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  • Author: Richard Swinburne x
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Gregory Palamas and our Knowledge of God

Abstract

Although Gregory wrote very little about this. he acknowledged that natural reason can lead us from the orderliness of the physical world to the existence of God; in this, he followed the tradition of Athanasius and other Greek fathers. Unlike Aquinas, he did not seek to present the argument a; deductive: in fact his argument is inductive, and of die same kind as - we now realize - scientists and historians use when they argue from phenomena to then explanatory cause. Gregory wrote hardly anything about how one could obtain knowledge of the truths of the Christian revelation by arguments from non-question-beggining premises; but in his conversations with the Turks he showed that he believed that there are good arguments of this kind. Almost all of Gregory's writing about knowledge of God concerned how one could obtain this by direct access in prayer: this access, he held is open especially to monks, but to a considerable degree also to all Christians who follow the divine commandments.

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