I think a pretty good historical job of burying modern "neo-Orthodox neo-Palamism" of the vehemently anti-Western and strongly anti-logical variety*, especially of the sort espoused by the vehemently anti-Western, "Clash of Civilizations" Christos Giannaras, John Romanides, and to a (varying, but generally much, inverse to the amount of irrationality and adversariality they espouse) lesser extent, Vladimir Lossky and John Meyendorff, is done excellently in the newly-released "Orthodox Readings of Aquinas" by Marcus Plested (author of "The Macarian Legacy") - be warned, the book is very expensive. I bought it, being a Thomist, and a convert from Eastern Orthodoxy (the Greek Orthodox Church: largely due to the influence of the ideas of such men as John Romanides and, especially, Christos Giannaras), and got much more (and less, in the sense of an Orthodox exposition of Thomism) than I bargained for.
*Plested does an excellent job of showing the Barlaamite pedigree of the anti-rationalism/anti-logicalism taken up by later self-styled disciples of Palamas: thus, "neo-Orthodox neo-Palamites", or "Barlaamite Palamites", or "Barlaamites who accept the essence-energies distinction", all three phrases of my own devising, and which are never used by the irenic author.
Note that men such as Gennadios II Scholarios, Demetrios Kydones, Emperor John Kantakuzene, and, for moderns, Georges Florovsky are in general highly praised in the book. Lossky and Meyendorff are treated fairly, and the author believes many of their works to be necessary reading, especially "Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends... etc."; John Romanides is mentioned not much outside of the footnotes (which are copious), but comes in for some well-deserved scathing criticism. When I finished the book, I could not tell if I had read a study by an Orthodox lamenting the current ascendance of anti-logical currents in his tradition and the pursuant ossification of it, or a (possibly Eastern) Catholic with very deep sympathies with Orthodoxy. Even Seraphim Rose's book, "The Place of Blessed Augustine in the Orthodox Church", comes in for an honourable mention.
In the book, Plested destroys:
1) In his words, "the hackneyed east-west dichotomy" that pits the personalist east against the essentialist west, and the myth of scholasticism as the arch-enemy of all true Orthodoxy (he does this by showing that a distinctly "Byzantine Scholasticism" was fully-formed and fully-Orthodox by the time of John of Damascus, who wrote the great Byzantine Scholastic treatise, "Exposition of the Orthodox Faith") and which sees the Christian East and Christian West as two completely different, completely alien subjects, turning a geographical divide in to a theological one.
2) The Patristic basis for Palamism (unconsciously, let it be known) - by, for example, reading a "true" Palamite essence-energies distinction back in to St Gregory of Nyssa through eisegesis - as he makes it obvious to the reader, even if not to himself, that there was a major shift in what "Orthodoxy" meant during the Palamite controversies, and that "Orthodoxy" was redefined - to an extent comparable to that which liberals would use Vatican II to redefine Catholicism - after the Tome of 1451 (not to be confused with the Tome of Leo). So much for "lack of development of doctrine" in Orthodoxy: the definition of "Orthodoxy" changed overnight, and the essence-energies distinction was a complete innovation, with no Apostolic, Scriptural, or Patristic basis.
3) That Palamas was anti-logical and anti-Western: he himself used logic in a subservient role to revelation, much as St Thomas Aquinas and St John Damascene and the Fathers used it, carefully and critically engaged Western theology, and was not, nor was his theology inherently anti-Latin; that he was also open to using apodictic syllogisms in support of the faith and of his propositions.
