Apophatic theology

The negative theology (Greek Teología apophatikḗ, Latin theologia negativa ) is derived from the Platonism procedure statements about God or about the One as the first principle of metaphysics. Here, the thinking and speaking about God is limited by all the positive statements are consistently criticized as inadequate and discarded. Only negative statements can be regarded as true.

The terms " positive" and " negative" are not meant in a judgmental sense. As a "positive" are all statements with which the essence of God is to be determined by ascertaining what it is. This is done by certain properties such as goodness or wisdom attributed to him or by being identified with these characteristics (eg, God is good and God is good ). Here are ideas that come from the realm of human experience, upon God. The negative theology rejects such an approach, justifying this by the assertion that it is impossible in principle, absolute transcendence be duly considered when positive statements of God. The inadequacy of human ideas and untruth based on them statements about God is the only thing that regard could be determined to be true to God. Thus were only negative statements, ie negations of positive statements, legitimate. The systematic elimination of false positive images is an essential prerequisite for a true and contemporary relationship of man to God.

The negation of positive provisions should not be construed as affirmation of them opposite determinations. The statement that God can not be described as good, does not mean that it is referred to as poor. Rather teaches the negative theology, concepts such as " good" and " bad" are not applicable to God.

  • 2.1 Eriugena
  • 2.2 Meister Eckhart
  • 2.3 Nicholas of Cusa
  • 2.4 Orthodox Theology



The starting point for the negative theology form Plato remarks about the ineffability of the Most High. In Politeia dialogue he has the idea of ​​the good to the highest rank, because good about rage being and all other provisions such as knowledge and truth. He thinks the good as an idea is the cause of the apparent truth in the things visible and therefore ontological truth, knowledge, and all other ideas superior. The cause of the being of things that good is not itself being but about rage being in dignity and power. In the Timaeus dialogue Plato writes that it is difficult to locate the author and father of the universe, and it is impossible to proclaim it all, when you have found him. In Cratylus dialogue Plato Socrates can be said that " we know nothing of the gods namely, neither by themselves nor by their names, as they call each other ". The Seventh Letter he criticizes the written dissemination of teachings on " First and Highest in nature " and notes who have really understood something about the shy afraid to fix it in writing; Such knowledge 'll be grasped in any way as other knowledge into words.

Fundamental to the discussion of the ancient Platonists with the problem of the absolute transcendence of the first principle, the Ground of all things, are considerations that hires Plato in the Parmenides dialogue. The argument in the Parmenides is " überseienden " the starting point for the formation of a Platonic metaphysics of ( ontologically all being related ) One that unfolds in the world of existing things. Plato's early students Speusippos accesses the principle of conceptual negativity of a überseienden.


The Jewish philosopher Philo of connecting Alexandria ( 1st century ), the Platonic philosophy with Jewish theology, emphasizes the incomprehensibility of God. He notes that one is if you want to find God, in search of something awkwardly placed, "that always recedes and stand in the distance remains and hereilt with an infinite intervening distance from their pursuers ." Therefore must the human mind " in immeasurable distances lag behind the acquisition of the first cause ." However, Philo assumes, in contrast to Plato, that one that can testify being from the first principle, which he equates with the God of the Jewish religion; God has revealed himself in the Tanakh as the being. Philo says that God is fair certain properties inadmissible; one could not tell what he was, but only that he exists and its existence is free from all properties. God is not nameable, linguistically intangible.

In Mittelplatonismus Plato's references to the transcendence of the first principle be addressed. The philosopher Alcinous writes in his textbook Didaskalikos that God is ineffable ( árrhētos ). Illustrative noticed Alkinoos, God will come to nothing, neither bad nor good. If he were good, he would have good things, and then the good would be one of its parents principle. Neither non- nature seemed to him a nature to (otherwise they would have been given to him by their source ) ( otherwise he would have a lack of quality and would require perfection ). He was neither a part of something even as a whole, which has parts; neither he nor move he would move. Also the Mittelplatoniker Numenios take the path of denial. He describes the first principle, which he calls Plato as " good", with negative expressions. After his conviction, it is to be found where an unspeakable and indescribable loneliness prevails. The Mittelplatoniker Kelso denoted by citing Plato's Timaeus as the first unnameable. Despite these limitations of the linguistic possibilities Kelso believes the human mind God deprivation not entirely. From what unspeakably stay otherwise, one could win in three ways an idea: " by compiling with other things or by the distinction between them, or by a comparison with them." By the way mentioned in the second place he means the negative theology. Celsus ' Christian critic Origen accuses him that he had spoken about the Highest only " in empty negations ".


