Chapter

Introduction

Paul L. Gavrilyuk

in The Suffering of the Impassible God

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199269822
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601569 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199269823.003.0001

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Introduction

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Many modern theologians advocate the claim that God suffers and are convinced that divine impassibility is untenable on philosophical, exegetical, and broadly religious grounds. As a result, the scholars often interpret the patristic notion of divine apatheia as a Greek philosophical axiom the acceptance of which led to a distortion of the biblical image of the (allegedly) suffering God. This dominant interpretation is flawed. The problems with the unrestricted divine passibility are equally serious. Passibility and impassibility are correlative concepts, both of which must have their place in any sound account of divine agency. The introduction also provides a summary of the book.

Keywords: apatheia; compassion; crucified God; crucifixion; dispassion; divine emotions; passibilism; providence; providential care; suffering of God; suffering with; theory of theology’s fall into Hellenistic philosophy

Chapter.  8712 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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