy is resurging in our time as political theology, pointing us to the authenticity of human existence. As an alternative to western secularized society, Yannaras proposes a reintroduction of the structure of the Byzantine autonomous communities, centred around the life of the church or monastery. Such communities would continue the ancient patristic ethos of apophatic knowledge and affirm the identity of the persona qua persona—that is, not as an individual, but within the context of community. In this new context, the hesychast life provides a model for human society.