Sotiris Mitralexis

Maximus the Confessor’s “Intelligible Creation”
Solving Contradictions on Imperishability and Corruptibility

Article
19/2 - Fall 2014, pages 241–249
Date of online publication: 28 mai 2015
Date of publication: 28 mai 2015

Abstract

Saint Maximus the Confessor’s voluminous corpus constitutes a coherent and lucid philosophical and theological system, notwithstanding the existence of obscure, difficult, and at times even contradictory passages. A question stemming from Maximus’ work is whether the “intelligible creation” (noēte ktisis) is imperishable or corruptible, which would have important implications for a number of other issues like the created / uncreated distinction, Maximus’ relationship to Neoplatonism, et al. However, Maximus provides us with contradictory passages concerning this subject, characterizing the noēte ktisis as both corruptible and imperishable. While in certain passages of the Ambigua ad Ioannem he states that created intelligible beings move “according to corruption,” excluding the possibility of natural incorruptibility for them, in other passages he states that the noēte ktisis possesses imperishability by nature, and not merely by grace. In this paper I will attempt to examine this apparent inconsistency on the basis of these two examples and to discuss which of both positions should be considered as Maximus’ “primary” position.

Keywords

Cite this article

Mitralexis, Sotiris. “Maximus the Confessor’s “Intelligible Creation”: Solving Contradictions on Imperishability and Corruptibility.” Forum Philosophicum 19, no. 2 (2014): 241–249. doi:10.5840/forphil20141925.

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