2019 Symposium Paper Abstract 4: Adam Cooper - "Can Asceticism Make Us Better Lovers? The Promise & Limits of Maximus the Confessor's Theology of Marriage"

Feast of St Pope Sylvester I

ST MAXIMUS the Confessor’s theology of marriage confronts spouses with a severe ascetic regime and offers apparently bleak prospects for erotic joy. His teaching combines a phenomenologically alert understanding of the divided and sin-bent self with an eschatologically tempered sense of the vulnerability of marriage and sexuality. But Maximus also wants us all to be better lovers, with our desires and energies liberated by Christ and transfigured into holy passion and selfless humility. Only in this way can any marriage become what it really is: a living icon of creation’s union with its Maker. 

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