Imitation, Knowledge, and the Task of Christology in Maximus the Confessor (Paperback)
Maximus the Confessor (580-662) was a monk and theologian whose combustive historical era, committed doctrinal reflection, and loud and influential voice took him on a turbulent career of traveling and writing around the Mediterranean. Maximus was a spiritual teacher, an ascetic, a man in love with Scripture and with Christ, the Word at Scripture's heart. He was also a polemicist, a crafter of dogma, an embattled christologian, a premeditating rhetorician. In this study, Luke Steven picks up a spiritual and philosophical strand that binds together these two disparate sides of the man and his writings. Steven argues that throughout his oeuvre the Confessor positions imitation as the key to knowledge. This lasting epistemology characterizes his earlier ascetic and spiritual works, and in his later works it prominently defines his dogmatic christological method--that is, the means by which he communicates and persuades and brings people to understand and encounter Jesus Christ, the one with two natures, divine and human. This is a multifaceted study that offers a deep assessment of Maximus's forebears, new insight on the animating assumptions of his thought, and an unprecedented focus on the rhetoric and method of his christological writings.