"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Scripture and Emotion in Maximus the Confessor

It has been very interesting to me over even the short course of this blog to watch the steady increase of attention paid to Maximus the Confessor, whom I studied for a semester in a doctoral course. You can find on this blog many other books devoted to him I have noted, reviewed, or whose authors I have interviewed. 

In January of this year we had another: Andrew J. Summerson's Divine Scripture and Human Emotion in Maximus the Confessor: Exegesis of the Human Heart (Brill, 2021), 160pp. 

About this book the publisher tells us this:

In Exegesis of the Human Heart Andrew J. Summerson explores how Maximus the Confessor uses biblical interpretation to develop an account of human passibility, from fallen human passions to perfected human emotions among the divinized. 

This book features Maximus’s role as a creative interpreter of tradition. Maximus inherits Christian thinking on emotion, which revises Stoic and Platonic thought according to biblical categories. Through a close reading of Quaestiones ad Thalassium and a wide selection of Maximus’s works, Andrew J. Summerson shows that Maximus understands human emotion in an exegetical milieu and that Maximus places human emotion at the heart of his soteriology. Christ redeems passibility so the divinized can enjoy perfected emotional activity in the ever-moving repose of eternal life.

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