Maximus the Confessor Kindle Ë Maximus the PDF \

Maximus the Confessor (Early Church Fathers) ❧ [KINDLE] ❀ Maximus the Confessor (Early Church Fathers) By Andrew Louth ➠ – 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 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 Maximus the PDF \ of Maximus' theological treaties many of them translated for the first time The translations are accompanied by a lucid and informed introduction.

2 thoughts on “Maximus the Confessor (Early Church Fathers)

  1. ♥ Ibrahim ♥ ♥ Ibrahim ♥ says:

    If we want to think of how a man sees the universe in relation to God and his such a cosmic view while not being New Agey or compromising in his Christian faith then Maximus the Confessor is the man for you I can't hide my sadness while reading the book sadness as it talks about Arab invasions in a typical Islamic expansionistic approach to places that never belonged to them I can't hide my sadness over how Christians in these early councils were splitting hairs trying to define who Christ was in his divine nature as relating to his human nature Those patriarchs of these early councils had too much time on their hands Had they found a hobby or got involved in something really productive for the world they would have been useful But they were lazy bums arguing over every small detail of the divine nature and castigating anybody who disagreed with them as a heretic anathematized Because of their argumentative spirit Maximus the confessor was tried again in Constantinople tortured had his tongue and his right hand —the instruments with which he had defended Orthodoxy or to his judges proclaimed heresy—cut off and exiled to Lazica the homeland of Cyrus of Alexandria He died there over eighty years old on 13 August 662 He died abandoned except for his two disciples there was no protest from Rome or anywhere elseWithin twenty years the teaching for which he had given his life—the doctrine that Christ had two wills a divine will and a human will—was vindicated at the sixth Ecumenical Council convened at Constantinople in 680 though no mention was made there of the great confessor of Orthodoxy St Maximus p18There is the influence of Denys Dionysius the Areopagite who comes with a tradition of cosmic theology Cosmos to both of them was not seen in traditional classical terms as the spheres of the planets the sun and the moon and beyond them the fixed sphere of the stars—for him as for most Christians lifeless beings—but as rank on rank of angelic beings praising God and radiating his glory and drawing human beings up into praise of God and the transforming power of his gloryp 31 To them the coming of the reconciling Christ and our attempts to respond to and live out that reconciliation in our lives has cosmic significance just as they saw Fall of man in ontological terms—the letting loose of corruption and death driving the whole created order towards non being It was all linked Maximus is known for his attachment to ascetical theology which simply means to tell us about how how we come to know God it is not about some kind of spiritual techniue; to come to know God is a matter of experience not speculation; for a Christian to come to know God is to respond to a God who has made himself known p 33 If we ask Maximus what the spiritual life is about he will stress that it is all about how we love In our fallen state apart from the call of God we are in a state of self love philautia It is from this condition that all the passions flow Maximus calls it the ‘mother of passions’ p 38 For Maximus Love is about how we relate—to God to other people and indeed to ourselves Maximus defines it as an ‘inward relationship’ of the utmost universality Epistula 2401D What is interesting to me is that Maximus uses the word agapê for love but sometimes he uses the word erôs To me that confirms that love is love and it can't be dissected or fragmented into types as it all flows from the Lord directly the source of all love Without Him we don't even know what love is For Maximus training in Christianity is a training in love He is a theologian who will take us by the hand and give us practical tips on how to apply the teaching of the gospel of our Lord on love In his famous work Centuries on Love he teaches usIf you harbour resentment against anybody pray for him and you will prevent the passion from being aroused; for by means of prayer you will separate your grief from the thought of the wrong he has done you When you have become loving and compassionate towards him you will wipe the passion completely from your soul If somebody regards you with resentment be pleasant to him be humble and agreeable in his company and you will deliver him from his passion CC III90As a Muslim I found the teachings of Jesus to be idealistic too dreamy and have no bearing on reality I wondered how can anybody love their enemies? Why would God ask for a far fetched thing like that? What good would it do me to love my enemies if this even were possible? Now to Maximus the objective is to help us conform to the image of Christ to be like God and in so doing we are no longer living according to the Adamic dust nature He says it beautifully meditating on this passage that used to be a stumbling block to my conversion to Jesus‘But I say to you’ says the Lord ‘love your enemiesdo good to those who hate you and pray for those who mistreat you’ Matt 544 Why did he command this? To free you from hatred grief anger and resentment and to make you worthy of the supreme gift of perfect love And you cannot attain such love if you do not imitate God and love all men eually For God loves all men eually and wishes them ‘to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth’ 1 Tim 24 CC I61 The whole purpose as we see behind the teachings of Christ is to free us to set us free from bondage to our fleshly nature What would I do with a faith if it was a mere set of dogmas and doctrines? No use I need a Saviour that liberates and elevates me to be like God to be made truly and transformed into His imageAs Evangelical Christians we hear all too often that these monks have to work too hard in order to earn their salvation We go around saying they are saved by works Look at their ascetic struggle For Maximus and many of the Early Fathers of the Church engagement with Scripture and natural contemplation leading to union with God is at the heart of the Christian life but ascetic struggle is not simply an initial stage to be accomplished as uickly as possible it is an abiding concern of the spiritual life The most fundamental reason for this is that paradoxically ascetic struggle can achieve nothing on its own It is all a work of grace that rests completely on who Christ is and His saving workAlso it pains us to see a word between the sexes Maximus does not believe in what the poet Amy Clampitt has called ‘the archetypal cleft of sex’ His cosmic theology revolves round the notion of the divisions of being In his treatment of this he draws together a metaphysical analysis of being that places the human person at a kind of central crossing place in his understanding of reality and then relates to that the renewal of nature through the Incarnation and the celebration and recapitulation of that renewal in the Eucharistic liturgy Maximus shares with Gregory of Nyssa a belief in the double creation of humankind an original creation that transcends sexuality and a second creation embracing sexual division that has been introduced not because of the Fall but with a view to the Fall that will exploit this division and turn it into anopposition even a warfare In Christ the human person unites heaven and earth in Him alone they meet and are joined as NT Wright expressed it in his book Simply Christian We have to be restored to the original creation that transcends sexuality that one in which there is no male or female but all are one in Christ Galatians 328

  2. Phil Phil says:

    In Andrew Louth's introduction to the texts in this volume he notes that Anna Comnena the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I and the historian of her father's reign had expressed surprise that her mother was reading Maximus the Confessor complaining that his writing made Anna's head swim because it was so difficult I have to admit that I feel much the same way in reading these works of Maximus Some of the problem is that there are texts which are trying to explicate the problems in other texts of other Greek Fathers St Gregory Nazianzus especially but part of the problem is that they are hard to read Mind you I also suspect that Anna Commnena's mother's answer that she needed to read a bit deeply to appreciate Maximus is eually true of me That said even if I frankly didn't understand the texts of Maximus featured here Andrew Louth's introduction was worth the price of admission Louth has the gift of explaining extremely difficult theology in such a clear and concise manner that it makes one go and hunt up the works that he describes And after reading these works I understand much better how great an achievment that is

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