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Keywords: Apollinarism , Christology , inter alia , dyothelitism , Gethsemane prayer , monothelitism , neo-Chalcedonism , Nestorianism , hypostasis , will. Forgot your password? Don't have an account? OSO version 0. University Press Scholarship Online.

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Dyothelite Christology Of Saint Maximus the Confessor - Oxford Scholarship

Sign up. Indeed, the shape of the discussion over the two wills of Christ was in many ways conditioned by the advent of monothelitism, but in no way did it generate or even precede dyothelitism. There have been numerous studies on the dyothelitism of Augustine of Hippo, for exam- ple, whose theological descendants a quarter of a millennium later would have been in contact with Maximus during his stay in Carthage and during his time in Rome. This seems to be substantiated by the documents of the Lateran Council in While it remains inconclusive whether Maximus himself used Augustine directly, clearly one can speak of a theological relection on the human will of Christ in relation to the divine will i.

Demacopoulos — A. Papanikolaou, Crestwood NY , ; J. Constas, vol. Maximus the Confessor, Oct.

Maximus the Confessor - Wikipedia audio article

Bishop M. But whether you wish to call this newness in nature or in energy, this newness would be of our power. This is what is new in Christ: a new manner of existing. This term is used in a manner in order to achieve the greatest possible union while preserving the distinction between the natures Maximus likely appropriated the term from St. Gregory Nazianzen29, establi- shing it as a technical term for post-Chalcedonian theology. The mutual interpenetration of divine and human in Christ is seen in a Chalcedonian light, which at once preserves the distinction and achieves the perfection of union, for a perfect union would not obliterate the distinction between two things.

The analogous image is that of the heated sword, retaining all the properties of both iron and ire.


One could also say it cuts in a way proper to heat. Likewise, man is divinized in Christ in an altogether human manner. The irst cause and the inal cause are one in the same; the mediator is Jesus Christ. There is an interesting tension between orthodoxy and the two heresies Maximus battled. With regard to the question of whether there were one or two wills in Christ, the answer for Maximus was to be found in Gethsemane. Bishop Theodosius does too in his dispute with Maximus at Bizya. Regardless, this theory of opposition is an all too postlapsarian way of considering the interplay of personal wills, one that seems to fail to consider even the possibility of harmony.

Anyone who would try to advance a monothelite position ought to contend with all three synoptic Gethsemane accounts, which are similar and which clearly indicate some sort of difference between the will of Christ and the will of the Father Gregorius Nazianzenus, Oratio 30, At least on the surface, willing seems to be better assigned to person than to nature. Thus, they unsurprisingly arrive at hypostatic will. There are, however, numerous problems — Christological and Trinitarian — to assigning willing to the person rather than to the nature.

First of all, Christ is a divine person, and so if he were to have only one will a divine one , it would be absurd that there should be any speaking of difference in wills between the Son and the Father in Gethsemane.

The second point is no less so- teriological: If there were to be no human will in Christ, there would be some- thing not fully assumed in the Incarnation. Thus, human willing would not be redeemed. Maximus speaks similarly with Pyrrhus. Heinzer — Ch. A tetrad, however, is not theologically possible, of course. He draws the theology of the operations out more fully in other places in his writings. For how will He be God by nature and man by nature without pos- sessing completely what belongs to each nature in its natural constitution?

Maximus extends this principle in this ambiguum by demonstrating that, for example, when Christ walks on the water it illustrates two operations at work — moving from place to place is a human operation, but the lightness upon the water shows the divinization of that very lesh of Christ One can see 41 Idem, Disputatio Bizyae cum Theodosio 3, ed.

Allen — Neil, p. Basilius Caesariensis, Adversus Eunomium 4, 1. John was likely drawing directly from Maximus. For both of them, this sequence can be traced to Dionysius the Areopagite. To remove the human operation in Christ would be to negate his priesthood, and it is because of his priesthood that he is able to offer up a sacriice for our salvation.

The monenergist position ultimately leaves no role for humanity in redemption, so there is no priesthood, and no real cooperation between man and God in salvation. In his rebuttal to one of his accusers during his trial before his exile to Bizya, he recounted an earlier conversation the two had regarding the Typos document, which merely ordered silence concerning the number of wills and activities.

Maximus understood silence to be, on the one hand, impossible for him, and on the other, a vehicle for subtly advancing heterodoxy, as it was for the Arians. The Typos is not only anti-Incarnational, it dares to attempt to remove exi- stence from the Son. Neil, in: Maximus the Confessor and his Compa- nions, p.

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Jean- Claude Larchet points out several reasons why a composite divine-human na- ture is impossible for Maximus. Since the parts of a composite nature would need to be co-temporal with each other, the divine uncreated nature could not be mingled with a created nature. Secondly, lacking a natural complementarity or common measure, such a union would be incongruous. Thirdly, since all composite natures do not proceed from free choice, it is all the more unit- ting to ascribe a necessity of this union Indeed, to consider Christ as ha- ving a composite nature, Maximus says, would be to estrange him from the godhead and to forfeit the very union which he assumed He would neither truly be man nor would he truly be God, but he would be something altogether different.

Demetrios Bathrellos

In fact, monothelitism and monenergism each destroy communion with God. Louth, p. This opusculum was originally thought by Sherwood to be one of the latest works of Maximus, though Jankowiak and Booth date this between and cf. The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor, p. Larchet, Introduction, p. Maximus Confessor, Epistula Under such a dispensation, the disciples of Christ then would not be Chris- tians, but polytheists; consequently, sin would remain in humanity.

Maximus the Confessor

Continued relevance of Maximus. It would be itting to consider briely some impressions the confessor has left upon theology following his exemplary life. Most noteworthy is that Maximus through his own inal ascetic struggle set the course for the triumph of dyothelite orthodoxy over the imperial inter- ference in Constantinople This is an especially itting historical note, as he consistently refuted his opponents through sound and subtle reasoning; impe- rial pressure, however, consistently reclaimed those same ecclesiastical leaders, as Emperor Constans was then the de facto ruler over the see of Constantinople.

Booth paints the Emperor Heraclius and to a lesser extent Constans after him as a great uniier who seems to have under- estimated the recalcitrance of his monastic antagonists and is sympathetic to the idea that Sophro- nius and Maximus were dangerous dissidents perhaps guilty of political sedition ibidem, p. Nor does it account, secondly, for the barbaric display Emperor Constans made of those who would not assent to his compromise position.

Dunn, Romans , vol. Joseph A.

Fitzmyer, Romans , vol. Martin Luther, LW — New York: Fordham University Press, , See Daniel B. Jason T. Antonio S. Jeffrey D. Wittung, — Jeremy Hummerstone London: New City, , Wing-Tsit Chan and Charles A. Moore Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, , 37— Thunberg, Microcosm and Mediator , Brian E. Dale San Francisco: Ignatius Press, , Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Way , 2nd ed.

See Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology , Maximus the Confessor, Difficulty 5, translated in Andrew Louth, trans.