November 28, 2023 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Online and in the Shasha Suite, Woolf Institute, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0UB

Dr Andrew Jackson

On 28th November at 1pm Dr Andrew Jackson will give a seminar entitled ‘The Divine Logic of Evolution: Reading Evolutionary Biology through the Lens of Maximus the Confessor’s Logoi Cosmology’.

A light sandwich lunch will be provided from 12:30 in the Shasha Suite, Woolf Building, Madingley Road Cambridge.


Maximus the Confessor, the 6th-7th Century Byzantine monk and theologian, is renowned for his exposition of creation in terms of the logoi, the refracted Logos (‘Word’) of John Chapter 1 and the ‘rational principles’ of Greek philosophy. In recent years, some scholars have hinted at a certain resonance between Maximus’ logoi cosmology and biological evolution. Based on a close reading of Maximus, I argue that such resonance is indeed justified, which helps to articulate a distinctly ‘immanentist’ or ‘incarnational’ view of divine action within evolution. There are, however, some notable dissonances between the logoi and evolution which need addressing, for which I offer some possible (and neglected) solutions drawn from Maximus and the Eastern Orthodox tradition more broadly. Of the practical applications that arise from this research, I will focus on one: the need for a greater recognition of the theophanic potential of the particular, the divergent and the transitional in evolution, as against recent trends in theological discussions of evolution that tend to privilege the universal, the convergent, and the terminal.