→History in the Early Church
Negative theology played an important role early in the [[history of Christianity]]. Three theologians who emphasized the importance of negative theology to an orthodox understanding of God, were [[Gregory of Nyssa|Gregory the Theologian]], [[John Chrysostom]], and [[Basil the Great]]. [[John of Damascus]] employed it when he wrote that positive statements about God reveal "not the nature, but the things around the nature." It continues to be prominent in [[Eastern Christianity]] (see [[Gregory Palamas]]), and is used to balance kataphatic theology. Apophatic statements are crucial to much theology in [[Orthodox Christianity]].
Negative theology has a place in the Western Christian tradition as well, although it is definitely much more of a counter-current to the prevailing positive or cataphatic traditions central to [[Western Christianity]]. For example, theologians like
[[Meister Eckhart |Meister Eckhardt]] and [[St. John of the Cross ]] (San Juan de la Cruz), mentioned above, exemplify some aspects of or tendencies towards the apophatic tradition in the West. '' [[The Cloud of Unknowing ]]'' (author unknown) and St John's '' [[Dark Night of the Soul ]]'' are particularly well-known in the West.