Last modified on 2 April 2015, at 18:11




From Ancient Greek ἀποϕατικός (apoϕatikós, negative).



apophatic (comparative more apophatic, superlative most apophatic)

  1. (theology) Pertaining to knowledge of God obtained through negation rather than positive assertions.
    • 2009, Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, Penguin 2010, p. 488:
      For him, the assertions of Palamas ran counter to the apophatic insistence in Pseudo-Dionysius that God was unknowable in his essence.
    • 2009, Karen Armstrong, The Case for God, Vintage 2010, p. 123:
      Augustine had absorbed the underlying spirit of Greek apophatic theology, but the West did not develop a fully fledged spirituality of silence until the ninth century, when the writings of an unknown Greek author were translated into Latin and achieved near-canonical status in Europe.