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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Divine Energies

This is from the Pillar and Ground of the Truth blog.

As seen from Fr. Gregory Hogg's blog.
"St. Gregory Palamas, on the divine energies
68. The divine transcendent being is never named in the plural. But the divine and uncreated grace and energy of God is divided indivisibly according to the image of the sun's ray (Cf. Basil, De spiritu sancta 9.22.35) which gives warmth, light, life and increase, and sends its own radiance to those who are illuminated and manifests itself to the eyes of those who see. In this way, in the manner of an obscure image, the divine energy of God is called not only one but also many by the theologians. For example, Basil the Great says, "As for the energies of the Spirit, what are they? Ineffable in their grandeur, they are innumerable in their multitude. How are we to conceive what is beyond the ages? What were his energies before intelligible creation?" (Idem, 19.49.1-4) Prior to intelligible creation and beyond the ages (for also the ages are intelligible creations) no one has ever spoken or conceived of anything created. Therefore, the powers and energies of the divine Spirit are uncreated and because theology speaks of them in the plural they are indivisibly distinct from the one and altogether indivisible substance of the Spirit."

To read the rest, please visit Fr. Hogg's blog.



Unknown said...

This post is intriguing to me as an Evangelical with interest in learning more about the Orthodox tradition. I am wondering if Palamas's concept of Divine energy as both single and multifoilate can explain how we can talk of our being Deified without either violating the Divine simplicity or intimating that we are absorbed into God. (ie, if God is simple, then would that mean that the Divine nature which we partake of is identical with his essence?)Is this the right question to ask from an Orthodox perspective, and if it is, would Palamas help answer it with his view of Divine energies as both single and multiple?

Jnorm said...


Yes, I think Saint Palamas would be a good place to start.

Also I'm gonna send you to the Energetic Procession Blog.

The people overthere are more able to talk about it (in detail) than me.

You brought up "Divine Simplicity" when talking about the Essence vs Energies disctinction. Well, I don't think you can merge the two ideas together. I could be wrong about this, but it would be hard to understand "Essence vs. Energies" if the doctrine of Divine Simplicity was your "presup".

The link I gave should help. The people overthere know why more than I.......especially when it comes to this doctrine.

I hope this helps.


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