By George S. Maloney
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Extra info for A theology of ''uncreated energies''
5. This knowledge, finally, is no mere "symbolic" knowledge, but a real knowledge of God as He is in Himself. Against the "intellectual symbolism" which Barlaam held to explain the mediated knowledge that man had of God, Palamas held that God was present in Christ. He Him- Page 58 self had broken down the separation between the "up there" and the "down here," and Christ had made it possible for God to be forever present in man's material world. In Palamas' incarnational view of history, Christ Himself was the symbol uniting man and God.
Such an approach is based not on an absolute no, but on a relative no, a "pas encore," to quote Cyprian Kern. 5 There is a question of true theological knowledge, but it is more in the experience of God as giving Himself to the repentant mystic who approaches God in a state of brokenness and interior poverty of spirit. Vladimir Lossky describes the knowledge of God beyond all conceptualization that St. Gregory of Nyssa called theognosis, knowledge taught by God. . having failed to recognize the One it desires among the intelligible and incorporeal beings, and abandoning all that it finds, it recognizes the One it is seeking as the only One he Page 36 does not comprehend.
It is to speak of God through His causality upon the material effects of His created order, including man and the entire material world. Page 31 About God in His activities toward creation the theologian can speak and ascribe to Him certain attributes. These are the epinoiai of Origen. Psuedo-Dionysius describes some of the areas that cataphatic theology deals with and points out that the details and images and words tend to become more copious and diffused than in the apophatic approach. Let me quote from him his general description of the work of cataphatic theology: In the treatise on Divine Names, we have considered the meaning, as concerning God, of the titles of Good, of Being, of Life, of Wisdom, of Power, and of such other names as are applied to Him; further, in Symbolical Theology, we have considered what are the metaphorical titles drawn from the world of sense and applied to the nature of God; what is meant by the material and intellectual images we form of Him, or the functions and instruments of activity attributed to Him; what are the places where He dwells and the raiment in which He is adorned; what is meant by God's anger, grief, and indignation, or the divine inebriation; what is meant by God's oaths and threats, by His slumber and waking; and all sacred and symbolic representations.
A theology of ''uncreated energies'' by George S. Maloney