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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A major context which is important for understanding Maximus’ work was neo-Chalcedonianism. Neo-Chalcedonianism was a mixed political–theological project initiated by Emperor Justinian a century before Maximus. It aimed to reconcile the adversaries to the Council of Chalcedon with the followers of the council, for both ecclesial and political reasons, namely the unity of church and empire. The same expediencies remained urgent in the time of Maximus, for his contemporary Emperor Heraclius. There is a consensus among scholars of Maximus that he was a neo-Chalcedonian. Indeed, he used neo-Chalcedonian theological language and had his christological interests largely focused on the neo-Chalcedonian problematics. At the same time, neo-Chalcedonianism was not only inspirational for him, but also forced him to react and to polemicize. The conclusion of this chapter is that Maximus was a cautious neo-Chalcedonian.

Keywords: Maximus, Emperor Heraclius, neo-Chalcedonianism, Council of Chalcedon, church unity, Emperor Justinian, imperial unity

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