In the 3rd century Plotinus calls, the founder of Neo-Platonism, which as the good designated by Plato ontologically Highest " the One " (Greek to bonds). He expresses that it is absolutely simple. The One contains as extreme contrast to the differentiated and manifold no distinction, neither duality nor any plurality. It's like Plato's Good, the origin and existence of all things and as such the highest that it can give.

Thus, in a religious context can be equated with the supreme deity of the One of Plotinus with God or in a polytheistic religion. Such a provision, however, is from the Neo-Platonic view problematic, as it can have the consequence that the Supreme characteristics are attributed that are considered divine, as by being referred to as " good" or identified with the good. In this way a difference and thus a non- entity would be a carried into the absolutely undifferentiated, so that it no longer would be the one. Therefore, it is appropriate for Plotinus not even made ​​by Plato equating of good with the Supreme ( the first principle ). Appears only from the human perspective the One as something higher to aim for and that good, but for yourself it is not good. In the Neo-Platonic philosophy is one thing, neither good nor bad and as with Plato neither being nor non-existent, but beyond both. It "is" not really, because being as opposite of the non-existence or the perfect being as opposed to an impaired Its already presupposes a distinction and thus something that is subordinate to the One. Strictly speaking, the determination of the One as "One ", as simple or uniform in the sense of an antithesis to the plurality disregard its true, set against nature, over which paradoxically no true statement is possible. One is " unspeakable " ( árrhēton ). While still makes statements about Plotinus the One, but he maintains such findings with restrictions such as " speak " to provide " a certain extent" ( hoíon ). He clearly states that the terms used are not meant here in its ordinary sense, but just something not actually intended to indicate verbally Ausdrückbares. The A is a rational, discursive understanding in principle withdrawn.

The late antique Neoplatonist Proclus is the first author who combines the concepts of " negation " ( Apophasis ) and " theology." He uses the term Tropos tēs aphairéseōs ( " Procedure of removal "); the rules must be removed on the way to a. In his commentary on Plato's Parmenides, it recommends that remain after Plato's model for the negations and to show through them the sublime excess a. Due to the negative of a theological hymn to the one can be sent up. The function of all the positive expressions is that they are specified as " additions " which features a molded something. Therefore, they engage in vain if they are applied to the formless First and A. Since each A contrast is withdrawn, it is not to be understood as a coincidence of opposites. Proclus presents a negative dialectic, which he presents in particular on the basis of Parmenides interpretation as a method of metaphysical philosophy and einübt. It is crucial to the medieval negative theology. Not only to the one as the first principle Proclus uses the approach of negative theology, but also to the second principle, the nous, which forms as a purely spiritual sphere the uppermost region of the intelligible world and the existing things. He denies that the discursive thinking with his positive statements can capture and describe the Nous appropriate. Therefore, for Proclus not only in terms of the One, but also in terms of the nous a silent Consider the superior approach. Nevertheless, it is spoken by a; the reason Proclus sees in the natural pursuit of the soul to a back.

Fathers of the Church

According to the understanding of the ancient church fathers, which were heavily influenced by Platonism, the God of Christian theology, both the absolute transcendent One of the Neoplatonists and the Nous or demiurge includes in itself ( creator of the world ), the sensible world owes its existence. Thus Platonic skepticism concerning the authorization of positive statements about the deity concerned and Christian conceptions of God. Starting points for such skepticism and for the idea of ​​" ineffability " of God found the church fathers in individual biblical statements. Among the relevant relevant places those that emphasize the uniqueness of God and sharply distinguish him from everything except the Divine include ( Exodus 20.3 to 5; Deuteronomy 5:7-9 ), and the " speech at the Areopagus " of the Apostle Paul, where the " unknown god " is proclaimed as the true creator that is fundamentally different from the seemingly well-known gods of the Greeks and not as it should be worshiped. "The lives in inaccessible light, whom no man hath seen, nor can see " Even the New Testament statements like " No one has ever seen God " ( John 1:18 ) and (1 Timothy 6:16) emphasize the transcendence of God.

