Maximus the Confessor

Maximus the Confessor

Maximus the Confessor

Maximus the Confessor

Synopsis

St Maximus the Confessor, the greatest of Byzantine theologians, lived through the most catastrophic period the Byzantine Empire was to experience before the Crusades. This book introduces the reader to the times and upheavals during which Maximus lived. It discusses his cosmic vision of humanity and the role of the church. The study makes available a selection of Maximus' theological treaties many of them translated for the first time. The translations are accompanied by a lucid and informed introduction.

Excerpt

This volume is intended to provide an introduction to the theological thinking of Saint Maximus the Confessor. I stress 'thinking', rather than just 'thought', as there is already a host of introductions to his thought. Maximus himself provided such introductions-notably his Centuries on Love and his Centuries on Theology and the Incarnate Dispensation of the Son of God. In these works Maximus presents his thoughts in pithy form as a series of propositions, or at best brief paragraphs. They have been very popular, and both of them are available in two different English translations. More recently others have provided introductions to Maximus' thought, or aspects of it: most famously and influentially, the great Swiss Catholic theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar (Balthasar 1961, originally published in 1941). There is even an introduction to other people's thinking about Maximus (Nichols 1993). But what has been lacking so far has been an introduction to Maximus' thinking: and it is my hope that this book will help fill that gap. If it does, it will do that by providing, for the first time in English (or in many cases for any Western language save Latin and Romanian), translations of some of Maximus' major theological treatises, drawn especially from his two collections of Ambigua, or Difficulties, in which Maximus does not simply present his conclusions, but displays a theological mind, drawing on Scripture and all that is meant in Orthodox Christianity by Tradition-the Fathers, the Councils, spiritual experience-and bringing this to bear on our understanding of God's engagement with humankind, an engagement summed up in his assuming humanity itself in the Incarnation and overcoming the brokenness of fallen humankind in his death and resurrection. But the contrast between Maximus in his major treatises and in his condensed summaries is not at all that between 'theology' and 'spirituality' (despite the fact

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.