Exegesis and Spiritual Pedagogy in Maximus the Confessor
An Investigation of the Quaestiones Ad Thalassium
Maximus the Confessor (580–662) is recognized by historians of Christian thought for his contributions to philosophical theology in the Eastern Christian tradition. His second largest work, the Quaestiones ad Thalassium, is a collection of his responses to a wide variety of questions on problematic or obscure scriptural texts that his friend the Libyan monk Thalassius had posed to him. Earlier studies of Maximus’s theology have used and cited the Quaestiones ad Thalassium as a source, but this book is the first specialized study of this comprehensive work in its own right. Paul M. Blowers examines Maximus’s role as an expositor of scripture and spiritual father in the Byzantine monastic tradition, illuminating the relationship between Maximus the philosopher-theologian and Maximus the monastic pedagogue. The first two chapters break new ground in exploring the genre, history, and monastic context of the Quaestiones ad Thalassium. The book then outlines Maximus’s hermeneutical theology and exegetical methodology as shaped within his larger system of thought. Translated excerpts from the Quaestiones ad Thalassium are interwoven into this study to give the reader greater access to Maximus’s own discourses.
"[F]ew studies exist which focus on the context and scope of the individual writings left by the seventh-century saint from Byzantium. Blowers' book . . . contributes notably towards filling this gap. . . . Blowers has provided a solid study that should be of benefit not only for students of Maximus, but also for students of biblical hermeneutics." —Journal of Early Christian Studies