Saturday, 11 April 2015

Marius Portaru: A Reconsideration of the Relationship between Logoi and Divine Activities in Maximus the Confessor

It is a widespread practice of patristic theologians - including those participating in ecumenical councils - to leave unconsidered implications of debated questions, thus causing equivocity. But it so happens that when historians of theology try to assess critically the patristic solutions to theological dillemmas, they are pushed to ask the unasked questions.
My study proposes a reconsideration of the relationship between divine logoi and divine energies/activities in the thought of Maximus the Confessor. Contemporary reconstructions of Maximus' doctrine of logoi are divergent on this issue, and while few scholars affirmed the necessary distinction between activities and logoi (yet, ambiguously), none proposed a coherent understanding of their relationship, which could apply to all parts of Maximus' theology, and not only to his ontology. The description of their relationship is complicated by the fact that the aforementioned distinction is explicitly affirmed by Maximus in just a single text.
After sketching relevant aspects of the logoi-doctrine and highlighting the difference between a logos and a typos, I outline the limits of the logoi-doctrine within Maximus' conception of participation (a wide range of texts is examined). Since the distinction between logoi and activities appears now with much clarity, I try to define systematically their relationship. Finally, I address central difficulties faced by previous Maximus scholars. 

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