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By Christos Yannaras

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What is the meaning of this image? What do the words convey? As the absolute cause of existence, God is freely that which is, and consequently knows that which freely is not. ” The temptation of Man, the existential challenge that tests him, is that he too should know that which is not, although he has freely chosen that which is. That he should circumvent his createdness, that he 64 should exist as if the incomprehensible freedom of absolute causality were given to him too. The temptation of existential absolute completeness and self-containedness, the temptation of a non-existent, imaginary equality with God.

In the case of all created beings, with the possible exception of Man, this mode is not chosen, but is given and definitive, the unavoidable mode of irrational beings: to be that which they are and nothing else. Only rational Man can be that which he is not and not be that which he is. A rational/personal existence, Man in the image of God creates an otherness with regard to his nature by his very existence: He has the possibility of existing in the likeness of God, of choosing between the mode of the created (ontic, autonomy, individual self-containedness) and the mode of the uncreated (ec-static eros, loving self-transcendence).

And the ontological presupposition for this hypostatic realization of freedom is, according to the testimony of the Church‟s experience, the historical event of the incarnation of the Son-Logos: This event was initially the ground (and is the ground eternally) of the possibility that the Uncreated should exist in the mode of the created and that the created should participate existentially in the mode of the Uncreated. The ontological proposition of the Church‟s experience is shared in through Man‟s rational/cognitive capacity.

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The Enigma of Evil by Christos Yannaras


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