The Via Negativa

Religious Language

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  • THE VIA NEGATIVA
    • Religious Language
      • Equivocal
        • Must be negated when applied to the Divine
      • Relies solely on functional or evocative sense
      • Doesn't lead to skepticism but realisation God is beyond words
    • Strengths
      • A warning against the idolatry of language.
        • The dangers of giving God human form and emotions.
      • Negation has some value.
        • Even accepted by Aquinas (Remotion).
    • Weaknesses
      • Riddled with contradicitons
        • PS.-Dionysius and Maimonides make affirmations.
        • Gregory of Nyssa provides affirmations of God beyond understanding
      • It never says enough to make a difference
      • If it is inadequate, why use it all?
      • Aquinas rejects language is equivocal.
        • Analogy allows us to know God.
    • An Apophatic Approach

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