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Apophatic theology

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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]].
==History in the Western Church==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.
==See also==

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