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Created motion in Maximus the Confessor : a dynamicist reading

Joyce, CN 2010 , 'Created motion in Maximus the Confessor : a dynamicist reading', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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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.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Joyce, CN
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Copyright 2010 the Author

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