Dionysian Ponderings: Divine Knowledge, Creation, and Modal Collapse

Eclectic Orthodoxy

How does the infinite Creator know the contingent realities he has brought into existence without compromising his metaphysical simpleness? Or as St Dionysius the Areopagite asks:

How is God to comprehend something among the intelligibles since he does not have intellectual activities? How does God, who is established beyond every sensation, know what is sensible? Yet as the writings say, God knows all and nothing escapes the divine knowledge. (The Divine Names VII.2)

If God were a being, he would apprehend beings other than himself through a complex cognitional act appropriate to his nature. Beings know each other by their mutual availability, as determinate “thises” rather than “thats.” Differentiation is intrinsic to intelligibility. To be is to be delimited and thus knowable. Beings relate to each other as subjects and objects. When I perceive one of the trees in my backyard, I grasp it as external to me, yet…

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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