When Saint Maximus entered into government service, he became first secretary asekretis and chief counselor to the emperor Heraclius , who was impressed by his knowledge and virtuous life.
Saint Maximus soon realized that the emperor and many others had been corrupted by the Monothelite heresy, which was spreading rapidly through the East. He resigned from his duties at court, and went to the Chrysopolis monastery at Skutari on the opposite shore of the Bosphorus , where he received monastic tonsure.
Exegesis and Spiritual Pedagogy in Maximus the Confessor
Because of his humility and wisdom, he soon won the love of the brethren and was chosen igumen of the monastery after a few years. Even in this position, he remained a simple monk. Not only the clergy and the bishops, but also the people and the secular officials felt some sort of invisible attraction to him, as we read in his Life. When Saint Maximus saw what turmoil this heresy caused in Constantinople and in the East, he decided to leave his monstery and seek refuge in the West, where Monothelitism had been completely rejected.
Maximus the Confessor, St.
On the way, he visited the bishops of Africa, strengthening them in Orthodoxy, and encouraging them not to be deceived by the cunning arguments of the heretics. The Fourth Ecumenical Council had condemned the Monophysite heresy, which falsely taught that in the Lord Jesus Christ there was only one nature the divine.
Adherents of Monothelitism sought to return by another path to the repudiated Monophysite heresy. Monothelitism found numerous adherents in Armenia, Syria, Egypt. The heresy, fanned also by nationalistic animosities, became a serious threat to Church unity in the East.
The struggle of Orthodoxy with heresy was particularly difficult because in the year , three of the patriarchal thrones in the Orthodox East were occupied by Monothelites: Constantinople by Sergius, Antioch by Athanasius, and Alexandria by Cyrus. Saint Maximus traveled from Alexandria to Crete, where he began his preaching activity.
Often, Maximus's arrow pierces implications for living the ascetic life: 'The raven [that sustained Elias] represents nature blackened through disobedience, and Elias sitting in the gully represents the knowledgeable nous sitting in the gully of temptations and labors of askesis.
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Maximus the Confessor's "Questions and Doubts". Saint Maximus. Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available.
Free Choice in St. Maximus the Confessor
View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title Maximus the Confessor — was a monk whose writings focused on ascetical interpretations of biblical and patristic works. About the Author : Despina D. Review : ""An excellent and timely piece of work. Buy New Learn more about this copy.
Customers who bought this item also bought. The overarching theme is the importance of the ascetical life. For Maximus, askesis is a lifelong endeavor that consists of the struggle and discipline to maintain control over the passions.
St. Maximus the Confessor's 'Questions and Doubts'
One engages in the ascetical life by taking part in both theoria contemplation and praxis action. To convey this teaching, Maximus uses a number of pedagogical tools including allegory, etymology, number symbolism, and military terminology. Prassas provides a rich historical and contextual background in her introduction to help ground and familiarize the reader with this work.
As the first study focused exclusively on the Quaestiones et dubia, this important book will appeal to the growing audience of readers interested in Maximus the Confessor and, more broadly, to scholars and students of early Christianity, early Byzantine monasticism, and patristic biblical exegesis.