2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Advocating the Apophatic Approach: Bridging the Gap Between Early Buddhist Philosophy and Modern Christian Theism

Alexander C. Moellering
Dr. Lloyd Pflueger, Faculty Mentor

Not only is the apophatic approach the most logically consistent means to consider the concept of the Christian theistic God, but it also provides an opportunity to bridge the gap between modern Christian theology and Theravada Buddhist philosophy.  The apophatic approach overcomes the logical difficulties associated with other conceptions of God, specifically God as a highest being and God as Being itself, among others.  While this approach has its own challenges, the benefits it provides are well worth it.  Approaching the divine in Christianity through the apophatic approach allows for compatibility with Buddhist philosophy.  It appears that the Buddha himself used an apophatic approach in regards to key questions and ultimate concerns, and as such, understanding Christian theism through apophaticism may provide a new lens through which we can juxtapose the two religious traditions. 

Keywords: Buddhism, Christianity, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Theology, God

Topic(s):Philosophy & Religion

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 210-2
Location: VH 1224
Time: 9:45

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