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Clement of Alexandria and the Beginnings of Christian Apophaticism$
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Henny Fiskå Hägg

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199288083

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199288089.001.0001

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Apophaticism and the Distinction between Essence and Power

Apophaticism and the Distinction between Essence and Power

Chapter:
(p.238) 8 Apophaticism and the Distinction between Essence and Power
Source:
Clement of Alexandria and the Beginnings of Christian Apophaticism
Author(s):

Henny Fiskå Hägg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199288089.003.0008

Clement’s model for a distinction between God’s essence and his powers or energies is presented. Clement’s emphasis is on unknowability versus knowability — God as essence is unknowable, God as the Son, or as his power, is knowable. It is argued that the distinction is structurally equivalent with, and anticipates, the dogma of the distinction between God’s essence and energies that became so important in later Orthodox theology.

Keywords:   essence, powers, energies, unknowability, knowability, Orthodox theology

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