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 fresh examination of his diverse literary corpus, Paul Blowers develops a profile integrating the two principal initiatives of Maximus's career: first, his reinterpretation of thechristocentric economy of creation and salvation as a framework for expounding the spiritual and ascetical life of monastic and non-monastic Christians; and second, his intensifying public involvement in the last phase of the ancient christological debates, the monothelete controversy, wherein Maximus helped leadan 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 "e;cosmo-politeian"e; worldview, a contemplative and ascetical vision of the participation of all created beings in the novel politeia, or reordered existence, inaugurated by Christ's "e;new theandric energy"e;. Maximus ultimately insinuated his teaching on the christoformity andcruciformity 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 "e;theo-dramatic"e; reading of Maximus, inspired by Hans Urs von Balthasar, which depicts the motion of creation andhistory according to the christocentric "e;plot"e; or interplay of divine and creaturely freedoms. Blowers also amplifies how Maximus's cumulative achievement challenged imperial ideology in the seventh century--the repercussions of which cost him his life-and how it generated multiple recontextualizations in the later history of theology.
Maximus the Confessor: Jesus Christ and the Transfiguration of the World
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