Saturday, 21 March 2015

Luke Steven: The principle of 'proportion' in Maximus the Confessor

My claim in this paper is that there exists a principle or thought-pattern that Maximus the Confessor finds matchlessly useful for elaborating the structure of the universe as created by God, and for grasping the expedition and difficulty of the human calling within such a universe. I am referring to a principle of ‘proportion' (ἀναλογία), which winds its way from Aristotle and Paul through late-antiquity to reach its acme in Maximus. I will briefly demonstrate the way in which, Maximus teaches us, humans draw near to God and receive God's grace ‘in proportion to' (κατ' ἀναλογίαν) the mode and shape of life they assemble for themselves through habit, virtuous or vicious. I will then turn to some passages where Maximus uses this ascetical model of proportion to explain how God the Word comes to indwell Christians, enacting in them the pattern of his Incarnation.

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