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Abstract

Richard Hooker’s (1554-1600) adaptation of classical logos theology is exceptional and indeed quite original for its extended application of the principles of Neoplatonic apophatic theology to the concrete institutional issues of a particular time and place-the aftermath of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559. Indeed, his sustained effort to explore the underlying connections of urgent political and constitutional concerns with the highest discourse of hidden divine realities-the knitting together of Neoplatonic theology and Reformation politics-is perhaps the defining characteristic of Hooker’s distinction mode of thought. Hooker’s ontology adheres to a Proclean logic of procession and reversion (processio and redditus) mediated by Aquinas’s formulation of the so-called lex divinitatis whereby the originative principle of law remains simple and self-identical as an Eternal Law while it emanates manifold, derivative and dependent species of law, preeminently in the Natural Law accessible to human reason and Divine Law revealed through the Sacred Oracles of Scripture. For Hooker, therefore, ‘all thinges’-including even the Elizabethan constitution in Church and Commonwealth, are God’s offspring: ‘they are in him as effects in their highest cause, he likewise actuallie is in them, the assistance and influence of his deitie is theire life.’

as “endlessly varied, innovative, unexpected, and self- transcending” (p. 33). Further in this chapter, the author develops the first way of the anthropological view. Starting from the apophatic theology of the Greek Fathers, he stands up for an apophatic anthropology as a counterpart for the previous. The fourth and fifth chapters develop the last two ways of the anthropo- logical view. When we talk as Christians about our human personhood, we state that we are created in the image and likeness of God (Gen.1:26-28) and we are a “living icon of the living God

means for providing the world with meaning.30 Long before Max Weber referred to the “iron cage” of modernity to point out the limitations of modern rationality to offer meaningful ends to individuals, Orthodox theological discourse has employed a very similar leitmotif.31 Or- thodox theology has articulated a vision of apophatic theology as a discursive means for deciding matters of faith.32 Without going into details, apophati- cism has been a strategy – used in the era of the Church’s ecumenical coun- cils – which aimed at stating what God is not, as opposed to