Human Knowledge According to Saint Maximus the Confessor
This book is dedicated to the synergic process of divine-human communion in the humanly possible knowledge of God, according to Saint Maximus the Confessor. These various types of knowledge play an important, but as yet unexplored role in Maximus the...
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This book is dedicated to the synergic process of divine-human communion in the humanly possible knowledge of God, according to Saint Maximus the Confessor. These various types of knowledge play an important, but as yet unexplored role in Maximus the Confessor's teaching on God, which in many respects appears to be a synthesis and culmination of the Greek patristic tradition and the antecedent of ancient pre-Christian and Christian philosophy. Focus on this problem brings forth the major issues of Maximus' psychology: the ""soul-body"" relationship and a detailed examination of the cognitive capacities of the soul, including the perception of the senses, rational activity, and operations of the mind. The indivisibility of the gnoseological issues from medieval man is traced in an examination of the cognitive levels within the trichotomic structure of practical philosophy, natural contemplation, and theology. The two methods--both affirmative (cataphatic) and negative (apophatic)--demonstrate the two rational discourses in human knowledge of God. Special attention is given to the understanding of hexis ( ) and gnomi ( ) concepts and their crucial place in the cognitive structure, leading to knowledge of God as Goodness and of God as Truth. ""Through her meticulous reading of St. Maximus the Confessor, Dimitrova demonstrates convincingly how his understanding of human knowledge is central to his thinking about familiar aspects of his theology--Christology, ascetical life, virtues, and eschatology.Her analysis of this understudied aspect of the thought of St. Maximus extends our own knowledge of one of the greatest minds in Eastern and Western Christian thought.She makes an important contribution to the growing scholarship on St. Maximus."" --Aristotle ""Telly"" Papanikolaou, Professor of Theology, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture; Co-founding Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center ""Nevena Dimitrova's book focuses on interesting questions. Who are we as knowing beings? How do we know things about God, the world, and ourselves? Returning to St. Maximus the Confessor, she explores the relationship between the divine and human communication, practical and contemplative knowing, and most of all, the process of the restoration of that human nature which, in Christ, embraces the journey of goodness and truth."" --Ivana Noble, Professor of Ecumenical Theology, Charles University, Prague Nevena Dimitrova is currently a postdoctoral scholar at Charles University in Prague. She completed her PhD on Byzantine philosophy at the universities of Sofia, Leuven, and Cologne."