Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (885.33 kB)

The Mystagogia of Maximus the Confessor through the self-efficacy theory

Download (885.33 kB)
posted on 2022-11-04, 01:44 authored by Kyeongyoon WooKyeongyoon Woo

The Mystagogia, written by Maximus the Confessor (c.580-662), is a Byzantine liturgical exegesis; it aimed to serve the needs of contemporary Christians, especially the laity, who, despite living in an imperfect Sitz im Leben in cities full of earthly temptations, were eager to participate in Christian fulfillment, i.e., salvation. For this purpose, Maximus endeavored to deliver to his audience the experience of human fulfillment through liturgy. The audience of the Mystagogia was able to achieve under Maximus’ guidance an “authentic” experience of perfection, i.e., ascetical experientialism. Furthermore, Maximus incorporated experiences and words of encouragement into the Mystagogia urging his audience to transfer their experience of fulfillment during the liturgy into their real lives. Overall, the Mystagogia contributed to the well-being of these urban communities by enabling their members to be both Christians and active citizens; their experience of fulfillment through the liturgy introduced them to a new mode of life in the empire, transforming them into inspired “lovers” who pass on Christian values, especially that of Christian love, to every corner of the society. The thesis examines the psychological impact of the Mystagogia on its audiences by utilizing the self-efficacy theory devised by Albert Bandura. First, it discusses the liturgical experience that the Mystagogia afforded to its audiences in the context of ascetical experientialism. Second, it identifies in Maximus’ text sources of self-efficacy, as defined by Bandura, thus demonstrating its impact in terms of modern psychology. Third, it explores the ways in which the liturgical experience as envisaged by Maximus contributed to the lives of contemporary Christians as well as their communities at large.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1: The Mystagogia of Maximus the Confessor between Pseudo-Dionysius and Nicholas Cabasilas -- Chapter 2: The Mystagogia of Maximus the Confessor through the Self-Efficacy Theory -- Chapter 3: The Mystagogia as Civic Theoria -- Conclusion -- Bibliography


Submitted in partial fulfillment of the Master of Research (MRes)

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of History and Archaeology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides


Copyright: Kyeongyoon Woo Copyright disclaimer:




94 pages

Usage metrics

    Macquarie University Theses


    Ref. manager