Kevin Basil (signature)

Interpreting Saint Maximus

Next article: I Give It One Star — One RED Star
Previous article: Shocking

Written by Basil on 07/5/2004 6:57 PM. Filed under:

Share with your friends and followers:

I have been reading The Cosmic Mystery of Christ, a series of translations of St. Maximus the Confessor. I have always wanted to read the Confessor because his anthropology is hailed as the best that the patristic era has to offer. I am delighted with his doctrine that the passions can be sublimated by refocusing them from earthly objects to divine objects.

However, I am deeply disturbed by the doctrine that sexuality in any form is a result of the fall. I am looking for someone with a thorough understanding of patristic thought to help me out here: Is this consistent in the fathers, or are there dissenting voices with a different perspective? Give me specific sources to read. If you can point me to a secondary source that would show me that I’m actually misreading St. Maximus, that would be even better.

Share with your friends and followers:


The URL to trackback this post is:

5 Responses to “Interpreting Saint Maximus”

  1. Karl Thienes Says:

    I can’t site specific sources off the top of my head, but no,
    the Fathers do not have a uniform answer on this issue from what
    I’ve read. Fr. Seraphim Rose’s book on Genesis provides quite
    a bit of patristic source material on this …

  2. Laura Says:

    I have just finished reading, Women and Men in the Early Church: The Full Views of St. John Chrysostom by Ford and while I am a bit fuzzy on the particulars, it seems St. John C, had a more favorable view of sex, marriage and women in general than some other of the Church Fathers.

  3. Erich Says:

    I know John C has a lot to say about this kind of thing, although I’ve forgotten exactly what it is. Still, it seems worth taking a look at. He has a book called Marriage and Family Life, I think. Although, to tell you the truth, when I’ve read church fathers on this point, they do tend to take a pretty Platonic view of things.

  4. James Says:

    Remember Basil what you’ve told me before, which is that the Fathers were 100 percent Orthodox
    85 percent of the time. Also I think I heard a tape of Fr. Thomas Hopko in which he said that
    much of what has been said about sexuality by the Fathers is not “Holy Tradition.”

  5. Chris J. Davis Says:

    Here are a couple of links that I could scrounge up:

    Father Hopko on Sexuality:

    A transcript from a homily by Father Josiah Trenham: (I am mirroring it out of my love for you brother, since I feel the layout of that site would wound you deeply.)

    I think that is enough to get you going I think. Be well, we miss you everyday here at the Inn on Applegrove.