‘Orthodox panentheism’ is neither orthodox nor coherent

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Jeremiah Carey presents a version of panentheism which he attributes to Gregory Palamas, as well as other Greek patristic thinkers. The Greek tradition, he alleges, is more open to panentheistic metaphysics than the Latin. Palamas, for instance, hold that God's energies are participable, even if God's essence is not. Carey uses Palamas' metaphysics to sketch an account on which divine energies are the forms of created substances, and argues that it is open to Orthodox Christians to affirm that God is in all things as their formal cause. I argue that Carey's reading is premised on a superficial examination of the patristic literature. More importantly, Palamas' metaphysics is opposed to that of Carey, since Palamas' distinction aims to uphold the view that created persons are only contingent participants in God. On this, Palamas and the Latins are in complete accord. In conclusion, I propose that panentheistic metaphysics begins from a false dilemma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalReligious Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Oct 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Philosophy
  • Religious studies

User-Defined Keywords

  • Aquinas
  • Orthodoxy
  • Palamas
  • panentheism
  • simplicity


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