By Joseph P. Farrell

"This e-book most probably served because the beginning for Farrell's longer paintings, God, background and Dialectic. Farrell provides a longer research upon St Maximus the Confessor's security of 2 wills in Christ. In doing so, he rigorously examines neo-Platonic philosophy, fairly its equation of contrast = competition, and the impact it had on later Origenist, Monothelete, and Augustinian theologies."

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Example text

Athanasius, and he denies it thoroughly and utterly by drawing crucial and real distinctions - if not in terminology then at least in practice - between the divine essence and the divine hypostases, and, most importantly, the divine will. The logical dynamic of a proliferation of hypostases which was a trait of ·- the Iamblichan school ofNeoplatonism was inherent in the logic of Arianism as well, and St. Athanasius was quick to pick up this point; he conceded that if deity could be defined as being without principle in itself, and the principle of causation of the existence of others, that is, _if the personal attribute of the Father, causality, could be confused with the essence so as to make it a~ essential attribute of deity, then it necessarily holds of the Son, if He is to be fully God, that as He is begotten, so He begets, and He too becomes the Father of a son.

On the other hand, however, there is a different tendency to reduce whatever might be said about the One to an absolute unity and identity of all metaphysical categories. There is thus a kind of dialectical necessity for the One to transcend all the oppositions of the dialectic and all the distinct categories of being. In this second sense, then, the One is to some extent what It is only by standing in dialectical contrast to Its opposite: It is One in contrast to the multiplicity which It produces; It is simple in contrast to those things which are compound and composed of really distinct elements.

The intellect and the soul are in an infinite motion in an infinite space infinitely removed from the center of an infinitely extended circle around which they move. This spatial imagery is an essential image of the One's transcendence and of the soul's and intellect's derivation from, and ultimate return to, the One. We shall encounter this imagery again in St. Maximus, but in a far different, Christian context where it is employed to illustrate and assert the eschatological free choice of the saints.

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