4) That Barlaamism and Palamism are completely opposed, and elements of one have never been synthesized with the other. Plested demonstrates that the anti-Westernism, anti-rationalism, and anti-philosophical stance of Barlaam of Calabria was wedded to the doctrines of Palamas by some of his disciples, and virtually all of his disciples in the modern (post-1821) era of Orthodox thought. Barlaam was extremely anti-Latin and anti-logical, believing that logic was absolutely useless and admitting no truck between Athens and Jerusalem. This, in the later Palamites (to be distinguished from Palamism as Thomist is from Thomas Aquinas), is what gave rise to the fell marriage of Palamite mysticism and rabid anti-rationalism and anti-logicalism: the Palamites took Palamas' view on essence and energies, and coupled it with Barlaam's hatred of logic, reason, and the West, leading to the "neo-Palamites", such as John Romanides, are better described as "Barlaamites who accept the essence-energies distinction" than true inheritors of Palamas, due to their disregard for Palamas' use of logic and critical and discerning engagement with Western theology, and their adoption of Barlaam's vehemently anti-rational and anti-Western stance, which is not authentically Palamite in origin.
5) That a "dialectic theology of Orthodoxy", defining Orthodoxy by what it is not - not Latin, not rational, not logical, not Thomist, not essentialist - has caused immense damage to Orthodoxy and is leading it to further ossification and irrelevance. Examples of this are in the Immaculate Conception and Bodily Assumption - long part of Orthodox piety - as soon as Rome declares either a dogma, many Orthodox theologians react and denounce them as heresies, no matter how many Orthodox have held them before, merely because "Orthodoxy is not Latin", which has become a primary definition, to everyone's detriment. The same happened with "transubstantiation" (metousiosis): it has been dropped and denounced as Latin heresy in favor of a mystery-mongering approach, even though anti-Uniate Orthodox of unimpeachable Orthodoxy have held it, complete with the Aristotelian underpinnings, merely because the Latin Church holds it.
6) That Thomas Aquinas was an anti-Byzantine: he is painted as an apophatic theologian in large measure, who made more use of distinctly Eastern Fathers, such as Dionysius the Areopagite, than many Byzantines did, and who was received well by many Byzantines, both Palamites and anti-Palamites, during the Byzantine era: it was with the "modern Orthodoxy" or "neo-Orthodoxy" beginning after the Greek War of Independence that massive anti-Westernism for the sake of anti-Westernism and anti-logicalism as logic is incompatible with mysticism, that Thomas was completely rejected; that this is leading, to an fossilized, irrelevant, and progressively Quietist/Pietist faith, where reason is denounced for the sake of denouncing reason, mystery-mongering (in the worst sense of the term) increases in prevalence, and subjectivism reigns supreme, as only "religious experience" matters (much as in Pentecostal Protestantism).
Another thread throughout the book is the reception of the concept of transubstantiation by Orthodox; very positive (achieving canonical status in the Confession of Peter Moghila at the Synod of Jerusalem in 1672, contra the errors of the Calvinist Patriarch Cyril Lukaris and his Confession), to today's overwhelmingly-negative response. Florovsky's notion of "pseudomorphosis" is critiqued, and assumed incorrect, but is not actually refuted. Some historical demonstrations are given against it, as exceptions to the rule, one may say.
I have touched only a few points of interest in a remarkably wide-ranging, irenic, coherent, cogently-argued, though regrettably short (~220pp) study. Many topics are dealt with through the lens, or, better, leitmotif, of "Orthodox Readings of Aquinas", much as a Catechism deals with the entirety of Christianity, doctrine and dogma, through the leitmotif - often in excess of 500pp of small print and large pages - of the Apostle's or Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creeds, or the Lord's Prayer.
Please read this book. Get it from the library if you can not afford it. It is short and easy to read. it is excellent for anyone interested in this subject, of Western and Eastern Christianity. It is not polemical; it is not ecumenical (in the sense of seeking a non-existent doctrinal unity or glossing over differences, or seeking the immediate reconciliation of two different traditions): it is solidly historical. I can not sing its praises enough; it may be a game-changer, and, I believe, has established Plested as a pre-eminent authority in this sphere. For those who appreciate this work, the doctoral thesis of Joost van Rossum, "Palamism and Church Tradition" (available from ProQuest) is also recommended.
It is sold on Amazon for $40 less than the bookstore price: Orthodox Readings of Aquinas (Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology).
Br John Augustine, OP