Teologikon 1 (3):126-140 (2014)

E. Brown Dewhurst
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
This paper explores the cosmology of St Maximus the Confessor and its relevance for contemporary ethics. It takes as it’s starting point two papers on Maximus’ cosmology and environmental ethics (Bordeianu, 2009; Munteanu, 2010) and from there argues that we can not consider environmental ethics in isolation from other ethical issues. This, as both Ware and Keselopoulos have also pointed out, is because the environmental crisis is actually a crisis in the human heart and in human attitudes toward everything about us. The paper goes through some key areas in Maximus’ cosmology according to his own formula of creation – movement – rest and considers at each stage the implications of this theology for the way the human should be living and treating other beings. The main sources for this exploration are Ambiguum 7, Ambiguum 41, and The Mystagogia with especial focus on the doctrine of the logoi and the divisions of nature. The paper concludes that Bordeianu and Munteanu are right to consider Maximus’ theology to be of ecological relevance, but that this relevance comes from the radical ethical statement being made about human activity. Maximus’ theology points the human toward becoming in the likeness of Christ who unites heaven and earth through love. The love of Christ when considered in an ethical context stands as a formidable challenge to current attitudes and institutions that advocate the exploitation and destruction of human or non-human creation.
Keywords environmental ethics  christian theology  theology  Maximus the Confessor  Greek Patristics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Maximus the Confessor.David Bradshaw - 2010 - In Lloyd P. Gerson (ed.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 2--813.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Ontology of Virtue as Participation in Divine Love in the Works of St. Maximus the Confessor.Emma Brown Dewhurst - 2015 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 20 (2):157-169.
How Can We Be Nothing? The Concept of Nonbeing in Athanasius and Maximus the Confessor.Emma Brown Dewhurst - 2017 - Analogia: The Pemptousia Journal for Theological Dialogue 2 (1):29-34.
Guest Editors' Note.Sotiris Mitralexis & Georgios Steiris - 2015 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 20 (2):119-120.
Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher.Georgios Steiris - 2017 - Eugene Oregon: Cascade Books / Wipf and Stock.


Added to PP index

Total views
194 ( #59,233 of 2,498,991 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #22,853 of 2,498,991 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes