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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Emeritus Professor Andrew Louth

Louth, A. (2004). The ecclesiology of Saint Maximos the Confessor. International journal of the study of the christian church 4(2): 109-120.

Author(s) from Durham


Maximos wrote no work expressly on the Church, the nearest being his work, the Mystagogia, on the Divine Liturgy. This article explores the notion of the Church presented in the Mystagogia, which focuses on the action of the Divine Liturgy, and the way in which what happens in the Church is reflected at every level of reality, from the transcendent reality of God, through the manifold unity of the cosmos, to the depths of the human soul. This vision of the Church — at once cosmic, eschatological, eucharistic and ascetic — is then related to Maximos' views on the institutional Church, as revealed in a few works preserved and related to his struggle for Orthodoxy during the monothelite controversy. These views concerned the place of the priestly hierarchy, especially the papacy, and also the claims of the Byzantine emperor to involve himself in doctrinal matters.