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Contemporary Apophaticism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter sets the contemporary apophatic scene by way of engagement with three influential, contemporary apophatic theologians, chosen because of their proximity to the present project, which will build on their foundational insights and take them in slightly new directions. The ensuing focus is on the theme of difference: specifically, the difference between God and creation in its transcendence of all creaturely difference. The chapter closes with an indication both of the insights this apophaticism will take up and develop, and of the respects in which it will mark a new departure. The chapter explores Burrell's reading of Aquinas, focusing on the way in which Aquinas's account of divine simpleness makes for an austere account of the potentialities of our language in respect of God. The main thrust of Christian doctrine, lies in its power to transform, by weaning human beings off idolatry.

Keywords: Burrell; contemporary apophaticism; creation; divine simpleness; idolatry

10.1163/9789004258143_003
/content/books/b9789004258143s003
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