Spiteris Yannis ,
La conoscenza Ģesperienzialeģ di Dio e la Teologia nella Prospettiva Orientale,
Antonianum, 72/3 (1997) p. 365-426
SUMMARY: In this article the author treats the theme of religious knowledge as the experience of God in the light of the Oriental Christian tradition. After an introduction which pinpoints what is meant by religious experience, there follows an examination of the meaning of apophatism. God by His very nature is unknowable, that is, He trascends absolutely every concept and idea. God remains a mystery for us. The Orient ovecomes agnosticism affirming that one knows God only in the mesure in which one communicates with Him. One may affirm that in Oriental Christian tradition the experience and the knowledge of God both coincide. To know God means to communicate with Him. This generic discourse is applied in a particular way to theology. «Theology» is more an experience of the living God than a discourse about God it represents the ultimate degree of the believer's coming near to God. Only one who has had an experience of God is able to say something about Him. Among ancient authors, this is the thinking of Origen, Evagrios Pontikos, Pseudo-Macarios or Macarios/Symeon, Diadochos of Photike, Gregory of Nyssa and of the Byzantine authors: Nicholas Kabasilas, Gregory Palamas; and also among the contemporary Orthodox scholars: Vladimir Lossky, Nikos Nissionis, Joannis Zizioulas. These last mentioned stress the fact that within Christianity the truth is never abstract, it is a living person, Jesus Christ. The theological truth, therefore, becomes real to the extent that the theologian allows hismself to be possessed by the living Christ. Thus the theologian becomes the living doxology of God.