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The Christocentric Cosmology of St. Maximus the Confessor

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Overview

St. Maximus the Confessor (580-662), was a major Byzantine thinker, a theologian and philosopher. He developed a philosophical theology in which the doctrine of God, creation, the cosmic order, and salvation is integrated in a unified conception of reality. Christ, the divine Logos, is the centre of the principles (the logoi ) according to which the cosmos is created, and in accordance with which it shall convert to its divine source.

Torstein Tollefsen treats Maximus' thought from a philosophical point of view, and discusses similar thought patterns in pagan Neoplatonism. The study focuses on Maximus' doctrine of creation, in which he denies the possibility of eternal coexistence of uncreated divinity and created and limited being. Tollefsen shows that by the logoi God institutes an ordered cosmos in which separate entities of different species are ontologically interrelated, with man as the centre of the created world. The book also investigates Maximus' teaching of God's activities or energies, and shows how participation in these energies is conceived according to the divine principles of the logoi. An extensive discussion of the complex topic of participation is provided.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199237142
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 The divine ideas and the creation of the cosmos 21

3 The Logos, the logoi, and created beings 64

4 The divine activity 138

5 The concept of participation 190

Concluding remarks 225

Bibliography 231

Index 239

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