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The Suffering of the Impassible God – The Dialectics of Patristic Thought - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic Thought

Paul L. Gavrilyuk


Major reconsideration of the notion of divine impassibility in patristic thought. It is commonly claimed that patristic theology fell prey to the assumption of Hellenistic philosophy about the impassibility of God and departed from the allegedly biblical view, according to which God is passible. The author argues that this standard view misrepresents the tradition. For the fathers, the attribute of divine impassibility functioned in a restricted sense as an apophatic qualifier of divine emotions. Gavrilyuk construes the development of patristic thought as a series of dialectical turning points ... More

Keywords: Arian, Arianism, christology, Cyril of Alexandria, divine emotions, Docetic, Docetism, impassibility, incarnation, kenosis, Nestorian controversy, Nestorius, Patripassianism, Sabellianism, self-emptying, suffering of God

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780199269822
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2004 DOI:10.1093/0199269823.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul L. Gavrilyuk, author
Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, University of St Thomas, St Paul, Minnesota
Author Webpage