10 November 2009

New Work of St Maximus Translated

Tragically, I have not yet managed to get my internet connection fixed, and it pains me to have been thus separated from my beloved blog. I felt like weeping when the feast of the Great-Martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher came and went this last Sunday with no post at Logismoi to mark the occasion. While I am able to check e-mail on the laptop provided to my wife by her employer, the time I can spend on her computer is limited by her own need of it, and I don't have access there to all of my little notes and documents. But I've just received a book that I thought worth mentioning, and I've managed to steal my wife's computer long enough to compose a brief post while she teaches violin lessons in the living room!

The book is the first complete English translation of the work of St Maximus the Confessor known as Questiones et Dubia--St Maximus the Confessor, Questions and Doubts, trans. Despina D. Prassas (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois U, 2010)--and it is (almost) literally hot off the press. The kind reader who stunned me last spring by sending the text and translation of St Anastasius Sinaites's Hexaemeron (see this post), was good enough to pre-order a copy of the new St Maximus volume as a gift in honour of the completion of the first draft of my thesis last August (see this post).

Fr George Florovsky mentions this text as an example of St Maximus's 'exegetical sketches' when he writes, in The Byzantine Fathers of the Sixth to Eighth Century, trans. Raymond Miller, et al., Vol. 9 in The Collected Works of Georges Florovsky (Vaduz: Buechervertriebsanstalt, 1987), pp. 213-4:

Among St Maximus' writings we must first of all mention his exegetical sketches. These are precisely sketches and notes, not coherent commentaries. They are not even exegeses but rather reflections on individual 'difficult phrases'--or 'aporii'. Such are the Questions and Answers to Thalassius; other special Questions and Answers [i.e., the present work]; the Epistle to Theopemptus Scholasticus; his Interpretation of the Fifty-Ninth Psalm; and a short exposition of the Lord's Prayer--see the fragments in the catenae.

It is exciting to see the bibliography in English of this extremely important Father of the Church continuing thus to expand. I shall certainly post a review of the introduction, translation, and notes when I have had a chance to read it through, by which time I hope my own weathered computer--and thus, this blog--will have been restored to full working condition.


Daniel said...

This book is very high on my next to buy list!!!

Aaron Taylor said...

As well it should be, my friend!

Brother Charles said...

Thanks for the heads-up! I once tried to write a paper on one of the dubia for a graduate student conference. I remember withdrawing it because I realized I had made some kind of error.