The Concept of the Divine Energies

Philosophy and Theology 18 (1):93-120 (2006)
The distinction between the divine essence and energies has long been recognized as a characteristic feature of Eastern Orthodox theology, one sharply at odds with traditional Western understandings of divine simplicity. Yet attempts by Orthodox theologians to explain the distinction have sometimes exaggerated its distinctively Orthodox character by a failure to attend to its historical sources. This paper argues that the distinction was a natural and reasonable consequence of the synthesis between Greek philosophy and Biblical thought executed by the Church Fathers, particularly the Cappadocians of the fourth century
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