Early Church Fathers

The theologians of the early patristic period, the approach of negative theology was very well received. They used him in particular in dealing with anthropomophen ( the Divine humanizing ) ideas of their pagan environment. As early as the 2nd century Justin Martyr was of the view that God is " ineffable "; Although its existence is recognized, but not its essence. Terms such as " father ", " creator" and "Lord " and even the word "God " are not really appropriate, it made ​​sense only from a limited human perspective and could testify about the limitless God nothing Valid. One should also enclose God no name, as a namesake must be notified before there and because names of distinction were, But God be unique and it therefore zukomme not a distinguishing feature. With these considerations Justin follows Platonic thought.

In the aftermath Clement of Alexandria and Origen gave the development of negative theology decisive impulses, being qualified by Philo's doctrine of the unknowability of God. As Justin Martyr said Clemens, though God's existence is deducible for the human mind through inferences from the perceptible creation, but its essence is not mentally grasp and thus not expressible in words. He was inaccessible and ineffable, formative and nameless. Also, terms such as " good" or "being" are of limited help and not applicable in the real sense. The provisions that are God settled are entitled only in terms of analogies to the more familiar; real knowledge they could not convey. True insight is apparent for the person who recognizes what is not God. However, Clemens rejects positive statements not entirely, but approves them a certain value within the limits that apply to human cognition efforts to. Moreover, he believes that Christ is not to the same extent unknowable as God the Father, but may be recognized in certain aspects. Thus, the negative theology is limited in Clement.

For Origen, the incomprehensibility of God follows from its immateriality. God's nature is for the human mind, emanating from his experiences with sensory perceptions, unattainable. Only from his works, God can be recognized with respect to certain aspects of his existence. Names can not express the very essence of God. However, they are limited legitimate insofar as they only hint. Biblical passages where God is described as fire or light, are to be interpreted as metaphors. However, Origen considers the human ignorance of the divine mysteries, not absolute. He thinks they will eliminate in the course of salvation history.

Late Antique church fathers

Also in late antiquity stressed ecclesiastical authors, the unknowability of God's essence. In the 4th century it was in particular to the defense of a doctrine of the Arian theologians Eunomius, who accepted a full knowledge of God by the human mind. Eunomius thought as well as his opponents Neoplatonic; at the same time he used the means of Aristotelian logic. He taught that God had a specific - however -containing only a negative determination - name, could be expressed and recorded entirely by its nature, namely agénnētos ( " unbegotten " ursprungslos ). The main opponent of his theology were the Cappadocian Fathers Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory of Nazianzus. Basil difference between God's recognizable modes of action ( energy) and its principle unknowable essence. Gregory of Nyssa agreed with him and developed a theory of human language to make understood that God can not be captured by linguistic means, but is unspeakable. Gregory of Nazianzus pointed out the inadequacy of the human mind, relying in respect to the problem of the knowledge of God and of talking about God to Plato.

Other Church Fathers, among them John Chrysostom and the Latin -speaking West Augustine grappled with the question of the possibilities and limits of the knowledge of God, and taught that God is ineffable, its essence (Greek ousía, Latin substantia or essentia ) is not expressible in words.


That worked out most detailed and most aftereffects patristic concept of negative theology is that of an unknown late antique author who called himself Dionysius Dionysius the Areopagite, and was, a student mentioned in Acts of the Apostle Paul, identified in the Middle Ages. Today he is known as Pseudo-Dionysius. Pseudo-Dionysius, who wrote his works in Greek, takes some concepts and ideas of the Neoplatonist Proclus. In place of the Neo-Platonic model of emanation, the gradual emergence response of the world from the first cause, shall a Christian creation model in which likewise is given a hierarchical levels fine, but the whole of creation originates directly from the unfathomable Creator with him.

Pseudo-Dionysius discusses the differences between the positive ( " cataphatic " ) and negative ( " apophatic " ) theology. He starts with an examination of the individual names and attributes of God, which are known from the disclosure and the foot of it attributable to positive theology. On the way of causality (via causalitatis ) the positive theology excludes positive attributes of created things such as goodness or wisdom to their equivalent in the cause of creation. Since the Creator has bestowed the created these properties, it must they possess, for he can not be less than that of Induced him. However, on the path of negation (Latin via negationis ) reaches Pseudo-Dionysius to the conclusion that these names and designations God can not really get, because they are his transcendence does not do justice. Since they are not valid statements about its nature, it must be negated. In this sense, Pseudo-Dionysius called negations as true affirmations as inappropriate. But the negations prove to be not really true; since they are also inadequate, they must also be denied. This does not mean a return to positive statements, but a move to " About " statements with the prefix on - (Greek hyper-, super- latin ), such as " over -existent " or " übergut ". Ultimately, however, are also the over- statements only means and not statements of fact about the nature of God. Only after the last negation with which one transcends every kind of provisions in the approach to the divine reality, the crucial step is done: The anonymity is identified " ineffable name " with that which is the ground of all names, titles, and as such all united name. Thus leading the completion of exhaust to the perfect fullness, absolute emptiness and absolute abundance are found to be identical.

