“The Pair Movement-Rest in Plotinus and Maximus the Confessor”, THEANDROS. An Online Journal of Orthodox Christian Theology and Philosophy, Volume 3, number 2, Winter 2005/2006.
In this short text we compare the neoplatonic system in its dynamic form – which for the Christians thinkers as Maximus the Confessor was not enough intense – with the Christian notion of movement. Maximus broke the cyclic pair of neoplatonic movement-rest, speaking for a movable and social God. As the source of love and energy, God tends towards the beings of the sensible world in the frame of His economic project for them. In general, we can see the maximian philosophy on movement in relation on the one side with Parmenides, Plato and Origen, who attributed the immobility to the real being, considering movement as a fall, and on the other with Heraclitus, who believed that everything is in motion. Maximus connected the immobility of the uncreated reality with the movement of the created, in the aristotelian sense of the “immovable mover”. But surpassed Aristotle and attributed movement to the divine nature of Christ and in general to Divinity. Every being in this world and in the world beyond has movement. Maximus makes the use of the super-names for God, taking from the neoplatonism both the superlative and the apophatic way of thinking. God is over our definitions of Him and so He is unlimited; but at the most desirable end, in the ascend towards Him, we cannot loose ourselves, because movement never stops. At the most desirable end, we have progress and movement, but inside identity (Progressus in idem).
Keywords: neoplatonism, Maximus the Confessor, movement, rest, sociability, God, Plotinus, Aristotle, apophaticism