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«They Are Like the Angels in the Heavens»

Angelology and anhropology in the thought od maximus the confessor

€ 40,00

pp. 322, Roma
data stampa: 2009
codice isbn: 978887961126

After centuries of relative obscurity in the West, Maximus the Confessor finally received his due recognition through the remarkable scholarly efforts of numerous theologians during the resourcement of the twentieth century. The lack of critical editions and the notorious complexity of Maximus' Greek certainly marred some early efforts to recover his thought. Yet, thanks to such luminaries as H.V. von Balthasar, W. Volker, and L. Thunberg, the vision of this great ascetic, theologian, and martyr has become the object of a growing number of studies and the inspiration for modern approaches to speculative theology.

Many scholars dedicated their efforts toward a general analysis of Maximus' methodology and the identification of his sources. Others concentrated upon the most important areas of his thought: his struggle against a form of "Origenism" in the monastic communities; his spirituality and ascetic doctrine; and his Christology and Trinitarian theology, in conjunction with his adherence to Chalcedonean/neo-Chalcedonian doctrine, and his involvement in the monothelite and monoenergist controversies.




CHAPTER ONE: The problem of "angelism"

1. The Scriptures

1.1. The Old Testament

1.2. The New Testament.

2. The speculations of Origen

2.1. The Platonic tradition

2.2. Philo

2.3. Origen

3. Evagrius Ponticus

4. Origenism

5. An alternative vision: Dionysius the Areopagite

5.1. Proclus

5.2. Dionysius

5.2.1. The nature oJ the angels

5.2.2. The angelic hierarchy

5.2.3. Demons



CHAPTER TWO: The problem of the henad and the doctrine of the logos/logoi

1. The problem of the henad

2. The divine skopos

3. The Logos/logoi

3.1 The "Logos"

3.2. The "logoi"

3.3. The "logos" as the power of reason


Distinguishing angel and man

1. The creation of the angels

1.1. The distinct "logos" of the angel

1.2. "Spiritual" creation

1.2.1. The problem of incorporeal substance in antiquity

1.2.2. The concept of "spiritual" or "immaterial" substance: Dionysius

1.2.3. The concept of "incorporeal" or "intelligible" substance: Maximus Defending the incorporeal nature of the soul The dyadic stucture of incorporeal or spiritual substance

1.3. Angelic knowledge

1.4. The angelic hierarchy

1.5. Angelic will and free choice

1.5.1. Maximus analysis of the will

1.5.2. Angelic volition: natural will and self-determination

1.5.3. Angelic volition: deliberative will and free-choice

1.6. Angelic worship and praise

1.7. The association of the angels with "reason" (logos) and the "logoi"

1.8. The problem of movement, time, and place

1.9. Demons

2. The creation of man and his distinct nature

2.1. The divine intention for man

2.2. Man before the fall

2.2.1. The soul/body relationship

2.2.2. Man's original state as a composite being

2.3. Man after the fall

2.3.1. Ignorance of man's time nature

2.3.2. The misuse of free will

2.3.3. Fallen man in the divine plan

2.3.4. The passions


1. The differences between angels and men

2. The similarities between angels and men


CHAPTER FOUR: The relationships among men, angels, and demons in the spiritual struggle

1. The scope of the spiritual life

1.1. Restoring man 's nature: return to the "logos"

1.2. Going beyond man 's nature: divinization

1.3. The three stages of the spiritual life

1.4. The need for struggle

2. The attack of the demons

2.1. Developing the thought of Evagrius

2.1.1. The battle for "thoughts"

2.1.2. The specialization of the demons

2.2. The reason for the existence of demons

2.3. How demons attack

2.3.2. Inspiring pleasures contrary to nature

2.3.3. Exploiting man 's temporal state

2.4. The victory of Christ over the demons

3. The aid of the angels

3.1. The ''fighting angel": angels versus the demons

3.2. The enlightenment of the angels: bearers of the logoi

3.2.1. Ex. 4,24: The angel assassin

3.2.2. Io. 2,11-12: The two angels in the tomb

3.2.3. Cen. 28,12.: Jacob's ladder

3.2.4. Mich. 6,1: angels and the prophets

3.3. Angels as objects for reflection


Becoming isangelos

1. Christian understanding of "isangelos" prior to Maximus

2. The five mediations: Ambigua ad Ioannem 41

2.1. The first two mediations: movement toward unity

2.2. The third mediation: equality with the angels through the virtues

2.3. The fourth mediation: equality with the angels in knowledge

2.4. The fifth mediation: equality with the angels through divinization

3. Paul's ascent into the "third heaven": Ambigua ad Ioannem 20

3.1. Maximus' use of Dionysius

3.2. The originality of Maximus' interpretation

4. The Mystagogia

4.1. Conversion and praxis: the entrance, readings, signs of peace

4.2. Contemplation and praise: the 'Trisagion'

4.3. Mystical theology, adoption, and beyond

5. Commentary on the Our Father: Imitating the kenosis and Ascension of Christ

6. Equality through grief or sadness: Epistula 4 and Questiones et Dubia 129



CHAPTER SIX: The "suffering" of men and angels: The deification of all rational creatures

1. The meaning of suffering

1.1. Suffering as adherence to the senses

1.2. Suffering as the experience of pain and sadness

1.3. Suffering as yielding, consenting or conceding

2. The Incarnation: redemption and divinization

3. Sharing in Christ 's suffering and Crucifixion

3.1. The cup: modeling the will

3.2. Participation in the Crucifixion

3.3. "Going beyond": Ascending with Christ to the Father

4. The eternal suffering of men and angels

4.1. The Incarnation and the angels

4.1.1. The Incarnation as revelation and mystery for the angels

4.2. Experiencing the Cross and the Tomb

4.2.1. The "day of fulfillment"

4.2.2. The angelic mode of "suffering": Recapitulation in Christ and man

5. Going beyond: distinguishing man and angel in God

5.1. "Proportional" participation

5.2. The divinization of the body



1. Maximus' Synthesis

2. Why did God create the angels?

3. Some questions for further consideration

3.1. The problem of sexual distinctions

3.2. The problem of the deliberative will

3.3. The problem of angelic "personalities"

4. Rational beings and the glory of God




Ancient authors


Modern authors


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