Seeking out the Antecedents of the Maximian Theory of Everything: St Gregory the Theologian's Oration 38, Doru Costache

Abstract: The paper begins by briefly describing the famous 'theory of everything' expounded by St Maximus the Confessor in Difficulty 41. This fascinating Maximian narrative endeavours to give an account of the whole of reality, in its complex and multi-level structure. Although St Maximus maintains, by way of introduction, that this teaching draws on the tradition of the saints, nothing similar can be found in the writings of the previous Church fathers. Contemporary scholars have at times attempted to search for the roots of this tradition, without much success. Not claiming to be exhaustive, this paper explores one such possible track, ignored by scholarship, within two passages (11 and 17) in St Gregory the Theologian's Oration 38.

Bio: Rev Doru Costache received his Doctor of Theology degree from the University of Bucharest, in 2000. He is a presbyter under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and a Senior Lecturer in Patristics at St Andrew's Greek Orthodox Theological College, Sydney. His research interests are in traditional/patristic theology, transdisciplinarity and the dialogue of science and theology. Currently, he is undertaking an interpretation of Genesis 1 within tradition and in light of contemporary challenges.