Saturday, 2 May 2015

Alexandru Atanase Barna: Unity between typon and symbolon in the Mystagogy of Saint Maximus the Confessor

The lecture aims to present aspects regarding the link between the cosmological, anthropological and ecclesiological typologies (chaps. I-VII) and liturgical symbols (chaps. VIII-XXIII) presented by Saint Maximus the Confessor in the text of Mystagogy. In addition to previously available textual and theological analysis of the nature, of the contents and structure of these mystagogical typologies, the lecture proposes an exegesis regarding the explanation of the relation between the two main parts of Maximus's Mystagogy, and how the author transmits a profound sense of participation to the mystery, using together typologies and symbols.
The sense of typological constructions (God - Church, Church - cosmos, Church - sensitive cosmos, Church - man, Church - soul, Scripture - man, man - cosmos), as we integrate the meaning of schesis concept (I,137) into the main purpose of the text, can be explained as part of an existential way of reading the theological reality of man and Church through its main liturgical symbols and actions. The symbols are not only direct witnesses of the 7th century liturgy of the Church, but also visible instruments by which we can understand the relation and union between man and God. The key that explains the link between typology and symbol is the concept of theoria. The gradual contemplation defines, using typology and symbol together, the theological reality as both mystery (superior hidden understanding of reality) and revelation (participation and real possibility of union).

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