Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Denying DivinityApophasis in the Patristic Christian and Soto Zen Buddhist Traditions$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

J. P. Williams

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269991

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269991.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 August 2019

Maximus the Confessor

Maximus the Confessor

Chapter:
(p.93) 5 Maximus the Confessor
Source:
Denying Divinity
Author(s):

J. P. Williams

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269991.003.0005

This chapter presents a reading of Maximus the Confessor's apophatic theology based on a broad spectrum of his writings. It focuses on three texts that offer slightly different versions of a distinction between two ways of approaching the divine. First, in a celebrated passage from the tenth of the Ambigua, Maximus divides theology into two ‘universal modes’: one that ‘goes first, is simple, and does not refer to the divine as cause’ , and another that is ‘secondary and composite, gleaning a faint indication of the divine from its effects’. Several Dionysian themes are reprised: the uncertain tension between apophasis and silence, and the connection between kataphasis and the divine as Cause. In the paradoxical suggestion that, while affirmations about the divine drawn from its effects may have some value, the ‘true’ affirmations are derived from apophasis, one is reminded of the obverse link made by Dionysius in the fourth Letter: that ‘every affirmation regarding Jesus’ love for humanity has the force of a negation pointing towards transcendence’.

Keywords:   Maximus the Confessor, apophasis, apophatic theology, divine, silence, kataphasis, affirmation, negation, Dionysius, transcendence

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .