Friday, 20 March 2015

Sotiris Mitralexis: WS The Fountain and the Flood: Maximos the Confessor and Philosophical Enquiry

St Maximus the Confessor (~580-662 AD) has been the object of increasing scholarly examination and study. It is notable that these recent studies have not been limited to questions of theology but have encompassed other disciplines as well, such as ethics, psychology, physics, and philosophical anthropology. Interest in the Confessor's philosophical thought has not been absent from these new areas of enquiry, although a sustained and systematic attempt to study and articulate his contributions to philosophy (i.e., to the history of philosophy, to philosophical problems, and to modern forms of philosophical method and reflection) has yet to be undertaken. Following the 2014 "Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher" conference in Berlin, this workshop aims to explore Maximus' philosophy in greater depth, and to encourage a dialogue between this philosophy and contemporary philosophical discourse, notably phenomenology. The title of the workshop derives from Maximus's Questions and Doubts (Quaestiones et dubia, CCSG 10:100), where the Confessor describes secular philosophy as a "flood" or "torrent" requiring the "rational" formation offered by the "fountain" of theology and the Gospel. If Maximus does not himself lay claim to the title of philosopher, the philosophical breadth and richness of his thought suggests that philosophy would be well advised to claim Maximus, along with his unique contributions to philosophical thought.

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