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The Suffering of the Impassible GodThe Dialectics of Patristic Thought$
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Paul L. Gavrilyuk

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199269822

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004

DOI: 10.1093/0199269823.001.0001

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(p.172) Conclusion
The Suffering of the Impassible God

Paul L. Gavrilyuk (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The church’s rejection of the major christological heresies is a series of dialectical turns, all taken to safeguard an account of divine involvement worthy of God. The Docetists, Arians, and Nestorians–substantial metaphysical and theological differences between them notwithstanding–endorsed unqualified and unrestricted divine impassibility, i.e. they agreed that divine impassibility ruled out the divine subject’s involvement in human history and suffering. In contrast, the orthodox theologians regarded qualified divine impassibility as being compatible with certain God-befitting emotions and with the incarnate Word’s suffering in and through human nature.

Keywords:   apophatic qualifier, Arians, Cyril of Alexandria, divine emotions, Docetists, impassibility, Nestorians, suffering of God, theopatheia

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