Maximus the Confessor: Jesus Christ and the Transfiguration of the World

Hardcover | February 4, 2016

byPaul M. Blowers

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This study contextualizes the achievement of a strategically crucial figure in Byzantium's turbulent seventh century, the monk and theologian Maximus the Confessor (580-662). Building on newer biographical research and a growing international body of scholarship, as well as on freshexamination of his diverse literary corpus, Paul Blowers develops a profile integrating the two principal initiatives of Maximus's career: first, his reinterpretation of the christocentric economy of creation and salvation as a framework for expounding the spiritual and ascetical life of monasticand non-monastic Christians; and second, his intensifying public involvement in the last phase of the ancient christological debates, the monothelete controversy, wherein Maximus helped lead an East-West coalition against Byzantine imperial attempts doctrinally to limit Jesus Christ to a single(divine) activity and will devoid of properly human volition. Blowers identifies what he terms Maximus's "cosmo-politeian" worldview, a contemplative and ascetical vision of the participation of all created beings in the novel politeia, or reordered existence, inaugurated by Christ's "new theandricenergy". Maximus ultimately insinuated his teaching on the christoformity and cruciformity of the human vocation with his rigorous explication of the precise constitution of Christ's own composite person. In outlining this cosmo-politeian theory, Blowers additionally sets forth a "theo-dramatic" reading ofMaximus, inspired by Hans Urs von Balthasar, which depicts the motion of creation and history according to the christocentric "plot" or interplay of divine and creaturely freedoms. Blowers also amplifies how Maximus's cumulative achievement challenged imperial ideology in the seventh century--therepercussions of which cost him his life-and how it generated multiple recontextualizations in the later history of theology.

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This study contextualizes the achievement of a strategically crucial figure in Byzantium's turbulent seventh century, the monk and theologian Maximus the Confessor (580-662). Building on newer biographical research and a growing international body of scholarship, as well as on freshexamination of his diverse literary corpus, Paul Blowe...

Paul M. Blowers holds the Ph.D. in patristics and early Christian studies from the University of Notre Dame, and since 1989 has taught church history and historical theology at Emmanuel Christian Seminary in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he is currently the Dean E. Walker Professor of Church History. He is principally a scholar of Gre...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.5 × 5.31 × 1.02 inPublished:February 4, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199673942

ISBN - 13:9780199673940

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsIntroductionPart I: Backgrounds1. Maximus in His Historical Setting: Betwixt and Between2. Writing Theology in Early ByzantiumPart II: The Cosmic Landscapes of Maximus's Theology3. Creation as the Drama of Divine Freedom and Resourcefulness4. Maximus's Cosmic Christology: Flesh Transfiguring the World5. The Church and Its Liturgy as Threshold of the New CreationPart III: Maximus's Vision for the Transfigured Creation6. Protology and Teleology in Maximus's Interpretation of Human Nature, Human Fallenness, and Human Hope7. Active Passivity: Maximus on the Passion of Jesus Christ8. Love, Desire, and Virtue: Transfigured Life in Christ and the SpiritPart IV: Maximus's Afterlife East and West9. Recontextualizations of Maximus East and WestEpilogueSelect BibliographyIndex