International Colloquium:

Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher

September 26-28, 2014 – Berlin

The study of Maximus the Confessor’s thought has flourished in recent years: annual international conferences, publications and articles, new critical editions and translations mark a torrent of interest in the work and influence of the most sublime of the Byzantine Fathers. It has been repeatedly stated that the Confessor’s thought is of eminently philosophical interest, and his work has been approached from a philosophical point of view in a number of monographs. However, no dedicated collective scholarly engagement with Maximus the Confessor as a Philosopher has taken place – and this colloquium will attempt to start such a discussion. Apart from Maximus’ relevance and importance for philosophy in general, a second question arises: should towering figures of Byzantine philosophy like Maximus the Confessor be included in an overview of the European continent’s history of philosophy, or rather excluded from it – as happens today with most histories of European philosophy? Maximus’ historical presence challenges our understanding of what European philosophy is. In this colloquium, we will begin to address these issues and examine numerous aspects of Maximus’ philosophical ‘system’: the logoidoctrine, Maximus’ anthropology and the human will’s freedom, the theory of motion, his understanding of time and space etc. – thereby also stressing the interdisciplinary character of Maximian studies.

Organizing Committee: PD Dr. Sebastian Lalla (Freie Universität Berlin), Sotiris Mitralexis (Freie Universität Berlin), Prof. Dr. Georgios Arabatzis (University of Athens), Prof. Dr. Georgios Steiris (University of Athens)

Poster image: detail from George Kordis’ icon “St Maximus the Confessor contemplating the λόγοι of beings“.


Fr. Maximos Constas

Senior Research Scholar – Holy Cross, Brookline MA

Christophe Erismann

SNFS Professor of Medieval Philosophy – University of Lausanne

Georgi Kapriev

Professor of the History of Philosophy – Sv. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia

Fr. Nikolaos Loudovikos

Professor of Theology – University Ecclesiastical Academy of Thessaloniki

Fr. Andrew Louth

Emeritus Professor of of Patristic and Byzantine Studies – Durham University

Fr. John Panteleimon Manoussakis

Associate Professor of Philosophy – College of the Holy Cross, Worcester MA

Torstein Tollefsen

Professor of Philosophy – University of Oslo

Christos Yannaras

Emeritus Professor of Philosophy – Panteion University, Athens


Short paper panels:


Andreas Andreopoulos (University of Winchester)

George Arabatzis (University of Athens)

Michael Bakker (ACEOT – VU Amsterdam)

Emma C J Brown (Durham University)

Dorothy Chang (Columbia University)

Dan Chitoiu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi)

Vladimir Cvetkovic (University of Belgrade)

Natalie Depraz (Université de Rouen)

Nevena Dimitrova (Charles University in Prague)

Elena Giannakopoulou (University of Athens)

Demetrios Harper (University of Winchester)

Michael Harrington (Duquesne University)

Myroslav Hryshko (Ljubljana)

Cullan Joyce (MCD University Melbourne)

Karolina Kochańczyk – Bonińska (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw)

Joshua Lollar (University of Kansas)

Michail Mantzanas (University Ecclesiastical Academy of Athens)

Nicholas Marinides (University of Basel)

Smilen Markov (St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo)

Sebastian Mateiescu (University of Bucharest)

Sotiris Mitralexis (Freie University Berlin)

Alexei Nesteruk (University of Portsmouth)

Ilias Papagiannopoulos (University of Piraeus)

Jack Pappas (Boston College)

MarcinPodbielski (AkademiaIgnatianumwKrakowie)

Marius Portaru (Patristic Institute Augustinianum)

Douglas Auld Shepardson (Fordham University)

Dionisios Skliris (University Paris IV-Sorbonne)

George Steiris (University of Athens)

Alexandru Szabo (KU Leuven)

Nichifor Tănase (Eftimie Murgu University of Resita)

Stoyan Tanev (University of Southern Denmark)

Antonio Vargas (Humboldt University Berlin)

Anna Zhyrkova (Akademia Ignatianum w Krakowie)



Call for Papers

We welcome  paper proposals (presentation duration: 20 minutes) on Maximus the Confessor’s thought, work and relevance to any area of Philosophy by scholars in Philosophy, Byzantine Studies, Theology and related disciplines. Papers may examine the relationship of Maximus’ thought to that of other thinkers, but the paper must focus on Maximus the Confessor’s contribution. All papers must be presented in English.

Please send us the title and a short abstract of your presentation (200-400 words) in English, along with a short CV, until Sunday, May 11, 2014 via e-mail to maximus2014berlin [ at ] You will be informed concerning your possible acceptance on Monday, May 12, 2014, and you will be asked to submit the registration fee via bank transfer.

A volume on Maximus the Confessor as a Philosopher based on the colloquium is planned to be published.


Please send us your (1) full name with title, (2) institutional affiliation, (3) e-mail, (4) cellphone number and (5) postal address to maximus2014berlin [ at ] with the subject “Registration” until May 16, 2014. Subsequently, you will be provided with information concerning the bank transfer of the registration fee.

The registration fee of 120,00€ covers registration, the coffee breaks throughout the conference, as well as two conference dinners on September 26th and 27th. Accommodation and lunches are not included.


Our conference venue will be the main seminar room of the Freie Universität Berlin’ Philosophy Institute (Institut für Philosophie – Habelschwerdter Allee 30, 14195 Berlin). It is located in a villa directly opposite to the central building of the Freie Universität Berlin, across Habelschwerdter Allee.


You can arrive at the conference venue through either U-BAHN or S-BAHN plus 10 minutes walking distance (unless you take a bus from the S-Bahn station):

U-Bahn Line 3, station “Thielplatz”



S-Bahn Line 1, station “Lichterfelde West”. (You can also take the bus “M11” from the S-Bahn station and arrive at the Institute: the bus station of the Institute is “Hittorfstr.”).