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:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies


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The church’s rejection of the major christological heresies is a series of dialectical turns, all taken to safeguard an account of divine involvement worthy of God. The Docetists, Arians, and Nestorians–substantial metaphysical and theological differences between them notwithstanding–endorsed unqualified and unrestricted divine impassibility, i.e. they agreed that divine impassibility ruled out the divine subject’s involvement in human history and suffering. In contrast, the orthodox theologians regarded qualified divine impassibility as being compatible with certain God-befitting emotions and with the incarnate Word’s suffering in and through human nature.

Keywords: apophatic qualifier; Arians; Cyril of Alexandria; divine emotions; Docetists; impassibility; Nestorians; suffering of God; theopatheia

Chapter.  1491 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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