The positive statements of Revelation remain with Pseudo-Dionysius accepted as true, but not they refer to God's nature, but only on its effect. Moreover, they are the necessary initial component of a cognitive process, which is a way of caused to the cause of the multiplicity of a in its later stages. The positive theology is a way of descent, the of what God is most similar (terms such as " High ", "the first ", "the Superior " ), leading downwards to what God is most strange and yet a part of his creation forms ( inanimate and iniquity ). The negative theology begins with the last and lowest of ( inanimate matter and the lower emotions ) by regarding God negates it, and then proceeds upwards by all the words and names to the highest-level concepts such as life and goodness as statements about God discards. Through this gradual implementation of negations the soul accomplishes a rise, they stop you from the familiar world of thought and thus leads to God. The search for knowledge aspirant reaches the insight into his own ignorance and failure to recognize; the negative theology leads him to the lack of words, and thus silenced. His efforts to reach by means of the foot attributable to sensory perceptions and ideas emanating therefrom discursive thought processes to their destination have failed. Such failure proves to be a prerequisite is that it acquires an authentic relationship with God.

The last phase of the ascent, where the consistently progressive negative theology abolishes their own negating statements and thereby exceed, is called later in the Latin theological terminology as a way of About Stieg (via eminentiae ).

Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, as pointed out by Pseudo-Dionysius concept of negative theology was received by both western, Latin -speaking as well as from the Eastern, Greek-speaking theologians. In the West, it was just like in the East become an integral part of the Church's teaching. In 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council laid down that it could between Creator and creature no similitude can be determined without an even greater dissimilarity would specify between them.


In the 9th century, a manuscript of the " Corpus Dionysiacum " arrived ( collected works of Pseudo-Dionysius ) into the Frankish Empire. The Irish scholar Johannes Scotus Eriugena translated the corpus into Latin and wrote a commentary on Pseudo-Dionysius ' treatise On the heavenly hierarchy. He made also Latin translations of the major works of Maximus the Confessor. In his own major work, the font Periphyseon ( " About natures " ), he grappled with the problems of positive and negative theology. On the distribution of the body of thought of negative theology in the Middle Ages, he made a significant contribution. On Eriugena the Latin term theologia negativa and the relevant Latin terminology goes back.

Eriugena emphasizes that positive and negative theology are just opposite to each other apparently. In his view, they agree rather agree in everything. The positive theology " clothed " the "naked" divine essence ( essentia ) with statements such as " God is truth " which are to be understood metaphorically. The negative theology draws the deity of this dress in a logical process again. But doing so does not contradict the positive theology, because it takes into account their metaphorical way. The positive theology does not claim "God is ", but only "God can be called". The disrobing, which takes the negative theology, leads to the conclusion that God is not "something" is; therefore it can be called "nothing" from this point a. Since he is not a " something" that there is no positive answer to the question what it is ( quid est). Thus, God himself does not know what he is; not even he " understands " its essence in the sense of capturing something specific. His divine ignorance ( ignorantia ) is the highest wisdom.

Within this theological concept Eriugena interprets the Christian doctrine of the creation of the world " out of nothing" ( creatio ex nihilo ). For him, this statement about the creation can not be understood in time in the sense that it was the Creator and nothing before creation and that is nothing then at a certain time, the world was. It also can not be meant spatially and materially in the sense that outside of the Creator, a room and a aufzufassendes as substrate Nothing was ever present and the creation was then an action on this space and this substrate. Such notions presuppose that God wants to create at a time when he did not want it before. That would mean that God befalls something Akzidentelles and brings with him a change, which is absurd for Eriugena. As was Gregory of Nyssa - - hence the Irish thinker identified nothingness, creates the world over time from the God with whom nothing that is God himself. A temporal priority of the Creator to creation rejects Eriugena.

Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart puts his negative theology before especially in his commentary on the biblical book of Exodus. He wants to show there, as reason progresses on the path of denial and how they come to the insight into God's unity. He builds on ideas of the philosopher Maimonides ( 12th century). In terms of the traditional negative theology explains Eckhart, that all affirmations or positive attributes come to God in any way. You are incorrect and invalid, even if it is from a human perspective to perfections ( for example, power, wisdom or life ). Negative statements are reasonable, however, insofar as they lead to a cleansing of the directed to God thinking. In contrast to positive statements they no longer claim, as they actually do. The statement that God is one is allowed unless it is only a negation of heterogeneity or divisibility. A positive statement can be a definition or an accident or a relation affect or relate to effects; Eckhart explains why none of these statement types can be considered in terms of the nature of God.

However, Eckhart does not stop with the finding of the superiority of the path of negation, but also subjects it to criticism. Positive statements must be excluded from the standpoint of purity ( puritas ) because they put God created things with a little respect and so produce a contaminated priori conception of God; negative statements are incorrect from the point of fullness ( plenitudo ), insofar as they exclude something, although the Divine denies and excludes nothing. It would appear for Eckhart both the positive and the negative way as inadequate; both make restrictions that are incompatible with the universal and undifferentiated nature of the deity. About the Deity neither positive nor negative something definite can be said, as it is beyond any differentiation. It is " weiselos " ( without qualities by which they could be defined ), is a " groundless ground" and a "silent desert ," a " einfaltige silence". Since God has no limits, there is nothing he is not; thus he is "a denial of the negation ."

Nicholas of Cusa

In the 15th century Nicholas of Cusa accesses the negative theology. He applies it to the infinite "Maximum" (God) that has no contrast, and according to the doctrine of the coincidence of opposites with the little ones, the " minimum", coincides. He seeks a way out of the dilemma that arises from the fact that the negative theology on the one hand the dubiousness of the positive points out, on the other hand, by systematically eliminating all positive provisions, leading to radically indeterminate.

The negative theology shows that the essence of the maximum must remain inaccessible. Only the necessity of its existence is provable. Perfect truth is already out of reach in the objects of sense, because knowledge is based on comparisons of the changing nature of sensible things but excludes an exact comparison between them. A fortiori the infinite maximum with any of the finite things is comparable. Therefore, it remains deprived of human knowledge. Who sees this, recognizes his ignorance of the truth and comes nearer. He can not reach, but "touch". The role to be played by the negative theology here, is different for the elderly, the foot on the teachings of Pseudo-Dionysius tradition for Nicholas. He approves of negative theology to not prevail over the positive and look at the positive rather than mere propaedeutic the negative. Instead, he sees these two approaches, a pair of equal- opposite poles. When these two opposites not only coexist, but understood her collapse into a single unit and the opposition is overcome, the unspeakable can be touched.

Orthodox Theology

In the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the concept of negative theology was a stronger echo than in the West. The theologian Maximus the Confessor attacked in the 7th century on the teachings of Pseudo-Dionysius. The conviction that God's essence is unknowable in principle, became a core part of Orthodox theology.

Your definitive shape was the orthodox view in Palamismus, the formulated in the 14th century by the theologian Gregory Palamas doctrine which is the official position of the Greek Orthodox Church to this day. The Palamismus principally distinguishes between God's creatures for the inaccessible nature (Greek οὐσία ousía ) and its active forces (Greek ἐνέργειαι enérgeiai ), with which he makes himself known. In its essence remains God, even if he willfully Not the Divine turns to always separated from his own affection and unknowable. In its active forces, however, can recognize him, and in the uncreated light of Tabor, which is part of the active forces, you can experience a God experience. The difference between essence and active forces is indeed real, and not a mere theoretical construct of people, but with the active forces are not for Palamas to an ontologically independent, existing alongside the essence reality, which would be incompatible with the unity and indivisibility of God, but the active forces are equally God as the essence is God. Since they are God, they are uncreated. God is fully present in each of its active forces. Thus, the effective forces are God under the aspect of its recognition and self-revelation, the essence is God under the aspect of its basic unknowability. The negative theology on the one hand confirms, on the other hand canceled at the same time.

The principal theological opponents of Palamismus, Barlaam of Calabria, a contemporary of Gregory Palamas, was also a staunch supporter of negative theology, which he did quite differently interpreted as his palamitischen adversary. He distinguished sharply between the area of the Uncreated (God ), which was closed in principle in its entirety in all respects human thought and also all human experience, and the range of created things. Because of God's inaccessibility, the theological statements about him were hardly more than mind games.

