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Apophatic 

Western or Latin theology has generally been more positive (scientific) in its approach to human knowledge of God, but the apophatic is found in both the theological and the mystical tradition. Thomas Aquinas, for example, begins his Treatise on God with the statement, "Now we cannot know what God is, but only what God is not; we must therefore consider the ways in which God does not exist, rather than the ways in which God does." He then proceeds to discuss how God is known from the positive effects of God in creation. This tradition is also carried out in the mystical tradition of Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, and many others. One of its chief contemporary exponents is Karl Rahner. See Cappadocians, or Cappadocian Fathers; see Cataphatic. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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