Thursday, 30 April 2015

Jonathan Taylor: A Three-Nativities Christology? Maximus on the Logos

Maximus the Confessor often adopts a Dionysian approach to divine names. This apophatic approach does not construe the names in any way that might diminish the transcendence of the ineffable, divine essence above all created categories. However, Maximus's treatment of the Christological title Logos requires him to interpret the title as indicating a participation by the creatures and their logoi to the divine Logos. The Logos is neither an apophatic title nor a shared divine name, but is appropriated to the second person and has practical consequences for understanding the unity of the created order.
In Ambigua 7, Maximus self-consciously struggles with this tension between his apophatic approach and the importance of Christ as the single Logos containing the many logoi (c.f. PG 1081 B­-D). The logic of this text provides insight into how Maximus can hold these two commitments together. This communication will examine Ambigua 7 as a single text in which Maximus confronts most clearly the seeming tension between his commitment to Dionysian theology and Logos theology. It will show how Maximus coordinates his kataphatic Christological statements and his apophatic exaltation of the divine essence, offering a better framework for reading Maximus's conception of the Spirit's economic work in salvation and the development of Trinitarian theology.

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