As a consequence, the orthodoxy opposes the thesis of the omnipresence of God and teaches instead that God may be excluded from any place. In the same way is represented instead of omnipotence that God's power is unlimited ..

Early Modern Times

During the Renaissance, held wide Catholic circles, including humanists such as Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, without reservation as to the authenticity of the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius fixed although Lorenzo Valla expressed doubts as to the authenticity and established, in which he was followed by Erasmus. The negative theology of Pseudo-Dionysius coined continue the thinking of Catholic theologians. Pico della Mirandola, however relativized the validity claim of radical negative theology; the Neo-Platonic primacy of the One over being he did not accept, but he wrote two terms, referring to the same extent both equally in God. With decisiveness joined Charles de Bouelles ( Carolus Bovillus ) in its 1510 published his De nihilo a ( "On Nothingness" ) for the primacy of negative theology before the positive. For him, the non- determination is more original than the determination. God creates in itself nothingness; from the negation of nothingness is shown being. Luther initially estimated the conventional negative theology, he later rejected the ideas of Pseudo-Dionysius from strongly and described it as dangerous.

In the second half of the 16th century John of the Cross emphasized with particular emphasis the difference and the distance between Creator and creature, the incomprehensibility and inaccessibility of God.

During the Enlightenment, the negative theology comes as a fundamental critique of the positive into view, where their approach is exploited for the purpose of religious criticism. David Hume asks in what because a " mystic " (followers of negative theology ), which starts from the absolute incomprehensibility of God, from a skeptic ( agnostic ) atheist or different, which holds the first cause of unknown and unknowable.

Kant rejects in his criticism of religion, the ideas of God and images not entirely off. But he says they have only been created to "give effect" the necessary moral laws. In contrast, when the ideas or ideas of a Supreme Being be understood as " direct knowledge of new items " or as real being, of which then reversed the moral laws are only derived, that is, according to Kant " enthusiastic or perhaps even sacrilegious " and must be " the operate and thwart ultimate ends of reason. " The Absolute can not be determined, for Kant, although he supposes it behind the phenomena of the world.



In modern times the concept of a negative theology of strong bible -oriented theologians rejected. Especially in detail justified this criticism Magnus Striet. Critics cite the number of positive statements about God and his properties in the Bible and argue these statements are connected to a truth claim, the denial or restriction in the context of a Bible-based Christianity was not possible. Moreover, in the negative theology 'm the importance of faith, grace, and salvation history is not appropriate to advantage. Furthermore Striet thinks the negative theology amounts to a negation of religion and so on atheism addition. He has Ludwig Feuerbach out who claimed the essence of Christianity in its 1841 first published writing: The supposedly religious aversion to verendlichen God by certain predicates, is only the irreligious desire to know nothing of God, God from to beat the sense; this is nothing more than a subtle, sly atheism.


Karl Jaspers says, in the negative theology would " dispense with a metaphysical picture of the world in favor of the creative vitality of the mystical experience depth, the movement toward ideas ". You say over the whole thing only negations and paradoxes, but could not permanently overcome " the need of human nature ," " the whole thing as the world, to and have the utmost horizons of our being objectively right to think it and to look at it also ".

Jacques Derrida undertakes an update to the approach of negative theology, which he solves by the common bond of a traditional religious context by generalizing him, where he also partially dissociates itself from him. He is concerned with criticism of all procedures that link the each other with provisions in the field of non- other, which they do the radical otherness demolition. In his view, while the singularity of each (all ) other remains (for which God is only an example ) on the track. Here Derrida sees a similarity between negative theology and deconstruction: Both approaches criticize the exclusion of parts or aspects of a condition by the use of language and turn against a categorizing and classifying, which restricts the use of the objects of thought from the outset and can not, therefore justice can be. But Derrida also an important difference between negative theology and deconstruction to have to state: he accuses of negative theology, the " About " statements such as " over -existent " but again an affirmative element to introduce and, like the positive theology a " metaphysics of presence to establish " what he rejects from deconstructive perspective. His concept of différance is not only based on Nichtbestimmbarkeit, but also on non- presence; Presence is to deconstruct. Jean -Luc Marion contradicts Derrida's critique of negative theology. He thinks that the pseudo- Dionysian way of " over- looking statements" was not a return to a metaphysics of presence of God, no veiled positivity, but radical negation and a theology of absence.


Because of the rejection of all provisions related to God is an analogy between the God of negative theology and the principle of Dao in Daoism, which is also all conceivable properties are discussed.