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negative theology


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The ‘via negativa’ or negative way is the approach to religion that supposes that we can better say what God is not than say anything about what he is. He is not (for instance) gendered, bearded, besandalled, present in some places or times and not others, or like us in any other specifiable way. The approach of saying ‘that's not quite right’ after any attempt to describe God does full justice to the unimaginable and incomprehensible nature of God, but it does less well in countering Wittgenstein's dictum that ‘nothing will do as well as something about which nothing can be said’.

Subjects: Philosophy.


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