From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Theopaschism is the belief that a god can suffer. In Christian theology this involves questions like "was the crucifixion of Jesus a crucifixion of God?".

Cyrillianism vs. Theodoreanism[edit]

The question is central to the schism between those churches which accepted the First Council of Ephesus and the Assyrian Church of the East. While not Nestorian,[1] the Assyrian Church of the East, along with their greatest teacher, Babai the Great, deny the possibility of a suffering God.

Byzantine period[edit]

Some theologians of the Byzantine period also held similar views, although they were never held to be very orthodox. Classical Augustinian theology, on the contrary, maintains that the man Jesus suffered to a much greater extent, in order to avoid charges of modalism and patripassianism.[citation needed]

Modern philosophy and theology[edit]

A number of modern philosophers and theologians have been called theopaschists, such as G.W.F. Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche and Simone Weil.

Some proponents of liberation theology have extended the theopaschist debate to the hypostasis of the Holy Spirit, questioning whether the Spirit may or may not have felt pain during the incarnation.[citation needed] This debate has had implications in ecclesiology, per Leonardo Boff's Church: Charism and Power.


  1. ^ Brock, Sebastian P. (2006), Fire from Heaven: Studies in Syriac Theology And Liturgy, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 9780754659082