By Joseph P. Farrell

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

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Maximus is the third period, all but one are by western authors, that is to say, by non-Orthodox authors, and, with the exception of Thunberg's two works, all of the most significant and recent studies are by Roman Catholics. There is, in other words, a certain latent trend in Maximian studies that does not seem, to this author, altogether healthy nor without its problems and repercussions: if one accepts a view of the divine simplicity as being an absolute definition of the divine essence, the distinction between the essence and the attributes fades to such an extent that the attributes even become ontologically identical with each other.

62-63. 52. Rist, Plotinus, p. 77. Chapter 2: The Plotinian and Origenist Background Finally, Plotinus employs a spatial imagery to describe the goal of the soul's and intellect's motion to the One. By moving towards the unattainably transcendent One, and being unable to achieve It, they move "around" the center of their attention. The One is, in this view (and to employ a mathematical metaphor), the asymptotic limit of the motion of the intellect and the soul. 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.

52. 3. cf. Emile Bn3hier, The Philosophyo{Plotinus, pp. 32,41-42,43. 4. Enneads 1:3:1, cited by Brehier, p. 33. Free Will in St. "6 Nor is Plotinus' conceptual clarity aided by the fact that he took little care to revise and edit his writings or to observe correct grammar and spelling. "7 A. H. Armstrong aptly describes these two representations in a summary of the main components ofPlotinus' philosophy: The philosophy of Plotinus is an account of an ordered structure of living reality, which proceeds from its transcendent First Principle, the One or Good, and descends in an unbroken succession of stages from the Divine Intellect and the Forms therein through Soul with its various levels of experience and activity to the last and lowest realities, the forms of bodies; and it is also a showing of the way by which the soul of man which belongs to, can experience and be active on every level of being, is able, if it will, to ascend by a progressive purification and simplification to that union with the Good which alone can satisfy it.

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