Can We Predicate of and Speak about God, and What Are the Rules for Doing So?
On the Epistemological and Logical Premises of Conciliar Trinitarianism
Keywords:Trinity, Knowledge of God, Patristics, Cappadocians, Eunomian controversy
The present study aims to outline the epistemological and logical principles and ground–rules developed during Trinitarian debates by Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa: ones which, for the most part, function to define what counts as applicable to and possible for theological discourse when speaking about God. These principles not only underlie Cappadocian Trinitarian theology, but also can be seen as furnishing a key to the proper understanding and interpretation of the Conciliar Trinitarian account, which to a considerable extent was formulated on the basis of and in terms indebted to Cappadocian teaching. As will be argued here, the principles show very clearly the problems associated with addressing God in terms of “essence”—issues that in fact underlie most of the difficulties and incoherences presented by Trinitarian discourse as such.
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