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7 Cosmos and Liturgy from Maximus the Confessor to Hans Urs von Balthasar (with an excursion on H.J. Schulz)

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Chapter Summary

Contemporary interest in the theology of the Greek East is much indebted to twentieth-century scholars who set out to retrieve their theology, taking Greek theologians like Maximus Confessor seriously for their thought, and not just as objects for modern theological analyses. What Henri de Lubac did for Origen, Hans Urs von Balthasar did for Maximus Confessor, setting in motion a revival that recently culminated in the appearance of The Oxford Handbook of Maximus the Confessor (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). Yet the question is how the revived and updated Maximus relates to the original historical Maximus, not so much in archeological terms but rather in terms of what I call his liturgisches Anliegen. In analysing some of Maximus’ interpreters, after which I also take a close look at Ambiguum 41, this article attempts to align liturgy and cosmology by taking Chalcedonian orthodoxy seriously but without making it a prefabricated mould. In this way I try to develop a sense of liturgy that is ecclesial as well as cosmological but remains above all dynamic.



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