Denying Divinity

WilliamsDenying Divinity
Apophasis in the Patristic Christian and Soto Zen Buddhist Traditions

Janet Williams

The classical texts of Christianity and Zen Buddhism contain resources with potent appeal to contemporary spirituality. The ‘apophatic’, or ‘negative’, may offer a means to integrate the conservation of traditional religious practices and beliefs with an openness to experience beyond the limits of doctrine and of rational thought. This book argues for a new understanding of what is meant by apophatic theology, supported by extensive analysis of the texts of Dionysius the Areopagite, St Maximus the Confessor, and Zen Master Dogen. It demonstrates how an apophatic spirituality might inform personal and communal spiritual development, and sketches out the contribution it can offer to modern debate on theology and postmodernism, entropy, and interfaith dialogue, and to development of an active theological commitment to humanity.

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