Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Andrew Summerson: Christological Mixture Language in the Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua: What the Confessor Learned from the Theologian

This paper proposes to study Maximus the Confessor’s engagement of Gregory Nazianzus’ mixture language in the Ambigua. We will begin with Ambiguum 33, where Maximus considers Gregory’s use of the termpachunomai in On the Nativity of the Savior.First, we will investigate Maximus’ exegesis of the passage. Then, we will move to discuss Maximus’ incorporation of Gregory’s Christological mixture language into his own metaphysical thought elsewhere in theAmbigua. We will take into consideration the stoic background of the term as well as its subsequent medical usage, both germane to Gregory’s employment of pachunomai in his oration as well as Maximus’ preference for it in the Ambigua. The paper attempts to show that Gregory was not the “mere ecclesial vehicle” to advance Maximus’ more sophisticated theology,pace von Balthasar. Rather, the Ambigua is an example of Maximus critically and creatively engaging his Cappadocian predecessor.

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