On the one hand, at about 640, Maximus came to conceive of Christ's fear of death and obedience in Gethsemane as an existential predicament and the free act of the human being, Jesus. He recognised in them the decisive human contribution to redemption.41 With this important insight he does justice - without indicating it - to the intent of the Antiochenes, such as Theodoret of Cyrus. On the other hand, the fact that the Tome of Leo insisted on the common operation of the two natures led Maximus to a revision of the conception of Christ's operation and will; this revision was carried out within the framework of the sixth-century Cyrillian tradition.42 By emphasising what combined the two interpretations of Chalcedon, Maximus, in order to save the Cyrillian interpretation in which he remained embedded, arrived after 640 at a definition of the one hypostasis which fundamentally refrained from fitting it out with religious, intuitive contents. For these, Maximus maintained, were always related to the natures, while the hypostasis as the principle ofthe ultimate independent subsistence - in contradistinction to individuality - can only be conceived as 'empty' or 'metaphysical', that is, as a self or centre that is principally not defined by categories of nature.43 With this highpoint of human endeavour to think through, in an appropriate way, the confession of Christ as 'the new human being', who is God, and to safeguard the paradox of God's incarnation, the Christology of the early church comes to a fitting conclusion.


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