The Suffering of the Impassible God: The Dialectics of Patristic Thought

Paperback | April 30, 2006

byPaul L. Gavrilyuk

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The Suffering of the Impassible God provides a major reconsideration of the issue of divine suffering and divine emotions in the early Church Fathers. Patristic writers are commonly criticized for falling prey to Hellenistic philosophy and uncritically accepting the claim that God cannotsuffer or feel emotions. Gavrilyuk shows that this view represents a misreading of evidence. In contrast, he construes the development of patristic thought as a series of dialectical turning points taken to safeguard the paradox of God's voluntary and salvific suffering in the Incarnation.

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The Suffering of the Impassible God provides a major reconsideration of the issue of divine suffering and divine emotions in the early Church Fathers. Patristic writers are commonly criticized for falling prey to Hellenistic philosophy and uncritically accepting the claim that God cannotsuffer or feel emotions. Gavrilyuk shows that th...

Paul L. Gavrilyuk is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology in the University of St Thomas, St Paul, Minnesota.

other books by Paul L. Gavrilyuk

The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christianity
The Spiritual Senses: Perceiving God in Western Christi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.51 inPublished:April 30, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199297118

ISBN - 13:9780199297115

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Testing the fall into Hellenistic philosophy theory2. The function of divine impassibility in patristic theology3. The reality of Christ's suffering defended in the struggle with Docetism4. Patripassian controversy: the Son, not God the Father, is the subject of the Incarnation5. The orthodox response to Arianism: involvement in suffering does not diminish Christ's divinity6. The case of Cyril against Nestorius: a theology of divine self-emptyingConclusion

Editorial Reviews

`Gavrilyuk has written an excellent book suitable not only for scholars but for students as well.'Journal of Early Christian Studies