University of Tasmania
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Created motion in Maximus the Confessor : a dynamicist reading

posted on 2023-05-26, 04:50 authored by Joyce, CN
This thesis explores how Maximus the Confessor understands created motion. It describes how he utilises not just one description of motion, but several. Recent literature has struggled to articulate the diversity of ways for describing motion available to Maximus. Sometimes these works have over-simplified Maximus' views. At other times the works gesture toward some important areas, but fail to go into sufficient technical detail. This study explores how Maximus' descriptions of motion play important but specific roles in his work. Accordingly, the thesis employs a strategy of closely reading texts containing key descriptions of motion, clarifying their meaning, and setting out some implications. The work begins by describing Maximus' cosmological context, and shows the importance of relating different senses of motion together. This suggests the need for more specific analyses. Chapters two and three describe a form of self-continuous motion, showing how it permeates Maximus' thought. Chapters four and five evaluate two approaches in the secondary literature. Chapter four focuses on motion as a general principle in the cosmos. Accordingly, it explores how the general account of motion emerges from a theology of creation. Chapter five analyses how personhood has been used, with some success, for describing specific instances of motion in Maximus. The sixth and final chapter examines how motion is comprised of several different processes working cooperatively. The thesis does not explicitly investigate how Maximus' views on motion might be reconstructed in contemporary contexts. Nor does it discuss the broader implications of created motion for his theology. It offers an alternative reading of this important but notoriously difficult figure of antiquity, suggesting new avenues of interpretation, as well as opening a range of topics for further research.


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Copyright 2010 the Author

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  • Open

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