Item description for Maximus Confessor: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality) by George C. Berthold & Maximus...
Overview This volume includes a translation of our spiritual treatises of Maximus the Confessor (c. 580-662), plus an account of his trial. Included are The Four Hundred Chapters of Love, Commentary on the Lord's Prayer, Chapters on Knowledge, The Church's Mystagogy, and Trial of Maximus.
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.09" Width: 5.97" Height: 0.64" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 1985
Publisher Paulist Press
Series Classics of Western Spirituality
ISBN 0809126591 ISBN13 9780809126590
Reviews - What do customers think about Maximus Confessor: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)?
Maximus the Confessor Apr 19, 2007
The writings of St. Maximus the Confessor are mandatory for all Chrisitians. St Maximus was a monk near 500-600 AD. He lived at a time when there was argument whether Christ possessed soley a divine nature or if he had dual natures (human and divine). A point that seems very vague to many in the modren world. But St Maximus believed so adamantly in the dual nature that he had his right hand cut off as well as his tongue and left to die. The legacy of writings left behind shed very deep insight on topics like love and theology. In my own opinion you can not go wrong with St Maximus he was an austere monk, that devoted his life to preserving the true meaning of Christianity. He diligently studied the writings of older monks closer to the time of Christ in which we get a clearer view of what it means to really be Christian.
A great Eastern father Oct 20, 2006
St Maximus the Confessor stands tall in the Eastern tradition as one of the greatest theologians and mystics. Somewhat overlooked by Catholicism and Protestantism, Maximus's thought is deeply profound and contains great spiritual beauty and insight into the mysteries of Christianity.
Maximus, like other Eastern Christian fathers, focuses on the apophatic or negative approach to God. In the included works which include the 'Centuries on Love' and the 'Centuries on Knowledge' Maximus stresses the need for leaving behind the earthly for the spiritual realities beyond, which are ineffable yet infinitely beautiful. Some of the finest though of Maximus occurs in his Centuries on Love, which focus on the need for true love of self and neighbour without selfishness, without which we cannot attain salvation.
St Maximus had a key influence on later theologians such as Gregory Palamas, and is also important to the great Western Carolingan philosopher-theologian Eriugena.
Read a Little at a Time Apr 22, 2003
St. Maximus the Confessor lived during the time when the eastern half of the One Holy Apostolic Catholic Church was battling a heresy called the Monothelite controversy dealing between the unity or duality of will in relation to nature. Today many think the issue was due to cultural language limitations between Greek & Arabic, political problems within the Byzantine empire, & the rapid spread of Islam. Either way St. Maximus was the champion of Orthodoxy defending the view that Jesus was fully God & fully human in his incarnation, therefore he had 2 natures, & each nature had a will. Jesus expressed these ideas when he said "Not my will be done, but thy will be done" verses "I am in the Father." The 1st section of the book deals with St. Maximus's trial before the Byzantine Emperor where many false witness accused the Saint of being against the Emperor. St. Maximus quickly & rightly goes to the source of the matter & asks for proof, of course there is none, its all hear-say (heresy). For historical note: St. Maximus was finally accused, had his tongue & one of his hands cut off, & sent into exile where he shortly died. The masterpiece of this book is the 100 Chapters of Love, where St. Maximus takes several scriptures & many writings from the Church Fathers, & explains in great detail what Love is. The 1st time I read this book, I tried to read it as a whole book, this was a mistake. The 2nd time I read it, I read a verse at a time. St. Maximus writes with such tight exact meaning, that each word is overwhelming. Therefore for maximum (Maximus) enjoyment, read this section like a poem & then pray or reflex on each line. Another section is a great commentary on the Lord's Prayer: "Our Father". Each verse gets a few paragraphs of detail. This book is not for the soft hearted or for the easy to read crowd, but for people that enjoy deep books.
Maximus to the maximum Jul 25, 2000
I am an Orthodox Christian, and I have not only read this book, but as a Maximus scholar, I have lived with it for 15 years, since it first came out in 1985. My original copy is totally dogeared, held together with tape and glue and the grace of a book lovingly valued as precious far beyond its price. Every page is full of notes upon notes in various colors. As it gradually falls apart through much use, I am considering learning the art of bookbinding, so I can preserve it and keep on using it. I am very grateful for Paulist Press for producing this volume, and to George Berthold for the effort and energy (as only one who has tried to translate Maximus' subtle and sophisticated Greek knows just how much effort and energy) it took to translate these texts of the Confessor's. I believe St. Maximus' genius and accomplishments deserve to be honored for what they are and not to be bracketed by disputes and criticisms that, whatever their merit, have no real point in the present setting. Yes, there are other good translations of some of these texts. Yes, the critical apparatus may not be of the highest order. Yes, the theological perspective in the Introduction may not rise to the level or be equal to the content of the Maximian texts. But what introduction could?--and that was not the book's primary purpose. As a basic introduction to the Maximian corpus, the Paulist Press volume on St. Maximus, for all its supposed faults, is still the best single volume to give to someone new to St. Maximus. St. Maximus' greatness lies in the fact that he was not only a brilliant theologian, but an equally accomplished philosopher, as well as a great ascetic and spiritual master of the Eastern Orthodox monastic and hesychastic tradition. He can put more into a single sentence or paragraph than most philosophers or theologians put into whole chapters, or even books. That is why a volume like this one can be read and reread for years and years, always giving one a new perspective or an astonishing view of depths previously unknown or unrealized.
hold everything Mar 18, 2000
If you're puzzled by the review from Chicago, so am I. The author of this text is recognized around the world as an authority on Maximus; the reviewer won't even say his name. As far as Gregory Palamas goes, Maximus lived hundreds of years before Gregory. Why would there be references in the endnotes to a theologian unknown to Maximus? The notes reference the sources and the theological influences that actually are found in the text (Origen, Pseudo-Dionysius, the Cappadocians), not theologians that Maximus knew nothing about. Let's not fault the author for being interested in Maximus' theology! As far as spelling goes, Maximus is the usual rendering in English and it doesn't pretend to be a transliteration of the Greek. I suppose next we're going to get upset that Jesus is a latinized spelling of Iesous...but then isn't Iesous a pretty Hellenized version of Yeshua? But the whole absurdity of the thing is clear when he suggests ignoring the Introduction, which is written by Jaroslav Pelikan--a marvellous man who now, by the way, is a member of the Orthodox Church! The text has no apologies to make. Does someone else?