Andrew Radde-Gallwitz deposited The Cappadocians (Draft for Oxford Handbook of Apophatic Theology) in the group Ancient Philosophy on Humanities Commons 1 year, 7 months ago
[This draft is for the Oxford Handbook of Apophatic Theology.] This chapter identifies an apophatic theology common to the three Cappadocian Fathers—Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa. The central theme of their apophatic theology is the incomprehensibility of God. God, they argue, is known under multiple concepts and names. The distinction, common in Stoic and post-Hellenistic philosophy, between conceptualization and comprehension underlies their theological epistemology. It is shown, moreover, that they endorsed a threefold scheme of concept formation for God common in Platonism: (1) the way of negation; (2) the way of analogy; (3) the way of ascent. They argue that the resulting notion of God is ‘dim’ and ‘trifling’. Even biblical saints who were granted direct revelation did not achieve full comprehension. This apophatic theology was developed to counter the theological epistemology of Eunomius of Cyzicus.