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date: 17 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The current landscape of virtue epistemology is ripe with possibilities for theological engagement and appropriation. Constructively speaking, Maximus the Confessor (580–662 ce) is a fitting example of this kind of intersection. In terms of mapping the cognitive economy of the spiritual life, he draws attention to virtuous and contemplative practices that enable the intellect to attain its proper end (divine likeness) and acquire the related epistemic goods. Accordingly, this chapter shows how the virtues, for Maximus, contribute to the formation of a deep and abiding desire for the relevant epistemic goods (e.g. contemplation of God in and through nature, illumination of divine truths, wisdom, and perceptual knowledge of God) as well as playing a supportive role in the pursuit of them. It also offers briefly some concluding reflections concerning Maximus’s pairing of virtue and knowledge, and identifies a few areas of enquiry that warrant further work and development.

Keywords: Maximus the Confessor, praktike, theoria, epistemic goods, virtue, love, positive epistemic orientation

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