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By Andrew Radde-Gallwitz

Divine simplicity is the concept, because the final precept of the universe, God needs to be a non-composite solidarity now not made from components or different attributes. the belief used to be appropriated by means of early Christian theologians from non-Christian philosophy and performed a pivotal function within the improvement of Christian suggestion. Andrew Radde-Gallwitz charts the growth of the belief of divine simplicity from the second one throughout the fourth centuries, with specific awareness to Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nyssa, of the main refined writers in this subject, either instrumental within the building of the Trinitarian doctrine proclaimed as orthodox on the Council of Constantinople in 381. He demonstrates that divine simplicity used to be now not a philosophical appendage awkwardly hooked up to the early Christian doctrine of God, yet a proposal that enabled Christians to articulate the consistency of God as portrayed of their scriptures. Basil and Gregory provided a special construal of simplicity in responding to their important doctrinal opponent, Eunomius of Cyzicus. tough authorised interpretations of the Cappadocian brothers and the normal account of divine simplicity in contemporary philosophical literature, Radde-Gallwitz argues that Basil and Gregory's fulfillment in remodeling principles inherited from the non-Christian philosophy in their time has an ongoing relevance for Christian theological epistemology at the present time.

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Extra resources for Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa, and the Transformation of Divine Simplicity

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7: ôÅ fi ðƺÆØa fi ƃæÝóåØ), is no longer valid as Law, Ptolemy never indicates what sort of reading practice this implies for Christians. He may well hold it to be a necessary contrast for understanding the Saviour’s teachings. 33 Ep. 2. 32 Simplicity and the Problem of Contradiction For the substance of the adversary is corruption and darkness (for it is material and divided in many ways), and the substance of the ingenerate Father of the universe is incorruptibility and self-subsistent light, simple and uniform.

Introduction 13 We are left, then, with a bleak picture. Stead seems to be right in his view that either of the two clearest versions of simplicity leaves us with no ability to make the claims that Christians wish to make about God. I largely accept his analysis so far, but it is flawed in that it reduces the options to two, when in fact the Cappadocians (here, Basil and Gregory of Nyssa) offer a different version of simplicity that escapes the problem, as stated by Stead, of being incompatible with ordinary religious discourse.

Introduction 11 has to relativize or deny the myriad positive titles given to God in scripture. One might ask whether (A) and (B) necessarily have these consequences. Surely, one must at least say that the account of divine activities which Stead assumes, according to which God acts one way now, another way then, is anthropomorphism of the finest sort. Yet, even if we grant this account for the sake of argument, other problems remain. For instance, Eunomius of Cyzicus, whom we examine in Chapter 4, holds (A), but would not agree with Stead’s portrayal of the consequences of the identity thesis.

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